Wednesday, February 09, 2005

I used to hate Mercedes. And then I loved them.

Did you ever find that you have an attraction to things that are enjoyable because
a. they are well-made
b. they are durable
c. they are old
d. they sound cool in a soothing way?
e. they are a pleasure to use

Some of these qualities would apply, for example, to an old wooden antique desk (okay except for the sound), or an old leather jacket, R.M.Williams' Australian boots, or the fountain pen.

Sure, if you are a new minimalist, hi tech, gadget freak that likes bizzarre and expensive wine openers, shiny metal pens, small palm pilots, racy gasoline burning jap street bikes.. you will disagree.

But I have always been drawn to Diesel Engines, old well-made cars that still function every day. Well thats what I think of old diesel engine Mercedes; Cars and trucks. I don't limit it to this brand, but I just think this is the ideal.

I have owned a turbo diesel Volkswagen and Fiat Ducato ( I still would like another of these vans; great engine!, so economical, too). I have owned classic looking Enfield motorcycle, I still own a cool, old BMW bike and an old Czech Jawa motorcycle. They all have the classic look, always-will-run kind of thing going for them. And they sound great. Something so purring and so functional. And much stronger than the gasoline engine.

And what I really want now is a 3 liter diesel Mercedes thats about 5 years old. So you can imagine I was disappointed to read this article (Mercedes, Quality Dropping, Loses Market Share to BMW, Lexus) about how Mercedes faired incredibly poorly on a survey of 3 year-old cars . (Interesting time period for car testing but hell, it makes a lot of sense).

IS this a healthy obsession? Probably no. My wife thinks I am crazy.

And I have never owned a diesel Mercedes. I have driven them (when I was parking cars 20 years ago) and at that time I was lusting after BMWs. I have ridden in many a 20 year old Merc in Belgrade where the diesel car was the best to own when they were facing sanctions and the gasoline was smuggled in; and of dubious quality. These things run and run.

Diesel is a rough fuel that functions incredibly well even when the quality is low. And there are many bio-diesel discussions to check out. (Like taking the deep fryer oil and filtering it and putting it into the tank. This works, I am told, with some trickery.)

I know I am strange about this, but it has got something to do with durability, diesel engines and crusiing plesasure.

But then, I am kind of a freak that way.

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