Mercedes Benz 200 D, Portugal, 1988

1988 – A white Mercedes Benz 200 D sedan car has been parked next to the road leading up to Foia Mountain near Portimão in Portugal on a sunny summer day. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

1988. I was 22 years old and owned little more than this Mercedes Benz 200D of the W123 product line. I think it had been manufactured in 1979 and had been used as a Taxi for more than 500,000 kilometers before I purchased it early in 1988.

It turned out to be a car that I could rely on. (Almost, but that’s a different story.) I trusted it so much that I decided to use it for our six week trip from Kiel in Northern Germany to the Algarve in Southern Portugal – a trip of of roughly 3,000 kilometers (one way) depending on the actual route. It never gave us any trouble, and it was not “thirsty” at all. But we drive it very carefully and were never tempted to speed. Well, the 60 PS engine did not allow for speeding anyway. It was a car made for traveling.

One day we escaped the heat of the Algarve coast by driving up to Foia Mountain. At 902 meters above sea level, it’s the highest mountain of the region. From Portimão it’s just a 30 kilometer drive through the woods of the cool and shady Serra de Monchique until you leave the tree zone and approach the top.

For this photo I parked the car next to the N266-3 as I wanted to make a point that our old car had made it to the top! I remember that it had been incredibly quiet up there. Back in 1988 there was just very little traffic, so we took our time and enjoyed the view towards west. Lovely.

The high resolution image

Capture DateSummer 1988
LocationN266-3, near Miradouro da Foia, Portugal
CameraCanon AE-1 Program
Image SourceNegative Film
Digital Image SourceEPSON Perfection 4870 Photo
Digital Image Source FormatTIFF, 48 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions6698 x 4353 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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