The joys of owning an old car

I drive a 1989 Mercedes 560sl.  It is probably the best car I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned a LOT of cars.  I’m a bit of a car junkie.  This car, however, is 24 years old, has 95,000 miles, and runs like a top.  The engine runs so smoothly you’d think it just came from the factory.

Mercedes makes excellent cars.

With age, however, comes issue.  I’m a big guy (read this as a gentle expression for fat guy) and put a lot of wear on the seat.  It shows.  Everything has some discoloration from sun bleaching, the paint is sketchy in a few places, and there are rust stains in the trunk carpet because the trunk gasket leaks and I left something metal in there.  I’m a genius!  D’oh!

The latest good news is that it’s time to get the timing chain and the timing chain guides replaced.  That’s not really good news for my wallet, but it does remind me that my car is of great value to me and I need to take care of it for it to take care of me.

$1200 + tax:  It needs the timing chain replaced.
$1200 + tax:  It needs a new softtop.
$2,000 + tax:  It needs a few dings fixed and repainted.
$200:  I need to build a speaker platform for the back seat.  I installed an Alpine radio in the car that kicks butt, but the speakers are just sitting in the back.  They like to move around.  That’s bad.

Throw in some cash for replacing a few chrome items here and there (headlight rings, trunk trim, etc) and the fact that every oil change is $50-60 if I do it myself and $100 if I have it done, you can see that driving an old car adds up in price.  At least I don’t have a car payment for the Mercedes.

The best thing about the car, however, is driving it in summer with the top down.  Jake (my dog) and I frequently just jump in the car and drive around Colorado Springs.  Last week two different women took pictures of him sitting in the passenger seat, resting his head on the head rest, and just chilling.  I assume it was him, because he’s MUCH prettier than I am.

Let me introduce you to one of the loves of my life.  My 1989 Mercedes 560sl.  Ain’t she a beaut?  That’s my daughter in the second photo…. trust me, she’s a beauty too.  Sadly, all the boys seem to notice her while all the women notice my dog. 

This is what it looked like in Florida when I bought it.  It’s now in Colorado, of course.  Probably better for the long run health of the vehicle body. 
24 year old car, 14 year old daughter.  She says she gets the car when I die.  I told her I would outlive her. 

Oh, and last but not least, here is the handsome fellow that is probably on flickr, facebook, imagr, etc.

There I was, driving in the convertible with that man who gives me treats, and women just kept bugging me!  It’s like they’ve never seen a dog before
Stop stealing my soul with that magic box!
Did you say bacon flavored Milkbones?

Chapter 8 will be forthcoming this evening, after a delicious dinner out with my lovely bride. 

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