When your favorite fiction authors write about cars, do they get the details correct? (Part 1)

1986 Mercedes 560SL gear shift lever small

mercedes 560sl gearshift

The author’s description of stalling the vehicle, using the emergency brake, and shifting into first and second gears is the only detail that rings false. No 560SLs sold anywhere in the world were available with manual transmissions – only automatics. While United States import laws through 1986 would have allowed Sherman McCoy to import a six-cylinder 1986 300SL with a manual transmission from Europe, the sticker price of such a car would have been far lower than $48,000. Here, the 4-speed automatic shifter from an ’86 560SL is shown.

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