Shak­ing off the past

Autocar - - YOUR VIEWS -

James Rup­pert noted that Mercedes­benz sur­vived the rust scan­dal of its ap­palling W210-gen­er­a­tion E-class (Used Cars, 1 March), which was pro­duced at a time when im­proved de­sign and ma­te­ri­als en­sured that most other cars had largely be­come quite rust-re­sis­tant.

It has been well doc­u­mented that Mercedes had taken the de­ci­sion to rest on its lau­rels, ob­vi­ously in­clud­ing rust­proof­ing.

Mercedes was ex­tremely lucky, be­cause other man­u­fac­tur­ers had pre­vi­ously not been so for­tu­nate. It took Vaux­hall decades to rid it­self of a rust rep­u­ta­tion just be­cause a late-1950s Vic­tor proved to be rather sol­u­ble in the wet, and the chat­ter­ing ig­no­rati still blather on about Alfa Romeos rust­ing, re­mem­ber­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence of the only slightly more re­cent Al­fa­sud.

If these ig­no­rati weren’t such badge snobs, Mercedes would to­day have an equally un­shake­able rep­u­ta­tion for rust. Michael J Ba­con


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