By: Jeff Domingues
Since I was a young boy I always remember having a strong fascination with cars/trucks and everything motorized. It wasn’t always about how fast a car can go, it wasn’t always about how good a car looks. Sometimes I just liked certain aspects of automobiles and their ability to entice and provoke emotions. The fantasies that were rooted in my favorite Bond movie, the getaway car from a bank robbery scene, the drive into the sunset with the girl of my dreams. It’s the same emotions and dreams that drive many gear heads and their ability to keep being fascinated by pieces of metal on wheels.
This is the instance that started it, while on vacations with my family I saw a car that I instantly fell in love with. It was the late 80’s early 90’s and I was some where around 9yrs to 12yrs old. We just woke up and my family and I were packing up the car and getting ready to leave what I’m sure I would avoid now, a road side motel worthy of a low budget horror film. It was foggy out and we were in some southern state with nothing but trees and tarmac around. WOW now that I’m writing this I can’t believe how vivid the memory actually is but there it was pulling out of the parking lot of the same scary road side motel we were at.
The scene was too perfect with the morning sun shining through what was left of the morning fog. It was as quiet as can be with only the sound of the birds bringing this painting to life and SUDDENLY the disruption of peace and tranquility with the sound of the devil racing out of the parking lot. The engine noise filled the air with anger, brutality and excitement. All I knew about the car was that it was black, had two doors, my father told me it was a Mercedes Benz, and it sounded like the end of the world racing out of the parking lot. I was hooked, this less then a minute moment in my life was all I needed to become engulfed in passion for cars. Like any kid the moment faded, I became distracted with life and forgot about the car but was left with a lasting impression, I now loved cars.
Fast forward 12 or so years, when I was in college, I saw the car again. There it was waiting impatiently for the light to turn green and race away. It gave me the chance to look at it’s beauty, to study it and to remember my lost memory of that foggy morning. Now I knew what it was, like a forgotten dream or a repressed memory brought back to the mind’s eye, that beautiful car once again flooded me with emotion and the desire to drive it on a winding road with the windows down and the sound of a roaring engine as the soundtrack.
It was a Mercedes Benz 560 SEC AMG, a car that looks like something a gangster would drive in a movie or equally fitting a hero/playboy driving on some European or maybe on a winding California road. Going to who knows where, to do who knows what, but it’s doing it with style and grace. This is me, this is my passion, this is what I love. It may not be about the car alone but maybe it has to do with the idea of freedom and to go where I want, when I want and how I want to get there. The ability to find out what is behind a turn, around the corner, over the hill, on the other side, of god knows what. It’s about a boy and a machine, imagination and dreams, this is the 560 SEC AMG!
It’s just a car to some but I say the hell with that. It is elegance and style mated to a 6.0L, 32 valve, fuel injected, V8 pushing out 385 angry HP. You have to understand this car was around in the USA between 1988-1991. At that time this was a monster in a finely fitted tuxedo, that impressed everyone with its charm and strength. A kind of gorilla that went to school for ballroom dancing and how to be a proper lady in public, but it enjoyed being in a fight club, bar room brawls, knife fights, hooliganism, and polo on a Sunday (or whatever the hell rich people do for leisure). It had both a male and female persona to it. It’s elegance transcends genders, it was a transsexual of sorts. To brutish to be a dainty lady, too elegant to be a brutish thug, but it was both and it did it well, it had a kind of “Plein de vie” that makes me love it.
It stood for a period of time when Mercedes really had a hand built reputation and feel.
From the two that I’ve seen first hand both were a regular body but there was a wide body version available as well.
The 560 SEC AMG is an extremely rare car here in the states and I like it that way. It keeps the fantasy unsatisfied and hungry. It takes on a mythological, legendary tale status, like big foot or aliens (aliens exist). If this was something as commonplace as other 80’s Benzs then the mystic about this car wouldn’t be so strong. A quick Google search only produced two 560 SEC AMG for sale, one costing $90,ooo (regular body) and the other was over $156,000 (wide body). Obviously the value hasn’t diminished and is a very sought after car.
I’ll leave it at this, I love this car, and I wish I had one in my driveway. Some people won’t understand and some will even down right hate it, some will never even question it and understand completely but all must be able to understand the emotions of fulfilling a dream and desire. The wonders of the imagination and trying to hold on to the innocence of being a child and playing. All I want to do is play in my dreams, hopefully making it my reality.