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Is it safe to knock on strangers' doors right now?

Throughout the coronavirus quarantine, I’ve spent my time coming up with ways to break the cabin fever. Ultimately, my dog and I now enjoy a nice little walking route in a cute neighborhood called Mt. Adams, a hilly enclave nestled right next to Downtown Cincinnati. The hills are a great way to beef up your calves and the architecture is almost too picturesque, but my favorite part of this neighborhood is the cars parked on the street.

Two cars, in particular, have tickled my fancy. Both of them V12s, by the way. One is an R129 Mercedes SL600, black on black with AMG monoblock wheels. I love R129s. I keep thinking of episodes of Law and Order, filmed while Jerry Orbach was still alive, where the victim was rich. Their car, taken in for evidence, was almost always an R129 SL. It’s the last true old-school Benz. I’ve seen it parked in different places, so it’s good to see it’s still being put to good use. I was able to get this from Street View.

Illustration for article titled Is it safe to knock on strangers doors right now?
Screenshot: Google Street View car with a camera stuck on a gun turret on its roof (Google Maps)

The other is more of an enigma, and I couldn’t find it on Google Maps. It’s this diaper gravy colored Jaguar XJS, kind of like the one James May drove that always leaked oil in an old episode of Top Gear. This Jag’s seen better days. The tires are flat, and as ugly a shade as it is, the color looked relatively pretty while the paint still had its sparkle. Inside, the wood has lost its varnish and the leather seats are all torn up as if Joe Exotic had thrown one of his tigers in there. But you can’t ignore the styling of the XJS, even in this kind of state. It’s a beautiful thing, even if it’s been sitting in the same place since I started my walking route and even before then. I want to pay a compliment to the guy who owns the Benz, but from whoever owns the Jag, I just want to know its story. It’s almost like speaking with an old relative but in car form. I need to learn more.


Now, given how dangerous these times are and the risks that come with meeting strangers, I’m hesitant to knock on these people’s doors. I’ll wear a mask if I do. But would it be worth it just to get a minute of their time and know more about what they drive, enthusiast to enthusiast? And if you do live in the Cincinnati area, Mt. Adams more specifically, do you know these people? It might make a good story.

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