It was once thought that the Germans only had half a brain. It would seem that their passionate, sensual and artistic side was misplaced somewhere somewhat south of the area. Say, in the vicinity of Italy, where the local abitanti appear to have found it, picked it up, washed it off and claimed it as their own. Shortly thereafter they had a renaissance, began gesticulating wildly (and noisily) to anyone within eye- and ear-shot, made great wine, stopped overanalyzing things, and had lots of, uh…amore.
The archaic thinking that Germans had half a brain (the left side) was recently dispensed of when fans of World Cup Soccer (or whatever they call kicking a roundular ball around a field with goals on either end) attempted to smuggle a few liters of beer in their cranial vaults by attempting to pour it in one another’s right ears.
Despite appearances of said fans however, it turns out that the Germans did not in fact have half a brain, but they had adapted rather well to the missing right half and grew a second left brain. While this sadly prevented the clandestine transport of their favorite lager, they became an analytical, practical, strategic and logical people. Which is well suited to automobile engineering, efficiency, and general humorlessness.
So I’m postulating that this is why so many German cars have a seemingly incomprehensible alphanumeric naming scheme. Other regions of the world began to follow suit by naming their cars, not stylish and evocative (yet non-descriptive) names like Thunderbird, Testarossa, Spitfire and Vanquish, but instead stuck letters and numbers together like their teutonic counterparts.
Let’s look at a smattering. Take, for example the RLX, ILX, and TLX produced by Acura. The Lexus IS 250, GS 350, and LS 500 sedans. The Infiniti triplets Q50, Q60, and Q70. Genesis’ G70, G80, and G90.
Annnnnd, two words: Not sexy.
Many times those numbers don’t even tell you anything. It’s just a lame name that’s supposed to sound cool because it’s all left-brainy. But they’re not produced by a left-brainy people, so to my eye it just looks like something the marketing department said that the focus groups liked the best. (filled with German participants, no doubt.)
At one time, you could count on getting a little information about many German cars by the name, primarily as engine displacement in liters. This is a very left brain thing to do; practical, logical, efficient. Take this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL. It is a perfect example of this. It has a 1.9 liter (inline 4) SOHC engine. The SL stands for “Sport Leicht” or “Super Leicht” depending on who you ask and when. The “Leicht” component presumably means “light” in this case.
The alphanumeric German system was one which told you everything you needed to know and nothing you didn’t. Why waste precious letters on naming a car after some sort of something or other in order to evoke a mood? You wouldn’t if you were German. To their thinking, if you wanted mood, go ahead and insult an Italian woman and wait a few seconds to be pelted with injurious objects. Then name a car after her.
That’s basically Alfa Romeo’s approach. The unpublished, unofficial, and adamantly denied full name of their little sedan is the “Giulia Arrabbiata” (I think you can figure out the translation if you recall ever answering the no-win question posed by your girl, “Do you think these pants make me look fat?”). For reasons of domestic tranquility however, Alfa wisely redacted the name to just read “Giulia”. Ahhh, sweet Giulia. Not to be outdone though, Ferrari’s “Testa Insanguinata” alludes to the peltee’s resulting gushing head wound. Now that’s mood.
Germans have no time for such passion.
With that said though, I think I could muster a bit of passion for this lovely white over green sporty convertible. Having approximately 52,000 original miles, this 2-owner M-B, has a 4-speed manual transmission, Solex Carbs, is all original and well preserved.
Seller states that there is no rust, and that it runs, drives and stops. All of which are important for your motoring enjoyment. Included in the sale are service records, books, manuals and tools, as well as an aluminum hard top which is in addition to the soft top. This well-preserved specimen has a clean title and is ready to roll.
To find out more information about this Mercedes-Benz 190 SL, click HERE to see the craigslist listing. Prost!