3rd Aug 2017, 07:59

As a daily driver, agreed - even if you lucked on getting that nice car that was built impeccably despite Consumer Reports statistics, there comes a time when time just does not help dependability or reliability. Wear and tear, and simple deterioration. After a certain time, it may be best to keep that car as a weekend cruiser. And then again, moderate use regularly also keeps parts from deteriorating quickly and from seizing.

One also has to bear in mind that prestige cars are also fitted with all the bells and whistles that really are not necessary to the essential running of the car. In the 1960s, perhaps, a world market Mercedes 220S or 180D was very dear because you were paying for the durability and engineering of everything including the bolt that held the license plate - every other complication was optional, like electric window lifts (even on an SL), a sunroof, and the like. The modern luxury car may have galvanised bodies with 10-20 years anti-corrosion warranty to make it last, but it's really pointless when you pay hundreds of dollars for a sensor the size of a matchbox.

3rd Aug 2017, 10:26

I had a beautiful SL Roadster. But I was afraid to use it except for for very short distances. And at the time it was only 13 years old. Emission issues, had odors in the garage; fortunately was detached. It wasn't old enough to antique and required inspections to tag it every 2 years. To fix it mostly the dealer was high. As I recall I had unusual shocks that cost 190 each. I think they were dual to posts. Not much now, but gives you an idea. Lot of little things needing attention. So having a car you are afraid to drive is not to me what you enjoy. You work a lot to own a little driven money pit. And if you ever owned a used BMW 7 series, be aware they are extremely expensive when anything goes. I always liked them, but was scared off to buy. The only BMW I ever regret missing out on was a Bavaria. But I'm sure I would have not kept it.

If you want a more fun weekender, buy a domestic convertible from the 60s or early 70s. Simple and basic. Like a Mustang convertible. Or a coupe, and it will likely appreciate. I enjoyed opening my garage door and seeing the Mercedes in there. And more likely than not closed the door and didn't drive it. Almost a decoration in the one side. You can accomplish the same thing pretty much by buying a 1:18 scale diecast and looking at that. I hope to not have a car like that again that I regret to drive. Wondering what's next.