Chris Harris drove this man's old £600 Mercedes SLK on Top Gear
I had a chat with the previous owner and this is what he thought when he saw it on Top Gear!
For most of us, 8pm on the 26th of January 2020 was a fairly normal evening. Top Gear was on and everything was fine but it was slightly different for a certain gentleman named Barry whose car appeared on the show.
I was lucky enough get in contact with Barry to ask him how he felt about seeing his old Mercedes SLK on Top Gear for millions to see and below is what he had to say.
For those of you who aren't sure which episode I am talking about it is Series 28, episode 1 where Harris, Flintoff and McGuiness have to go out and buy three budget convertibles for a series of challenges.
This is what Barry had to say:
"'I arrived first' to a generation of TV watching motoring fans, this phrase signifies the start of some mild motoring mayhem where cars are put through their paces and slowly destroyed for good TV. Settled down one Sunday evening, I watched a £600 convertible challenge, and actually did a double take..."
"You see, the Mercedes-Benz SLK in the middle was my old car. Don’t worry, it wasn’t a pampered treasured example of the marque. After a quick check of my old photos it was indeed the car I had traded a few years ago. "
"My first SLK, described by myself at the time more as a comfortable pair of of old leather brogues than a sports car. It had done 104k miles, had frilly wings, bubbled paint on the wheels and the normal R170 soft paint scratched interior. So, it wasn't a pristine example but roadworthy and good fun, with a strong 230k engine."
"So, I reached for my beer, and my chips and sat down to watch an entertaining show, knowing that my old Benz would easily win any trial it was set against."
Me again, for those of you who remember that episode, you will recall some of the challenges the presenters were set. These included: driving to a track day, doing a bit of off-roading, being used as golf targets and finally having to drive through what can only be described as a lake.
These are all things us Brits apparently do on a summer staycation and the mighty SLK happened to handle them all rather well. Anyway, back to Barry.
"When it got to the golfing part I thought "Well that probably wasn’t a fair challenge - not one in the Mercedes hand book at least. I’d refurbished those wheels at a cost of £200 all round. They still looked good, and the interior shots with Chris driving looked OK. I wish I’d kept the CD player, I could have used that in my latest SLK."
"We had fun with that car, many a pub lunch and B road meander, and as it was pretty cheap when I bought it, whilst we looked after it, it was always a slightly tired old thing. It once got caught in a rainstorm parked with the roof down, and I think the electrics in the boot suffered as the roof started to become hit and miss, it would always work, but sometimes needed a thump to remind it to move."
"The next MOT showed surface corrosion on the underside. So a week or so later, it was traded in for a younger MINI ragtop. I missed it, and kept an eye on the dealer forecourt where it languished at a silly price for a year, and even thought of buying it back and getting the rust sorted."
"When it finally disappeared, until that Sunday night and 'I arrived first'...it didn’t deserve this though..."