I'm still not back to Newcastle but I think its a good time to sum up my trip all the way to France and report how well the S-Class fared in the week I've been there. As you can see above, our first stop was the ferry port in Dover. It turned out to be the most convenient route for us as a friend of mine was living on my way there and we could stick together until we arrive in Ventron, a small village in rural Alsace with a name straight from the Transformers universe. The drive there was fairly uneventful, the Merc ate the miles with absolute ease, nothing but a faint whine of a power steering pump breaking through the silence at an average speed of what must have been around 75mph (incl. French motorways). The center console storage is perfectly sized for my lunch box: Also have some snow in mid April... I calculated my fuel consumption on the way to Dover, apparently at around 70mph the car uses 11.6l/100km, or in the queens gallons, a bit over 24MPG, which matches Mercedes' estimates. Needless to say that this is quite a bit worse than what I get in any of my other cars at those speeds, including the Lincoln which would get above 25MPG UK easily. There was a strange ticking noise that would depend on the car's speed that came and went for a little while, since its pretty much gone now it probably wasn't anything serious... Once the ferry arrived in Calais we continued our trip, having a quick fuel-up stop in Luxembourg, the land of low taxes and not much else since I apparently didn't take any photos while being there. Google maps said it would take about 6.5h for the roughly 400 miles to our Airbnb. After about 5 hours sitting at around 110km/h which should equate about 70mph, something that is totally unacceptable in a car like this, I said enough is enough and chose a more appropriate speed for the last few miles, something that was helped by a large portion of speeding cameras apparently being disabled/smashed up by the locals in the weeks prior. This would be the theme for the next 5 days. Arriving in Ventron, we were greeted by the local chod, some of which included an Opel Tigra and this beautiful totally not fucked Citroen C5. To avoid this post getting too long, here's a short summary of some of the events that happened next: Blasting around (very) tight and bumpy mountain and forest roads at suicidal speeds in a 17 foot 2-ton long wheelbase S-class (while keeping up with almost anything else that joined us on the trip, which included an Integra Type-R and new MX-5s (which to be fair weren't driven at their limit most of the time, yet way beyond any legal speed limit). There have been more than one occasion where I was worried about the front tire coming off the rim in some of these tight turns... A day riding as a passenger in a Suzuki Cappuccino (which is a very nice car and much more comfortable than you'd expect, even on coilovers), visiting local sights and historic towns for rally type event, including a cheese and a booze "museum". Having one of the world's tiniest sports cars and one of the biggest luxury cars in one group, of course we couldn't let this opportunity slip: More blasting around windy roads in a completely unsuitable car, surprising pretty much anyone including the local bikers Visiting a cave with obscene shapes and cheese ads inside, because France. Also this emergency "exit": More blasting around while burning ungodly amounts of fuel Winning a "quiz" consisting of questions that nobody can know the answer of, resulting in me having to drive around with this on the car (I'm sure the locals loved it, almost received a second one for entertaining the other group members with my driving style): A bit more sight seeing and the long drive back to Germany at an appropriate speed (140mph was easily possible even though the car gets noticeably more floaty, average cruising speed on the Autobahn was 90-100 which is a spot the car feels very comfortable being in). In those 5 days I have put around 1800 (partially very rough) miles on this S-Class, a car that has been off the road since early 2016 and needed little more than a sensor, oil and filters to reliably get me across 5 countries and half of central Europe in supreme comfort, without asking for anything but a little ATF (for the power steering). While I was a little worried initially that things might not go as smoothly as they did in the end, I'm immensely impressed by how well it fared over the duration of this trip. Not only has it turned out to be much more agile than anyone would have expected from this mammoth, it has also never caused any issue that would have been reason for real concern, something I cannot claim from most of the other, younger cars I have taken on trips like this previously - or even some brand new cars as one of our group member rented a new 540i M-Sport for this occasion, a few hours in and it had to be returned as it went into limp mode being driven too hard, something that this 27 year old Mercedes doesn't seem to know. I genuinely enjoyed my time in France and driving the Merc was a big part of it. It has already become one of my all time favorite cars I have experienced and I'm looking forward to spending as much time in it as I can. I'll get that chance again tomorrow and on my trip to Amsterdam on Sunday morning, taking my ferry back home to Newcastle. Oh, and there might also be an article about it getting published in a Hungarian classic car mag soon... (doing the photoshoot right next to a French WW1 memorial was completely incidental btw...) More about the car coming soon, I've already started fixing stuff!