Conrad Fritzsch and the Mercedes-Benz 450 SLC.
The search for authenticity.
Authenticity and history. Those were Conrad Fritzsch’s prerequisites when searching for an authentic car that could match the philosophies that drive his life and work.
The Berlin native and founder of music platform tape.tv thrives on the pursuit of the elusive “real”, whether it’s recording interviews with artists on the rooftops of his beloved city, or feeling the roar of the engine of his 450 SLC as he weaves through darkened streets on his way home.
Fritzsch – the music enthusiast.
At tape.tv, Fritzsch endeavours to bring the timelessness of music to the digital sphere without diluting or corrupting its essence, and to optimize the individual’s relationship with the music they love. He founded the company in 2008 and watched it grow from its modest start-up beginnings to Germany’s leading resource for discovering emergent musical talent.
Even with tape.tv’s rapid ascent, boosted by media co-operations and numerous awards, Fritzsch held fast onto the mission of prioritizing the user experience through free access and production and the curation of quality content.
“Driving the SLC is like meditation”.
That ethos of valuing the human element manifests itself in his personal life through an appreciation of poignant moments, and he regards his imported SLC as a mobile wellspring of creativity and introspection. “It’s nice to feel the car, to feel the engine, to be affected by the engine and the body of the car, to feel the road, to hear the sound. Driving around and listening to this quiet engine is almost like a kind of Zen meditation in the car”. Transcending utility, Fritzsch’s SLC makes meaningful journeys out of well-travelled paths.
The first love.
Described as one of the most beautiful Mercedes-Benz cars ever made, Fritzsch first fell in love with the 450 SLC as a teenager watching the 1970’s American hit TV soap opera Dallas. The Berlin Wall was still up and the show’s millionaires from the American South in their red-hot six-cylinder convertibles seemed like stars driving on a road to liberty and thus a universe away from the restricted bubble of East Germany.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and his subsequent brief affairs with increasingly fast cars, Fritzsch finally returned to his first love.
The reward is the journey.
“I googled it and found this SLC Coupé version which has a much nicer design. It’s a real car. It has a sound, it has a story, and it connects to my own story. That’s why I got on a plane and bought it”. It was a rediscovery not just of the car of his dreams but also of his appreciation for authenticity: beyond power steering, heated seats and a sliding roof, the 450 SLC represents the value of infusing a routine with passion.
“I can’t imagine working surrounded by people I actually can’t stand, only to make a lot of money. Similarly, I can’t imagine having a car that takes me from point A to point B. For me, the reward was always the journey”.