Couped Up

Mercedes 3

The sun glinted off the hood and nearly blinded the first wave of teens who clambered around Barney’s new ride. He was barely old enough to vote, but through a loan he made against his trust fund, the money rolled in – and so did he, in a brand new Mercedes Benz.

Sue, one of Barney’s neighbourhood friends recalls, “When he pulled into the high school to pick up his girlfriend, all the girls got weak in the knees. And the guys burned with envy. It was 1972, and in those days, you pretty well had to be the Chancellor of Germany to drive a car like that. He had a phone in it, too. Nobody ever saw a phone in a car before, except in Mission Impossible on TV.”

Everybody wanted a piece of Barney. When you ride your bike or the bus or maybe get to use your parent’s station wagon on Saturday night, the vision of riding shotgun around town in that sleek beauty would have been a tantalizing one.

But being catapulted into an unbridled barrel of bling was a lot for a kid to process. For a young, virile man, managing a fortune – and your emotions – is a tricky proposition and Barney was driving further into a world he was not prepared to enter.

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