Three times I've driven someone else's Mercedes Benz...
I am sick to death of trying to squeeze my car into these tiny spaces in central London. Or specifically, west London. Okay, okay, Notting Hill. Being honest... truly honest, I barely leave the postcode unless I’ve been formally invited out. But that’s not the point. I have a Range Rover in town and its now becoming a ridiculous administrative feature to my life. Not because of the road tax, or the pollution it belches out with its heavy carbon foot print, or the needless space I have whilst whipping myself around town. It’s ridiculous because I can’t park the damned thing.
I have to now start ‘pre-planning’ my journeys with finite detail, filing secret spots and underground strongholds pin dropped around the city to land my vessel. It’s all a bit much when you just want to pop out for a bit. The thought of swooping around Notting Hill, searching the sky for a spot like a starved eagle looking for prey, is exhausting, let alone doing the damn task.
I suppose I could just walk.
But why would anyone do that..? Especially when you live inside the congestion charge zone.
I have started to longingly look at skinnier models, shyly side eyeing the shapes and curves of the silkier German style whilst I catch their reflection on coffee shop windows, steamed with my lust for the girl that got away. Trailing any unsuspecting Mercedes Benz in traffic felt somewhat like catching the right girl’s eye in a pulsing nightclub at the end of the night, it felt sultry, not seedy, a nod to our primal instincts. She wants you as much as you want her.
Mercedes and me.
I can’t help but talk about the brand as if it’s an ex-girlfriend, you know the one, she met the parents, your friends loved her but it never quite worked out. Growing up I have had a tryst or three with the German whip and the first of these swift dated was on Kings Road in 2006.
I was 18 or 19 and my dad was in one of his moods – for no reason at all it was down to me to transport his S-Class 500 from some square central to Holland Park, he threw me the keys as if it were a new game boy cartridge and willed me to go out and play.
Instantly I hit Kings Road, swooping up my best friends for the best joy ride of our lives.
The novelty wore off within moments as the Kings Road is basically one huge traffic jam that spits out on embankment and bridges. So there was not much fun to be had apart from revving at red lights and eating ice cream in the window like a complete weirdo. (nb. Although the obvious vice would have been to claw at alcohol or smokes as a snotty nosed attention seeker, my complete fear of fucking up the car and having the wrath of my father on my back and owning more of my soul was too much a risk – so ice cream was as far as Id stretch it that day, it was summer after all)
At one point I caught the eye of a fellow S-Class driver and urged him to roll down his window so we could talk.. immediately the blue suited old-boy puked a snub nosed reaction of pure distain to this child driving a car with a larger engine that his, sitting there smirking,
He threw at me, “where’d da get it? Clearly stolen!”
Without thinking I quipped, “...Na, Record deal came through...”
Amber, Green, bang I was gone. Hitting about 40 mph before the next tailgate jam, but I’d had my day.
Seriously though, what could I come back with? “its ma dad’s!” it doesn’t quite have the same spitting strength. It goes without question the car was returned smelling of roses and no complaints. It was a good date with no fireworks.
So next we come to, the girl next door – the SL-500. The batmobile, or bat-girl, her comic-book curves looking as good in the day as they do at night. The car has sat at home, in near mint condition for my entire life. My mother’s pride and joy, she drives her like a professional race car drive. Slick, smooth lines are cut as she slides through country lanes.
Although she has been in my life forever. I have never and will never drive her. She is forbidden fruit, and if I did but touch her, my world would come crashing down. As this car has been so carefully kept, the car still guffs of leather bound books and that fresh car dew. If I were to enter, just my musk would deplete the value ten-fold, let alone my loose and lazy driving. I can admire from afar, maybe have a fun Sunday under supervision or under the guise of family, but this girl will always be out of my reach.
I have never been a fan of the A-Class, and she’s never quite got along with me. I call her the Bunny Boiler. Always there, every corner you turn, she’s back. On your drive-way, at your uncles, in every car park, in every town across the country. She’s there. Waiting. No doubt with a baby seat in the back and wotsits ground into the carpets.
I have a crazy weekend in Perugia with a C-class, where tanked up on guapa and wedding cheer we had to navigate twenty miles in pitch black roads from one Tuscan style villa in Tuscany to another. We had been climbing up slim line, tree ridden roads for what felt like thousands of metres of winding hills only to find we had gone the wrong way for a good while. The only exit was reversing blind back down the hill. Curled back down the hill, we swung too fast round a corner, cracking onto a large and loose edging stone, the corner of the car whistled around the edge and back into safety amid a chaos of sound and screams.
I blame the stupid design of the cars arse. Not my driving. Why is the car so perched, as if on high heels or presenting for entry. Never have I ever been so close to death. And it was all her fault.
There has been the older lady, the Maybach. That entered our lives live a long lost rich grandmother. Spreading her arms open for us to bask in all her glory. We loved her for a little, until the novelty wore thin quick. You cant exactly take a car like that to Tesco’s, it is such a prestigious, showy car, the staff may might think another floor is opening without notice, looking like Ant and Dec are huddled in the back ready for a live stream – you’ll give the duty manager a heart attack every time you do your weekly shop. It is a glorious car, but the tanned, wood lined, silver rimmed strict lines of the car reminded me of the leathered divorcees of Barbados, who can’t help but bask in the sun to show off their diamonds and chains to anyone who will notice.
And finally, the girl I want to slide into my DMs. Not a unicorn, but a fully-fledged real shop floor purchasable product and out right now. The CLS Sport. And it would seem they have finally produced the best of all worlds. Fit, but fun. A girl you’d take home to your mother, and your dad would give you the nod you’ve always wanted. Super car nods, but without a supercar price tag. It can slip into any space with a dazzling ease, all with a smile on her face. I think this this one could be my salvation.
Oh lord, wont’ you buy me a Mercedes Benz... CLS Sport if we are being specific.
Or a garage will do, either one would be perfect.