The occasional motoring column, reblogged from citythreepointzero

citythreepointzero

Santa Monica, a bright Sunday afternoon in May. I’m trying to cross Arizona Avenue amid the hordes of shoppers, and my eye is suddenly caught by a car moving westwards. I’m transfixed – as is the guy on the bike to my right. If you know what we’ve seen, you really know. It’s a Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, one of only 1400 or so made in the 1950s. And neither me nor the guy on the bike can figure out why anyone would be driving it at all – it’s worth (conservatively) $1 million, and if it’s the aluminium-bodied version, of which only 29 were made, well you can multiply that figure by five. I don’t remember ever seeing one. It’s not a pretty car at all: it sits higher on its haunches than I had imagined, and is bulbous rather than sleek, not unlike (I thought) a Volvo PV544. The…

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