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Cab from Oporto with almost 2 million kilometers at the Mercedes Museum

A cab from Porto shines at the Mercedes-Benz museum among some of the most iconic cars of the German brand

Few people have a history that places them in the firmament of special people who are examples of perseverance, tenacity and pride. This is the case of José Mota Pereira, owner of a cab from Porto, which over the course of 13 years has traveled nearly two million kilometers with his 1988 Mercedes-Benz 200D, which is currently one of the stars in the German brand's museum in Stuttgart.

The cab, which was driven for 13 years by José Mota Pereira, is now one of the models that integrate the fantastic car exhibition at the Mercedes Museum, which in a beautiful building gathers 125 years of the brand's history.

The car stands alongside some of Mercedes-Benz's most remarkable vehicles, such as the first car built by the German brand. The Museum visited by 850 954 people (number recorded in 2019) gathers, in 9 spiral floors, the history of the brand's cars, which crosses with the main events that have marked the World. In all, there are 160 vehicles on display among other 1,500 pieces.

The Portuguese cab was discovered (in 2006) in the sequence of an action carried out by Daimler, which asked Mercedes-Benz to check the mileage records of the cars that had been serviced in the brand's official workshop network.

It is in this context that a Mercedes-Benz 200D, 1988, driven by José Mota Pereira, a taxi driver from Oporto, appears. During 13 years, driving through the streets of the city and its surroundings, he has accumulated 1,965,000 kilometers. The cab was always serviced at Sociedade Comercial C. Santos, a fact that "impressed Daimler," according to a statement from the German company.

The taxi driver, who at 77 is still working, explains in an interview with Socinterview, from Sociedade Comercial C. Santos, how the process that culminated with the transfer of his car to the Mercedes-Benz Museum took place.

José Mota Pereira talks about his Mercedes-Benz with the affection of someone who talks about a relative, such was his affection for the machine that accompanied him for 13 years, through the streets and roads of the Oporto region.

"Mercedes was looking, as I heard later, for a car that had many kilometers, and, of course, maybe also its condition, the car's state of conservation. These two things would have motivated Mercedes to become interested. Then, later on, they contacted me to negotiate the car and I gave the car to Mercedes.

The taxi driver details that the car was, in the meantime, replaced by the cab he currently drives - Mercedes-Benz E-Class W120, 2001 -, which already has almost the same mileage as the car that can be visited in the brand's museum in Stuttgart.

The W124, in 2006, was used by one of José Mota Pereira's two sons: "I had offered him the car because he loved it. My oldest son said 'you don't have enough garage to keep the car, you will have difficulties, let the car go, because at least this way we can go to Germany for a drive and see the car there at Mercedes, because they will estimate it better than you do here'.

After the decision was made to sell the car to Mercedes-Benz everything indicated that the story of this brilliant car would come to an end. But that is not what happened to this fantastic cab from Porto.

On the day the car was transported to Stuttgart by a German technician, the natural thing to do would be for the machine to be transported by truck, an action that is normally taken in these cases, due to the state of conservation that the cars denote.

However, this is not what happened. The Daimler technician who went to Oporto to accompany the car cancelled the transport "by truck as soon as he saw the excellent conservation state, having decided, on the spot, that he was going to drive back to Germany. And the trip went beautifully".

The Mercedes-Benz W124 that can be visited in the brand's Museum, in Stuttgart, has the status of a member of José Mota Pereira's family. After all, it was an integral part of his professional and personal life, and that made it a special car.

It is with emotion that the taxi driver from Oporto speaks of his old Mercedes-Benz:

"I often avoid talking too much about that car, because sometimes we play a role that is a little boring of getting emotional because of a car. It's not the car. The car was a part of our lives and a tool that helped us," he details. "He has accompanied me in several difficult situations, very difficult situations, and that he is the one who has borne the biggest burden." And he adds "that car has never been on top of a truck because it broke down".

About the 2001 Mercedes-Benz E-Class W120 that is now his "companion" at work, José Mota Pereira says it has almost the same mileage (1,830,000 kilometers) as the W124, and is in excellent condition.

"People don't believe, for example, that the dashboard is original, nor that the wooden console is original. Sometimes I say: Maybe I have to scratch it a little to make people realize that this is original", he says.

Follow the unique story of José Mota Pereira and his now famous cab from Porto told in the first person here.


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