Snow-white C43 Becomes One with Nature on Epic Journey
Neither snow, bad alignments nor state police would stop this Jalopnik reporter’s ‘new’ C43 AMG from driving his purchase home to Minnesota.
It happens almost all of the time. You find the Mercedes of your dreams on eBay or our brand-new MBWorld Marketplace, work out a deal or win the auction, then buy a one-way flight to meet your new car to drive home. For the most part, the adventure goes smoothly, with little in the way to stop you from enjoying all that your Mercedes has to offer.
For one man, though, the entire journey was filled with bumps, ruts, and snow. Jalopnik has the tale of Kristopher Clewell, a motoring journalist and photographer from Minneapolis who simply wanted the best time with his new-to-him C43 AMG.
“I should have known that things were off to a bad start when the airport check-in kiosk wouldn’t read my passport,” wrote Clewell, who was on his way to San Francisco to pick up his recently purchased C43 AMG, the second AMG model built under what would become the Mercedes-AMG brand by the end of the Nineties. Additionally, his ticket was booked for the wrong day, and would take $600 to fix.
Once in the Bay Area, the C43 AMG was as clean as expected, and then some. The former owner told Clewell the car needed an alignment, while Clewell found the summer tires needed to be replaced, as well. He also figured that all would be okay on his drive back home through the empty, lonely stretches of desert in Nevada, even if a little snow was falling on the sand and dust.
“The rain had turned to flurries, and slush was starting to pile up on the road,” wrote Clewell. “Deep ruts from tire chains had destroyed the right lane. The alignment went from ‘Yeah okay, this isn’t so bad, just a little pull to the right’ to ‘Do I remember what my kids look like?'”
The trek to Nevada may have been trying in the C43 AMG, but for a while in the Silver State, all was well. One hundred miles later, the snow had come back to haunt Clewell, revealing just how bad the car needed an alignment and new tires. Thus, while getting only 45 minutes’ worth of sleep in a hotel in the middle of the snowy desert, he ordered a set of tires he would have installed in Salt Lake City.
“At a gas station in Bozeman, Montana, I took a closer look at the stance,” wrote Clewell. “Through some of the sweepers on U.S. Highway 20 out of Yellowstone, I’d had some rubbing. The front tires had 245s on them, and so did the rear… at least on the passenger side. I stood up straight, not believing what I was about to discover. Indeed, the other side of the car had the 225s on it. Are you fucking kidding me?, I screamed inside my mind.”
A new new set of tires and a proper alignment later, Clewell pushed on from Montana into North Dakota, punching it down the road for stretches at a time until a couple of hours away from Bismarck, when a police officer pulled him over. For going the speed limit.
“The trooper asked if I’d like to explain my frustration in his police car,” Clewell wrote upon getting caught. “He was nice enough. He had a K-9 too. I suspected this section of road to be a drug corridor. I apparently smelled fine and was sent on my way.”
Soon after the traffic stop, Clewell and his C43 AMG were finally on the road to freedom. No more snow, no more misaligned wheels, no more wrong tire types, just an empty road and six hours to kill.
“I was so enamored with finally finding a car that didn’t suck I overlooked the exact thing I tell everyone to do: a pre-purchase inspection,” writes Clewell. “A lot can go wrong in 2,000 miles. (It was 2,071, to be exact.)”