June 2010

IMG_0067_4c2516a9436d3-lightboxBest intentions and all that. We started off at a steady 80mph cruise along the A34, but winding onto the M4 at junction 13, a CL63 AMG glides down the outside lane, with no apparent intention of pulling over. Slotting in behind him, we were content to be swept along in his wake until Bristol loomed large in the windscreen. Using the sport mode on the gearbox and deploying the torque, the old stager pulled heartily through fourth gear whenever a burst of acceleration was needed. Didn’t do brilliant things for the fuel-economy but never mind all that. I still love the way this 2 ¼ ton lump hacks along with minimal fuss.

Our pathfinder eventually disappeared down the slip road for the M32 and we continued alone up towards the Severn Crossing.

Why on Earth don’t they accept credit cards? Electing to take the coin-bin lane, figuring it will be faster than the manned booths, we’re frustrated by not one, but two cretins whom realise just as they’re on top of the barrier that they’re in the wrong lane and need to slide across into the adjacent trafffic. Ten minutes is all it cost us, not counting the five-and-half-quid, but it was frustrating all the same.

Spent a very enjoyable afternoon wandering around Mumbles in Swansea, although threading the Mercedes through the narrow streets requires concentration when you’re faced with a stream of relentless SUVs coming from the opposite direction. Squeeze it through some of those gaps.

The trip back was sheer bliss, thanks mainly to England’s woeful efforts at beating Uncle Sam in some meaningless sporting fixture. I’ve never seen the M4 so quiet. Sport-mode and fourth gear once again joined forces very effectively to bring us to Oxford barely two hours after leaving Swansea. Returned the CL to its Gloucestershire bolt-hole the following morning, and took the opportunity to snap my two meisterwerke motors together.

Other than that, has been a quiet month for the CL and that’s set to continue, although have decided to use it as often as we can until the tax runs out at the end of September. Not currently sure whether I will renew the RFL or whether we will lock it away until the spring and save it from the ravages of winter. Apparently we’re due a mild one this year, but tell that to my chassis members and inner wings.

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Mark Williams