Date registered: Oct 2007
Vehicle: 1999 SL500
Location: Mesa, AZ
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thank God my father had a Mercedes! - 1988 300SE -
Story #1 - A long one but worth it.
About a month after we had the car, the family was driving between CO and CA when my father became drowsy. My mother’s driving scared him so he could never sleep while she drove. That meant that he had me drive instead (I was 16 at the time)… about 10 minutes later I was asleep behind the wheel. Actually everyone in the car was sleeping except for my mother who from the back seat thought I was just cutting the corners on the freeway with the cruise control set at 90. After several miles the car finally drifted towards the center median and we all awoke to the sound of driving on gravel just before hitting a delineator post. I tried to swerve but mowed the post over, cutting it in half as the front bumper made contact. The top half of the post hit the windshield molding and scratched the chrome instead of entering the windshield and my forehead. So now the car is swinging about 270 degrees back and forth as I try to recover… over-steer… skid… and finally get the car moving in a straight line – backwards though – down the freeway. Now “in control” I spin the car 180 and pull over to the side. I was out from my seatbelt and circling around the back of the car as my father came out of the front passenger’s seat and came around the front to survey the damage. I still remember seeing the Michelin tires’ rubber boil and the freshly ground rims. So there we were in the middle of nothing, needing a new bumper, hood, four tires and driver’s side headlight assy. including wiper. Luckily the car was drivable and now Dad was very much awake to be able to drive to the next town where I got to buy four new tires so that we could make it to CA. Knowing how much my father loved his new car I remember standing in the road by the trunk while he got back in the driver’s seat and thinking, “Is today the day I start living on my own or shall I risk getting into the front seat next to my father?” He never said a word about the whole thing even on the side of the road when it happened, except when the bill for the repairs arrived he handed it to me still without a word spoken and I would hand him my paycheck for many months.
I don’t know many cars you can put a 16 year old in, be moving at 90 mph, crank the wheel, and swerve in 270-degree circles down two lanes of traffic without any bodily injuries. The W126 IS A TANK and thank God ours didn’t roll!
(After college the first car I bought was a 1990 300SE and cared for it over the next 200K+ miles.)