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I suspect I'm not the only one here with a passion for cars - together with trains (and planes, and boats, and anything that has a motor and moves) - so I thought I'd share an interesting sighting I had this morning in Marblehead.

The weather is just awful here today - temp is about 38 degrees with light to moderate rain. When I was driving my son to school this morning, he and I pulled up behind, of all things, a bronze Mercedes 300SL Roadster.


I've always preferred the gullwing version of the 300SL, but it was still a thrill to see a 300SL roadster stuck in traffic at 0730 in the morning on a crappy New England day. Here's a pic of the prototype (albeit not the car we say today).

Hope people don't mind the quick automotive diversion! Jon Linde

 

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Jon, pretty car, but I prefer the Gullwing. I drove one belonging to Rob Walker--around his village in Nunny, England, many years ago. Fun car, but drove like a truck at low speeds. Plus it was left hand drive and we were on the "wrong" side of the road.

Tell ya what MercedesI did drive last week--at the Road & Track office--the Mercedes SL 63 Black Edition with 661 bhp and 737 (I think) lb ft of torque. Even with the traction control and everything else turned on, it felt like driving on ice because it has so much torque that it spins the wheels in what seems like every gear. Drove it around Costly Mesa and when I walked back into the office, I said, "I got your headline right here: 'Scary-A** M-********.' "
What a car. And only $300,000-plus!
 

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Ah, it looks like they got the gear ratio right to get that kind of tork, eh?

Gull-Wings are especially fun watching someone with a mini-skirt get in or out.

I won't tell you how I know that.

I remember when it was somewhat commonplace to see those and Gull-Wings on the highway (have some photos from that era).
And XK-120's, 140's, 150's, MK1 and MK2's......

I do create a bit of a stir when I pull into Starbux in my Jag.
Last week the spouse wanted me to do some banking for her at the drive-up window.

I had been threatening to do this for some time.........
I backed through.

The look of confusion and lack of understanding on the teller's face was priceless!

 

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Yep the gull wing was what always caught my eye. I remember driving around college town in Ames Iowa and going by a fertility house and seeing a bright red one man I was impressed. Always been into cars and still am. Still have a 71 SS Monte I bought brand new. Later RJD
 

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Always been more inclined towards the Porsche camp myself, this is a replica but given that the only real major difference between a real 356 and the replica 356s is the fiberglass body, yes... they were basicly a sup'ed up V-dub to start with. Still just look at that baby:






Wifes already said if I ever get a real opportunity to get on of these, to do so...
 

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Joe - promise me you didn't choose to drive the gullwing over the TT winning 250 SWB! Walker was a big name in my house growing up (as were Clark, Hill, Moss (see 250 SWB), Gurney, Hill, etc.). R&T, of course, was also a major presence, and I've certainly enjoyed your work on all things Porsche. I've got one R&T connection in that Jesse Alexander's son, Jesse the younger, and I are friends from high school. I've had the pleasure of meeting Jesse senior several times and some of his work adorns my office.

I made a move the "dark side" myself recently (see below). Not as quick in a straight line as that new AMG monster, but I bet a little bit faster through a corner.



Curmudgeon: Is that a 3.8? It's glorious. You don't see many Jag saloons in this country. You should be proud for driving it - in either direction!

Cheers, Jon
 

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Curmudgeon - very cool! A Mk2 then, correct? I love the RHD and Singapore plates, as well. I wish the 911 had the same aversion to gas stations as the Jag. Between the MK2 and the trains, you must have a very understanding spouse! ;)
 

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I have quite a story written up on this Jag.
This was one of those "gifts" from on high.
There really wasn't much either of us could say about it.

Just turned over 93K.

Used about a quart in 2,000 miles.
 

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Jon,

Now why'd ya hafta ruin my evening? I love that blue 911 and wish I could afford a newer model (2009 Carrera S with direct injection and PDK), but that ain't ever gonna happen. At least I have my first (and last) 1967 911. By the time I went to visit Rob, the SWB was gone and Rob subsequently sold off everything. His passing several years ago saddened me because he and I had some great time together as I squired him around the U.S. (I took him to the 1981 Indy 500 and to the Talladega 500 about the same time). Around the office we used to chuckle and say Rob was the only person who could turn "no" into a two or three syllable word--"nay-oh."

Nice to hear you know the Alexanders. I don't know the son, but know Jesse really well. He is a true gentleman and a gifted photographer. How's he doing?

TOC, glad to see you are wooing the locals in your Jag-you-are. Of course, they're in Seattle...
BTW, spoke to my buddy and ex boss now living on Bainbridge and learned that indeed, you are getting cold weather and snow up there! Sounds a lot like Buffalo :)

Oh, and Vic, glad to see you're one of us.
 

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I never had a fancy car. I never had one that went fast ina short period of time. They were all slugs. The 2002 Envoy I have now is the peppiest one I ever owned.

My two most favorite was a 1948 Crysler with a long nose. and I had a Willis. Don't remeber the year but is was one with the doors on the back instead of a tail gate.

Some one had put a 283 in it. and it was 4 wheel drive. I wish I still had it.
 

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JJ, don't go down the "'I wish I still had it road," because I'll have to kick myself for selling my 1959 Corvette, which I bought new for $3600 in 1958 and sold for $1800 in 1963 when I got sent to Lybia by the Air Force. Then there was my 1965 Mustang, bought new in 1966 for about the same amount and sold it in 1968 or $1400. Used part of the money to buy the Porsche for $6300. Still have it and will never sell it.

Cars I wish a had bought: Ferrari 275 GTB, sold by one of our ad guys for $8000 (worth ??? $300,000 today); Ferrari GTO, sold by one of our writers for $13,000 in the early Seventies and worth in the millions today. But then I didn't have the money, so what the heck.

While I'm at it, how about houses? Coulda bought a beachfront home in our town for $90,000 in 1973. Today's price: $3 to $5 million. But then I didn't have 90 thou...
 

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Well I need not go down the list as what should have kept. For I still have my 71 454 SS Monte that I bout new. Only 72k miles. I special ordered it. Only 1919 built so I shall keep a while longer and see if the price goes up. Later RJD.
 

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Posted By vsmith on 12/12/2008 9:05 AM


Always been more inclined towards the Porsche camp myself, this is a replica but given that the only real major difference between a real 356 and the replica 356s is the fiberglass body, yes... they were basicly a sup'ed up V-dub to start with. Still just look at that baby:






Wifes already said if I ever get a real opportunity to get on of these, to do so...






This is why I named my tortoise Porsche..., they both have about the same shape and run about the same speed. (That and my best friend is a Porsche fanatic and we've always had the Porsche/Corvette rivalry going.) Now if you want a real car, stay with the domestics...





That have real engines...





 

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Sad to say the closest I'll ever come to classic automobiles like that is that fact that I was concieved and teethed ont ehs tick shift of a 67 Mustang fastback that Dad special ordered and borrowed the money from his parents for. i barely remember that car. So what are the odds that my first car would be a Dodge Rampage and halfway home I discovered it had classic Mustang floor mats in it? Rampage is long gone but I still have those floor mats.

Chas

P.S. Buffalo weather? Heck it's Seattle weather in Western Ny today. Cool and rainy. In other words MUD SEASON! (sigh)
 

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Seattle was 20F on the deck when I went out this morning.
Only 2" of white stuff on the ground, more coming Wenesday.
 

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What year is that Corvette, actually? It's got a big block hood scoop from '65-67, but small block engine with 300 horse heads, '64 vents that have been modified, and knock-offs from a '67??
But it IS nice!

Keith
 

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Posted By toddalin on 12/15/2008 10:44 AM
Posted By vsmith on 12/12/2008 9:05 AM


Always been more inclined towards the Porsche camp myself, this is a replica but given that the only real major difference between a real 356 and the replica 356s is the fiberglass body, yes... they were basicly a sup'ed up V-dub to start with. Still just look at that baby:






Wifes already said if I ever get a real opportunity to get on of these, to do so...






This is why I named my tortoise Porsche..., they both have about the same shape and run about the same speed. (That and my best friend is a Porsche fanatic and we've always had the Porsche/Corvette rivalry going.) Now if you want a real car, stay with the domestics...





That have real engines...









Ha ha! not a chance at the prices those things command now, forget it, have to sell my house and live in it.


I'm too practically minded to buy something "collectable" like that, I'd rather get the 356 replica, I want something I can drive, not drag around on a trailer
, besides if I want crazy performance I can opt for the mid-engine 550 Spyder replicar and drop in a 1835cc motor, rebuilt tighter ratio tranny, disk brake kit, racing tires, all for alot less than a fair condition Stingray, then we can meet out on Mullhulland Dr, first one to Glastones on PCH wins. Vette may win on the Freeway, but those things stear like a drunken cow on the twisties, Porsche will always win on the backroads.(rivalry alive and well)
 
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