dietmar\s merc c55 amg and kia rio
Last Updated : GMT 12:34:34
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Dietmar\'s Merc C55 AMG and Kia Rio

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Dietmar\'s Merc C55 AMG and Kia Rio

London - Arabstoday

You could say that. My father owned a furniture company in Germany and I would give him a hand when I was a young boy. I remember driving the company’s forklift when I was 10 years old. Then I took lessons at a driving school in Germany and got my licence on my 18th birthday. As I am a very tall guy, measuring 1.98 metres, I like cars that I can fit into first of all! Next, they should be sporty and good looking. Yes, I fit in quite well, it’s actually very sporty and I find it tremendously good looking. In my opinion, it looks very classy, but it isn’t overly aggressive, which would not be my style. I prefer understated cars that don’t show immediately what they are capable of. In Germany I had a good friend who was an experienced car mechanic. Together we used to buy second-hand cars, fix them up, drive them for a while, then sell them. I had a few nice Mercs such as a 1982 500 SEL and I was also the proud owner of 1977 Jaguar XJ Series II 5.3 V12 for a couple of weeks. But a road accident (not my fault!) ended that relationship all too soon. It did. I used to earn some extra [as a taxi driver] and this helped me a great deal in getting through university. I did night shifts and drove a Mercedes E-Class diesel. Not very exciting from a driver’s perspective but the experience as a taxi driver certainly was. It taught me a lot and I am proud of it. I gained a lot of experience in city traffic, orientation while driving (there was no GPS at that time) and I learnt to predict other drivers’ mistakes. In fact, while living in Brazil afterwards, I managed to drive around Sao Paulo without any problems. Quite an achievement in a city with 18 million people and a lot of traffic jams. I like sporty cars with lots of horsepower. As a German guy, you must drive such a thing while you are here in the UAE. Back home, with petrol prices at 1.80 Euros per litre (just under Dh10 per litre), it’s impossible to drive such a car without heading for bankruptcy. So I was looking for a used car in good condition that would fit in my budget, be sporty yet classy, and visually not too aggressive. I was strolling around the used car market in Al Aweer one weekend when I saw the C55. It was love at first sight. I had a short test drive and the next day I finalised the purchase. As I work in the Bosch Automotive aftermarket department, getting spare parts for any brand isn’t a problem. Getting parts for German brands in particular, is very easy. This made the decision to buy the C55, albeit used and seven years old, much easier. Secondly, I can take it back home to Germany with me one day. I probably cannot afford to drive it there but I can try to sell it to get my investment back. Absolutely. I bought the Rio because it was clear that the C55 would not be my every day car. I always try to have ‘normal’ cars for day-to-day use and special cars or a motorcycle for the weekend. Initially, I wanted to buy a used everyday car, but I was convinced it would not be worth spending Dh25,000 to Dh30,000 on one when I could actually buy get a brand new Rio for Dh50,000 with a five-year warranty. And you get to choose the colour! The C55 is quite rare. Some people don’t even believe that an AMG version was officially produced. They think it’s a fake and that I added AMG badges and accessories to a regular C-Class. But when I turn the key, all doubts are dispelled. As for the Rio, it is a beauty in the small car segment. It also reminds me to be modest and to keep my feet on the ground. When we arrive at a hotel in the Kia, sometimes it feels like we are neglected a little. But pull up in the Merc and people treat you differently. I have colleagues who own several cars, but the C55 is unique and, because of the price I paid for it and the excellent condition it is in, they always congratulate me for the purchase. I have a friend who would like to buy exactly the same car; we are constantly on the look out, but so far have not had any success. There are a few that don’t have many speed traps, but I would like to drive the C55 at least once on the autobahn in Germany.It has a hand-built 5.4-litre V8 with 367bhp at 5,750rpm. The torque is about 510Nm and it goes from 0 to 100kph in 5.2 seconds. It’s equipped with a multimode five-speed automatic with paddle shifters on the steering. I own a 1:43 scale model of it, which I love to admire. It gets me through the week much quicker until I can fire up the real thing.  

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