That mythic Mercedes Gullwing

   BOY, FACTS sure can ruin a good story. Guess that's why Jan Richter of didn't bother to look for any before reporting on a photographer's pursuit of the Mercedes Gullwing in Cuba.
   According to Richter's Dec. 12 account, Piotr Degler Jablonksi had heard only rumours of the rusted-beyond-repair Gullwing before setting out to capture images of the island's classic cars for the 2015 edition of his art calendar.
   "After weeks of unsuccessful searching," writes the Zurich-based Richter, "he was ready to accept it was a mere myth – until he caught a glimpse of something silver under a tree… "
Michael E. Ware photo, used by permission
Other websites, from Road & Track to Popular Mechanics, have repeated Richter's story, some with further embroidery. Top Gear suggests Degler knew nothing of the Gullwing before he arrived, but "soon got wind of a ‘legendary' 300SL rumoured by locals to lay (sic) somewhere on the island.", meantime, speaks of the photographer hearing "mere whispers in the night" of a neglected Mercedes "in a remote stretch of Cuba."
   That "remote stretch," CARISTAS readers know, is the outskirts of Havana, where Miguel Llorente of This European Life photographed the Gullwing as recently as 2012.
   And Degler has made clear he was well aware beforehand of the car's presence, if not its specific location. Anyone doing even the most casual research would have known about the Mercedes and its sorry state, as first documented in Michael E. Ware's Automobiles Lost & Found (Haynes Publishing, 2008) and subsequently covered by CARISTAS, Llorente, Just a Car Guy, Visit Cuba ... the list goes on.
   But that would have spoiled Richter's story.

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tonyhavana said…
So true Rob, I read a recent article where it said "it was lying by the side of the road under a banana tree."
Makes you kind of wonder what else we read in the papers or on the news isn't exactly true. ;-) (wink)
Caristas said…
Wish I could disagree ...

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