I needed an excuse to spend Labor Day weekend in Quebec City, under the green-tinged copper roof of Le Chateau-Frontenac and sampling ripe strawberries on L’Isle d’Orleans. To do just that, I worked with Mercedes Scene Canada, the official owner’s magazine, on an online travel story for which I’d cover 1,000 miles in a Mercedes SL550. I wanted to get Canadian readers familiar with the SL’s incredible history in the U.S., from its birth in a Manhattan showroom 55 years ago to the present day, where the country’s best Mercedes restoration shop in Massachusetts had a pristine 300SL roadster from 1958.

Along the way, I wined, dined and generally gave into excess beyond my actual means — the Mercedes lifestyle, as I was trying to imagine myself living. The story’s timeline was reversed and started in Canada rather than in New York, but the experience is all the same. Only a few of the photos you see here were used in the story.