Clarkson Settles Down, Purchases Sensible Family Sedan

Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson has finally acknowledged that his Lamborghini Gallardo and TVR-engined Land Rover may not be the most practical way to transport his family of five. So he's purchased a 38-year old Grosser Mercedes 600, noting that it's quite a bit less boring than cars like the BMW 5-series or Lexus LS600h.

Writing in his Top Gear column, Clarkson notes, "This is the car used by Lewis Winthorpe in the film Trading Places. It was also used by Idi Amin, Mao Tse Tung, Leonid Brezhnev and Elvis Presley.

"From 1963 to 1981, this was the most expensive, most advanced and most governmental car in the world. When I have fitted flags to the front wings - black eagles on a red background - I shall feel like Mussolini."
Clarkson goes on to note that his hand-built piece of history - which features hydraulic air vents and just about everything else - is not in what you might call 'showroom condition.' In addition to many other parts its in need of front brake calipers - £3,000 before labor - and brake pads - a sniff at £500 a pad. Clarkson goes on to note that should the electric actuators for his hydraulic window lifts fail, they'll cost him £5,000 a piece, just for the parts.

But, does Jeremy regret his purchase? "The thing is though, even if I buy a whole trolley full of electric window switches, and several spare exhaust pipes, the Grosser will still have cost me less than Johnny Rotarian's 540i. And when it's working, gliding from place to place on its air suspension, I tell you this: it will be the coolest car on the roads today." [Via Top Gear]