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German classics – Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica

March 9th, 2010 by Mike

I’m not sure what it is about the Venice/Santa Monica border but it’s like a magnet for independent German auto mechanics. Including the guy I use, there are 7-8 indy establishments within walking distance from my house, usually with interesting cars on the lot. This spot in particular, called Glassers Auto Body, always catches my eye, mainly because of the aging Mercedes 450 SEL 6.9 and rotting BMW 2800 that have been sitting 3 millimeters from each other for years now. It’s a shame that two cars with so much historical significance are left in this condition, but even more of a shame that they’re not being driven. Oh well, at least they look pretty, even in this state.

The 2800 hit the market in 1968 for about $7,000, while the 6.9 hit the market a couple years later at $50,000, more than most Rolls Royce cars at the time. If the 2800 foreshadowed BMW’s long standing identity (until recently, that is) as the lighter-weight, manual-shifting, performance-minded sedan, then the 6.9 did the exact same for Mercedes/AMG, further establishing Benz as the well-built luxo tank with racetrack capabilities and gobs of muscle on tap—more insulated than the BMWs but more practical and performance-minded than the Double-Rs.

Fenced in behind these guys are few more commonplace gems in better shape. Fortunately the Doberman guarding them was also fenced in.

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