In 1968, my military career took me to Lindsey Air Station, Germany. My new job would be the noncommissioned officer in charge of all offset presses in Europe. I was assigned to the European Air Force Headquarters for the next three years.
When I arrived, there was a German civilian that repaired all printing equipment at Lindsey. I had repaired all my equipment on every base and had been assigned to. I told him I would only need him part time to help me with the repair work I did not have time for. He told me he had just bought a new Mercedes and he would now have trouble making payments on it. I felt sorry for him.
He told me that the Mercedes Company did not take trade-ins, and that he had an old Mercedes that he would now have to sell. He asked me if I wanted to buy it. I needed another car so I could leave mine with my wife to drive. I asked him to bring the car in for me to look at.
When the German brought the car in, I fell in love with it. It was a classic 1954 Mercedes-Benz that he bought new. It had low miles, was black in color, and had red leather upholstery and wood grain all around the inside of the car.
I asked him what he wanted for the car. He said he would let me have it for 400 marks. That was about 100 American dollars. I bought the car, drove it for the three years I was in Germany, and sold it to the person who replaced me for $100.
I loved that classic car and wanted to bring it back to the states with me. But I found out it would need some modification before I could get it into the United States, and that it would cost a lot of money.
I liked the German repairman, and got him a job in our field printing plant nearby. He loved his new job, and made more money there.
Contributing writer Everett Vanover lives in Fairfield, Calif.