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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...

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The A283 is part of my drive to work, its a pretty nice place to be in the summer. Most of my drive in is actually, I can choose between two routes, both involve going past a castle or two. Its a nice part of the world to be in
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think this Goodwood Festival of Speed is great because people will able to see the old vintage cars that still looks like a great piece of art in car design. The wooden cars are looks so royal. This gives the feeling of total satisfaction of driving a marvel car & joy.

      • 5 Years Ago
      What a Beautiful car , Best SL ever !!
      • 5 Years Ago
      This proofs that you don't have to be a retired banker to drive a Mercedes.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those gullwings are spectacular!
      • 5 Years Ago
      He's right, the 190SL is nothing like you'd imagine when you drive it. The steering is vague to the point where you're always correcting it just like a car ten to fifteen years older. Going around a corner is a real challenge at speed, although accelerating out of an apex isn't bad, but you wish you had more power. But man is it ever beautiful! A great drive through gentle country roads with the top down is it's domain and you get stares from literally everyone.

      The photos from this piece were extraordinary! All those Gullwings, oh my! And the 300SL convertible . . . it doesn't get any better than that. Just saw one on the road recently and after over 50 years it is still in the top five of the most beautiful (and formidable) cars ever produced.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm still amazed how Charbie March manages to make the FoS better each year...