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Thread: something new

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    something new

    I decided it was time to get beyond buying camera gear for a while. I mean, really, I have other obsessions to deal with.


    2000 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor

    So I don't buy a Summilux 75 and a second M9 body for a while. Will it really hurt me?

    (Photo on left with GXR, center and right with the iPhone 4S.)
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    Re: something new

    Well, for this one you need quite a lot of gaffer tape ...

    Fine car, though
    Bart ...

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    Re: something new

    Hi Godfrey,

    You're really not going beyond cars. It still will have to be cleaned like the sensor in your camera and no doubt there will be spots on the car, which will have to be "cloned" out. Although I hope you don't have to ever use touch up paint on your car, if you do, you're still going to have to deal with color accuracy. As for contrasty lighting, it's still going to be the same old issue as it was with your cameras...hard to deal with and having to find ways to tone it down. In the case of driving the car in contrasty lighting, a good pair of sunglasses might help, whereas other means will be required when photographing in such lighting. So you see, not all that different. Now go out and take some great shots...of you good looking car of course!

    Dave (D&A)
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    Re: something new

    HI Godfrey. Personally I prefer ragtops, but very nice!

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Godfrey. Personally I prefer ragtops, but very nice!
    I prefer ragtops when the top is down. Rather have the quiet of a coupe when the top is up.

    On this, the top slides into the trunk with the press of a button ...


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    Re: something new

    Thanks Dave! Gave me a chuckle.


    Driving a car is like shooting with film: no matter what the car cost you to begin with, you're going to spend more on fuel and maintenance (film and processing) than that if you use it ... ;-)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I prefer ragtops when the top is down. Rather have the quiet of a coupe when the top is up.

    On this, the top slides into the trunk with the press of a button ...
    Yes - I've run the gamut, but the modern ragtops (BMW 1 and 6, Audi A5, Merc wotsit etc.) are pretty quiet - and you have the advantage of good boot space even when the top is open. Nothing worse than touring the South of France and not being able to open the top because the trunk is full of suitcases!

    Interestingly; Mercedes made the big convertible into a hard-top for a year or so and changed back. VW have now stopped making the hard top EOS and gone back to a ragtop as well.

    Mind you - no criticism of your lovely yellow car - I'm jealous!

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Yes - I've run the gamut, but the modern ragtops (BMW 1 and 6, Audi A5, Merc wotsit etc.) are pretty quiet - and you have the advantage of good boot space even when the top is open. Nothing worse than touring the South of France and not being able to open the top because the trunk is full of suitcases!

    Interestingly; Mercedes made the big convertible into a hard-top for a year or so and changed back. VW have now stopped making the hard top EOS and gone back to a ragtop as well.

    Mind you - no criticism of your lovely yellow car - I'm jealous!
    Thanks, and yes, I understand the appeal.

    I don't mind the impact on trunk space. With my emphasis on minimalism when traveling, all the stuff I needed to spend three weeks in the UK traveling fill less than half the space in the trunk with the top retracted, so there's room for me and any passenger I might carry. It's snug but enough for me.

    With the top up, the trunk becomes very roomy.

    Screaming Yellow Zonker II will go to the shop Monday for a full service and a few overhaul details noted in the pre-purchase inspection. Seems to be in very good nick for its age and mileage.

    I'm gonna enjoy this beastie. :-)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Thanks, and yes, I understand the appeal.

    I don't mind the impact on trunk space. With my emphasis on minimalism when traveling, all the stuff I needed to spend three weeks in the UK traveling fill less than half the space in the trunk with the top retracted, so there's room for me and any passenger I might carry. It's snug but enough for me.
    Oh - I'm quite compact as well . . . but Emma likes to take the kitchen sink with her!
    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    With the top up, the trunk becomes very roomy.

    Screaming Yellow Zonker II will go to the shop Monday for a full service and a few overhaul details noted in the pre-purchase inspection. Seems to be in very good nick for its age and mileage.

    I'm gonna enjoy this beastie. :-)
    Looks great - what's the age and mileage?

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Oh - I'm quite compact as well . . . but Emma likes to take the kitchen sink with her!
    Looks great - what's the age and mileage?
    That's a problem. My partner is even more minimalistic than I so there won't be any problems for us.

    It's a 2000 model year car, so 12 years old, with 123K miles on the clock. The pre-purchase inspection at the local indie Mercedes specialist gave it a good bill of health with just a few minor things to take care of. The body has a couple of minor dings too ... nothing that bothers me at all. Driving, it feels tight and planted, and that little Kompressor really does pick up its skirts and run when you push on the throttle.

    It's so nice to drive a real sports car again: front engine, rear drive, manual transmission. I've missed my Alfa Romeo Spider, Toyota MR2, etc for a while.

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post

    It's so nice to drive a real sports car again: front engine, rear drive, manual transmission. I've missed my Alfa Romeo Spider, Toyota MR2, etc for a while.
    I'm still missing my Boxster s

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    Re: something new

    ah yes, and I miss my M Roadster.

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    ah yes, and I miss my M Roadster.
    This time around it was my turn to have the 'big' car, so Emma has a mini cooper convertible . . .

    But I shouldn't be too grumpy!


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    Re: something new

    nice.

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    nice.
    sensible . . . but not as much fun as yours!

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    It's so nice to drive a real sports car again: front engine, rear drive, manual transmission.
    Nice MB, Godfrey!

    Kinda like the 'x100 isn't a real rangefinder' discussions, there are the purists who consider only mid- or rear engine, rear drive to be real sports cars.

    I'm still missing my Boxster s
    Jono, I see your S grew up. I previously had an original Boxster ('99) and a S ('01) among a few other P cars.

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    Re: something new

    bunch of posers ... my car dates back from an era when film was still mainstream
    Bart ...

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    Nice MB, Godfrey!

    Kinda like the 'x100 isn't a real rangefinder' discussions, there are the purists who consider only mid- or rear engine, rear drive to be real sports cars.
    ...
    I've had all of them.

    - Never liked the Porsches as much as I was expecting to, the dynamics of the mid-1970s 911 just didn't appeal to me.

    - The MG-B, Triumph TR3 (a little crude), Jaguar XK-E were all lovely, nicely balanced designs that handled very well (until ruined by old age and emissions crap); the TVR Vixen and Lotus Elan were a cut above if a hair to tight for a 6 footer to be comfortable driving for long. The Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce and Guilietta Spider were truly delightful. I had my last Spider Veloce until 2008. The Lamborghini 350GT was amazing if way more than I ever needed (or could justify on costs of operation). The FIAT 124 Spider was great fun but too cheaply built.

    - The FIAT X 1/9 and Porsche 914 were disappointing. The Toyota MR2 was superb. A Maserati Bora I was loaned for half a year was stunning.

    - The SAAB Sonnett was basically a pretty body on the 96V4 chassis. Fun but crude. The only other FWD sports car I drove for a little bit was the abortive Lotus which handled well if oddly.

    But overall, the sports cars I find I like the most are the traditional, front engine-rear drive layouts with modest displacement, good power, and good responsiveness. I like their nimbleness, relative simplicity, and easy balance.

    However, what I really meant was that the last nine years, aside from a few miles with the Spider before I sold it in 2008, what I've been driving most are Land Rovers and the Toyota Prius. Both excellent cars for their intended purpose. But not sporty, not "fun", and rather more complex than I really like. The SLK does have some sophisticated bits in it, like the traction control and the supercharged, EFI engine, but its overall design and feel is not that far removed from the simple, elegant basics presented by the Guilietta or MG B.

    And, darn it, it's very Yellow. ;-)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Knorp View Post
    bunch of posers ... my car dates back from an era when film was still mainstream
    Ermmm ... the 2000 SLK is from that era too. Digital didn't become "mainstream" for another four-five years.

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    This time around it was my turn to have the 'big' car, so Emma has a mini cooper convertible . . .

    But I shouldn't be too grumpy!

    I am glad to see that you are not suffering too much.
    Sadly the M Roadster was replaced by an X3 with all wheel drive.
    The Roadster never saw much action in Massachusetts snow in the winter.
    -bob

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    Re: something new

    Sportscars also need real coils, contacts, distributers and oh yes, a carburetor too.
    Just ask the guys on Top Gear
    -bob

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Sportscars also need real coils, contacts, distributers and oh yes, a carburetor too.
    Just ask the guys on Top Gear
    Actually, the only real criteria that makes any sense is that you should be able to remove the carpets and the passenger seat, then win the 24 Hours of LeMans ...


    "Stirling, what the hell are you doing with my car???"

    ;-)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Sportscars also need real coils, contacts, distributers and oh yes, a carburetor too.
    Just ask the guys on Top Gear
    -bob
    Haha

    My 1970 911 had no carb (mechanical fuel injection) although it did have a regular coil and points.

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    Re: something new

    Well, if we're showing off our past and present yellow cars. This is the only car that I've had seller's remorse over.

    The Land Rover is a lot more practical as a camera bag and in the weather.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: something new

    Now that's another lovely yellow car. :-)

    Had the SLK out for a nice drive this evening. It is delightful. I'm getting the hang of driving it ... It likes to be told what to do with a certain authority. :-)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Now that's another lovely yellow car. :-)

    Had the SLK out for a nice drive this evening. It is delightful. I'm getting the hang of driving it ... It likes to be told what to do with a certain authority. :-)
    I was taught a long time ago at track driving school that you should drive 'em like you stole 'em Get that roof down and enjoy the California sunshine. Your SLK was made for SoCal and you couldn't have picked a nicer colour either. (I am of course STRONGLY biased!!)
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: something new

    To celebrate your acquisition, the Mercedes F1 team is on the front row at the Chinese Grand Prix. First time that has happened since 1955. (Fangio and Moss.)
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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    I was taught a long time ago at track driving school that you should drive 'em like you stole 'em Get that roof down and enjoy the California sunshine. Your SLK was made for SoCal and you couldn't have picked a nicer colour either. (I am of course STRONGLY biased!!)
    Oh yeah. And when the supercharger kicks in, it wakes up and flies. Just amazing how smooth and solid it is. The only rattle I hear on this 12 yr old car with 125K miles on it is the plastic dealer license plate frame...

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by monza View Post
    To celebrate your acquisition, the Mercedes F1 team is on the front row at the Chinese Grand Prix. First time that has happened since 1955. (Fangio and Moss.)
    Stirling Moss once ran into me, tossing me into the mud, at a rainy event at Goodwood. I wonder if I can find anyone with the cable channel to watch the race?

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    Re: something new

    Hmmm Sterling Moss is my wife's first cousin once removed . . . (do I get a badge?). Unfortunately we don't know him, and he's never tossed me (or Emma) into the mud!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: something new

    The thing is Jono that if you're a native englishman we're all probably distant cousins (in full disclosure, I'm mostly english, scots and even a quarter one of 'them' - they who call us the roast beefs :-) )

    That said, kudos for being distantly related to a true gentleman of motor sport who nonetheless would shamelessly put you in the ditch or crash trying for the position or win. Respect!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    The thing is Jono that if you're a native englishman we're all probably distant cousins (in full disclosure, I'm mostly english, scots and even a quarter one of 'them' - they who call us the roast beefs :-) )

    That said, kudos for being distantly related to a true gentleman of motor sport who nonetheless would shamelessly put you in the ditch or crash trying for the position or win. Respect!
    Well, I'm not related to him at all. But my mother in law used to play with him as a child, so it isn't quite so obscure!

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: something new

    Oh my, what a thread to have wandered into. The last car I owned was a 1996 Acura NSX. The aluminum top would come off and slide into a special place between the trunk and engine. The trunk could only hold golf clubs.

    That was all in the 20 year gap between my MF film days and digital so I have no pictures of the poor car. For a mid-engine 8000rpm screamer, it was very easy to drive. Oh, it wasn't yellow. It was red. It was the job. We all had to have red sports cars.

    Not nearly as happy a car as the 325i that preceded it. Now THAT was a fun and practical car...

    --Matt

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    Re: something new

    Ok, just to cap this off:

    The Kustard Kraut went in for its service today. New battery, new motor mounts, new cam actuator, all fresh lubricants and filters, a couple other small details. Came out running and feeling like a new car now, hard to believe it's 12 years old. Starts, runs, shifts, etc so much smoother now.

    I stopped by the Mercedes dealer on the way home and ordered two new keys for it (just had one from the dealer). And I located an original owners manual, original toolkit and original compressor for the spare tire, they're on the way.

    So happy I went for it. This car is a delight to drive. I'm going to enjoy it for a very long time. :-)

    Godfrey - GDGPhoto Flickr Stream
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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    The Kustard Kraut ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Nothing worse than touring the South of France and not being able to open the top because the trunk is full of suitcases!
    HATE it when that happens

    Have met and spoken to Stirling Moss too, but never had a convertible, not the weather for one here. Car is a wee MINI Cooper, just big enough for me and my gear. LOL
    David Anderson
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    Re: something new

    Great autos. My first car was an MGB; wonderful car when it was running well. I now live in a climate where none of the cars posted is practical or even drivable part of the year. A 3 ft snowfall overnight is not unusual. So, Subaru Forester turbo: goes 0-60 in 5.9 s, although not through 3 ft of snow.


    _IGP8082_3993 by tsjanik47, on Flickr

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Great autos. My first car was an MGB; wonderful car when it was running well. I now live in a climate where none of the cars posted is practical or even drivable part of the year. A 3 ft snowfall overnight is not unusual. So, Subaru Forester turbo: goes 0-60 in 5.9 s, although not through 3 ft of snow.


    _IGP8082_3993 by tsjanik47, on Flickr
    Regarding practicality, I'm with you Tom! I too drive a couple of Foresters and in terms of reliability, they can't be beat. One of mine just recently passed the 300,000 mile mark and the others I had followed close by. Of course they are not the most exciting cars to drive (although you have the excellent turbo)...so I also have my other "Yellow" sort of classic type of car (which I'll take a pic and post sometime), but unfortunately with gas prices, doesn't get driven much these days.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: something new

    Dave:

    Actually the turbo is pretty exciting. I scared myself a few times with the car until I got used to the acceleration. Equipped with a 5-speed manual and large sunroof which turns it into a de facto convertible it's all the excitement I can handle at my age. The car loses nothing to my MGB, except for not breaking down.

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    Re: something new

    ummm ... a sunroof on a sedan or sport yute is NOT a convertible. My Land Rover Freelander had sunroof and removable rear top, and it was *still* not a convertible. ;-)

    The SLK has nothing to do with practicality. It has to do with driving pleasure. !

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    ummm ... a sunroof on a sedan or sport yute is NOT a convertible. My Land Rover Freelander had sunroof and removable rear top, and it was *still* not a convertible. ;-)

    The SLK has nothing to do with practicality. It has to do with driving pleasure. !
    Well I did say de facto; perhaps I should say an approximation of a convertible, with an integral full-cage rollbar

    In my climate, at least for part of the year, not getting stuck is driving pleasure.

    Enjoy your SLK.
    Last edited by tsjanik; 19th April 2012 at 10:43.

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Well I did say de facto; perhaps I should say an approximation of a convertible, with an integral full-cage rollbar

    In my climate, at least for part of the year, not getting stuck is driving pleasure.

    Enjoy your SLK.
    LOL! Thank you. I am enjoying it very much indeed. :-)

    (It does have integral roll bars and the windshield frame is also specially reinforced to support the entire weight of the vehicle too, so it's got the roll cage effect.)

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    Re: something new

    Quote Originally Posted by tsjanik View Post
    Well I did say de facto; perhaps I should say an approximation of a convertible, with an integral full-cage rollbar

    In my climate, at least for part of the year, not getting stuck is driving pleasure.

    Enjoy your SLK.
    Godfrey & Tom,

    A couple of comments. I understand what Tom is referring to with regards to the Forester's sunroof. One of my Foresters has one and it's as big a sunroof as I've ever seen....it's immense in size (especially for a compact SUV) and almost feels as thought there is no top when it's open.

    Godfrey, can't believe you had a Freelander (especially the unusal 2 dr removebale top version). The Freelander in the U.S. was a rare bird indeed and the fisaco with it's "USA only" engine made by a (non Land rover) independant British company that had to deal with engine failures in almost all of them was a nightmare. That engine company went bankrupt and those with engine failures (some at less than 40,000 miles) had absolutely no option. I still have mine (4dr), but thats a story for another day.

    Dave (D&A)

  44. #44
    Markus
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    Re: something new

    Congrats on the new car, Godfey. A German classic! My dad owned one of these (in black though).

  45. #45
    Super Duper
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    Re: something new

    I didn't have any engine faired with the Freelander, but it proved to be a rather expensive vehicle to run based on fuel economy and service costs. Great to drive, however.

    I hope the Merc proves a lot cheaper to run. The mechanic I've found is very reasonable and sensible.

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