I have been down to Brighton a lot this year, Nick Froome has been helping me with my BMW 02 (he races one) and also planning the installation of some superb hifi in the W124. In front of the garage that I keep my 02, he keeps a couple of W201s that the market just doesn't seem to want at a price that justifies prepping them. So, going to Glyndebourne this week and as my W124 is in Brighton for the hifi installation, I ask my guest, a good friend of 27 years standing if he can give me a lift. No problem, his L reg Mondeo is not a car I would choose normally, but needs must. Sunday afternoon call - it has died, it had an Mot and service a month ago and not having checked, the oil filler cap had been left off and so no oil, engine grinding badly. So down to Brighton to pick up W124, and of course it comes back with trim all over the place as Nick kindly put it all back together. On the way down to Glyndebourne, my mate, who on the whole isn't a car buff (hence the Mondeo) asks me about a replacement, he has a decent budget, but when we go through the list of modern cars, Skoda, Golf etc, just no excitement. He likes the W124, his father had two in the 80s, but a bit too big - ding, the lightbulb comes on, what about a 190E - four cylinder decent all round performance, comfortable, reliable, and sorted. So down to Brighton yesterday, Nick's 190E 2.0 sells itself - excellent condition, super interior, new springs all round so the ride is great, torquey and refined for a 4 pot. I sit in the back, not much legroom, but perfectly comfortable and think I am in something no more than 5 years old. We try a 2.6 (my favourite 190, but with a performance my friend will never use), wonderful engine, you would think yourself in a E class. Friend loves it, but thinks the 4 pot all he needs. Sale concluded, friend very happy. Car just serviced, good tyres, new radio, fully prepped. Oh, and a warranty too - on a 22 year old car, from a firm who deliver. These are great cars, with a real sense of occasion, and at 22 years old, this looked almost factory fresh, and drove that way. The ride is superb, the car is refined, a proper Merc. So hopefully next time I have to get a lift, the car will work, it will have the three pointed star at the front, and it most certainly won't be a Mondeo. I actually felt jealous too.