Aloha fellow Hawaii members! Bob and Shawn Merrill here!
We are two of the Hawaii section’s newest members. We bought a house on the Big Island (Hilo side) and recently moved from the San Francisco Bay area with our two Basset hounds, Abby and Gracie.
While Bob has been retired for a few years now, I am not ready to do so just yet and just recently got a job as a legal assistant. We have been members of the San Francisco section since 2011.
Here are our stories that we wrote for the San Francisco’s section newsletter a few years ago. It shares our falling in love with our Mercedes…
Great jumping catfish! Never thought I would see the day—but I am the proud owner of a shiny new Mercedes-Benz Roadster. Well, it is new to me.
The car is actually a 2007 SL550 hardtop convertible. It’s black, it’s shiny, and an awesome ride. At 6’6″ and 280 lbs I never thought I’d find a roadster that would seat me comfortably. Imagine my surprise when I first got behind the wheel of this roadster and it was actually a more comfortable fit than my new Toyota Avalon.
As an SL model with the AMG package, the car is even fancier than my wife’s 2011 E Class. After a test drive and a little discussion about warranties, and coverage for dings, I came away with a Mercedes warranty that will cover the car until October 4, 2016 or 135,000 miles. I also purchased coverage for door dings and those types of small dents. After writing a check for the value of the car, I was given the key to my first Mercedes. It wasn’t as sad as I had anticipated in seeing my Toyota go to the dealership in a trade. You see, I am so much happier with the Mercedes.
Of course, any comparison between the two vehicles is not really fair. There will always be a place for Toyotas in my heart, but currently there is just no space in my garage for one.
My wife, Shawn Merrill, has been a member of the Mercedes-Benz Car Club since she purchased her new 2011 E550 convertible around June of 2010. We both started getting involved and riding together on the San Francisco Section’s First Sunday Drives. Shawn soon became a director of First Sunday Drives.
Shawn’s Mercedes was such a positive driving experience as it is heavy, sits low and seems to hug the road. It’s also fun having the wind blow up against you as you ride in a convertible with the glow of the sun beaming down against your face. You get the added bonus of pretty much an instant tan to any skin left uncovered. We drive with the top down in almost any weather except for rain.
The warmed seats and heater keep you toasty while driving even in the winter months. Shawn’s E class even has warm-hot air blowing down from the head rests if needed.
Driving our Mercedes in the Bay Area Section’s First Sunday Drives has been a lot of fun for both of us for the usual reasons–it gets you out of your routine, you see some neat places you would not otherwise get to, you meet new people, and it is a great place to learn more about your Mercedes from others who possibly have owned the same model that you do.
At about the tender age of 16, my high school boyfriend’s older sister took me home one afternoon in her new red 450SL–totally way cool, I thought, hoping someone would see me in the car. From that moment, I knew I was destined to own a Mercedes one day.
Some 35 years later, I decided that after an assortment of sporty-looking cars it was time to “grow-up” and that my mid-life crisis was over. Adding to the fact I was getting a bit tired of hearing my husband, Bob, tell me my Mustang had a “big butt,” I knew it was time to buy my first Mercedes-Benz.
I didn’t have to search for long as Mercedes had just introduced the new 2011 E Class Cabriolet that summer of 2010.
SCORE! I thought as I would not have to give up the thrill of the wind-in-my-hair-and-bugs-in-my-teeth feeling of owning a convertible! Plus, it was large enough for me to haul my scuba gear in the backseat for my trips down to Monterey each month–another SCORE!
However, little did I know getting what I wanted versus what was available was going to be the hard part. While the E350 was nice, it had less horsepower than my ‘stang, and I wasn’t having that! The few E550s at dealerships were hard tops–no way! (Remember, I needed
the thrill of the wind-in-my-hair-and-bugs-in-my-teeth feeling of owning a convertible).
After several days of searching, my salesperson finally located the ONLY E550 Cabriolet in the state. However, it was in Southern California (ever had that sinking feeling that what you want isn’t going to happen?)
Well, whatever wheelin’ ’n dealin’ my dealer did, my dream of owning a Mercedes became a reality–I had my Mercedes E class (who I named M-E, pronounced “Emmy”). And as an added bonus, the color combo even coordinated with my (then) Basset hound, Sui, white and camel–sweet! While Sui is no longer with me, M-E’s color combo still coordinates well with Abby and Gracie.
In the fall of 2011, I joined the MBCA club and got right into the mix of things. I especially enjoyed the First Sunday Drives as they made me get out of my comfort zone where I lived in Pacifica, and showed me that there were other places to see and places to go that existed on the “other side of the hill.”
It was about a year later, when I was asked if I would accept the position of being the director of the First Sunday Drives, and have happily been the FSD Director until I moved to the Big Island a few months ago. In fact, after taking over as director, I had seen the monthly drives grow from 13-15 cars monthly, to around 25 cars, with one Sunday drive exceeding 50 cars! Am I lucky or what, to be truly blessed and surrounded by so many wonderful people and beautiful cars?
Thank you one and all for allowing me to be part of your ohana.
Bob and Shawn Merrill