If you have a penchant for fine motoring allied with a slight tendency to jealously, may I respectfully suggest you move to another blog post now? Partly because if my first test of the year were a stick of rock it would have ‘Mercedes-Benz’ printed through it.
It began with the delivery of the fabulous Auto-Sleepers Gloucester motorhome, built on a Mercedes chassis. Suffice to say, if you’re looking for a well-specified vehicle that’s a joy to drive – and supremely comfortable to live in – you’ll be hard pushed to better the Gloucester. You can find out more in March’s issue of Camping & Caravanning.
Since it was still the school holidays, I enjoyed my daughter’s company on the trip down south. We spent a great evening on site, putting the Gloucester’s Avtex TV/DVD player through its paces with a five-series box set of The Big Bang Theory.
It was an early start the next morning, as we planned to get to Mercedes-Benz World by 8.30. My invitation included the words: “first-come, first-served” and we didn’t want to miss a moment...
So on one of the first working days of the year, at the time when I’d normally be powering up my Mac in the office and on a school day Sabrina would be in a maths lesson, we were test driving a Mercedes-Benz SLK 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY AMG SPORT down the A3 towards Guildford with the hood down. The fact that the map suggested we should have been travelling in the opposite direction suddenly didn’t seem all that important...
It was a great day’s driving and Sabrina took the chance to get behind the wheel as well – both on the off-road track and elsewhere – with instructors from the Mercedes-Benz DrivingAcademy.
And before we left I took the motorhome on part of the famous banked track at Brooklands. I may only have reached about 2 miles per hour – but it was a privilege to use even a short section of track that saw so many incredible drives and record-breaking attempts in the early 20th century.
Here’s to plenty more great testing in 2013!
Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning.
She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum.
Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.