At the risk of rumor and innuendo, John Travolta really wants his 1970 Mercedes 280 SL back.

Santa Monica police today circulated photos of a vehicle that looks like the missing car in hope someone will spot it. It was reported stolen at 3:46 p.m. on Sunday afternoon in Santa Monica after he parked it on a residential street and strolled to a nearby car dealership. That's the story, at least. Next move: Printing photos of said SL on milk cartons.

But seriously, if Travolta is worried about the rumors regarding his sexuality

… he should just let this one go.

It's a sacrifice, we know. But a two-seater SL roadster is about as Beverly Hills housewife as it gets. All he really needs is some oversize Chanel sunglasses and a scarf around his hair. (Well, Richard Gere's character did drive an SL in American Gigolo, but we always thought it belonged to one of his clients).

And, uh, what was he doing parking around the corner on a residential street, in a city where there are residential parking restrictions pretty much everywhere?

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A quick scan of the city's preferential parking map (PDF) shows that the area where the car was reportedly parked, in the 1400 block of Berkeley Street, is in a zone where permits are required. Maybe it was towed?

Sgt. Richard Lewis of the Santa Monica Police Department tells us it's possible the Merc was illegally parked.


We called the nearby Jaguar dealer that Travolta says he was visiting, and a representative said there was plenty of parking on-site. But … Lewis says it was closed that day for a company picnic.

So maybe he parked on the street for a reason after all.

A vehicle just like Travolta's.

A vehicle just like Travolta's.

Lewis says Travalta was “cruising around” (his words, not ours) the Westside in his SL with his manager when the two decided to pay a visit to Hornburg Santa Monica. A look at the dealership's security video confirms that Travolta sniffed around the lot with his manager, Lewis told us.

So, case closed, then. Except for the mystery of the missing Merc.

It's brown (its original silver had been painted over, Lewis says) and has the California plate 3RBZ737. A local resident with a similar car volunteered the photos, Lewis said.

Seen it? Call Det. Steve Smetzer at (310) 458-8936.


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