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My other, other Benz

Nice wheels.

Nice wheels.

You remember that Kanye West/Jay Z song from 2011, Otis?

Sick song, great clip, awesome lyrics but I've heard it so many times it's almost reached the Somebody That I Used To Know stage. Almost.

Anyhow, Otis came on while I was at the gym the other day and the Kanye lyric caught me, once again:

They ain't see me cause I pulled up in my other Benz

Last week I was in my other other Benz

I was like, really? Do you have to rub it in, Kanye?

Maybe I was feeling a little tender because I'd had a conversation with a girlfriend who drives a BMW and had said to her: "Honestly, why waste your money? What the hell does your car have that mine (a Mazda3) does not?"

She listed a bunch of stuff that I don't friggin' need anyway, then said: "Honestly, there's just such a difference driving a car designed for getting you from A to B (mine) and one that's made for sheer driving pleasure (hers). It makes me smile every day driving to work."

Now, I get that, because I once got the chance to drive a Bentley Continental GTC Speed (pictured). The wheel rims alone on the car cost $23,000, about what my ride does, factory new.

But I loved driving it. It was so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.

This is the reason why you hear so many rich people saying "money doesn't buy you happiness"; because they want you to believe that hokum.

The thing is, when you drive a Bentley or travel internationally via Lear jet or get to spend the weekend at some stupid, multi-multi-million dollar waterfront mansion with its own wharf and yacht, you realise - hell, this is goooooood.

It may not make you happy, but it's immensely more fun than the pension and home brand tinned spaghetti.

And rich people know that. They know if we all had a taste of what it's like to be fabulously wealthy, we'd be tearing them apart like roast chicken to get us some of it.

But we don't, because we're largely ignorant of what real luxury is like.

Day to day, I seriously don't covet more than I have, but every now and then, I do think it'd be nice to drive a smokin' hot car. And then I start getting fanciful and wonder, if I had to choose just one, what would it be?

The current season of Jerry Seinfeld's web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee features an episode with him driving around alongside David Letterman

They're in Letterman's 1995 Volvo 960 station wagon. The only wrinkle is it has a high-performance racing engine inside built by none-other than the late, great speed-nut, actor Paul Newman.

"It's a 380-horsepower Ford V8 with a supercharger and Mustang five-speed gearbox," says Seinfeld.

Letterman knows how to drive his cars, too. He's famous for the number of speeding fines he's racked up racing between his home in Connecticut and studios in New York City.

As a cub reporter, when working for a certain US supermarket tabloid, I got sent to stake out Letterman's home, which was then in the back-blocks of New Canaan, Connecticut.

Letterman knew we were there, so he just rolled out in one of his sports cars and floored it. He so lost us on the backwoods roads, we were lucky not to end up with a tree in the dashboard while trying to keep pace.

But his Volvo? It looks like the kind of car that should be dropping kids off to school. However, it flies and I love that.

I've always wanted to do the same thing with an EH Holden: Immaculately restore it, but drop a racing engine into the thing.

Failing that, a Bentley GTC Speed will do just fine.

What's your dream car? 

You can follow Sam on Twitter here. His email address is here.

Please don't take it personally if I do not reply to your email as they come in thick and fast depending on the topic. Please know, I appreciate you taking the time to write and comment and would offer mummy hugs to all.

161 comments

  • A Cadillac El Dorado with 6 foot fins. I will slick back my hair and cruise about like Elvis Himself playing old Beach Boys tunes and making the ladies swoon. You would get better performance from a Soviet era Albanian tractor but this is hardly the point

    Commenter
    randomguy
    Location
    Sunset Boulevarde
    Date and time
    July 12, 2013, 10:03AM
    • Fun doesn't necessarily mean expensive. My Dad drives the fastest '68 Humber Super Snipe in the world.

      Years back I got a red sticker on my old Datsun 240Z, so while fixing it up I bought a $1000 Super Snipe to tool around in- because it was cool with the walnut dash and had a very good English supension, if slow. The engine died after a couple of weeks, so I could either dice it completely, rebuild the slow old 3L donk, or... put in a 3L turbo VL Calais engine I found at a wrecker + 5 speed Borg Warner box (all linked to the old column shifter), beef up the brakes and lower it, with the help of a mechanical guru I know. It is faster than stock Commodes and Falcons and does 220 easily.
      When I fixed the Datto, I gave the Snipe to Dad for Christmas. One happy, flat-capped Yorkshireman was the result.

      Commenter
      Evan
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      July 13, 2013, 1:19PM
    • My eyes glazed over and I felt an insatiable urge to sleep about a third of the way through this article.

      Commenter
      sarajane
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      July 14, 2013, 10:13AM
    • Say what you like, never enjoyed a car better than a $600 '73 Chrysler: bad shocks, loose steering, more bog than metal. Cornered like a raft. Picked my little brother up from school, the city kids cheered the engine noise. 5.9L sipped the liquids, seats of pure luxury, sat on 150kph between Coona and Narrabri like an eagle on a thermal. Brakes? What brakes? Now that's driving.

      Commenter
      Matt Hartley.
      Location
      Koh Samui
      Date and time
      July 14, 2013, 3:01PM
    • Actually......there is one European car (sort of) that would sorely tempt if it ever made it into mass production. It's the PAL-V. (Google it.) Fantastic!

      Commenter
      player1
      Date and time
      July 14, 2013, 3:22PM
  • I reckon a 1958 Cadillac Herse would be quite a nice drive. I nearly bought one many moons ago and I still kind of wish I did.
    Not so good for parking in teensy, narrow inner city streets though.

    Commenter
    M
    Date and time
    July 12, 2013, 10:35AM
    • Oh M, you have been watching Harold and Maude again. Fins are a bit over the top. They would be terrible to work on and the chrome trim or stainless is easily bent or damaged.
      The American cars of the late 20's early 30's are classics. A Buick straight 8 with 6 wheels and 1934 or 1935. A Chrysler Airflow, which influenced styling for the next 30 years. A Cord with pop up lights and supercharging.
      For European, the classic cars of the 30's 40's and 50's before they caught the US disease of fins.
      If money were no object and you could afford the work being done as it it would be too heavy for me to work on and too expensive if you made mistakes. A 1929- 30 Bentley that ran at Le Mans with the supercharger hanging off the front. The car that Ettore Bugatti called the fastest truck.
      60's well a Mustang GT with a Bullit makeover but no big block, perhaps an early Mach 1. An original Ford GT 40.
      But Australian, what about a Bolwell Mark VII, better looking than the later Bolwell Nagari.
      But if you really want a hearse, M there was a 1930's black Packard that had been coachbuilt to a hearse that was for sale in Brisbane years ago, a steal at $7,000.
      Never been seen since.

      Commenter
      The Old Guy
      Location
      Marrickville
      Date and time
      July 13, 2013, 11:59AM
    • The Old Guy, all I can think is "pretty, shiny" when you mention some of those beautiful vehicles. I'm no car nut and I still have an appreciation for the aesthetics of those cars.
      I went to a café racer/kustom culture event a couple of months ago and the motorbikes there were stunning. I'd never ride one myself seeing as I have the coordination and stability of a drunk giraffe. I can still admire them.
      I guess I'll live with the Barina for a while. I don't drive it very often and the Inner City traffic crawl is wasted on performance cars.

      Commenter
      M
      Date and time
      July 14, 2013, 9:25AM
  • Bentley needs to do something about the headlights. They look like squinty little piggy eyes. Plus the bonnet makes it look like it has a bulbous head. Same with Rolls Royces.

    For me it's Aston Martins (faultlessly elegant and sleek design) or the 458 Italia Spyder. Spectacular cars.

    But the cost of cars in Oz vs US or UK is ridiculous and makes parting with that sort of cash very difficult

    Therefore I'd go the SLK55 AMG. Folding metal and glass roof with a smidge over 300kw sitting under the bonnet for about $150k (about half the Aston Martin and quarter the Ferrari).

    The only people that say "money doesn't buy you happiness" are people that have never had to work for it because they either inherited enough to live on or married it. Either that or they're so ignorant when it comes to personal finances that they think they can continue working and renting for the rest of their lives and magic pixies will look after them in retirement. None of that nest egg stuff for them because "it'll be all right" or "something will come up" [most likely a hand-out from teh gubbermint]

    Commenter
    Bender
    Date and time
    July 12, 2013, 10:55AM
    • one occasionally comes across so called diogenesque cynics who turn out to be
      poorly dressed snobs. they're the worst. doing poor with elegance is an art.
      acting poor is also an art, and can be quite profitable. i aim to be a
      comfortably well off, self-funded pauper.

      Commenter
      beno
      Location
      campin'out
      Date and time
      July 12, 2013, 10:02PM

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