“I actually inherited it from my grandfather. It was his car.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Gary
- Car in Question: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SL Convertible
- Spotted at: Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, CA 90401
- Odometer: 36,295
Q: Hi Gary. Great car. What is its nickname?
A: It actually doesn’t have a nickname. I don’t nickname my cars. Ever. It seems kind of bizarre to me.
Q: How long have you owned the vehicle?
A: About a year now. I actually inherited it from my grandfather. It was his car, and then when he passed it became mine. When I was growing up, when I was a kid, I used to drive it with him. Everywhere. All over Southern California. Any time it was good for convertible weather.
Q: What’s your main use for this car?
A: The main use for this car is cruising in Venice most of the time. It’s mostly just for weekends. My girlfriend and I cruise up and down Abbot Kinney and, you know, enjoy the weather.
Q: What reactions do you get from other people?
A: I think people are generally taken aback by the mint-like condition this car is in. You see quite a few of these cars rolling around here, but none of them are as in immaculate condition as this one is.
Q: Everything seems original.
A: Yep, everything’s original.
Q: How is there only 36,000 miles on it for an ’87?
A: My grandfather preferred to drive his work van most of the time. I have a car that I drive most of the time. This car was really just meant for cruising on the weekends. It was never really seen as a daily use car.
Q: Where is the farthest you’ve ever driven in this car?
A: The farthest I’ve driven in this car is San Francisco. It was years and years ago. It was just a drive up north, nothing really that exciting. Just went to see some friends, about 1,000 miles roundtrip. Total solo trip. Rolled up there. I had the top up the whole time because it was raining. It was during the winter, and it wasn’t very glamorous, but it was fun nonetheless.
Q: Was there any part about that drive that stands out to you the most?
A: Just being happy that the water didn’t leak through the soft top. I was pretty stoked because it was raining pretty hard the whole way.
Q: So you’re a photographer?
A: Yes, I am a photographer. I shoot commercial work mainly as it applies to fashion and music.
Q: Nice, do you have a website?
A: I do. It’s kinofistpix.com.
Q: If your car had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: God, if my car had a human emotion? I think it would probably be calming, if that’s even a human emotion. It brings back a lot of really good memories, and it’s very different from what my life is normally like.
Q: What is your philosophy about driving?
A: You know, growing up in Southern California, my dad’s a car nut, and a lot of my friends growing up were car nuts, and liked to work on cars. It just was never really my vibe. I always kind of saw cars as utilitarian—something that got you to and from somewhere safely and somewhat comfortably. You know, I think that was probably my grandfather’s philosophy, as well, considering the amount of miles he put on this car. He was more into the utility of cars. But with that being said, the weather here is nice, and I never really thought about it, but having a convertible is nice in L.A. But yeah, I’m more into cameras and lenses.
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at CBSLA.com/Autos.