We've all read humorously macho and outright strange postings on Craigslist. But this ad for a well-worn vintage Mercedes is an essay that combines the spirit of Whitman with Kundera's brutal take on our own insignificance.
1967 Mercedes 250S - $900 (Victoria)
Four speed manual transmission, engine was swapped for a 2.8L. Comes with several boxes of extra parts, and a spare set of wheels with studded snow tires. This car is driveable but the alternator output is weak. Requires a couple minutes to warm up in the morning. Shifter is loose and the gears are a little tricky to find. You have to stand on the clutch to shift gears. This is really a parts car - unless you truely want a project.
This Mercedes has no seatbelts in the back, and the ones in the front are of the airliner lap-best variety. There are safer cars out there for sale. Cars with thick slab like steel pillars cocooning you from the outside world. Cars with 7 airbags. Cars with airbags for your knees. They have fancy GPSs that will tell you where you should go; they have systems that will brake for you, before you even notice that the car in front of you is slowing down.
This Mercedes has none of those things. This Mercedes barely even has brakes. This Mercedes doesn't even have a conventionally operational heating system, or a radio. There are no power windows, locks, or mirrors. This car does not have seven airbags.
And those other cars, Their horns make cute little beeping noises, so considerate to not be rude. They don't have horns that sound with the arrogance and fury of some long dead Mongol warlord. They don't come with apocalyptic snow tires, all spikes and brutal tread. You cannot fix those cars on the side of the road, using a wrench as a hammer. Those cars will never force you to think, never allow you to exercise your own ingenuity. In those cars you can't stand up illegally through the sunroof from the back seat, and watch the moon with the cool night air blowing through you air.
Richard Nixon once said "Human existence is in the struggle." You could buy a car that will try and hide you from all the dangers of the world, but it won't save you; all the alarms, all the air bags, and the low sodium lattes in the world won't save you. Some day you will die. But at least you can die with the wind in your hair.
Alternatively it would make a good parts car.
(Hat tip to Irishman72!)