Thursday, October 04, 2007

So here it is...

...and, as Kim, the gorgeous Aussie, suggested, it's a car part.

Press the silver button on top, and the mechanism begins to rise...



...and then unfolds like a strange plastic flower, to become...



...a Mercedes-Benz cupholder!

Cupholders were a Very Big Deal in the early 1990s. No car was complete without two, four or six of them. Usually, they were just cup-shapes molded into plastic parts. Leave it to Mercedes to set engineers to designing the ultimate in automatic folding, disappearing holders for your Slurpee. Actually, it's not that big; a small cup is all it can take.

I was in Germany not long after these superbly over-engineered devices were introduced. My itinerary took me to a company "boutique" where accessories were sold. It turned out cupholders were not mounted in German-market E-class sedans. Only Americans were undisciplined enough to be distracted by drinking beverages while driving.

But the store was clogged with eager locals grabbing them to install in their cars. I believe the price was something like DM 59.00 in those pre-Euro days. I bought one, brought it home, and a friend mounted it on a neat aluminum plate.

It's still fascinating to push the button and watch it do its ballet....

3 comments:

emd said...

Well, I'd a never guessed!

joan said...

I was going to say Ken & Barbie's modern black doll toilet.

You have a toy museum!

becomingkate said...

That's cool!