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  #1  
Old 05-24-2004, 06:40 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
2100 mile drive

I have just returned from my annual holiday. My girlfriend and I went from our home in north east England to the Dordogne area of south west France in my SL500. What a trip! The car behaved faultlessly for 2,100miles. We did the 900miles there in under 24hours (we overnighted in Calais: the total driving time would have been about 14hours). On the return journey we went from our holiday house in Campagne to Paris (350miles) in less than 4hours. After a day and a night in Paris I drove to Calais (150miles) in about 1hour 20mins, and then up from Folkstone to Newcastle in about 5hours, although we stopped for a drink in Yorkshire.

On the French autoroute it is easy to maintain a 100mph plus cruise. I woke up at one point to find the girlfriend doing 130mph through some pretty twisty autoroute gradients. The fastest I saw on the clock was 150mph but then a Frenchman in a clapped out Renault Clio made a move to take a truck (despite several long pulls on the lights as I'd approached over the last mile an a half). He pulled back in pretty sharp but I'd already braked from 145 (I'd started to slow) down to 65mph; the rears chirped a bit...

Anyway, the car was a delight for topless touring around a beautiful part of the world, whether it be ambling through the daytime hot sun to visit a pretty town or rumbling back from yet another good dinner, savouring the engine note through the warmth of fine food and wine...

Here are a couple of pics.

Yours truly down by the river:


Driving through Paris on Sunday morning


Parked up for a picnic by the Vezere river


And the two of us in beautiful Montpazier
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JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC

Last edited by jjrodger; 05-24-2004 at 08:22 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2004, 08:59 PM
Pete Geither's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Western Pa.
Posts: 2,417
I envy you for the ability to be able to use the car for what it is intended. Following your posts it seems that you put a lot of miles on the car and use it daily. Do you keep up the service at a Benz dealership, and how many miles have you put on it since you bought it? I remember a mishap with one of the front fenders, and leaving it out in the rain with the top down.
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Old 05-24-2004, 10:51 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Central Kentucky
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I am soooooo envious. What a wonderful trip. Says something if you can fall asleep with your girlfriend pushing it over the century mark.
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Old 05-25-2004, 08:52 AM
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Location: Northumberland, UK
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PJG56:

The car is my only vehicle. I bought it for 27 or 28k GBP (about US$40k) in March 2003 after a long search for a 129. It really is my dream car; when I was a kid these things were so far out of reach... Anyway, it had 49k miles on when I bought it and it now has over 77k: I do about 25k miles a year. I have it serviced at Mercedes-Benz dealers. I have finally found a very good one, but they are extremely expensive. I'm meticulous in my maintenance requirements, but it is proving very costly.

Somebody drove into one of the front fenders last July. It only needed a new panel, so the repair was easy, but the paint match was very difficult. The bodyshop did an excellent job. In March this year the rear wheel arch was driven into while the car was parked; this time the bodyshop pulled out and reformed the wheel arch (replacing the rear quarter is obviously a no-no) and again did a super job of repairing it.

Fortunately it has only been rained on while topless the once! It was a real thunderstorm and left about an inch of water on the back seats. I often park it with the top down, though (although I understand the insurance to be inoperative if I do so). I refuse to let the fear of crime spoil my enjoyment of the car. So far, touch wood, nobody has been anything less than appreciative of the vehicle.

I suppose I just love the car!

BobK:

She's got a good feel for cars; she really has a sense of balancing and handling vehicles, whether her own BMW compact or my car. Sadly she is hopeless at directions and map reading (aren't they all). When I opened my eyes to see her threading it up the twisty autoroute at 130, I figured I was best off going back to sleep! He she is at a more modest (although still illegal) gait:

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1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 05-25-2004, 03:11 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: North Central Kentucky
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Funny thing I have found about men, women and maps/directions:
Men can read a map and go anywhere but have a terrible time with directions. Women can follow directions anywhere but can't use a map to save their life. My wife has been known to have the map upsidedown (that'll really get you lost!). Generally, it's best if I consult a map myself and perhaps highlight the route if wife is going to be navigating for me. We used to try to do the hare-and-hound rallyes the local car club put on. Had to give it up. Better that than divorce. Still, I would not mind getting a bit lost if I was traveling the beautiful countryside you were just crossing. Wife and I like to take long rides out in the surrounding counties looking for older (pre 1900) homes. Great way to enjoy the SL on a warm day.
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  #6  
Old 05-29-2004, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Pearland, TX
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That is a beautiful drive, jjrodger! You are an inspiration to others who don't want to own a garage queen. I'm sure you got a lot of stares while in Paris since the gas consumption on your SL makes it out of reach for a lot of Parisians.

Good show!
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http://home.earthlink.net/~boudreaux...ictures/17.jpg
Updated photo September 2004
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