Monthly Archives: August 2014

Well, that didn’t Work out the Way I Planned

Benjamin SchlundC63 AMG side

Sometimes best laid plans don’t quite work. Saturday found me at Macintosh about 30 seconds after the front door opened, ready to pick up my new toy. I feel that Macintosh should have my signature on record, I have signed so many documents there over the years. However, a few more needed to be signed on Saturday before I was allowed to leave with the C63 in my hot little paws. Documents signed, keys in my possession, about 100 pages of contracts, registration papers, insurance and everything right in the world, I made it home and introduced my car to where he will live for the next four years. The only glitch was that I all of a sudden realised how noisy the V8 truly is. Let’s just say that I hope my neighbours will enjoy the alarm clock as I am leaving for work, because they are going to wake up whether they want to or not.

My not-so-cunning plan to play a joke on a friend was simple enough. Ring him in the morning and ask for his assistance with a non-existent problem with my E250. I would pretend that something had gone wrong and that the car sounded like a V8. Because everything happened so quickly with the C63, he did not know that I had a new car. Both cars are roughly the same size, both have two doors, the E250 was black, the new one is dark grey. Since I planned to arrive after dark, merely ensuring that I did not park in his well-lit driveway should have worked perfectly. I called the friend in the morning, and much to my delight, he and his family were out, and would not be returning home until much later. An agreement was reached to be at his place after 7 pm. Being winter, this would work in my favour. He lives in a cul-de-sac, so street lights are far and few between. So, all set. But I had forgotten how deathly quiet suburban streets can be after dark. Let’s just say that I may as well have taken out the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald. He heard the car from about two blocks back. Instead of me getting the upper hand, what actually happened was him coming out of his house with a sarcastic “So, I hear that you have a new car!”

He is one of the very few people I do lend my cars to. I handed over the keys so that he and his youngest son could go for a drive. I am starting to question this, as his son returned grinning from ear to ear, with a smart-alec remark that the car corners well at 150 km. Aaaargh!!

Goodbye, my Gorgeous

It is Thursday, and it is also the last day when I will be driving my old E250. I am excited about the C63, but deep down, I feel so bad. What if the new owner of my E250 does not look after it like I did? What if they don’t love it like I did?

I need to get a grip. This is how I feel about my godchildren, which is normal, but to feel this way about an inanimate object?

This is the same way I felt about my SLK. For a couple of years after I traded it in, every time I would see an SLK in the same silvery blue, I would wonder if it was mine. Was it clean and well looked after? If it was, I would feel a little bit better, but if the car looked dirty and in need of some tender loving care, I would feel truly bad. Part of the problem is that my personalised number plates are transferred from car to car, so I can’t be sure if these cars that I am feeling so bad about were ever the one that I owned. I think it’s time for a reality check.

However, I am wondering if some strange forces are in play. Tomorrow (Friday), I need to drop my baby to Macintosh. That means removing all my personal belongings and making sure that the log book and registration papers are handed over. I then need to grab the loan car, and return on Saturday for the complete handover to happen. But looking for my registration papers last night proved to be a futile exercise. I could find registration receipts for 2011, 2012, and 2013, but 2014 was missing. There were only two possible places, filed or in the glove box. I looked in both, with no luck. So I did a quick trip to the RTA, or whatever they are called nowadays, to obtain a copy. So all is done and ready. Removing my belongings from the car tonight will be very sad.

I need to do something about my paranoia. It’s either that, or my baby is having the same separation issues as I do. So, goodbye my gorgeous, thank you for four years of fun. Thank you for never letting me down, and for always being there waiting ready for another trip. I truly hope your new owner will look after you the same way I did, or I may have to organise to have their front lawn redecorated with concrete.

CLA45 AMG to C63 AMG in Less than a Day

Don’t ask me how this happened, but it has, and I am now sitting wondering whether I am insane, or that the excitement is overtaking any common sense I ever possessed. Let me tell you, common sense and I have never been close anyway.

It all started so innocently. On Sunday, I caught up with a friend for lunch. Driving home, I was behind a new CLA45 AMG. I had been on the waiting list for one of these for almost nine months, with a further seven to go. I looked at the car, and realised that I simply did not like it. The interior is OK, except for the pop-up screen that looks like an iPad sticky-taped to the dash board. But it has four doors. What on earth would I do with four doors?

Mulling over all this on Sunday afternoon and night left me feeling like a kid who had been looking forward to the school holidays only to find out that his overzealous parents had organised a six-week piano boot camp to fill in the time. On Monday morning, I rang Macintosh, and spoke to Simon the business manager. I casually asked the price of the C63 AMG. I promise it was the most innocent of questions. And this is where things totally spiralled out of control. However, I am a big girl, and this is my responsibility. I will not blame the lunar eclipse or the alignment of the stars.

So on Saturday 26th, I am picking up my C63 AMG. It will be one of the last few delivered to Australia with the old 6.2lt engine, not the new 4lt supercharged and pretend sound recording of engine noise. This is the real thing. The noise of the exhaust is only comparable to a piece of classical music that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up and send shivers down your spine. Think Verdi’s Nabucco, and the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves (which, by the way, sounds out of this world on the Harman Kardon sound system). Having the sound up so high it makes the car vibrate is an optional extra best reserved for long trips on deserted roads. This volume level in city traffic results in people giving you funny looks and gesticulating wildly.

The car was ordered for one of the owners of Macintosh. Manufactured in February, registered in late April. It has almost all of the available options, excluding the upgraded differential. Less than 1,500 km on the clock. The colour is gunmetal grey, the interior is black, and I am in love.

In a last-ditch effort to be sensible, I rang my accountant. This, in hindsight, was not a good idea, as he is a petrol head of the serious nature. However, his weapons of choice are Porsches. In his defence, he did state that the ATO may not accept the full use of the vehicle for deduction purposes, and hence the cost to me would be greater, but this was the last bit of negative feedback he provided, and he very quickly changed to praising the car for resale value, the performance, and everything else every petrol head would think of. Hence, this was never ever going to be an adult conversation.

Now, after a fairly sleepless night I am fluctuating between “What have I done?” to “OMG, I own C63 AMG!” So, I am planning on sacrificing a chicken and pouring a ring of salt around myself whilst praying that I still have my driver’s licence this time next year.