1972 Mercedes 350SL William from California

Not many classic car owners can say they picked up their brand new car at the factory or that the factory was in Germany. William did. In 1970, William ordered and paid for his 1970 Mercedes 350 SL for $9,000. It took two years to build his vehicle, which actually makes it's model year 1972. Besides waiting for his brand new car for two years, the other part of his contract involved picking up the car himself in Germany.

At the time he bought the vehicle, William's friends thought he was crazy and making a bad investment since he could have had two stylish Cadillacs for the price he was paying for his one Mercedes 350SL. William thought otherwise.

He set off to Germany to pick up his vehicle in the spring of 1971, traveling by plane to get there. He picked up his car hot off the production line at the Mercedes Benz factory. After picking up the vehicle, he had to figure out how to get the car back home to Los Angeles, CA. William paid a boat shipping company $75 to ship his vehicle overseas to the U.S. William also paid for a ticket to ride along.

So, there was William, traveling on the boat with his brand new, factory-fresh beauty for a sea voyage that took 21 days. He was obviously dedicated to his new car. Together, William and the German classic he had worked so hard for, waited on for two years and then traveled halfway across the world with, are bonded for life. No one else has ever owned this car.

Now when William looks back, he can say that his journey was an incredible part of this vehicle’s history that most collectors will never experience. He realizes that his vehicle's current value is something that does not factor his emotional investment in the car. It is the memory of a 2-year wait and 21 day boat ride together from Germany that keeps a smile on William’s face.

Nominated by Clevon in the Hagerty Service Center - Denver

I am Clevon Johnson. A licensed sales agent that started with Hagerty this year January 19th in the Denver Office. I am originally from Minneapolis, MN where I was born and raised for 18 years of my life. I then wanted to expand my knowledge and decided to attend school in Tallahassee, FL at Florida A&M University for a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I moved out to Denver after school. I was introduced to Hagerty from my mother because of the great benefits that Hagerty offered as a company. Previously I was working as an Assistant Manager with Enterprise Rental Car. After hearing about Hagerty and the fun we have insuring classic vehicles, and how different of an opportunity this was in the insurance market, I was sold. In my spare time I enjoy hanging out with friends and I enjoy traveling. My favorite classic by far is the 1970 Chevelle SS L6. One of the best cars ever made. Mine would be green with the black stripes. I became interested in Williams story because he went through so much to get his vehicle. William was very enthused when telling me the story of his classic that made me want to submit him for this week’s classic of the week.