Monday, October 18, 2010

Torque Trumps Revs. 500E Resides Next Door.

A nice benefit of living in Denver is that when you test drive a car you get to do so on some spectacular roads.

Test driving this particular car, I was able to take it up outside of Lyons, CO and into the hills that lead to Rocky Mt. National Park. Not too difficult a task.

A 1993 500E with 124,000 on the clock. We were lucky to find this in our home state, as my friend was looking nationwide for the right car.

Exterior, the paint is nice. Original. A couple of small fade spots and rock chips. But the lack of spoiler and large flares shielding original rims, it looks the part. Like the important small print on a document that most don't read, the details of this design are worth noting or you could get burnt.

Interior. The four place seating is wonderful. Like a business jet. Lots of wood detailing and Germanic efficiency. All works as it should except the headrest release. Radio is original. Steering wheel is large, as I and it seems Porsche and Mercedes engineers prefer. Cosy even.

Driving impression. Hmmm, like a sick overweight dog if left in D. Seriously, you wonder what all the prose is about. But, drop it into 2 and slam the throttle and all 320+HP raise up and shoot the big saloon down the road. All with a barely audible rumble. I would like more exhaust noise. The handling was a surprise with how little body roll was evident from the driver's seat. You feel the weight of the car, it is not lithe, but it does respond quickly to steering inputs. The brakes are well matched, stopping the car from decent speed on a steep mountain incline easily. No cupholders, again as God and the engineers intended.

No doubt at its best on longer drives, the 500E is also a good around town car with the torque to leave many a car behind at the lights. Subtle it is. But like with bespoke suiting or fine horology, those who know, know. And those who don't, don't matter.

And the price? Well, well below his $10,000 budget. Well bought sir.


motoringconbrio said...

very nice! and i agree that CO's mountain passes are phenomenal for spirited driving.

Peter Russell said...

Just found your work, love your prosody and machinery aesthetic. On your 'sleeper under 10k' subject, I'm considering a 95-97 Jag XJ-6, as I hear they are the most amazingly well-built, durable, and dare I say, reliable Jags ever (I'm a car nut who loves beauty, but digs reliablity,too.)

I know I"m moving from brick dependability (300k on my beloved, heavily modded Volvo 93 940) to something more, er, gossamer, but I dig that Jag XJ style.

Any prescience, sir? Again, love your work!