It was Sunday, September 24, 2006. We were driving North on I-75 just south of Macon Ga. in our 1957 Mercedes 190SL headed for Athens, Ga and the 190SL Group gathering. It was to be the first my wife and I had decided to attend. We wanted to start out on Sunday, giving us an easier time driving through Atlanta and then having an extra day or two in Ga. before the car club events began. Our little Strawberry metallic SL had been checked out by me and my local independent mechanic before leaving Clearwater, Fl. I had installed a pair of new carburetors from Will Samples in Dallas, everything else seemed in good order and so off we went on a hot "end of summer" day.
Traffic on I-75 was building - slowing and stoping was occurring more and more often and the stops were longer. With the construction delays my little car was starting to overheat. We were between exits, my wife was starting to experience the early symptoms of heat exhaustion, and i was becoming afraid this was the worst idea I had ever conceived.
We pulled off the highway and let the car cool a bit, then we added water from our 6 pack of spring water packed in our cooler for OUR refreshment. After about an hour of total frustration we decided to head off again.
It wasn't too long when the temp. gauge started to climb and the car just felt as hot as a furnace with no real insulation between us and the engine car and passengers were just about at our heat tolerance limits.
And then it began to rain. I never welcomed a cloud burst as much as that one. We could not see well with the dinky wiper blades, but they did help and the RainX treatment that was recommended provided enough visabilty to continue. The rain came in a bit over the windshield and under the top but it also was as refreshing as having AC installed.
We drove about one and a half hours to the HOV lanes that speed traffic through Atlanta, we were now driving at normal speed and the temperature was staying below 180 gauge for the first time since we had departed Florida.
We did make it to the hotel and our gathering that evening. And it was a wonderful weekend. But we decided at that point never to drive a vintage car over roads we were not familiar with for that long a trip again. Never.
The next year we went to Lexington, KY. Memories are short for some unpleasant experiences when the reward of arrival has such a positive effect on our love of the car hobby and people associated.
We have since sold the car and retired to a much smaller home on the beach in St. Pete, Fl but we will always remember this first outing in a Classic Mercedes Benz.