CC Outtake: Munched Mercedes


Nothing strikes fear into the heart of a dedicated CCer than having your prize vintage ride get trashed because of some other motorist’s stupidity behind the wheel. Especially when you’re not even driving it at the time. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened here. I stumbled upon this sad sight when returning home from work one day last summer, and an older lady living down the street filled me in.


Just behind the complex is a large public park. Despite the occasional riff-raff, things stay mostly pretty quiet around here. One problem we do occasionally have is yahoos who enjoy doing donuts at the park entrance, or at the first intersection on our wide street. From what the lady told me, some leadfoot was burning the tread off his tires the night before when he fumbled , creamed the Benz, and then promptly took off. You can clearly see part of the broken turn signal lens laying on the ground in front of the car. The owner probably didn’t even know the extent of the damage until he or she pulled off the cover that this car normally wears, only to be greeted by this gut-wrenching sight.


The badging denotes this car as the 380SL, which is generally viewed as the least desirable model of the R107 platform. Even so, an example as slick and pristine as this one ( before it got hit ) deserves respect. The flawless paint and chrome, the total absence of any dirt, the newish whitewall tires, and the fact that it’s kept covered indicates a car that is thoroughly loved and cherished by its owner. Lesser model or not, it certainly deserves better than this.


I used to see this car semi-regularly parked on the street, always covered up. Since this mishap, I haven’t seen it once. I sincerely hope that the owner held onto it and had it fixed, rather than letting some jackleg insurance adjuster get their hands on it and have it carted off to the boneyard after paying the owner a mere pittance, for what is basically cosmetic damage. As I said before, any well-preserved R107 deserves better than that.


Bonus pic: this is my own munched Mercedes, my 1990 300SEL. In this shot the damage to the right rear door and forward wheel arch is clearly visible.  That’s how it was when I bought it. Luckily I was able to find a clean, straight replacement white door at my local Pick-A-Part during one of their half-off sales. The car’s last owners were an ex-military couple turned homeless drug addicts who briefly lived in the car before abandoning it near the tow yard I rescued it from. God only knows what sort of abuse and neglect this poor car was subjected to during the final months of their ownership. After seeing the pictures of that crunched 380SL, I think I’m gonna run downstairs and give my W126 a hug.