Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Vignettes Vol 1

 2009 BMW 750i:

Why do I remember you fondly? The rattle from the driver’s door when it closed couldn’t even be figured out at the dealership. Sunday was always the best day when I drove you around. I remember long drives in the backwoods of Gaston County. The speeds I could move your heft around corners was mesmerising. Confederate flags and barns turned into large blurs as you moved. I remember getting you oh so sideways on the way to the Charlotte Motorists Club meet. Tires letting go of the last little bit of grip as turned from Harris to Tryon. I remember the little clunk your 8HP made when it downshifted into second coming to a stop. It scared the shit out of T**d, who thought you’d blow up on him on the way up I-77. I kept reminding him of the fact you had a BMW Certified Pre-Owned warranty. I also reminded Andre of this fact when we sold you to him as the third car in a row that year. Especially when you sat at Hendrick BMW for two months after he bought you. I would say it was my fault all that happened, but you seemed to have enjoyed it when I drove you. That’s enough for me. 

2008 Mercedes-Benz S600:

I never understood why Mercedes even put turbos on their V12. Well I didn’t until I bought an (W220) S65, but I’m not here to talk about that. Instead I’m here for its more tame counterpart: the S600. The pewter S600 was my running mate on and off that holiday season. It was in my driveway Christmas Day that year next to my LS400. I was so lost on family and life I drove you to the dealership to spend the day alone getting high on all the heroin I could get my hands on. I drove you home later that night to “This Christmas” by Big Gen & Snipe. The Nappa leather was available at any touch in the interior, and I found myself reaching for the Alcantara headliner that surrounded the panoramic roof just to feel it. The car enveloped me in a cocoon of absolute luxury that separated me from the outside world. I never felt like I’d ever need more car than this. I remember cold mornings where the exhaust shook the foundations of my house when I warmed the big V12 up in the garage. How cold pavement and the 295 cross-section Pilot Super Sport tires reacted to each other when I would mat the pedal was laughter inducing and strange. But I felt and looked good in it everywhere I would go. I pulled up to the valet at Vivace many nights, with G** and his beloved Panamera in tow. I remember leaving Barreled at the Lift eyes hazy after a night out, and curbing those elegant, simple, 19” wheels on a concrete median. 

But the best memory of all was actually when the Benz let me down in front of people. It was at a meet on Sunset, I got ready to leave around midnight and the start/stop button did none of its intended functions. I called a tow to take it to the dealership and switch vehicles. It was deathly cold that night and the young lady I never met before in the STS-V parked next to the Merc offered to let me wait in her car until the tow arrived. Another small group of people I did know stuck around also. Once the truck yanked the S600 up onto the flatbed, the group decided they all wanted to follow me to see the inside of my automotive candy store. It was glorious fun I would’ve never had without the Benz being unruly. The young lady in the STS-V became a very good friend of mine and a friend to the entire Charlotte car community until she took her own life last year. I’ll remember her even more fondly than the entirety of all the memories the Benz gave me.

Rest in power Chelsea. 

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