THE MERCEDES BENZ CONNOISSEUR

Khondoker Mandood Ahmed has made a name for himself in the car community as a Mercedes collector. He’s the founder of the Mercedes Benz Club Bangladesh, a club that seeks to spread knowledge about Mercedes and their heritage.

Tell us about yourself

It all started with my grandfather, who had two Mercedes E Class. My father continued the legacy with his S Class. After my birth, the V8 was my first taste of Mercedes. My love for restorations originated from my uncle and his work. When he came back from the United States, he started to work on his Mercedes. From a young age, I used to observe him work on his car on a daily basis. One night when he started the car the quad lights lit up, consequently lighting up my passion for Mercedes. That was the moment when I thought to myself, “I need to do something similar.” I then found a car to restore and drove it for 10 years. In 2009, I formed the Mercedes Benz Club Bangladesh but it slowly became dormant. In 2013, I formed the Mercedes-Benz Classic Club Bangladesh and did a photo-shoot of the cars from my family and slowly started to revive the Mercedes Benz Club Bangladesh. By 2016 most of my friends had bought their own Mercedes’, which we also did a photo-shoot of. We held the first Heritage meet with 25 cars in 2019 and this year, there were 40 cars. Much to our delight, the German ambassador was present, who said ‘The Heritage meet connects Bangladesh and Germany’’. The club is doing really well now and will be official very soon.

What made you passionate towards cars?

Cars used to run in my family and being surrounded by them constantly, I somehow fell in love.  I love Mercedes as they are a prestigious brand and have a great legacy.

What car started your passion for cars?

It all started with the Mercedes R129, a grand car indeed. There is something about that car and although I know it is not possible to own one in Bangladesh, I still want to and I have to. I don’t know how, but I have to own it. That is my dream car, but I also have love for Japanese and American cars.

Out of all the cars you owned which one is your favourite?

The Mercedes E Class W123 200. I love this car and will drive it until the world runs out of fuel or bans combustion engines. I have driven many cars but 2-3months without it makes me want to drive it all the more. I feel like I have to drive my W123. Anywhere I go, every picture I take, is with this car.

What is your dream car?

I like the classic Mercedes line-up, but if I had to pick a single model, it would definitely have to be the R129.

What is it like to drive the w123?

It is a classic that is well balanced, it looks amazing and runs wonderfully among all modern cars. Due to the availability of parts it really is easier to maintain. The robustness, durability and driving comfort make this the ideal classical luxury for everyday driving and thus it is the world’s best classic luxury car

Do you consider the fuel quality of this country to be a problem?

Yes, because of the poor oil quality my carburetor died and my car was dead for 3 months. Those 3 months were hell for me; I could look at the car but couldn’t drive it.

What car do you think is best for this country?

Toyota is the best for this country as parts are cheaper and available everywhere. Anyone can fix a Toyota.

What car do you want to own in the future?

All the Mercedes-Benz classics but if was to I pick one right now; I would pick the R129 because it’s the ultimate convertible.

What advice would you give to young car enthusiasts?

Always try to know your car and drive safely because overconfidence kills both you and the car.

What would you like to achieve from the Mercedes Benz Club Bangladesh?

Everyone coming together, appreciating cars and enjoying the moment. Hopefully, we can visit Germany sometime in the near future.

Words: Syed Galib

Pictures: Ayan Rahman Khan