Thanks for the welcome and for the wonderful virtual space in which to congregate to learn and to share information regarding these beautiful steeds.
I'm ex-Navy. I did 9 years as a Sonar Tech and was stationed in San Diego the entire time. Had a '67 Austin Healey Sprite and a Honda Goldwing Interstate for commuting and weekend getaways.
After I got out of the Navy, we (wife and 3 kids) moved to Syracuse, NY for 6 years. The convertible season is pretty short there. While digging my Bertone out of the snow during the last of the 6 winters, I/we decided it was time to come home to Oregon.
I'm currently a network engineer for a mid-sized regional bank. I get to go out to the branches occasionally to replace or upgrade the equipment and almost always drive my own car. My boss thinks it's for the mileage re-reimbursement but it's really more for the fun of driving in this beautiful state.
Besides the previously mentioned Sprite and Goldwing, in the past I've owned a Ford Pinto, Mercury Comet, Fiat X/1-9 Bertone (therefor my forum handle), Renault LeCar, Subaru XT-6, VW New Beetle, Toyota MR2 Spyder, 3 mopeds, Yamaha XS-400, Honda Goldwing Interstate. Also in the family we have had various Dodge/Chrysler/Plymouth/Chevy mini-vans and a sedan or 2 now and then. As you can see, I'm not real loyal to any particular brand.
It's more about the drive.
A couple of years ago, my wife mentioned that since the kids are all moved out, she was tired of having to drive a mini-van all the time. So I bought a 2001 SL500 for her. She's still in love with it. Three days later, I bought myself a Z3 and sold my MR2 Spyder. I miss that one.
I've recently traded in my Impala Brown '01 BMW Z3 Roadster 2.5i for a black '05 SLK350 (or is it SLK 350 or SLK-350?). I was mostly looking for a convertible with the retractable hard top for security and noise reasons and this seems to fit the bill nicely. Of course the MB reputation for quality didn't hurt at all. A bit more power and a lot more comfortable. Now that I've got it home, I'm reading more about the little quirks of these beautiful pieces of machinery. The whole balance shaft/sprocket issue seems to be the major issue, so I'm researching whether mine is susceptible and whether it's already been repaired. VIN is WDBWK56FX5F045110.
I live in the West side of the Willamette Valley in Oregon, USA and have a 15 mile commute with occasional business trips to the coast or the high desert of Central Oregon. I'm really looking forward to the roll-out of the next network upgrade we will need to accomplish at our scattered sites.
Thanks for all the contributions to this site. I look forward to learning more about the SLK and doing as much of the upkeep and maintenance work as I can.
Unadulterated... so far