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The deal was consummated June 4, 1986. She took her prize home but for the next two years she hardly drove her treasured 280SL. The car was parked in a garage when the new owner could admire her car whenever she wanted - which was frequently. “It was meant to be,” she says.

She had the handsome vehicle was shipped to Baltimore in 1988 when she resigned her commission and resumed her life as a civilian.

Fortunately, the car survived the voyage unscathed. Thereafter, it was treated like jewelry and the owner would coordinate her clothing to it’s color.

On fair weather days when she takes her car out for exercise, she enthuses, “I’m in heaven.” She feels that way because the lambs wool seat covers that were on the car when she bought it remain serviceable and comfortable. “The acceleration is really fantastic,” she adds.

The wood trim across the top of the dashboard at the base of the windshield is not warped, a sure sign the car has been sheltered. The original wood tray on the console is also unmarred.

The car is virtually unchanged since she acquired it in 1986. The exception is a new set of Michelin radial tires she installed to replace the ones that were on the car in 1986.

“I’m so proud of this car,” she said enthusiastically. Like everyone else, even the owners of Mercedes-Benz 280SL sports cars can have unpleasant days. On the rare occasion that occurs, the owner says, “I take a ride in my car. It’s the best picker-upper.”