Car Enthusiast Finds Heartwarming Note On Rusty Mercedes

Greatestcard Benz

I don’t know if car culture can save this country, but at a time when everything seems fractured it’s nice to have something many of us can share. When Seattle enthusiast Jarren was walking up to his imperfect 1970 Mercedes 220D he saw a note on his car that sums up all that’s great about sharing a love for something as simple as the automobile.

Merc Rear

Jarren was at a Lake Washington Cars and Coffee event this weekend when he saw this note. If you don’t want to squint it says:

Congratulations, you and your car have been awarded the coveted award for: GREATEST CAR I’VE SEEN THIS WEEK. This award is something I made up for the sole purpose of honoring people like you, for owning and caring for such a great vehicle. Keep up the awesome!

If you look at the Lake Washington Cars and Coffee Instagram you’ll see a collection of beautiful Alfas, Lotuses, 911s, and event a Morgan Three-Wheeler. There were a lot of choices.

Patina Merc

“I thought it was pretty cool because that event is packed full of more traditional “enthusiast” cars and so I appreciated that out of everything there someone liked my ratty old Benz the most,” Jarren told me in a DM.

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This is awesome. This is what car culture should be all about. It’s easy to find faults with what other people’s cars, to rag on their choices. You know what’s even easier, though? Finding something you love about their car.

Speaking of, one of Jarren’s other cars is a Peugeot 505, an absolute favorite of mine, even if it isn’t in perfect shape.

Isthisyourcar

“Unfortunately the 505 needs a transmission at the moment (my penance for thinking a cross country drive in a $1000 French car was a good idea) but I’ve still got it and I’ll hopefully get it back on the road eventually,” said Jarren.

Excellent choices all around, Jerren, never change.

All images courtesy of Jerren via his Twitter account and used with permission.

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47 Responses

  1. That’s something I would do if I were to print up something like that. You know when you see something like that car that the owner isn’t swimming in money and they aren’t picking up the obvious collector pieces (it’s not even a coupe!). That car has a story and it isn’t that it spent 99% of its time in a climate controlled garage and was professionally detailed after every one if its 4 annual car show outings it was driven to at parade float speeds to be parked behind velvet ropes with a sign saying: “Do Not Touch!” over the drawing of a pointing revolver. Machines get “life” through interactions with people and that one has truly lived.

    1. Well put. People driving these “10 footers” daily are actually LIVING with their cars. Keeping them going is a real commitment and I salute them for it. Heck, my ’94 Ford takes enough fiddling and maintenance, and it isn’t even carbureted!

  2. This is great. I love seeing old iron out on the road being driven daily. It takes a lot of commitment, and I go out of my way when I can to compliment people driving this stuff. The card is a cool idea. Matt makes a good point, and it extends way past cars. It is too easy to see how people are different from you and I believe our brains are wired to be wary of people who appear to be different from us (survival instinct to be wary of others not in your “tribe”?). However, if you just take a second to look past that and instead focus on how others are like you (shared interests, etc), that wall breaks down. Maybe this is obvious to others, but if I am being honest, I have to remind myself now and again..Cars and other hobbies are great for this, and more people could use them in general. High five for keeping that smoky old Merc chuggin!

  3. I’m all in on the idea of car lovers giving “unofficial” awards to other car lovers to just let ’em know people are noticing. Doesn’t have to be for any specific type or age of car or even for just cars; just to let somebody know you noticed, even if it’s just a nice, old Civic that somebody obviously loves and uses everyday.
    “I’m a car/motorcycle/scooter/tractor/truck nut and I appreciate your ride.”

    1. I when I was daily driving my MK4 Golfs I would occasionally get compliments and notes left on my car and it was the greatest thing ever. One was just a plain 2.0 that I kept clean and the other was my TDI that I lifted 4″ but they both got about the same amount of positive comments out in wild.

  4. The Autopian should have some of these printed up, and either sell or give them out to us crazies that frequent here. Something like “An Autopian thinks your car is super neat!”. Then have a weekly blog post where people post the pictures of cars they “carded” and the commetariat can vote for the best one.

  5. Mine was a 1974 R90/6 with a 1955 Jawa sidecar. It was a butt ugly disaster when I got it. Tried to kill me twice in the first week. Fortunately, I had plenty of time, enough money, and a real drive to see it done right. Add to that a best friend who was a master machinist at a plant that allowed projects. Suddenly the giant heavy set-up was redone in tool steel with grade 8 hardware. Custom parts built by trial and error were produced. When the bike was safe and reliable I had it and the sidecar sprayed in a beautiful rose-beige with brown leather upholstery. The bike had a giant batwing fairing and matching factory hard bags. I ran a solo saddle with a package tray. It was a very sharp bike and ran like stink.

    Then I crashed. Then I crashed. My wife said nevermore. I sold it at a huge loss. A couple of years ago, the wife mentioned she wished we hadn’t sold the rig. Thank god we have been married over 55 years.

    1. My adult brain knows that Jawa is a real manufacturer, but my 10-year-old brain can’t help but imagine a little hooded alien riding in the jankiest-ass slapped together sidecar you’ve ever seen right before your bike blows a motivator.

  6. Several years ago I knew someone who had been passed an old Jensen Interceptor from a relative. The car needed lots of work, but it ran, so he drove it around a bit. He wasn’t sure if he would keep it and restore it or sell it to someone more caring. I thought about buying it, but was not in the right place at the time.

    One day he found a note on his windshield with a $10 gas card wrapped in it. The note said something to the tune of “keep it running or I’ll come and siphon the gas back”. He ended up selling it to someone who apparently did a nice restoration, but I’ve never seen it. I think it might be around in the Ottawa or Kingston Ontario area, so keep an eye out. It was a very cool cobalt blue colour. Might have been resprayed by now.

    1. Now that is an inspiring story. Both for the act of kindness, and the involvement of a Jensen Interceptor.

      When I was a teen in the 80s, my older sister worked in the home office of one of those companies that etched serial numbers into car window glass to “deter theft”. It might have been the first such company (at least in the USA). The owner was a 40-something British guy, and he drove an Interceptor. I didn’t even know Jensen was still a thing…the last time I’d heard the name was my dad’s famous story of how in the early 60s he’d loaned his precious Healy to a friend, who promptly slammed it into a telephone pole.

      Anyway, I wanted to know what the car was like, so I asked my sister. And she said something akin to, “It’s like a middle-age British guy who conned his way into something that looks more impressive than it actually is.”

  7. Hey! Owner here. Definitely didn’t expect this to get so much attention, just thought it was neat to come across someone who clearly shared my fairly unique taste in cars, as I’m definitely not an “enthusiast” in the normal sense haha.

    It’s actually worth noting this car has been driven all over the United States, and was owned by a few friends prior to landing in my hands at the moment (some of you may have noticed the Texas plates). I actually just drove it from Minneapolis to Seattle a few weeks ago. It’s a great road trip machine as long as you’re ok driving something that makes 59hp on a good day. Awesome daily though, I drive it to work almost every day!

    1. Hey Rusty. My old man bought the twin to this new in mpls.. A great friggin car for sure. Ours was the baby blue. I think he drove it to Chicago from mols for about 4 bucks back then. Shit, such a deal. Keep it going dude…

  8. As the owner/operator of a ratty Mercedes 220 (mine’s a W111) that joined our family loooong ago in the Seattle area, I whole-heartedly agree with this award. Motivates me even more to get mine functioning just well enough to take it to Katie’s Cars & Coffee in Great Falls, VA.

  9. Twenty years ago, I rode an old BMW motorcycle with an even older Soviet-era Jupiter sidecar attached. This rig operated fairly well, but it was “cosmetically challenged.” A friend of mine was working hard to stir up interest in vintage Beemers, so he convinced me to show up at two vintage motorcycle events to show my less-than-impressive outfit. At the first event, all BMWs, he gave each rider who showed up with a vintage Beemer a T-shirt left over from a Vintage BMW show that took place the year before. As a judge at an European motorcycle event shortly thereafter, he gave my bike a special ribbon that was awarded at each judge’s discretion.

    These were small items, but I found them very encouraging. An outdated T-shirt and a ribbon that was meaningless to anyone meant a lot to me. I have a history of owning unusual vehicles, but this is the only time that anyone let me know that they really appreciated them.

    1. I like this idea. You could take it a step further and have sets of cards with different awards:
      – The Tracy award for rustiest car that moves under its own power
      – The Torch award for driving a car with taillights of note
      – The Streeter award for SMART cars/RV-bus conversions/ridiculously overcomplicated VW products
      – The Tucker award for favorite shitbox
      – The Bishop award for crazy customization of a car from a now-defunct brand
      – The Clarke award for largest wheels with skinniest tires
      – The Hundal award for V8’s with low rumbly idles that make you need to take a dump
      – The Hardigree award (Sorry Matt, not sure what your “thing” is yet)

      Apologies to those regular/semi-regular contributors who I have forgotten/ignored.

      1. I wish I’d had a decent camera at the time, but when I was in college in upstate NY back in 2009, there was someone there who drove a 1961 VW Beetle that was peppered with rust holes. I never saw it actually drive around, but it was always in a different parking spot when I did see it, so it obviously got driven, unless it was towed to a different spot all the time?? I can’t believe someone drove that in wet, snowy upstate NY. It was gone by the end of my freshman year though, so either t was finally scrapped or a graduating senior drove it. That could have won a combination Tracy/Torch award. Someone else there had an unrestored DeLorean, also gone by the end of the same year.

        1. That sounds like the 69 Beetle a friend drove in high school. While we were in Downstate NY there was still enough salt to rot the heater boxes and floors plus the sun roof leaked so head have mini skating rinks in each footwell and have to scrape ice off the inside of the windshield. His subsequent 1980 Rabbit in poverty spec single carb form was a step up since it was water tight and had a functioning heater.

        1. Oh boy, wait until you find out about r/spotted. 😉

          I jest, but honestly I live for the recognition, I love nothing more than finding out someone stopped in their tracks to snap a pic of my car, whether for love or hate and always try to engage with people about it.

          I’m also the kind of guy who just throws his keys at people for a hot lap, so far no one’s stolen it, so that’s nice.

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