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Kristian Hviding Kvam

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About a week back I traded one of my watches with another collector for his Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days Automatic GMT Ceramica – PAM 335. 

I had never worn a Panerai before and I was curious about them. Of course I am familiar with the brand and their watches, but ten-twelve years back when I got into watches, I did not like Panerai. And I kept it like that for many years. They were obscenely large and lumpy in my opinion. While I liked the design of the dials, I still found them boring as they all seemed to look alike. I could not get my head around them. A GTG (get-together) with other watch nerds changed that in a millisecond when I laid eyes on three totally different Panerai watches. And now I was curious.

Like a true Panerai nerd – or Panerist as they are called – I will continue only using the reference of the watch – PAM 335.

PAM 335

My first impression of the watch is that it is manly. Like beard and buck knife manly. It is 44 mm excluding the large crown guard that all Luminors have. It is of course all black because of the ceramic material. And with the sapphire crystal dome it builds quite a height. A few seconds later, when the watch hit my wrist for the first time, I was sold.

PAM 335PAM 335

The PAM 335 sits beautifully on my wrist. It is very comfortable. Light, discreet, sporty and very graphic. I am slightly amazed that a watch of this size can be worn so comfortably. Hardcore Panerai nerds will only wear 47 mm watches, but that is just too much for me. I love the fact that you can have the Panerai DNA in a small package and I am eagerly awaiting the new Due casing that is slicker and does not build as much.

Well, back to the PAM 335.

PAM 335

Further on the PAM 335:

What is most striking on this watch is the black ceramic case. Bezel and crown guard is also ceramic. The ceramic material will not scratch easily and will allow you to wear the watch without any concerns. There is also an anti-shock device inside the movement. I am not a fan of buying an expensive watch and locking it away. I don’t do that. So this watch is the perfect beater. It can handle about anything you throw at it. Disclaimer – author is not liable if you decide to throw objects at watch or throw the watch itself 😉

A 10 days power reserve will allow you to forget that you have the watch for 10 days without missing a beat. There are three barrels inside powering this movement, so there is plenty of power. The linear power reserve indicator on the dial is lovely, and that brings up my favorite part of this watch. The dial. It is complex, yet refined. There is something about Panerai that makes them able to fit a lot of complications on the dial without messing it up. Breitling has one or two things to learn here. The fact that they have indicators for 24h, seconds, power reserve, date, a second time zone and time all bundled up in a readable and simple manner is amazing.

I love GMTs in general, and while that is worth a post in itself, I will now concentrate on this watch. The GMT function on this watch is so easy to use. It is practical and foolproof. I also love the seconds reset complication. If you should have the need to set the watch, just pull out the crown, and the seconds will return to zero. Eazy.

This is of course no dress watch, but in the one week I have not found one other negative side to this watch. It runs perfectly and it is rugged. It is top of the line Panerai and you deserve one as well!

pam335-5

Movement

Automatic mechanical in-house P.2003 calibre

8 mm thick, 25 jewels, Glucydur® balance

28,800 alternations/hour.

KIF Parechoc® anti-shock device.

10 days Power reserve

Three barrels

Seconds reset device

296 components

Functions

Hours, Minutes, Small Seconds, Date, GMT, 24h indicator, Power Reserve Indicator, Seconds Reset

Case

Diameter 44mm, Black Ceramic, Water Resistance to 10 bar (~100 metres). Smoked see-through sapphire crystal on the back.

Bezel and crown guard

Black ceramic

Dial

Black sandwich dial with luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. Date at 3 o’clock, seconds and 24h indicator at 9 o’clock, linear power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock.

Strap

Buffalo, Black, Tone on tone, 24/22 MM Standard

More on the watch at Panerai.

 

Jaeger-LeCoultre recently launched a new Master Memovox Boutique Edition. When I have an opportunity to fondle a totally new watch, then I take it. This particular model is well known to every watch collector out there as the Memovox have been a cult watch since its first appearance in the 1950s.

Known as the iconic alarm clock, the Memovox have followed Jaeger-LeCoultre in many of their model ranges from the 1950s and up until today. The alarm function has been a continuous element showing up in both dress watches and more sporty watches.  Just imagine an underwater alarm clock for diving, or the Memovox Parking, which saves you from getting parking tickets by reminding you when your parking meter time is up.

Originally featuring a double crown and a mobile disc with the desired alarm time shown by a triangular indicator, the Memovox watch made its mark once launched. Its legendary movement, the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 815, was the first automatic movement to boast an alarm function signed by the Grande Maison and has inspired many others since its introduction in 1956.

Memovox Snowdrop

Now celebrating the 60th anniversary of its automatic movement the Boutique Edition Memovox is a very contemporary interpretation of an 1970s Memovox Snowdrop design. A vintage looking blue-tinted dial is balanced out by the contemporary look of its finishes and case. And the Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956 that drives the Master Memovox Boutique Edition is a direct descendent of the original.

Well, how does it really feel?

Hands-On:

First impression is a surprisingly good looking dial. I had seen this watch in pictures and honestly I thought nothing much of it. A boring dial inside a boring case. I was wrong.

The dial is really interesting. It actually feels like there are three dials in one watch. The centre disc has a magnificent deep blue sunburst finish, followed by a matt dark blue hour index and a lighter blue minute index on the outer edge. I am baffled by how the dial just works. Both understated and interesting at the same time. I could spend hours playing with the sunburst centre disc and a lightbulb.

You see how simple joys can keep a monkey occupied.

Master Memovox Boutique Edition

There are two crowns on this watch. The bottom crown is used for winding, as well as setting the time. Setting the alarm function is simple: shift the top crown into neutral position. Then, in position 2, turn this crown in anti-clockwise direction until the desired ring time. In doing so, the mobile disc with its little “retro-style” and famous Memovox indicator triangle turns around the dial to the alarm time.

I don’t know how they do it, but the alarm have a very pure sound.

I have a video on instagram you should see. Remember Volume On.

The new Memovox Boutique Edition has kept all the characteristics of the Memovox Snowdrop. And I kinda like the “retro-style” look and feel. I am glad Jaeger-LeCoultre decided to have a more contemporary design on the stainless steel case.

Master Memovox Boutique Edition

A  deep blue braided cotton was selected by for the strap and it plays nice with the light blue stitching. Further the calfskin lining ensures a nice and comfortable wearing strap.

All in all this new watch is an unexpected surprise from the Jaeger-LeCoultre Maison. And it is priced very comfortably. Now you just need to get your hands on one. Only 500 pcs made and only for sale in one of the 90 or so Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques worldwide.

Master Memovox Boutique Edition

 

Memovox Boutique Edition

Reference:

Q141848J

Movement:

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 956

Automatic mechanical movement

Produced, assembled, and decorated by hand

28,800 vibrations per hour

45-hour power-reserve

268 parts • 23 jewels

7.45 mm in height

Functions:

Hours, minutes, second

Date

Alarm

Case:

Stainless steel, polished finish

40 mm in diameter • 14 mm in height

Solid case-back

Water-resistance: 5 bar

Dial:

Inner dial blue sunburst

Outer dial Opaline blue

Hands:

Baton, polished, Super-Luminova

Strap:

Calfskin in Trieste black, blue topstitching

Limitation:

500 watches exclusive to Jaeger-LeCoultre Boutiques

 

Oslo is a beautiful city. All year round. Whether you are a resident or just happen to visit Oslo from out of town you should go to the cocktail bar with the greatest view of the city – Summit Bar.

From here you get to see the Oslo fjord and the whole city. And enjoy a great cocktail as well. The locals visit the lounge bar for a romantic date or business meeting and the ambience is relaxed.

A couple of weeks back I visited the bar that was famous back in the 80’s as Oslos premium skybar. I had shied this bar for years but now rumors were going that the bar had been heavily refurbished and had modernised every square centimeter. So finally I went.

Summit Oslo

Summit Oslo

You cannot avoid the first impression of the spectacular view. It hits you straight in the face when you exit the escalator on the 21st floor of the Radisson Blu Scandinavia. Unfolding before your eyes, the view of the city and the fjord is magnificent. Once inside the bar you will see the lounges designed by the respected architects at Snøhetta.

Snøhetta have created an intimate yet open atmosphere through contrasting the view with the interior. Interior design choices evidently tie the fjord in the front to the mountains in the back. The colour palette and use of materials is striking and consequently create a modern look and feel.

On a side note I do recommend a visit to the mens room. You better not be shy.

Summit Oslo

Bartenders are well educated and friendly. They make really, really good cocktails with a modern and Scandinavian twist. I like that they are exploring contemporary tastes and styles rather than going safe and boring.

Summit Bar is all in all a nice place for an after-shopping or pre-dinner cocktail. For now still undetected by most locals.

Find your way.

Summit Oslo

 

 

Testing the Bose QC35 for a couple of weeks reminded me of the title from Kings of Convenience‘s debut album Quiet is the new loud.

I am an established user of noise cancelling headphones already. I bought the first generation headphones from Bose many years ago and I was kinda curious about how these new and wireless headphones would turn out. Had they improved the noise cancelling system? How was the overall sound quality? And are they still comfortable? Are they worth a premium?

Currently I can not even handle a short flight without my old Bose headphones. They are superb at cancelling out aircraft noise, the person next to me and the flight attendants trying to serve me coffee. There is only one problem. Slight pressure occurs inside the ear cups. And that can be a little uncomfortable at times.

Well, another drawback is that my wife totally banned the use of these after a situation on a flight to Malaysia when I fell asleep while my wife tended to our crying baby. The noise cancelling system was too good.

Bose sent me a pair of the new Bose QC35 to test for 14 days.

Bose QC35

Bose QC35

First of all the new ones look better than the old ones. Other than that the feel of quality and build is the same old Bose. They both feel sturdy and luxurious. On the new Bose QC35 the soft cushion on the ear cups and alcantara headband give that impression of luxury. There is no play in joints, and I guess the new ones are built as good as the old ones, so they’ll hold for years.

So where is the difference, and why would I spend another chunk of cash on the new ones?

 

Bose QC35

Let me start with the most obvious improvement. They’re wireless. And they have battery life lasting a full day of use. They connect easily to my iPhone via Bluetooth. The Bose Connect App helps in pairing devices. Other than that the app brings no added value. It is simply put quite uninteresting and unneeded. I hope Bose will work on it some more or just drop the whole thing.

To connect to my computer I need the mini-jack cable that is in the box. An airline standard dual-jack prong is also in the box.

On the old headphones there are two sound settings where I can turn noise cancellation on or off. On the new ones noise cancelling is always on. That made me sceptical at first, but in fact the noise cancelling system have clearly improved over the years.

Sound quality is good, and better than before. But these are obviously not hifi headphones. They have another mission. Mid-tones are a bit too flat, and in general they are very conservative. On the positive side they sound really good in low volume situations with enough bass to enhance a good sound image.

To test the noise cancelling system I took my family to the local playground.

Bose QC35

Noise cancellation is still really good. In fact also quieter in a way and with almost unnoticeable vacuum pressure inside the cups. The improvement is that the system block out all background noise but I can still hear what people are trying to tell me. As clear as without headphones. It is remarkable actually that kids shouting and playing is quiet, but what my wife tells me about me looking great with headphones on (no not really) is loud.

So quiet is actually the new loud.

Read more at Bose

 

Aston Martin DBS V8 is perhaps most famous in the yellow suit on the 1971 TV show The Persuaders. Being a big fan of the show a Norwegian collector had to have this car. When he found a specimen in California he had to act fast to bring it home to Norway.

Building a vast collection of cars throughout the years he is still looking for the next one. There is as much joy in a Ford that there is in a Ferrari, he tells me. Satisfaction is achieved through the research and the hunt. His network all around the world looks for his next dream car. In his eyes Aston Martin is still the ultimate car manufacture. Their design language is refined and their skills as engine builders is unsurpassed.

A true enthusiast and collector in other words.

He was waiting on the docks back in 2007 when the ship arrived with his Aston Martin DBS V8. At the time it was winter in Norway and when they pulled the car off the ship there were two fat stripes of rust in its snowy trails. With a chassis made of steel and a body made from aluminum, the Aston Martin DBS is vulnerable to corrosion. The joint between these two metals are separated by gaskets on the DBS and those gaskets were decayed. The DBS had rusted in the humid California weather. Rotten with rust and the restoration had to begin.

In restoration all original parts were used if possible. Thankfully, Aston Martin keeps original drawings and parts specs, the owner tells me. He had several parts custom-made by Aston Martin. It is not cheap to restore a car like this, but totally worth it, he says. Now the car appears close to perfect.

Aston Martin DBS V8 was a popular car of its time. 40 cars were made for the American market with left-hand drive. About 400 were made in total with the V8 engine.
Aston Martin DBSAston Martin DBS-5

History

Aston Martin DBS V8 was a natural development from the DBS with the straight 6 engine, and they do look pretty similar. Aston Martin themselves claim that they intended to start production with the V8 from the beginning, but the DBS was presented initially with a smaller engine in 1967.

In 1969 Aston Martin introduced the V8 engine. With a capacity of 5340 cc and sparking 320 hp this car was the fastest 4 seater production car in the world at the time. Tadek Marek had designed the new V8 engine that would be the base of Aston Martin engines for the next 20 years.

You can easily spot the difference on the rims. The straight 6 have beautiful wire wheels while the V8 have light alloy wheels.

Aston Martin DBS V8 was the last model to have the David Brown name to it. David Brown bought the Aston Martin brand back in 1947 and he created the DB series. He then brought the Aston Martin brand into the luxury car segment. Financial troubles made sure both Aston Martin and Lagonda were sold off to new owners in 1972. David Brown is still honoured by the abbreviation DB when naming new models.

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS

 

Aston Martin DBS-3

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin – heritage archives

Being on a trip sometimes bring you to places that you never thought to visit. The Mercedes Benz Museum is to me one of those places.

I am not a big fan of museums. I have visited a lot of them, but I usually find them quite boring. And that is why I want to share this special place with you. In just 30 seconds walking through the main entrance and into the grand and welcoming hall my mind instantly went from boredom to enthusiasm. The Mercedes Benz Museum building is looking exciting from the outside because of the architecture, but so many museums do. On the inside on the other hand it is looking like a science fiction movie set with elegant and appropriate time capsules bringing visitors to the upper floors where the exhibition tour starts.

Stuttgart, GERMANY - MARCH 08: A general view during a pre-event prior to the 74th Goodwood Members‘ Meeting on March 9, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC)

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

The architecture of the 7 storey building is constructed as a double helix to indicate that you are now inside the DNA of Mercedes Benz. The exhibition halls are also following a double helix pathway connected to lead the visitor from one beautiful car to another. The design of the building is also perfect to show off the heritage and history of MB as well as the evolution of technology and aesthetics through time.

The tour starts at the beginning with Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz and their cars from 1886. In the end you are at present time, but you will have seen everything. Formula 1 cars, Silver Arrows, buses and tractors. A bike, an early boat, emperors limousines and motion picture cars. You will have seen all the icons of car history.

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

One moment stuck with me from my visit to the museum. The sun was setting while we were looking at the entire history of Formula 1 safety cars. This is both the history of Mercedes Benz and Formula 1. At the moment it is the Mercedes Benz AMG GTS that saves the day at the Formula 1 race track.

In short this museum has it all. You may be interested in cars, but the Mercedes Benz Museum goes beyond cars in my opinion. Beautiful design in a beautiful setting, history and technology hand in hand. Even your wife and kids will have a good time!

Visit this summer. Stuttgart is the nearest airport.

Tickets are only 8.00 EUR for adults and complimentary for kids below the age of 15.

SPhoto by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Stuttgart, GERMANY - MARCH 08: A general view during a pre-event prior to the 74th Goodwood Members‘ Meeting on March 9, 2016 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC)

 

 

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award is the long and not so simple name of this already legendary watch. When the watch was released at SIHH 2015 I honestly did not take notice of it. I am like every other watch collector and enthusiast out there. I have my field of expertise within watches. Omega Speedmasters I have researched from a vintage collection perspective. Honestly I never really got the whole Snoopy gig. To me it might as well have been Hello Kitty. Sacrilege, I know. But I guess a few people did take notice as this watch was in high demand from the beginning.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

The watch is a fairly regular 42 mm steel case Omega Speedmaster Professional. It does have a graphic black and white dial and ceramic bezel look to it, and a silver medallion on the caseback. Other than that it has the same calibre 1861 on the inside as many other modern Speedmasters.

Soon after the watch hit the market in september 2015, Omega reported a failure to deliver these watches as they had production problems. Well, reported is maybe the wrong word as it was more like rumors. Omega had promised a limited 1.970 pieces to the market. After distribution of only half of the Silver Snoopy watches they suddenly stopped. Rumors started going amongst the serious watch collectors that this was a watch to watch.

Now, the production problems was related to the caseback. Apparently Omega had issues with the sealing of the 925 silver medallion on the caseback, and they were worried about oxidation of the silver. What happened next is watch history.

The secondhand price tag on the Silver Snoopy tripled when Omega halted their production. Even though Omega fixed their issues and released the rest of the production, the prices stayed high. Every watch collector wanted to get their hands on one of the 1.970 watches. A legend was born.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

 

A Week On the Wrist – Omega Speedmaster “Silver Snoopy”:

This winter I got a call from a friend who told me that he had one of the Silver Snoopy watches and that he would lend it to me for a week to review. I did not know then that I would fall in love with the watch, so I picked it up thinking all this Hello Kitty crap.

Watches is like good art. They need to make you feel something. For me both art and watches need to be provocative and stir something deep. Most of the watches I fall in love with I need to wear for at least a week or two to make them grow on me. My favorite watch I had to wear on and off for 6 months before I even started liking it. Usually at first it is a feeling of design hate. I hate the dial, or the case design or the childish cartoon.

The Silver Snoopy I wore for three days before I really got beyond the Snoopy thing. The Speedmaster itself is a classic. A beautiful and comfortable one. So no surprises there. It was really all about the Snoopy.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

On the Silver Snoopy the dial design is great. With Snoopy being so small I could bare it after a few days. Some does not like the color of the dial, but the dial being white does not bother me at all. It enhances the graphic feel of the watch in my opinion.

The text and comic strip covering the first 14 seconds is just mind blowing when you put into perspective the history behind this idea. The domed sapphire crystal is flawless and the new nylon fabric strap with clasp is ridiculously comfortable.

But the pièce de résistance is the enamel and sterling silver Snoopy medallion on the caseback. It is delicate and radiant. It is gorgeous. Not one of the 1.970 medallions are alike. The weight of the watch is heavily influenced by the caseback.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards

With the watch starting to grow on me I had to research the whole Snoopy thing. And man, how I misjudged that Omega – NASA – Snoopy business. Read more on that topic at the excellent WatchTime Magazine. And please watch the story on Omegas YouTube channel.

All in all this watch blew me away. I had not really planned to fall in love with this watch, but is that not always the case with great watches? The Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy has everything. Heritage, a story, great design, great workmanship and status as a legendary watch.

Omega Speedmaster Silver Snoopy Awards


Read more on the watch at Omega.

You get what you pay for. That is my mantra. Now and then I have to reconsider. A bottle of Aberfeldy 12 YO is not cheap, but not overpriced either. It is simply put a quality single malt scotch whisky, priced at a comfortable level. But how good is it?

Aberfeldy was established in 1898 and have a long tradition for distillation of good single malt whisky. Owned by Dewars every drop of this single malt have usually been used for blending in Dewars Blended Whisky. Finally they have released their single malt on a wide distribution.

The story of Aberfeldy is also a story of water. This whisky have a rather special water source, the Pitilie Burn, also called “The Pool of the Water God”. The bottom of the water stream that runs by Aberfeldy is covered in gold dust and that is why Aberfeldy whisky is known as “The Golden Dram”.

If you would like to read more on how whisky is made – read my post on the topic. Review follows underneath.

Aberfeldy
Aberfeldy Distillery

Aberfeldy 12 YO

 

Region: Highlands, Scotland

Mashbill: 100% Malted Barley

Cask: American bourbon, Sherry

Aberfeldy

 

AppearanceAmber color, clear, medium legs.

Nose: Nice and comfortable. Tones of malt, vanilla, honey and caramel. Some dried fruits – is that apricot or the more exotic pineapple? Definite earthiness. When unsealing the bottle there is a rich almond aroma that disappears pretty fast. Pouring a second glass two days later and it is gone.

Palate: On the tongue it is quite rich and start off with a ripe fruitiness mixed with a strong malt. Honey is there, so is orange rind and almonds. Oak aroma appears, with a tiny bitterness. Kind of like chewing your pencil at school.

Finish: A long finish. Dry and well seasoned. Apricots are back with vanilla and distinct cinnamon now.

Balance: Nice balance.

Body and texture: Full bodied with a soft texture.

Overall: An elegant and balanced whisky. Not very challenging or provocative, but a really good everyday single malt.

Score: 82/100

Aberfeldy

Aberfeldy 12 YO

 

The elongated hood and the cockpit placed at the tail. My first view of the Mercedes AMG GTS leaves me speechless. This is a real sportscar. And when I hear the engine start up, my hand leaves the side of my body and reaches for the sky long before I hear the words Who wants to go first?

I had the pleasure of spending three days on the german autobahn with the Mercedes AMG GTS. As you’ve already understood I have a serious fondness for fast cars. It is not so much the engine and the engineering that I find alluring, it’s more the possibility of going really fast. Sometimes I get afraid for myself when I have this much power at my disposal. To be honest I am not a very good driver either. And I do not believe the people at Mercedes knew who they trusted their car with. If they had known they would never have invited me to the AMG factory in Affalterbach, on the outskirts of Stuttgart.

IWCAMG-5

Mercedes AMG GTS

Mercedes AMG GTS

Mercedes AMG GTS
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

Mercedes AMG GTS is a car developed entirely by the AMG factory. They say themselves that they do not make cars, they make engines. On the GTS they supposedly designed and developed the engine first, and then they built the car around the engine. It is still the aesthetics of the Mercedes AMG GTS that dazzle me. The inspiration is clearly from the Mercedes-Bens SLR300 Coupé designed by the famous Rudolph Uhlenhaut in 1955. That is a big plus in my opinion. The SLR300 is a looker and the GTS is a refined edition. It is simply a pure and beautiful sportscar.

Driving the car, even at slow speeds, disclose a fantastic balance. At high speed the car is so stable that 240 km/h feels like 80 km/h in my normal car. That would be the quite boring and  family friendly Passat Alltrack. AMG placed the engine as low as possible on the aluminium spaceframe and behind the front axle. The dual clutch transmission at the back axle. The weight is distributed optimally and the balance is near perfect. The result is impressive agility and handling.

The kick and the power in the 4.0 liter V8 biturbo is evident at once. The car has got numbers that are not unheard of when we are talking about sports cars, 510 Hp – 650 Nm, but the weight to hp ratio is insane at 3.3 kg/hp. At the end of the video above you can see me come up behind a Mini. Being forced to break, I have 120 km/h for a few seconds there. When I leave the Mini behind I have 240 km/h. AMG states 0-100 km/h in 3.8 sec. I may have had a limp foot there behind that Mini, but the dual clutch transmission system saved me a good 4 sec on 120-240 km/h.

All said, breaking is really the funniest thing to experience in this car, and in AMGs in general. Of course the ceramic brakes is a blast to test, but the bubbling sound of the engine when shifting to a lower gear just makes me ecstatic.

You don’t need to be an educated race driver to have fun in this car. It is astonishingly easy to drive for a car with this much power and potential. I just buckled my seat belt and did 240 km/h on snowy roads as easy as driving my family car. The only difference was the amount of speed, sound and thrill.

Mercedes AMG GTS

Mercedes AMG GTS
One Man. One Engine.
Mercedes AMG GTS
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

The car I tested was priced at 185.000 EUR.

You will find more information at Mercedes AMG.

Mercedes AMG GTS
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images for IWC

 

Mercedes Benz W196 Silver Arrow is probably the sexiest race car in the history of car racing. I have had a lifelong dream to see one in the flesh. Last week I had the opportunity to grope one and I also got the chance to see the car start up after the mechanics had made it ready for racing again – see for yourself in video above.

Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images
Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

The history of the Silver Arrows started with the W25 and a race in 1934 at Nürburgring. The car weighed in at 751 kg and the mechanics got the idea to strip the car of the white paint to get it below the 750 kg limit. During those years each country had their own racing color. Britain had green cars, the french where blue, the italians red and the german cars where white. In 1934 the Mercedes crew stripped off the white paint and presented the car naked in it’s shining silver aluminium body. The history is complete when the car won the race and the nickname Silver Arrow  where established.

In 1937 Mercedes Benz presented the W125 which held the record of being the most powerful racing car in history, with it’s 646 hp, until the Formula 1 cars during the mid 1980s. In controlled speed tests this car reached above 400 km/h (249 m/h) back in 1937.

Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

The Monza body, also called the Streamliner, was the first edition of the Silver Arrow W196. It was a fast car on the straight stretches of a racetrack, but it did not handle turns very well so it was quickly rebuilt for Formula 1. By almost removing the whole body of the car it won the next races as Monoposto.

During the 1954 and 1955 seasons Mercedes ended their racing commitment with the Silver Arrow W196 Monoposto. Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss won 9 out of 12 races these seasons. And they also on the world championship both seasons. After this there would be 30 more years before Mercedes went back to racing in the Formula 1.

These car have a reputation for being extremely difficult to handle. Since the cars are so valuable Mercedes only let a handful of very experienced drivers enter the car. When the cars entered Goodwood 74th, a historical car race, it was Mika Häkkinen behind the wheel.

Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images
Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images
Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images
Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images
Silver Arrow
Photo by Simon Hofmann/Getty Images

Mercedes made an excellent site on the Silver Arrows.