Auction Time: Choice #5

When I originally set this exercise up for myself, I decided to pick only one car per category, the first four categories being “utility”, “performance”, “beach house” and “New Wife”.  (There were other categories, but not enough cars in each to make the choices interesting.)

The final category was entitled “pure indulgence”, and the choices boiled down to the Dino Ferrari or one of the Jag E-types:

After long and often painful contemplation, I first picked the Jag.

…and not too many people would disagree with that choice.  It’s beyond-words beautiful, and the 4.2-liter engine… ’nuff said.

Must say, though, that I’m not too enamored to have a convertible with black upholstery, living as I do in the Texas Oven.  So I went back and looked at the Dino:

It remains, in my opinion, the most beautiful Ferrari ever made:  curves that resemble a gorgeous woman lying on her side, that sweet little 2.4-liter engine purring / snarling right  behind your head… and this one is not in Ferrari Showoff Red, but in a discreet brushed silver, with tan upholstery.

But, but, but… I already had  a sports car — the fantastic Iso Grifo.  So maybe what I needed was something sumptuous:  a luxury car that I could drive around on long road trips.  Something like the 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300:

The 300 (W186 body) was designed to be able to drive all day on the highway at top speed without breaking, and it was (and still is) one of the most reliable cars ever made.  (For more info, read about it here.)

Heavy, stately, luxurious and dependable.  Sounds a little like me, come to think of it.

And a worthy choice, to accompany the four others.

11 comments

  1. When I saw the Dino, I thought for sure that was a sure thing for one of your picks.
    But it is your pick, I just never have warmed up to German cars, except maybe the BMW 507, or even the short lived Z8. A friend had a BMW GT – a 1600 with a body by Frua, as I recall. Have a look at one of those, if you can find one.

  2. For pure indulgence —

    I’d have go with the Gullwing. Cruise all day at outrageous speeds. Room for 2 with fitted Luggage! Everybody – even non car people – knows that car and it draws a crowd wherever it goes.

    For a Jag – it would be the Lightweight continuation or the C Type replica. There are still E-types everywhere.

    ….. and instead of the junior version of the Ferrari lineup, I’d choose the Testarossa — Particularly because it’s in “arrest-me-red” (and it does have the tan interior). Another Draws a Crowd car. … and known for being ” Sonny Crockets” ride. Isn’t that what “indulgence” is all about ?

    1. The first Miami Vice car was a kit car replica of the 1971 Daytona 365. The actual vehicle had a V8 and the V12 sound was dubbed in. Ferrari is known for their fierce protection of their Intellectual Property in particular the shape of their cars. They sent a cease and desist order to the manufacturer of the kit and provided the producers of Miami Vice with the 512 BB testarossa seen in later episodes.
      The viral video of a “Ferrari” roaring through early morning Paris streets was also dubbed because the camera was actually mounted on the front bumper of a big Mercedes sedan.

  3. I’d also pick the E-type over the Ferrari. As for the Mercedes, my father had a 1960 300D for many years. It’s a very nice car.

  4. The body of the Jaguar E-type beats the Ferrari hands-down, though some Ferraris comes a close second (but not that one). However, all cars from that era, from engines to tires to brakes to suspensions to any kind of crash protection, are purest, distilled shit. I love the looks, but, “Mein Gott!”, I’d gave to be a complete fookin’ idiot to trust my beloved’s life in an original. Even though I grew up in the era of those machines, I’m not stupid enough to think they’re anywhere near the vehicles available today. But I’d dearly love to drive a modernized version at some penalty of gas mileage. I like the looks, but I’m not a fetishist for the many, many drawbacks.

  5. My love for foreign cars started in 1955 when one of my dad’s colleagues visited us in the burgeoning metropolis of McIntosh, AL. He’d just bought a 1955 Mercedes Benz 220S sedan. Before that I had not seen a foreign car and since then I haven’t looked much at American cars. In about 1966 for my birthday he gave me a subscription to Road&Track and my preferences were locked in concrete.
    Mr. Cal had gone through a number of cars from the war up to that time including a MG-TC and a DKW, but he kept the Merc until he passed away.
    Although he lived in Pittsburgh, he bought his cars directly from Max Hoffman in NYC. Max Hoffman was the first importer of European automobiles after WWII.

  6. The Benz 300 sedan was and is a superb example of quality German engineering. The only one that IMHO surpassed it was the 300C which was shorter, 2 door with the same engine etc. A magnificent drivers car and built to last almost forever.
    British and Italian cars may have the look and in some cases the performance, but never the quality of the 50s & 60s MBs.

    1. I failed to add that why the MB was an excellent addition to the 5. The simple reason is that at least ONE of the cars would be ready to drive, not needing repairs of some sort. The Brit cars with Charles attempting to find out why the Iso’s lights go on and off, (with Tony’s help) while the Jag awaits his attentions on sorting out why the SU carburettors are both leaking and not functioning correctly along with endless overheating problems.
      The Mokes transmission has lost 1st gear (again) and the Ferrari is waiting for Tony to install the new parts coming from Italy – – – – someday.
      Gee you might think I have owned, lived with and repaired ALL of them.

  7. Excellent choice, Mein Heir!
    And, just think what your Uber clients will think when you pull to the curb in a classic 50’s Benz.

  8. Wise choice, Kim. The ’56 M-B 300 will look great parked in front of stately du Toit Manor, and Himself and New Wife, suitably attired in Ascot-acceptable casual, will be the talk of jealous society matrons (extra points for having an attractive, mature male chauffeur at the wheel).

    I’ll say this about the other two: the Dino corners orgasmically (actually, it pretty much does everything orgasmically….), although I’d vote for about 50 more HP, and an offer of 100 more wouldn’t be refused unless it came with too much additional weight or power band width narowing turbochargers, the Jag handles well enough and rides more comfortably than the Dino, is a more recognizable shape, etc.

    But…..both are an absolute bitch to work on, and each provides more opportunities to do so than any reasonable person would tolerate.

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