Mercedes W114/W115S in for the long haul

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Have you no­ticed how cool those boxy Sev­en­ties W114/5 Mercs look now? Paul Bracq’s time­less three-box de­sign has sud­denly blos­somed into a gor­geous clas­sic icon. See one in the metal and it’s lost all those Euro­pean taxi and mid­dle­class diesel plod­der as­so­ci­a­tions and meta­mor­phosed into a close and stylish rel­a­tive of the R107 SL.

The per­pen­dic­u­lar lines are so sim­i­lar, the fam­ily re­sem­blance so ob­vi­ous that I’m sur­prised we hadn’t seen it be­fore. I re­mem­ber try­ing to crow­bar my fa­ther into buy­ing a 220D in 1971. I told him how the OM615 was nick­named the ‘mil­lion-mile en­gine’. But he thought they were too sub­ur­ban and bought a Daim­ler Sov­er­eign in­stead. I was right about the longevity though. A Greek taxi driver do­nated his 4.6-mil­lion-kilo­me­tre 220D to MB’S Mu­seum – the high­est-mileage Benz ever. Launched in 1968, the six-cylin­der W114s and four-cylin­der W115s car­ried on to 1976 with nearly two mil­lion built. The 250/280CE two-doors have mush­roomed in value but the stan­dard saloons haven’t. A pri­vate seller in Saf­fron Walden has a rhd 1973 220 petrol auto in light blue with 80k miles for £8000 while M&M Au­to­mo­tive has a rhd ’72 220 petrol man­ual in cream with 11k miles for £9450. Find a cher­ished or re­stored car at around £10k and you’ll be pay­ing a tiny frac­tion of what it would cost to re­store one. Even pricier cars are worth con­sid­er­ing – the ’73 220 petrol auto with Ed­ward Hall Clas­sic Mercedes in Buck­ing­hamshire doesn’t feel too ex­pen­sive at £14,500. These are cool, sim­ple and un­com­pli­cated cars that epit­o­mise the Sev­en­ties but have yet to be fully ap­pre­ci­ated.

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