It was the Porsche 911 that opened your eyes to the world of motoring wasn’t it?
That’s right. When I first saw that car in 1985, now a classic, it did something for me that words cannot really describe and only fellow car fanatics will really understand.
From then on, I was hooked and I have been a car nut since.
The first car you drove was far from a 911…
You could say that! It was a 1984 Vauxhall Cavalier that I got after passing my driving test in the UK in 1995. It wasn’t much to look at but it was great going for drives while listening to music. I later purchased a 1990 Ford Escort with a 1.3-litre motor for Dh5,000. That took me to 1998 when I went to university in central London and I sold the car and took up public transport instead as it was easier to get around than driving.
So, you took the Tube and the buses for a few years but missed having a car...
Yes, I did. Though I’d been saving some money from a part-time job and used it to purchase a red 1992 Mitsubishi 3000 GT. It was stunning. I had the ECU chipped and took it over to Germany at Easter to try it out on the autobahn. I managed to get it up to 278kph there! After a year of driving it, I fancied something else. So, I sold it and bought a Mazda RX-7. Since then, I have been buying and selling my cars every six months.
You’re a bit of a wheeler dealer! What else have you owned?
Since the Mazda RX-7, I have had a Nissan Skyline R33, a bunch of Toyotas including a Supra Mk3, Mk4 NA, a MR2 and a Celica GT4, a Volvo 850 T5 and a few others.
Then I moved to the UAE in 2005 and my first car here was a BMW E36 M3 followed by a 2006 Chevrolet Lumina SS — my wife drives that now. That was the first car that I ever purchased brand new. I followed that up with a 2009 Chrysler 300C SRT8 and now I have this beast — my Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
What made you go for that?
While most of my other cars were great and had strong performance, they were never quite ‘just right’ and lacked perfection. I wanted something with more raw power than anything I’ve owned and couldn’t quite decide between a 2009 BMW M3, 2009 Mercedes C63 and a 2010 Cadillac CTS-V. I ruled out the M3 as I already owned one, plus the C63 has more power and, in my opinion, more class. I then checked out the CTS-V but found these are not really built for tall people — there’s actually more driver space in a 911 — so I decided to get a C63. The first thing I did was to put the SRT8 up for sale online and just a day later, a chap from Saudi came over, paid the asking price in cash and took the car away. Then, the hunt for the Merc began.
Was it hard finding the right one for you?
A little. The majority of C63s on the market have taken quite a beating and many have been involved in accidents. In fact, when many sellers say their cars have clean titles and no accidents, I would advise people to get them checked by the RTA. The used market for these cars is so bad that when I went to take a ‘clean title, no-accident’ car to the RTA for testing, they discovered that every single panel on the car had either been replaced or resprayed – even the roof. This is not uncommon and it’s very hard to find truly clean cars.
That’s a scary thought. So, where did you find yours?
I went to Al Awir and checked out a 2009, low-kilometre US-spec car. I made an offer that night which was Dh10,000 above my initial budget, that was accepted. I decided to go back the next day to put the deposit down.
But you began having second thoughts?
Yes, I started wondering if this really was the right one for me. So, I put a ‘wanted’ advert online and just as I was getting ready to leave my office the next day to go and hand my deposit over for the car in Al Awir, I got an SMS from the owner of my current ride. He sent some photos via email and I was sold on it.
So are we. It looks absolutely awesome!
Thanks! It’s not too ‘loud’ or over the top for my liking. The sound and roar of the exhaust while starting up or accelerating is exhilarating and the performance is, quite simply, insane. It brings a smile to my face every time I sit in it and every time I start the engine, until I switch it off. The custom-widened rear fenders give it a more aggressive look as do the Boca Design front carbon-fibre lip, side vents and rear spoiler. It also has a unique hood with carbon-fibre vents. It rides on 19in matte black AMG wheels, while the front grille, C63, AMG and 6.3 badges have all been blacked out to give it a more sinister look and last, but not least, the rear lights have chrome surrounds, which have been painted black.
It sure is a bit of a head-turner…
It certainly does catch people’s attention, not only from the sound of the exhausts but also the visual enhancements. Most people know what the C63 is and admire it — I know I certainly did before buying it and now more so than ever. The maintenance and service costs are very reasonable for a car of this standing. The 6.2-litre naturally aspirated V8 produces 457bhp. It’s unrestricted and has a claimed top speed of 321kph while 0-100kph takes around 4.5 seconds.
Any strange incidents taken place with it?
I was pulled over by the Police once and when asked if I did something wrong, the officer replied “No”. Turns out he just wanted to get a good look at the car.