Hoe is het een om klassieker of youngtimer in China te bezitten? Yunce is een student van 20 jaar die ons zijn verhaal doet, waarom koos hij voor een oude Mercedes in een land wat massaal en alleen vooruit lijkt te kijken?
Een jongen met passie voor oude auto’s in een land zonder eigen erfgoed op wielen. Wij vinden het een boeiende combinatie. Onderstaand zijn verhaal!

2When I came to the owner of this huge Soapbox, I knew nothing about her.

My name is Yunce Liang and I drive a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 600 SEL. The car is, I think ordinary in your country, a youngtimer, a hotel’s shuttle or even a taxi. But for where I live it’s really something else!
China has the biggest population in the world, but have you ever heard about classics in China? I mean, please see a 20 years car as classic one. With our fast growing of economy, people prefer new cars and also, the government encourage to run out the old ones. Anyway in addition to the policy cars are new things to China. We just have 20 years private cars history so who cares about the old? Many people just got their first cars.

11Why I bought this car? Well, I love cars since I was a child, that was my only hobby in the 90’s. When I grew up I begin to fall in love with the newest Ferrari’s, Lambo’s etc. But one day I find those car from that era were gone. After the graduation of my senior school in 2012, my parents gave me a budget because I did really good in University Entrance Examination. There is another essential reason. I promised my girlfriend we’ll have a car in college.

Both strength made me got access. Why a W140 600 SEL ? To be honest, I didn’t have too much choice, the Mercedes Benz W140 model range is the most regular youngtimer in China.

I wanted a 60s Cadillac, but China regulations do not allow any imported used cars. Finding this car was definitely a hard job. I live in Tianjin, a big neighbor of Beijing, our capital. After a long search I found out there were no affordable cars on the market in my area. But happily, a friend in Hangzhou (south China) told me there is a good and cheap one for sale there.

On October 25th, 2012 I became the fifth owner of this big beauty. I’m not the first, but do I really care? I decided to take her home fast because I could not resist waiting any more. She got an interesting background too. In the 1990s China had heavy custom to imported cars, but if you are a foreign company or a foreigner, you can bless tax free, an American plant in Hangzhou brought her in from a Hong Kong dealer. She was in an awful condition at our first meeting. During the two years ownership I fixed the engine, gearbox, A/C, headlamps… Almost everything. Learned a lot from some guys from the west, thank you.

14Today I’m a 20 years old college student and there is a question in your mind, how could a student drive a Merc? It’s expensive to keep it indeed, so I hardly drive it. This car is limited by the environmental policy and not permitted to entry the city now. With my salary from part-time job for some Chinese automobile media, I support her. By the way, many students already have super cars in China.

Shining in this V12 glory is a pleasure. We are a minority in China, but we’re not lonely. The point is we enjoy and share the passion with each other.

Long may it continue.

Yunce Liang