A moment with the W165
Reading Andrew Frankel’s track test of the Mercedes-Benz W165 (September) brought back memories of my encounter with the car in the early ’60s. Alerted by a mention in the Manchester Evening News, I was to be found with my nose pressed to the window of the Mercedes-Benz showroom, just off Deansgate in the city. On making my way into the building to have a closer look a salesman appeared from nowhere, but realising he was unlikely to make a sale to a duffle-coated, desert-booted 17-yearold he left me alone to examine the surprisingly small racer. It seemed to have had a recent hasty blow-over with silver paint, with over-spray on parts of the suspension, the tyre walls and even the wooden plugs blocking the exhausts.
A request to try the hot seat was met with “well, I suppose it’s OK”. I hopped into the faded blue corduroy seat and for a brief moment the grey street outside became the shimmeringly hot and dust-blown Mellaha Autodromo. Meanwhile Manchester got on with its Saturday, seemingly oblivious to this jewel in its midst.
Sadly the photos I took with my Ross Ensign, sans flash, failed to come out so only the memory remains. Mike Hill, Daventry, Northamptonshire
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