Driving a Mercedes-Benz 190SL to the Goodwood Festival of Speed - Click above for high-res image gallery

As we headed down the A 283 on our way to the Goodwood Festival of Speed on Saturday morning, my co-driver looked over at me and said, "sometimes life just deals you a flush." He couldn't have said it better. In this particular case, the perfect hand came in the form of a vintage 190SL loaned to us by the good people at Mercedes-Benz for our drive to the Earl of March's estate and perhaps the most perfect weather Southern England has ever seen. We were joined by a host of other classic Benzes, including more than half a dozen 300SL coupes and convertibles driven by fellow journalists, generating quite a bit of havoc among motorists and bystanders.

Driving along the beautiful, winding country roads with the warmth of the sun on our backs and a cool breeze providing natural air conditioning, I realized that I was in the perfect car. Of course, in reality the 190SL is far from a flawless automobile. The steering is vague, the suspension easily upset, heat can radiate into the cockpit from the exhaust pipes below, and it doesn't even have seat belts. But for that hour drive it was the perfect car. It allowed us to enjoy everything about our trip – the sights, the smells, the sounds and even the people – in a way that no other car could have. I've happened upon this phenomenon just a few times before, when a particular car blends with a unique situation to create something so incredibly memorable. It was an experience that I'll likely never forget, and one that I wish upon every car enthusiast. What an incredible start to a wonderful day.

Let the Goodwood fun begin...


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