Last night I attended the MBCNSW Twilight drive to Ettalong. This is a concept that the club used to do in prior years but had dropped off the event calendar. Back then, it used to be called the topless drive, with the assumption that twilight in summer is a great time to drive a cabriolet. I attended that drive in 2014 and 2018.
While it is great weather for a cabriolet, and a few members drove them, I took my 450SLC. I chose the 450SLC for a couple of reasons. Firstly, with the bad weather in Sydney, I really haven’t drive it since August. Secondly, it is more capable of keeping up with the high powered modern cars on the twisty bends of the Old Pacific Highway.
While somewhat similar in concept to the night drives, it was a very different crowd for the twilight drive to Ettalong. Nearly all modern Mercedes, and all the high performance models – including an S65 AMG. The night drives tend to be the other way, nearly all classics. The 280S pictured above, my 450SLC and a 380SL 5.0 were the only classics on the run out of 15-20 cars.
The 280S is an original, one owner car being carefully improved by a club member. I have to say it looked fantastic. While it is probably worth a fraction of the modern, high powered Benzes, its the one I would have taken home.
The W108 and associated models have such a classy design that has never really been matched by the moderns. And the interior is such a nice place to be. I guess you could describe it as minimalistically elegant, a contrast to British car interiors of the time, although both are excellent.
The drive took us up the Old Pacific Highway for most of the trip. The Old Pacific highway is a great driving road and twilight is a pretty good time to do it. Few cyclists clogging up the road, yet visibility to see where you are going. We also took a bit of a detour up those long sweeping corners up towards peats ridge. I had to pull the SLC back into 2nd gear to keep up with the modern cars. They were probably not breaking a sweat.
We had dinner at a club in Ettalong and then made our own way back. I was originally planning to take the old Highway back again too, but decided against it in the end. I was fairly tired and I wanted to go and get the DS for the St Ives event the next day. It was a good drive. This time is not the easiest for me with young children, but I would attend again if I could.
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