Christian Kramer is an automotive expert of considerable note. 

Once an auto broker, he’s since become a certificated vehicle vetter and appraiser. He can provide a full forensic and market valuation write-up on a single vehicle or an entire collection. He often does for banks that finance such things, insurance companies, and transactional and estate settlement purposes.   

Chris is also a much-in-demand international Concours judge, on the judging teams, or as chief judge, of several of the world’s most significant Concours. He’s also my friend.

Since Mr. Kramer is a native of the Cologne area of Germany, when it came time for my wife and I to plan a recent visit to his city, we asked his advice on things to see and do.  

We very much wanted to take a day-long boat cruise of the River Rhine, so we asked him which boat line he could recommend and from which ports or cities we should depart and arrive.  

His answer was clear: “the tour boats take too long and are too slow; you’ll spend half your day grinding upriver before you see anything interesting. 

Instead, I will take you!”

Gee Chris, didn’t know you owned a riverboat. Once he said his yacht of choice for our daylong tour would be his 1969 280SE 3.5 cabriolet, we became much more interested.  

His plan was to pick us up on the designated morning, and cruise us – mostly top-down – about 100 miles upriver, and then back to dinner near our hotel that night. How could we say no?

Among Chris’s many talents is that he’s a noted Mercedes-Benz aficionado and expert enthusiast, with his stable of “Mercedes boats” including a 300SL Gullwing, a 300SL roadster, a 280SE 3.5 coupe restoration project, plus the Cabriolet as mentioned above. Many other three-pointed stars have come and gone over time from his real and metaphorical garages, plus several Porsches.  

Why the Rhine? Simple really: The Rhine River (German: Rhein, French: Rhin, Dutch: Rijn) is 1,230 kilometers (760 mi) long, of which about 883 kilometers (549 mi) and can be used by ships. It is one of the longest rivers in Europe. Its name comes from the Celtic word “Renos” meaning raging flow.

The Rhine is an important waterway. Many goods are transported over the Rhine, and the Rhine valley is also an important wine-producing region. 

The River Rhine begins at Tomasee, a lake in the canton of  Graubünden in Switzerland, and runs through Switzerland, Germany, and the Netherlands. 

It is the border between

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By: Matt Stone
Title: Cruising the River Rhine in Fine Style
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Published Date: Thu, 06 May 2021 10:44:33 +0000

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