380 SLC: From the luggage compartment to the museum

Dear fan club, here’s a sign of life from me at long last! This session is unplugged as I’m writing directly from the snuggly soft coffee-colored plush that lines the trunk of my 380 SLC.

What’s the occasion? I’m going to be showcased in a museum — as a talking exhibit at THE European auto show: “PS: Ich liebe Dich – Cars” (CARS – Driven by Design) at the Kunstpalast art museum in Düsseldorf. The exhibition opened recently and will close on February 10, 2019. It’s a MUST for all car enthusiasts! These are supercars, which the museum has staged as supersculptures — a feast for the eyes! The 300 SL Gullwing with its wings spread…

And what does my luggage compartment have to do with it? It’s very simple — I received the best birthday present in the world. It’s almost impossible to find a suitable present for me. As a Virgo, you generally only ask for practical presents such as dishtowels, gardening tools, and facemasks — terribly boring. But thanks to a wonderful young man named Mo (name not changed by the editors), I now have a new Benz. Yes, it’s a brand-new!

From beat-up oldster to pop star

Now I know what it means when people talk about treatment. I only know this term from Africa, where we always had to treat our water. In this case the process was similarly ambitious. In my world, such treatments are called “anti-aging strategies” — and this one was wildly successful!

When Mo drove my SLC away on a Saturday morning, it was still a beat-up oldster, but when it came back that evening it was a pop star. Ten hours, two men. You don’t really want to know all the details of what they discovered inside the SLC and what kinds of things an automotive vacuum cleaner can remove and dispose of these days. My two helpers were very sweet, committed, and — fortunately — very discreet.

A Benz beauty treatment

After a major cleanup, they gave my car a paint peeling session, a hyaluron treatment, and a Botox injection for the tires. The SLC now has a complexion like a baby peach, and I no longer have a skin rash due to a bad conscience. The handover of the SLC on my birthday was staged beautifully. As the birthday girl, I had to close my eyes before being led to the Mercedes. After I had received my present, they explained to me all the details of how thoroughly clean it was (and should remain — at that point they were giving me some very serious looks).

I cleverly concealed my tears of joy (unfortunately, they hadn’t left any paper towel scraps behind so I could dry them). The only thing I could think of doing at that point was to jump into the freshly cleaned and ironed plush-lined luggage compartment. It really did look like a freshly powdered SLC living room deluxe. Someone took a photo of my leap, and now this image is part of the digital Mercedes World and a further testimonial to a crazy love for a Mercedes — ready for the museum. And one of the people who saw the photo was the museum director. The rest is history.

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Alexandra Iwan was raised in Germany and grew up in Africa and Indonesia. She’s a Düsseldorf-based entrepreneur who heads an agency for lifestyle and real estate communication. She has published articles, given talks, hosted events related to PR for luxury products, and served on various juries, including Masterpieces and the creative council. She’s a PR instructor, an art collector — and a copysister!