It all started out in the early 2000’s when my dad all of a sudden decided that he wanted a 300TE. That’s not something too weird nowadays, and even less weird back then. It was a fairly new car then, a 1989, so only 15 years old or so. What was weird though, was that my father always loved fast sporty cars. Jaguars, Alfas, Ferraris (although he never owned a Ferrari), you get the picture. When I was a kid he had a service garage that restored and repaired “older” cars, and serviced newer ones. In 1975 when I was born, a five year old car was antique.
So imagine my surprise, I’ve grown up learning about fast cars with handling and steering feel and brake feel… and now he’s getting a German Panzer with floppy steering, not that much power for it’s size and heft? What’s going on?
But he was curious, and so I became curious. I had only been in a W124 as a taxi. To me it was a taxi.
So we flew to Stockholm from Malmö, some 600 kilometers to buy this TE unseen from a cop (oh and I bought an Alfa 164 unseen for fun). The TE was nice enough in champagne metallic with Brazil interior (Mercspeak for shit-brown in all the worst nuances). Cloth, no leather, and my dad didn’t want any “electricals that will fail” (this was his Alfa/Jaguar pedigree that somehow made him hate electrics, imagine that!) so no options at all on this car.
But it grew on him and me, and I really started to love this car. So much quality, so much, well, German. I borrowed it as often as I could, even drove it to the French Alps to go snowboarding.
Well, my dad’s all about speed, and when he found out there was a 500E available, he had to have one. Skip forward a few years and he bought a blue on blue one (I will tell you about this car in another post sometime). By then I had a 190E, which became my first Mercedes. I had it for about a year, then traded it for a 300CE (that I also will tell about later).
But the want (read need) for a 500E was immense for me at this point. I probably drove the 500E more than my dad did. So I had to have one. A few years earlier I learned about the 400E/E420 too, but I was all about the Fünfhundert so I was not even looking at the wee one’s at first. I quickly realized that finding a good or even great example of either was not going to be that easy. Slowly I warmed to the smaller sibling, and started looking for those too.
So one day in 2010, on Swedens largest (and only) classifieds website a sky blue E420 was for sale. Three kilometers from my home! Great price, owner have had it since 1996, he bought it used at a dealer in Germany. So a two owner car. I was pretty fast on the phone, even faster going to the seller’s home, and lightning fast with my hard earned Swedish kronor. A quick test drive and that was it.
So that’s how it all started. More to come!
This is one of the very first pictures I took of the car in our car wash spot.