Richard S

"Sally" Captures My Heart

"Sally" is the name we've given the SL we've owned since 1991. But, the story goes back to 1952 when Tom McCahill wrote a short blurb in Mechanix Illustrated about the engineering and safety features in the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz 180 sedan. I was impressed with the engineering, safety, an reliability of Mercedes-Benz vehicles then and still am now.

In 1963 Daimler-Benz introduced the 230SL Coupe/Roadster to the world and it captured my heart. Shortly after it arrived in showrooms I purchased a Tekno Model and said, "some day I'll own one of these." That some day arrived in 1991 after my four children had graduated from college and had married and I had left being a high school teacher and went into the high technology world. It took me nine years to find a 230SL in good condition with a 4-speed manual transmission, hard top, soft top, and optional "kinder-seat" behind the passenger seat.

Over the years I've restored Sally to totally original condition with Mercedes-Benz parts to make her show worthy and totally road worthy. We win awards in car shows while getting awards for "farthest miles driven" to those same shows. She is not a 100-point car, but is capable of earning in the low to mid 90-point range at all but the most exclusive Concours d'Elegance shows.

Now that we have seven grandchildren, a couple of them are telling "Papa" that they want Sally when I no longer drive her. Those requests, in turn, got one my middle daughter putting her hat in the ring to get Sally "when the time comes." I'm beginning to wonder if I'm worth more dead than alive!

For me, there is a big satisfaction in knowing that I've passed on some of my passion for classic cars to the next generations. Who ever gets her, though, is going to have to be as passionate as I am about "being the caretaker of a classic" until the next owner assumes that mantle of responsibility.

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