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Car memories on Oerol. Part One. Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3.5

Car memories on Oerol. Part One. Mercedes Benz 280 SE 3.5
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ER Classics Desktop 2022

After three years, it's that time again. The Oerol festival on Terschelling returns. I am a regular visitor to Oerol, which has a lot to offer for everyone. You can go to performances, but you can also use Oerol to immerse yourself in a relaxed holiday atmosphere and to celebrate a nice party. It is a little less obvious to make car memories during Oerol. Nevertheless, a number of memories have been the icing on the delicious Oerol cake. On June 16 I will return to Terschelling with my friends. And in the run-up to that, I'd like to share some beautiful car memories with you. Today I take you to the edition, when by sheer coincidence I ended up in a wonderful Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5.

On Saturday, June 15, 2014, my comrades and I woke up. We were at Oerol, unzipped the tent and wallowed in a mixture of surprise and joy. It was the morning after the Netherlands-Spain. It became five-one during the first game of the Dutch national team at the World Cup in Brazil. That was good for everyone's mood. We retained the cheerful feeling, just like tens of thousands of other island visitors.

After a relaxed breakfast, we cycled to West-Terschelling in good spirits. On to the Green Beach. That trip was temporarily interrupted when I discovered a Mercedes-Benz W108 (a 280 SE 3.5 from 1972) in a nice used condition at the Cupido campsite. I squeezed the brakes of the Gazelle rental bike with gusto. In no time we were standing next to the Benz. I told my friends about the history of this car. Taught details, saying for example: “Also special, manual transmission. That, in combination with this motorization, is a rarity.My comrades Theo and Tino took it all politely for notice, unlike the owner. He stood with his tent not far from the parking lot. He had listened to the speech about his car with a smile. The owner joined us, and had a resounding surprise in store for me.

I had never met owner Henk before, but after a short and relaxed conversation we made an appointment to drive the next day. Thus it happened. While my mates turned around one more time on Sunday morning, June 16, 2014, I turned something else around. That was the ignition key of the classic Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5. The engine started and that was the start of a nice ride. Hank sat next to me. The interplay of the Mercedes chassis and the gently sloping and winding island roads created a relaxed kind of languor, which was also inspired by the straight-ahead character of the Mercedes. Meanwhile I heard the sonorous V8 sounds from the front of the Benz, which housed the mighty M116 3.5 engine. I felt pure car happiness and thought of the past, when I often sat in the Mercedes-Benz of neighbor Sturm as a kid. I felt the historical sentiment, and I also wanted to hold on to that for a long time.

We set course for the most eastern beach pavilion of Terschelling, for a cup of coffee and a coke. After this we drove on with the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5, and I continued to enjoy it to the fullest. I wanted this ride to never end in those beautiful weather conditions. Of course it did. I took the memory of the ride and the pleasant time together into the rest of the day. And in the festivities of the evening and night my friends, other men, other women and I sang the highest song. The Mercedes Benz was still with me. The civilized M116 V8 timbre hummed sultry to the beat to the music in Café Lieman. Magically, the goosebumps were on the arms.

To this day I am deeply grateful to the owner Henk for the Terschelling ride with his Benz. It's that sheer form of wonder that still comes to mind with this beautiful car memory. Surprise, which even shrouds the historic 5-1 victory of the Dutch national team in warm mists. And it suited the 2014 Oerol so well that, thanks to the owner of the Mercedes-Benz 280 SE 3.5, it also brought me a memory that I will never forget. Even now, eight years later, that experience still makes an impression.


This memory has also been nominated in a modified form in episode 32 of the BNR Petrolheads podcast

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  1. Camping Cupido, I remember it from my holiday on Terschelling in 1996. Then it was (if I remember correctly) the only campsite on Terschelling where you could still park your car next to your tent on the site. I had been to many campsites before, but everywhere it was putting your car in a parking lot and the tent a lot further… I didn't find it convenient, all the necessary things were in the car and there was not much room in the tent itself.
    Was there at the time with a Kadett-D, was a bit shocked with the crossing. At the ferry you had to pay per half meter of length of the car, in my case 8x the indicated amount.
    And also a football related topic when I was there: Ajax was just playing the opening match in the ArenA.

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