|Hepburn + Pagoda embody 60s glamour in "Two for the Road"|
Four-wheeled cameo appearances in movies can be a very good thing for the brand, and it's pretty clear that Mercedes was an early adopter of this form of product placement. For the Pagoda SL, it was Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney's iconic ride in Two for the Road. (Director Stanley Donen's personal car, incidentally.) For the R107 SL, it was American Gigolo and "Ewing 4" in Dallas. And for the A124 Cabriolet, its Big Screen closeup happened early in its production when a 1993 300CE Cabriolet was tapped for the movie adaptation of John Grisham's The Firm. A Smoke Silver Metallic (702) Cabriolet was cast as a corporate perk for wunderkind associate Mitch McDeere (Tom Cruise) at a law firm that was as corrupt as it was influential.
When you think about it, the value to this product placement is priceless. Stylists chose the A124 to singlehandedly exemplify mid-90s seduction, glamour and achievement in perpetuity. That's a powerful statement about the product, but also a lasting endorsement of the brand. Of all the flashy vehicles they could have chosen to seduce the young Cruise, the well-heeled firm in this Hollywood mega production chose the A124, overlooking Coventry, Munich, Crewe, and even Modena. (Say what you like about their ethics, but the firm's choice of transportation is unassailable.)
Years later, the location car (one of two) from the movie came up for sale on ebay. At the time, prices were still modest for used Cabriolets, so I doubt the car went for much of a premium. Smart buy. Perhaps the current owner of this Cabriolet will read this and give us an update on the state of what is arguably the most famous A124 Cabriolet yet.