Posted by: Jerry Garrett | May 13, 2017

Driving My Mercedes To Italy (from California)

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 4.55.18 PM

Location of my Mercedes on May 13, 2017, inside the Duesseldorf Express cargo ship.



In the mid-1950s Mad Magazine had a spoof of Reader’s Digest, with a take-down of the “first-person” features in each edition, with a story entitled, “We Drove Our Chrysler to Hawaii!” I always envisioned the mythical subject was a 1957 Chrysler, because I have one, and it’s a boat.

But this article isn’t about Mad, Readers’ Digest, Hawaii or Chrysler. It is about taking another of my cars, a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450 SL, to Italy. From California.

I’ve been conspiring to spend as much of my time as possible in recent years on the Côte d’Azur, from Cannes to Ventimiglia, Italy – with stops in Nice, France and Monaco in between. Please don’t hate me too much; I’m semi-retired now after working since I was 11. I’ve worked for this. And I can usually afford only the off-season prices.

Besides, the Côte d’Azur is actually cheaper for me than trying to live in California these days (especially since the euro-dollar exchange rate has become so favorable of late). So, it just makes economic sense, to a certain degree.

My biggest problem here is that I don’t have a car. So instead of continuing to rent or lease one, I decided to look into bringing one of my cars here from the U.S. It was surprisingly affordable. In future columns on this subject I will provide some more details.

But my intention with this first in what I hope is a series of articles on this subject is to let you know the adventure has begun! The Mercedes is loaded into a container that is being stowed, as a I write, on a cargo ship, the Duesseldorf Express, in Long Beach/Los Angeles harbor.

The ship leaves shortly on an epic month-long journey to Voltri docks near Genoa, Italy. I’ll be tracking the ship’s progress daily for the next month. Hope you’ll join me on the journey, or should I say, “the drive.”

Jerry Garrett

May 13, 2017

(Editor’s Note: If the map above does not display a caption on your browser, it says, “Location of my Mercedes on May 13, 2017, inside the Duesseldorf Express cargo ship.”


  1. […] Two years ago, I shipped my 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SL from Las Vegas to Italy. The whole process took months – almost five weeks longer than I expected. I chronicled the journey daily in a series of more than 30 blog posts (starting here). […]

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