Date registered: Dec 2013
Vehicle: 2003 CLK320 Cabriolet
Location: Missouri Ozarks
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
The Reason I Bought Mine Is NOT Why I Love It Now
My story isn't unique, but inspiring nonetheless.
For all my adult life, a Mercedes was a wonderful, wistful dream. No chance a guy like me, making $45K a year (yet still managing to put away a few bucks here and there) would ever own such a vehicle. But a drive past the local Chevy dealership changed everything when a 2008 'C' Class hardtop coupe was prominently displayed at the front of the pre-owned lot with "$16999" in big green numbers across the windshield.
For a beautiful late-model Mercedes? Really?
So I stopped to take a peek, expecting something high-mileage and worn-out. It had 67K on the clock and was near perfect. Although that car was not the one for me, it changed everything in knowing that I could buy a prestigious Mercedes-Benz for the price of a Ford Focus (nothing against the Focus!). My tall-order search was on for an amazing vehicle under $10K.
I'd done my homework (with help from this site) to know that " a cheap Mercedes could be the most expensive car you'll ever own." So I understood that I would have to hunt smartly yet tirelessly until my 2003 CLK320 Cabrio (one owner, meticulously maintained, in near-pristine condition, and passed my mechanic's exam with flying colors) would finally present itself. I took a deep breath and wrote the largest check I'd ever written in my life. (Well under $10K, I might add.)
I also quickly figured out that I better embrace the idea of becoming somewhat of a mechanic. It was the only way I could afford to keep driving the vehicle I'd fallen in love with. Nearly a year of ownership and about 4K miles later, I've gotten to know my car pretty well. I've learned how to identify, troubleshoot, and fix several issues, both mechanical and electrical. I've learned how to inexpensively maintain it's superb condition because of smart tips and well-documented DIY procedures. By my estimate, these efforts have saved me over $2K in repairs and maintenance so far.
I still love the looks I get when I take it out. I love that it's fast and classy and handles way better than anything I've ever driven. I love that it allows me to truly live a bit of the good life.
But most of all, I love that I'm bettering myself ... thanks to the knowledge, skill and wisdom I'm accumulating along the way.
I now understand what it means to love a car!