The magic of an old Mercedes driven by a horse

A Few Wrights and V-Force under the Bratwurst can go to their heads. Have you ever seen it? You know, when someone is locked in a place, hunched over a steering wheel, messing about with a V-trigger? His back is turned, he hardly moves, the steering wheel is perpendicular to the floor. He jerks and his knees hit the steering wheel as if to drive himself towards it, as if to break it. At the same time, his knees and back are turned over in the opposite direction. He’s just trying to miss the steering wheel, but sometimes he misses, and that’s when he does this crazy jerk away thing. It’s like you are watching a hypnotic performance by a weirdo.

Except this thing just so happens to be a real-life, real-life horse.

The thing that happened to me is that I was flipping through channels on my phone, pointing the remote at various channels while I ate a wurst on the beach, when I came across a commercial for a Mercedes. I was looking for something with the words “triumph” and “SL” in the title, and I searched the Web, wondering what I would learn about that car. My world opened up, and I saw what looked like the car of the past. No wood, no panels on the interior, no bulges, no suspension. What I saw was a new, clean-cut SL on an old wooden table in a museum. I jumped, screaming.

I am not uneducated. I am in charge of a big production firm, making a lot of Mercedes models. I understand that there are a handful of current models that are universally loved, that haven’t been given the big revamp everyone else had. That’s why I was amazed to come across this car, one of those few that had been given absolutely no visual or mechanical makeover. Like a horse, it’s old and it knows it’s old. But it’s not sure why. It’s still big and agile and of course has some kinky gear ratios. It’s as real as the day it was made.

It had a magic run in those old race cars, looking like one of them. As fast as any body could go. It held a powerful presence. But now it’s not even as fast as any current car it could be compared to. I don’t know what it is. I don’t even know why I’m still acting as if I know what it is. I only know that if I had one of these and I could drive it like I wanted to, I’d feel, if nothing else, like a man.

A person who had total control of everything.

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