Sunday, September 29, 2013

Gray Girl

Ladies and gentlemen, we are proud to bring you our very first feature for Rolling Classics... a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 280 SEL 4.5 named "Gray Girl." She is Andrew's pride and joy.

We first saw this beautiful lady a month ago at the monthly Houston Coffee and Cars. We have to tell you though, our first meeting is nothing short of incredible. As the usual Euro super cars and American muscles boisterously exited Vintage Park, we decided to start heading back to our car and leave. On our way, we caught a glimpse of this beautiful gray beauty. It might be sheer coincidence, but we feel it was destiny that brought us close to this elegant rolling classic. We checked her out thoroughly and took photos, much like a prepubescent kid who just met the lady from that magazine centerfold. As if the photos weren't enough, we left our contact info for a possible photo shoot - fingers crossed. Surprisingly, we got a call 2 hours later. Can you imagine that, 2 hours! We thought to ourselves, "Sure, it's like the stars just aligned."

To keep a pretty long story and planning short, Rolling Classics was born... because of this simple and gorgeous Gray Girl.

Andrew and Ami met with us at the Rice University campus on a pleasant Saturday morning, and we drove around in the Benz.

Now, not only have we thoroughly inspected Gray Girl on the surface, but also, we are getting a first-hand experience of how smooth and sexy she is inside. Little did we know, this lady has been all over the world, and has aptly originated from a very interesting district in Los Angeles. You know, where the movie stars are made. Yes, Hollywood, baby!

Andrew loves his baby so much, that he would do anything for her... even laying on asphalt to check if she was bothered with the irregularity of the road surface.

Sure enough, she was bothered with the road curvature, so he moved her around a bit for that perfect stance.

Heck, even the owners are repeatedly amazed by the car's presence... such a soft, yet imposing character she has.

We chatted with Andrew in between shots, and slowly learned of the car's impressive history of travel and adventure. We knew there was something special about her. Yes, a very sophisticated citizen of the world. 

Built in Germany and sold at the Mercedes-Benz of Beverly Hills in California, the original owner bought this car with intents of using her as a travel companion. The car was registered in the state of Texas soon after purchase. Being an owner of a yacht chartering company, the car was also registered with the Houston Yacht Club.

He decided to utilize the car as a "land cruiser" on one of his boats through the 70's and 80's. He would take it off the ship wherever they docked, and used it to roam around the streets to enjoy the culture and scenery. Currently, the car still has an active registration, so Andrew can easily take Gray Girl on his own boat one of these days and travel the world to continue the car's very interesting life. 

The original owner and the car once spent some time living in Sicily during its journey. Thus, you can find a sticker of Sicily's coat of arms on the windshield. Maybe we could shoot the car in that beautiful island region of Italy one of these days. Andrew, be sure to keep us in mind if you ever decide to visit Sicily with your Gray Girl.

After the car finally returned to the US, she was put into "dry dock" through the 90's and 2000's. For 20 years, the car was only used occasionally as a means of transportation to and from the previous owner's ranch in College Station.

By some acts of fate, Andrew got a hold of this Benz in February 2013. He purchased it from the original owner in immaculate condition, with only 37,000 miles on the odometer - all on the original engine and powertrain. The car also came with the original manual and paperwork. The only exception of the all-original parts is the relatively new 80's era radio, which by the way only accepts cassette tapes.

Pretty as the car was untouched, Andrew had plans of lowering the car. So, he went with the Accuair iLevel to achieve the slammed stance. Andrew installed the bags in such a way that he could easily switch to the OEM suspension if ever he wishes to return the car back to full factory specs. 

The US version of the 280 SEL came with these stacked headlights, while the euro version came with a one-piece headlight. Personally, we prefer the stacked ones. They flow very well with the car's front end, and perfectly complements the amber fog lamps.

Rice University seemed like the perfect location for the shoot. The exceedingly elegant low Benz looked right at home on the grounds of the scholarly institution. Its buildings and tree-lined roadways provided an appropriate backdrop for Gray Girl.

This Benz sure looks sexy in any angle, and I mean ANY angle.

All the curves and lines come together to create this cohesive masterpiece. Even those air dams look extremely elegant.

Gray Girl keeps on breaking necks of admirers. And those admirers come in different shapes... this below, in the form of a biker. He sure hopes he has that Benz instead of that Masi (although that bike also looks classic in its own right).

Keeping the stock wheels and swapping for a wider whitewall for the tires was a wise decision, as the car still looks stock, but you know it isn't.

With such a classic ride, the owner must also be equally as gentlemanly as possible... and yes, Andrew is definitely living the part. Well done, sir!

As with any good encounters, this too shall come to an end. So, we part ways with both parties sporting smiles from ear to ear. It was most definitely a pleasant Saturday morning; a morning well-spent with friends and a chic euro. 

We really do hope you have enjoyed this maiden post. Expect more features from us in the future, and keep us in mind if you need some photo and video work for your prized beauty. We will leave you with the last shot of a German rolling classic.  


  1. Awesome car! I loved working on it, and driving it too!
    This was fantastic Merc built at Advanced B M W Repair. Come check us out!

  2. what size/brand are the tires

  3. what size/brand tires are on it? Looks great