ICONS | Ralph Lauren's First Car; A Mercedes-Benz 280SE 3.5 Cabriolet

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Ralph Lauren's garage has been featured in Vanity Fair this month and the photographs are extraordinary. The collection is absolutely remarkable, pristine cars kept in laboratory conditions, dehumidified, heated, primped and preened within an inch of their lives. Ralph has his own ideas on how a car collection should be, colours can be altered to suit a dream, leather can be changed to satisfy a whim. Patina doesn't exist here. As described in the magazine...


" The day that I visited the garage, Lauren’s 1971 Mercedes 280SE convertible was in the workshop for some routine maintenance, and it sat under the lights looking less like a car getting an oil change than like a Cézanne undergoing a cleaning, if Cézannes were cleaned by raising them up on a hydraulic lift...
He loves the fact that every car he has bought has a history, whether as a racing car or as a prototype or, as with his 1971 Mercedes 280SE, in his own life. He bought the Mercedes for $13,000 not long after he had begun his business as an independent designer. It was an extravagance that offended his backers, given how far from profitability he was then, but Lauren saw it as a chance to make a statement. “I walked into Mercedes on Park Avenue and said I wanted that car, but with a tan top and tan leather seats and a silver body,” he said. “They told me that they didn’t make it that way. But then they did it.”"

I know I'm just jealous but where is the soul here? Let's see some rust, some grease, let's smell just the slightest whiff of hot oil.