A photo for Sunday: 1979-1991 Mercedes SEC

It’s another Mercedes. Say what you like about them, they do last. 

1979-1991 Mercedes SEC
1979-1991 Mercedes SEC in central Dublin. What a fabulous colour. Is this car less serious because it’s golden bronze? I think not.

The caption for this image should be “parked up like it’s 1979.” Or 1983, to judge by the licence plate (is it British?). Up until the late 1990s it was possible to park creatively like this in Dublin, in lots of places. There were lane-ways where double-yellow lines had not been applied or where traffic wardens seldom went. I used to park on pavements if the need arose (but only pavements where nobody actually ever walked). I had a list of places where I could hide the car and not pay while in town.

In the interim, there has been a steady expansion of the purview of the parking wardens, analogous to the great enclosures of 1773.
Money can be made from parking and so pavements can be farmed. The same tendency has encouraged the construction of purpose-built multi-story carparks, supplied by folks forced off the streets. Out in the suburbs the drive to make money from car parking has also pushed cars off streets and onto the spaces that were once gardens.

Arterial roads are especially badly affected by this and in many places most of the gardens are gone, worsening air quality, intensifying run-off, adding to the urban heat-island effect and find finally lowering house prices by making the roads visually unpleasant. Even minor roads can be affected by this as the local council bans more and more on-street parking. I am convinced no-one has thought this through. In my view, a street cluttered with cars means cars drive slowly and there is space for vegetation. The problem is self-limiting.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

12 thoughts on “A photo for Sunday: 1979-1991 Mercedes SEC”

    1. With a design for unique thing it’s a good idea to be colour cautious. Buildings and public property spring to mind. Cars are private, numerous and ephemeral. I think it’s okay to have a wide choice of colours and let people decide for themselves – I like my gold car!

  1. Very nice colour indeed.
    I am convinced, the colour has helped this car a lot not to have fallen in the hands of the typical second- and third-hand owners of these cars. Has it a non-leather interior? This was helpful too.
    The W126 coupe was very popular among some people with not really popular professions. Those people – clearly younger than the normal S-Class-customer – were typically pimps, disco-owners, used-cars-salesmen, dubious estate-agents and so on.
    You can easily detect such pre-owned Coupes – they are often black, always lowered, equipped with black leather and drop center rims and all kinds of optical tuning parts…

    Now, these men are driving a BMW X6 or a Q7 in black with gigantic wheels.

    1. Have to agree that you’re not wrong Markus. They are also seen in Range Rover l322 and Sport with huge chromed wheels and chrome in every orifice of the car.

  2. This kind of colour was chosen for one of the cars of the wealthy couple at the centre of last year’s A Most Violent Year. The film is about a man running a New York domestic fuel oil business, and he chose a C126 for himself and a W126 for his lady. Unfortunately, one of the cars was of the facelifted variety, which was somewhat at odds with the film’s 1982 setting. But that ultimately didn’t distract too much from one of the most gripping car chase sequences I can think of. For that scene alone I can recommend the movie, even if it can be a bit pretentious and dragging in places. Or for the gold colour of the Benz.

    1. A good film .. the long good friday .. if I remember correctly – great soundtrack. Suspect a Jaguar was his choice of steed?

  3. The Long Good Friday- I haven’t heard that mentioned for years. Very good film but I can’t recall the cars at all.
    Pierce Brosnan appears at the end.
    This SEC has a cloth interior, by the way. It’s the striped velour Mercedes offered which had quite a deep pile. I like this car in this colour. It takes the pompous feel away from what is a very imposing machine.
    On Friday I missed a chance to snap a late model Eldorado coupe. That would have made a great PfS.

    1. The film’s excellent, but so are the cars: ‘arold Shand is proud owner of an SII Jaguar XJ, as well as a Silver Shadow (which explodes in a bit of pre-digital editing wizardry), while his wife, who looks like a younger version of Helen Mirren, has made a wise second-hand choice of motor (by the standards of 1979) by choosing a red Pagoda SL for getting around Lunden. But ‘arold is rather generous to his minions too and has equipped them with an E12 BMW Five series, which must have been a very exotic machine indeed, back in the day.

    2. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, Kris’ avatar is the self same Mr. Shand in a still from the movie. Anyone would think he liked it or something…

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