Cinematic cars: Mercedes-Benz 280SE (W108) in “The Driver” (1978)

In this scene from 1978’s “The Driver,” the eponymous character (Ryan O’Neal, in a wooden performance) is asked to prove his chops in advance of a job (as the film’s title insinuates, the character is auditioning as the getaway driver of a bank heist). The audition commences suitably enough – the O’Neal character admirably hoons a W108 280SE, tires screeching in protest – but then it descends into senseless driver-on-car violence, culminating in the destruction of the poor Merc. Such a pretty color, too. Why couldn’t it have ended after the bumpers were knocked off?! A touring car-look Mercedes would have made such a sweet getaway car.

Factoid: it’s been said the driver part was originally written for one Steve McQueen. One wonders why he didn’t take it?

There are a number of other fine car scenes in the film as well.

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~ by motoringconbrio on February 27, 2011.

2 Responses to “Cinematic cars: Mercedes-Benz 280SE (W108) in “The Driver” (1978)”

  1. The acting looks pretty terrible but the Benz looks great. I was onboard with the first clip until about a minute into when the senseless destruction of the car started!

  2. One of the movies that I watched before I bought my w108…and yes, I’ve always wondered about the senseless destruction. I guess you can say that the movie “jumped the shark” at that point. And yes I wish mine came in that colour!

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