Mercedes W114/W115S in for the long haul
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.