The car that takes the cake for me is my dad’s old Mercedes. For years, he had a 2000 SL500 Roadster. An 18 year old tooling around in a car like this was cool enough, but dad’s buddy (the original owner) spec’d it out with the “Designo Slate Blue Edition” package. So, it had special Designo Slate Blue paint (I used to stare at it as the sun set, as the paint changed from blue to a deep purple/gray in front of my eyes), with Black Nappa Leather with Slate Blue Inserts, and special “birds eye maple” wood trim.

Somehow, he let me drive it to high school. And to the prom. Hell, the last Summer he had it, I used it as my semi-daily driver (until he lectured/reminded me that, even though I admired it so fondly, it wasn’t actually my car).

One day, I noticed a pool of fluid on the passenger’s side seat cushion. If anyone knows these R129 SLs, their “Achilles’ heel” is the convertible top hydraulics. There were 12 hydraulic cylinders scattered around the top, and that “puddle” came from the cylinder right next to the passenger sun visor. Doing more digging with a flash light, I found out that almost all of them would have to be replaced. Unfortunately, Dad couldn’t didn’t want to spend ~$2,500 on a car he barely even drove (as a certain someone’s college education came first). So, his low-mile SL was sold to the local BMW dealer (along with his 80,000 mile Land Rover with a “recently expired” factory warranty) on a CPO 5-Series.

If I could have just convinced him to keep it in the garage, I would have saved up for the repair myself. But, he had a different agenda. Six years later, I search far and wide for another Designo edition with similar miles...unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. Recently, I ponied up the dough to run a CARFAX report on it. Not only is it just a few hours away from me, but MINIMAL miles has been added on it since we unloaded it.

One day I’ll get Dad’s old SL back.