I was thinking, as one does, about how achingly lovely the old Mercedes-Benz W113 “Pagodas” were, and thought that I’d like to have one for today’s Cold Start. So I started looking through brochure for these, and that’s where I saw the image above. The car looks lovely, sure, but what the hell is going on there? The driver of that car looks like he’s making some sort of scene, where he just stopped his 280 SL in what appears to be a sidewalk, and got out to scream at everyone about who the hell knows what. Whatever it is, it can’t be good. Look at that dude’s face! He’s pissed about something. People are either stopped to stare at him or are just trying to ignore him as they walk by. This is the picture they picked for the cover of their brochure?
He looks loud, too.
It’s a shame, because the Pagodas were just strikingly and simply lovely, in an undeniable way. They have a simplicity about them and a set of proportions that just makes me stop what I’m doing and, I don’t know, want to just drink it it, slowly and carefully. The thin pillars, the ratio of wheel size to body, the subtle creases, that tiny front overhang, it’s all just so damn good. Plus, body-colored wheel covers just get me.
I’d think maybe the angry guy was ranting about how the W113 got one of the most severe downgrades when it came to American-spec lights, but that can’t be it, because his car has the fantastic Euro-market single-unit headlights, those amazing crystalline bubbles that incorporated headlamp, sidelamp, and indicator in that one, elegant unit. In America we just got a sealed beam over a big indicator, with the gaps filled in with clear plastic. It wasn’t bad, until you saw what it replaced. Then it was terrible.
Relax, dude, you have the good lights! Jeez.