Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My Baby Benz

In the later days of the Summer of 2012, I decided to change my major for college from education to journalism, more specifically, automotive journalism. Now, the school I had planned on going to didn't really have a specific area for journalism, but it did have a major that covered it well, so I took it.

The reason why I chose automotive journalism is because of a post on a website I follow quite heavily, Jalopnik. They had posted an article titled "The Ten Best Jobs in the Automotive Universe", and the number 3 was Automotive Journalism.

The reason for it was quite simple: "Why it's so good: Oh, I'm sorry, I couldn't possibly borrow the Aston Martin Virage this weekend. No, not even if you drop it off at my house, I simply don't have time. Call me back when the new Vanquish comes out, I think I'll be available then."

I mean, who could argue with that?

In order for me to get noticed by the automotive journalist world, I'd have to start creating road test articles of vehicles I've driven. I'd decided to do it on my personal car first, a 1991 Mercedes Benz 190E 2.3.

Back in the Winter/Early Spring of 2010, my father had agreed to take me out to buy my first car. He had been talking to a friend of his who had an older, affordable car: a 1991 Mercedes Benz. When my mother had told me about the car, I did a little digging on the car. Created in 1982, the 190 class was the precursor to the now brilliant C-class. They were compact executive cars that had a lot of money put into it's researching and development; a massive £600 million, and was subsequently called 'massively over-engineered.' I figured that the car must be good.

At first I was iffy on it. A small, low horsepower engined car doesn't really appeal to a 16-year old high schooler. I eventually grew on the idea, however. I mean, how many kids can say that their first car was a Mercedes Benz? When my father and I had reached the house of the owner, I had gotten my first real look of the car, and it was in spectacular condition. For a car with 179k miles, it was a beauty.

When I sat in the drivers seat, I felt that this car was for me. I took it out for a little test drive, to get used to it's kinks and quirks, I felt as though I had bonded with it. When the drive was over, I knew that this was my car. My father paid the owner, and she was mine.

On my first sort of 'road trip' with it (about 30 miles on a highway), I was able to determine this car's personality. It's low amount of power never encouraged me to step on the gas and fly down the road, but rather cruise in it's comfortable cabin, the sunroof slightly open. It's leather seats gave a very comfortable ride, never causing me to become uncomfortable and have to shift my position in the seat.

It's not exactly a loaded car, it has a sunroof, power windows, and an aftermarket radio. I'm fine with that. I know that the first car is never meant to be the best there is. My baby Benz gave me the thing I needed: a car that can bring me from point A to point B, and it does it with class and style. I couldn't've asked for a better first car.

Do I like that it's low on power? No. Do I like it for everything else? Yes. I think that that is really all I need. Sure it's got it's quirks, but it's personality and style make up for everything else.

1 comment:

  1. Nice story, Travis. More like this would have been great! I hope the automotive writing works out, no matter what else comes down the pike.