Not one cool Mercedes, but three! This is a nice collection you’ve assembled, Florin. Tell us what started your interest in the brand and how your passion for cars began?
Well, my passion for cars started way back in my childhood when I used to collect Turbo chewing gum. I don’t know if many people have heard of this brand here. It was produced in the Eighties and on the inner wrapper it featured a sticker of a car — it was always a surprise to see which one it would be whenever I bought a pack. I would exchange these stickers with my friends and eventually I got the full set but it cost me all of my pocket money! I also used to buy lots of car magazines too, these were quite rare to get hold of when I was growing up in Romania. I also have a huge collection of diecast models.
My love for Mercedes started to grow in 2000 when I bought myself my first car. It was an E-Class and I had to save every penny I was earning back then to afford it. It was such an elegant and luxurious car. I fell head over heels for the brand after this.
You used to treat that one with a lot of love didn’t you...
You can say that again! I remember that I used to “spa” the car every weekend with almost every car care product I could get my hands on. I was so careful with that car. It got to the stage I would move it two or three times a day in different places just to follow the shade!
I have owned many other cars such as a Chevrolet CR8, Porsche Cayenne Turbo, Audi S8 and a bunch of other Mercs, including a CL 55, E 55 and a CLS 63 but now nothing beats the S-Class in my opinion. However, I’ve had a ride in a Bugatti Veyron, Porsche Carerra GT and a Lamborghini Aventador, and I will never forget these experiences!
That’s a fabulous mixture of cars. Moving on, tell us about your three rides...
Starting with the S 55 AMG, which is finished in a Sang Noir black exterior, this beast is the one that I like to drive when I want the sensation of speed, a loud exhaust and sporty handling. It produces 560 horses and I got to this figure by tuning the ECU and adding a full sports exhaust system. It also has a NGK spark plugs and a K&N air filter.
What about the S 63 AMG...
That’s the one I use when I want to feel pampered. I call it the ‘President’ as all of the world leaders have one in their fleet.
I enjoy driving this one during weekends and since it has massage seats it makes long trips a breeze. It just eats up the kilometres and I have kept this one totally original and don’t plan to change anything about it as I like it as it is. It has a Designo white leather interior with lots of Alcantara and a panoramic roof. It took me about a year to find as white on white is not readily available.
The colour combo looks great. Last but not least, the S 500 Lorinser...
This silver bullet has a lot of sentimental value; I have undertaken countless road trips in it with friends and family and have driven it all over the UAE and it’s never put a foot wrong. It, and indeed the other two, have never given me any trouble, they are easy to service and are such a pleasure to drive.
What’s next on your Mercedes wish list?
I want a 2015 S 63 Wald Black Bison but I have never seen one around town. I also love the Maybach Exelero; Jay Z has one and Sterling Moss too — and I would love to join that crowd and have one for myself. However, my dream car is the Brabus Rocket 900. But that will only happen if I win the lottery!