DSC00268_4b7879b9d42a7-lightboxIt’s currently residing in winter storage somewhere in the deepest depths of Gloucestershire, feeding off a trickle charge, cocooned in an air chamber and only being let out into the daylight for the odd 20 minute warm-up every few weeks. I was up there a week or two ago, and if I could almost sense the nose of the CL raise itself in indignation at being awoken from its slumbers…

Taking things easy is hardly something new to this particular C140 anyway because it was never intended to be subject to the daily commute. Prior to being incarcerated as protection against the harsh elements of winter, the CL lived the easy life in Brussels. Locked-up safe and sound in our garage whilst the company car (Audi A4, leather that looked more like plastic than plastic itself, horrendous design of the dashboard electronics etc) was left out in the cold, and only being used for the occasional blast up the E40 to Calais for jaunts to the Lakes or Suffolk. Or, on rare and very special weekends, out to Germany for glorious 140mph+ blasts down the A60, dicing with derv-burning A6s and ageing 520Ds, which would wheeze their way back into the inside lane then be hosed into oblivion by that glorious M120 V12.

As an aside, I’ve been thumbing through some old copies of evo magazine that I recently acquired off a chap in Birmingham (thanks Sulaman…) and the Pagani mechanics (who have been using these V12s in their glorious supercars for the past 10 years or so) reckon that these units can travel 200k miles before needing major surgery. So I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that for the most part P108 has remained healthy. She’s only covered 8k miles in nearly 2 years mind, so everything is relative.

There was still the odd incident though, most notably when it was delivered to my mechanic’s place in South Wales for some TLC, only for one of his less gifted operatives to scrape the bonnet after placing his toolbox on it! Several weeks later, and after two visits to the local paint shop, the big Mercedes was returned with one or two other jobs carried out ‘gratis’ as an apology and I suppose you could say that honour was saved all round in the end.

November was MOT time and I was reliably informed by my father that the small chip in the screen would not be an issue. Rolling up at Mercedes-Benz of Oxford, the mechanic cheerfully pointed out otherwise and so back to the Cotswolds the Mercedes went, whereupon the proprietor of the storage facility pointed out that if only I’d told him it was going for an MOT, he could have arranged it. Cue his chappie, who came out the following week, took one look at said chip in the screen, and declared all main dealers utter cretins before issuing a fresh ticket pronto. So I was happy again. Except I wasn’t, because now it was raining and the roads around the place resembled an off-road course. So back into the cocoon the Benz went and to be honest, it hasn’t really moved since.

It will be dusted off over the coming months, as we have a couple of longer-distance trips planned to various locations up north, including some more magazine-chasing excursions and you can read about those in future entries.




Mark Williams