I like cars … or “the one that got away”

Nowadays … when I’ve become ‘of a certain age’, I still like cars, but in a different way, compared to when I was in my late teenage years or early twenties. Now I want them to take me from point A to point B … to be reliable and safe. How we change over the years!

I still look at them … I can tell the difference between most models and makes, and I still admire a fine BMW or Mercedes when I see one. Even though they’re so stereotyped today so it makes it difficult to see the difference between them, I can still appreciate the beauty of the design of some of them. Moreso, older ones though … nothing like the lines of a Corvette StingRay from the late 60’s!

Now … about the one that got away. When I was eighteen or possibly nineteen I had a good job, a very ordinary car [SAAB]. I was living at my Mum’s place at this particular point in time … my finances were in pretty good shape, without being ‘filthy rich’ or anything.

One morning, I arrived in the office earlier than usual for some reason. I was alone there, I poured myself a cup of coffee and leafed through the local paper. In the classifieds, I checked out the cars like I did every day. Not because I wanted to buy one necessarily … it was like an interest, to see what was up, and how much they were going for.

This morning, one ad stood out … like it was written in fire! Mercedes 230SL … the car of my dreams!!! The price was stated in the ad and it was incredibly low. I got all excited and quickly called up a friend and car dealer … told him about the ad and the price! The ad also said something like that it was being sold due to that someone died … this is long time ago, I don’t remember the exact wording. Anyway, my car dealer friend was up for it and said ‘let’s go !’. I lived in a small town, where everything was just minutes away.

I felt I needed someone, more knowledgeable about cars and engines, to come with me … Mind you, I just like them, when it comes to combustion engines. I’m pretty much at loss.

Called the phone number stated first, as it was so early in the morning. Turned out it was a little old lady, who’d just become a widow, selling her late husband’s car … a car that he’d been taking care of like a baby. It was white with black leather seats and the dash inlined with pear wood.

When we pulled in there, twenty minutes later, the little lady and some guy exchanged money and documents … He drove away in “MY” car … a car dealer from the neighboring city.

What a difference a few minutes make sometimes … I would have bought it then and there! Maybe it just wasn’t in the Plan.

The red car in the picture was parked at the Costco parking lot the other day, and reminded me of this whole story. It’s a larger model … it’s a 280SL, but from about the same time period.

That was the one that got away…

22 Replies to “I like cars … or “the one that got away””

  1. Lovely car –
    When I was in Finland, I recall that people imported American cards and renovated them – and then rode slowly around town on hot summer days, like actors from a movie.

    1. Oh, they did that in Sweden too … in the 50/60’s into early 70’s, I think! One guy, who was remotely related to me, went over to the States to import a car from there. I met him in town afterwards, so I asked him what he got. He replied “No point in telling you, because you wouldn’t know what it is anyway” (!) It was an El Camino. Anyway …all these people who were into this, are now so much older, and sometimes they have some kind of ‘reunions’ 😀 cruising around their respective towns…

  2. I’ve never been particularly car aspirational. I’ve always been into getting me from A to B safely. My favourite though was my renault 19, 16 valve, 1.9. Very nice. I could do nought to 30/40/50/60 rather quickly.

    The other one I like is our V8 Land Rover. A V8 has a very nice sound to it.

    Although I should say a green lamborghini was my car of choice at one point……

  3. What a shame 😦 I’m sure the little old ladys’ late husband would have much preferred you to have taken over the nurturing of his car than a dealer.
    Never been too much into cars, but the one I would have tomorrow, given the chance, would be the MGB Roadster, not the rubber bumpered face lift one, but the good old wire wheeled, chrome bumpered one.
    I just love the throaty sound of the engine.

    1. Yeah, that would be something! The MGb.. 🙂

      And yes, I would have taken good care of it, but I heard later how much that car dealer sold it for … I don’t remember the numbers now, but he made a lot of money from it. The widow had no idea how much she could have charged for it…

  4. I don’t have a car, we can’t afford one. We live in the city so we don’t really need one, but this place is definitely NOT a good place to raise kids. So we’ll have to move out from the central parts of the city eventually and then we’ll need a car.
    (or, even better: move out of Norway).

      1. A country where the cost of living is more reasonable, and where uselessness isn’t rewarded and seen as a good quality that’s important to keep for the sake of ‘diversity’.

  5. What a painful story for any petrolhead! Though, we chuckled about you referring to a Saab a “very ordinary.” We both admire the Saab 900s for their looks, cool curved windscreen and the unusual down-in-the-console ignition.

    1. *smiles* in my country, at the time they were very ordinary/common… I do remember the ignition, now that you mention it.
      Renault had a model (4L) where the gear shift looked like the handle of an umbrella 😀

        1. Yes! But it’s weird that I can’t remember what it was … must be due to the general, information overload.. or maybe it was that female boxer..

          1. there’s so much crap going on over there, it’s basically a war zone. Sorry, but it creeps us out just driving through the area.

  6. I have had car(s) for many, many years. My first one was a little Renault. I had a job in Sweden 2 summers, and people looooked at it, probably not known there.
    I like to have a car and it is necessary – not at least now where I live in nowhere’s land, no buses, no trains. I would like to have a big, fat Volvo or SAAB, but cars are extremely expensive in DK because of taxes ( I can buy the same car in Sweden for less than half price!!!!). So I drive a good, safe and energy correct car LOL. BTW a Volvo P18 was a dream years back.

  7. AAWW Rebby truly the ‘one that got away’…to think the lady didn’t wait for you & sold the car to a dealer….bet he put a HUGE mark-up on it & made some profit…hopefully someone lovely like you ended up with the car!!!!
    My fave car hubby & I owned was a 1977 El Camino…..it was a great car….too bad we seperated & of course he got the car because I do not drive….we’ve all had one that got away…in cars…or in husbands, lol…..

  8. I feel for you and the big “fish” that got away!
    My husband’s motto is “Never love a car, it won’t love you back” — but he’s a pragmatic kind of guy. Cars (when you’re young) are about romance as much as transportation.

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