Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115 series Club More
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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    Driven: #Mercedes-Benz-250CE

    We sent out our super tester to find a German saloon… and he came back with a big ol’ coupe! It still fits though - read on to find out why.

    Go out and drive a classic saloon,” said Midge. So what we’ve got here is… er, a pillarless coupé. Oops. But I’d argue that it still fits in with the ethos of this saloon-themed issue - it may be a two-door GT rather than a sensible family four-door, but its roots lie in the ineffably imposing W114/5 saloon series of Mercedes-Benz, retaining a distinct three-box profile and a proper boot. Only a pedant would correct you.”

    THE DRIVE...

    Monday morning, London, rush hour. Arguably the stupidest time and place to be thinking of conducting a road test. But bear with me, this will all make sense.

    A few cups of strong black coffee at the Hoxton headquarters of the Classic Car Club were a necessary eye-opener at the bleary dawn of the week, as their cavernous lair requires a certain amount of alertness in order to take it all in. Every corner hides another shimmering retro treat, and this is a hidden garage with a lot of corners… although I’m not here to pore over the ’1977 Porsche 911 Carrera or the race-rep Dolomite Sprint. (Not to say that these won’t be in my crosshairs in the future!) No, I have a very specific target in mind today: the 1970 Mercedes-Benz 250CE.

    It is in many respects the ideal choice for modern urban motoring. While it’s hard at first to narrow down your choices when presented with a vast garage of desirable classics, a seventies Merc just ticks all of the boxes – these cars are very much in the ascendant these days, both in value and desirability. They’re so hot right now. The combination of crisp, timeless lines and proven sturdy mechanicals (as underpinning every other taxi in developing countries across the globe) makes it a supremely logical commuter choice.

    But can any car really make rush hour London bearable? All cities naturally evolve around their transport systems, and in the case of the urban layout of the USA, for example, they were able to plan the cities around wide, ordered roads; in Europe, the rapidly swelling cities grew on top of the increasingly inadequate existing road network, narrow and meandering and evermore unsuitable. Ergo, London in a car is a pain in the backside. Too many cars. Angry bus drivers. Cyclists playing by their own rules. Malfunctioning traffic lights. Unexpected roadworks. Noise. Stress. And just for funsies, let’s throw in some lowthirties heat. Everyone is angry.

    Everyone, that is, except me. You see, it’s impossible to be stressed in a W114/5- generation Mercedes-Benz. While all about you lose their heads, you just feel like James Dean, wafting through your own personal urban wonderland. There are few machines as inherently feelgood as this.

    Our 250CE is left-hand drive, but this requires very little mental recalibration in the metropolis as the glasshouse is so large, particularly in comparison to modern cars’ swollen pillars; you swim through the city like a fish, all around you in perfect clarity. The smooth, lazy automatic gearbox can’t really be described as sporty (or even particularly attentive), but it’s spot-on for city driving, as you’re just lazily, languorously rippling through the streets, an elbow out of the pillarless window at all times, steering roguishly with your right palm. The car shrinks around you, its massive white steering wheel an absurd caricature in the cosy cabin.

    Pedestrians turn to proffer admiring glances as I trundle down Old Street – a couple outside an Italian café even raise their coffee cups in salute. A cab driver waves me out as I head toward Cheapside (when does that ever happen?) and on into the spiritual heart of the London/Mercedes axis, the City: here, the men still wear red braces and the women broad pinstripes, and each one probably has an investment-grade Benz in the garage at the country pad. They all offer knowing nods.

    Heading down past the vast waterfront properties of Victoria Embankment, tourist territory approaches as I close in on Parliament Square, the hordes of camera-toting visitors momentarily distracted from Big Ben by the sight of this splendid bottle-green coupé. Continuing along the north side of the Thames, I cross the river at Chelsea Bridge and swing the Merc’s imposing nose into the verdant lusciousness of Battersea Park. I’ve travelled a grand total of seven miles so far, and it’s taken the best part of two hours. And you know what? That doesn’t matter a jot. I feel supremely relaxed.

    The 250CE is, by pretty much any measurable value, the perfect city car. It’s not especially quick, but it really doesn’t need to be, it just gets on with the job of wafting you along like a swan on a millpond. The turning circle is tight, the front end easily placed thanks to the prominent top corners of the wings… and it looks ace in the reflections of shop windows as you ooze past. A flawless urban cruiser.

    The W114 & W115 generation of Mercedes has a well-deserved reputation for being built like tanks. Launched in 1968, the W114 cars were powered by four-cylinder engines, while the W115s had straightsixes. The revered Paul Bracq took care of the styling, and the model is often noted for its uncanny ability to span a wide range of socioeconomic points and means of utility – from taxis to limousines and everything in between – while all looking fundamentally similar.

    This was Mercedes’ first post-war model to feature a cleansheet chassis rather than borrowing from previous models, and its innovative setup of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end would endure until the 1980s. While the saloons enjoyed a wide range of engine options (most notably the diesels, which seem to go on forever), the coupé variant was offered with just the 2.5- and 2.8-litre petrol motors; they were cheaper than the SL range - sure, they were hard-tops rather than convertibles, but the pillarless windows meant you could pretend. Interestingly, however, these rakish urban gadabouts never really captured the public imagination in period – while 1,852,008 saloons were built, there were only 67,048 coupés, 42,379 of which were 250s. This car, then, is a rare beast, and much sought-after today.

    Pub Ammo – #Mercedes-Benz-250CE / #Mercedes-Benz-250CE-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-250CE-C114 / #Mercedes-Benz-C114 / #Mercedes-Benz-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Bosch /

    The 250CE was the first production #Mercedes -Benz ever to use #Bosch-D-Jetronic fully electronic fuel injection.
    The W114/W115 was the first Merc to feature a centre console, and the first to feature the now-iconic ribbed tail-lights (from #1974 ).

    Mercedes-Benz Argentina manufactured a pickup truck based on the W115.

    The list of engine options for the W114 (4-cyl)/W115 (6-cyl) range included 2.0, 2.2, 2.3 (both 4- and 6-cylinder), 2.5, 2.7 and 2.8-litre petrol, and 2.0, 2.2, 2.4 and 3.0 diesel - the 3.0-litre actually being a 5-cylinder.

    In 2004, a Greek taxi driver donated his ’1976 240D to the Mercedes-Benz Museum Collection, having clocked up 4,600,000km.


    Roger Moore drove a W115 saloon in The Man with the Golden Gun – artfully colour-matched to his shirt. There’s a burnt-out coupé in the background two hours into The Matrix. Inevitably you’ll also spot them sprinkled liberally throughout American TV series of the 1970s and ’80s - Dallas, Dynasty, The A-Team, Falcon Crest, you name it - and they appear as taxis in basically any fi lm set in Germany, Eastern Europe, Russia, North Africa… well, anywhere really. That’s the thing about W114/5s, they’re everywhere. A lot were built, and they were strong enough to just keep going and going. But for massive cheater points, we’re going to cite our favourite movie appearance as the 450SEL 6.9 (which, obviously, was an entirely different model; the W116 was a bigger car) that tore up the scenery in Ronin – just because it’s a very cool fi lm, and a great chase. Suspend your disbelief for a moment, pretend it’s a 250CE…

    PRICE NOW: £7,500+
    PRODUCTION: 1968-1976
    POWER: 148BHP (250CE)
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  •   uptownw114 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    Mercedes-Benz #1974 #USA Promotion W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-W114

    The #Mercedes-Benz-280E-W114 . This year, some new American cars look surprisingly like it. On the outside.
    The original the Mercedes-Benz. The LOOK ALIKE tried to imitate its exterior. But essentials like its engine, brakes and suspension system continue to escape them.

    The “Look-alikes” are here... sedans whose shapes and sizes are remarkably close to that of the Mercedes-Benz 280. It was bound to happen. We expected it. The silhouette may look the same, but that is where the similarity ends.
    You simply can’t make a car into a Mercedes-Benz by imitating its appearance. Or its interior. Or any other single element.

    You, the driver, can prove this to yourself. Test drive a 280 Sedan. Then put any of the newcomers through the same demanding test. The difference will be driven home. The engineering difference.

    We don’t fault others for trying to follow the lead of the 280. In feet, we applaud the move toward sensibly sized sedans. That’s progress.

    But we really must question the idea that another car is like a #Mercedes-Benz because it has a grille like one. Or a silhouette like one. An automobile either is a Mercedes-Benz or it isn’t.

    The Emperor’s new clothes

    Look beyond the new suits of clothes that the imitators are sporting. It’s the same old story. Take the engine. You’ll find little that’s new. These cars may still offer you engines designed long ago. That may be hard to believe, but it’s an engineering fact. It's a different story with Mercedes Benz. The contemporary engine in the 280 Sedan was designed specifically for the 280 Series; de-signed as an integral part of the automobile.

    This modem, twin overhead camshaft engine directly meets demands of today’s driving. It gives you fuel economy without sacrificing performance. No “Look-alike” domestic sedan has anything like the engine in a Mercedes-Benz 280. You’ll instantly feel the difference on your first test drive.

    No place to compromise

    Look closely at the rear suspension on any of these “all-new” domestic sedans. They still feature simple wagon axles. The axles are one piece and suspended by groups of leaf springs. When one rear wheel hits a bump, the other is jolted too.

    Now look at the #Mercedes-Benz-280-W114 . Its rear suspension is completely different. Each wheel has its own independent suspension system. That way, each wheel reacts to the road surface independently. This design —fully independent suspension — is also a safety feature. It gives you the security of control because I t helps the standard radial tires stay on the road, where they belong.

    Although 4-wheel independent suspension is far more expensive to engineer into an automobile, it is the no-compromise way. And at Mercedes-Benz, we don’t feel suspension and handling are places to cut comers.
    The only way

    The same can be said for brakes. Certainly no area to compromise. Here is one area where American sedans have made great strides. The “Mercedes-style” new cars you will see in #1975 will probably have disc brakes. But where? On the front wheels. Why are disc brakes confined to their front wheels?

    We have no answer to that question. At Mercedes-Benz, we have designed 4-wheel disc brakes into all of our automobiles for years. Every wheel on every Mercedes- Benz has a disc brake to stop it — 4-wheel disc brakes. We wouldn’t engineer an automobile without them. At Mercedes-Benz, it’s the only way.

    You get what you pay for

    To be sure, a Mercedes-Benz 280 is more expensive than the domestic newcomers that will try to challenge it. Consider the basic differences already mentioned. Add some others like safety engineering, resale value and the Mercedes-Benz commitment to quality. These are fundamentals you can’t just “add on.” In a Mercedes-Benz you get what you pay for.

    More and more you hear about cars that have this or that “just like a Mercedes-Benz.” But you don’t make a Mercedes-Benz by just trying to copy it.

    The Mercedes-Benz 280 Sedan. Make an appointment to test drive one. See why a Mercedes-Benz has become the standard other manufacturers measure by.

    Mercedes-Benz Engineered like no other car in the world. The Mercedes-Benz 280 Sedan: the standard the others measure by.
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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    If you are thinking of buying your first classic car, Peter Sara has proven you can buy a reliable and classy automobile for less than $1000. #Mercedes-Benz-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-230-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-230E-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-230

    He paid just $900 for his #1974 #Mercedes-Benz sedan. (A W114 in Mercedes-Benz Company language)

    Yes, that's right, $900.

    “Who could resist it at that price?" Peter explained to us recently. Not only did he get a bargain, the car came with all its history, including the original sales receipt.

    The log book was there too, all filled out in meticulous detail by the previous owner, since new. “Mercedes cars of this era are over-engineered and of high quality" Peter explained.

    More than that, Peter says he “got a safe, reliable classic car, with a four speed automatic transmission, power steering, four wheel disc brakes, inertia reel seat belts and leather seats."

    “It sits outside and starts every time. What more could you ask?", he says. Our research shows that mid-1970s Mercedes Benz are probably the best value in the market at the moment. They are a perfect starter car for someone new to the old car hobby.

    You might not be as lucky as Peter, but good four door sedans can be had for less than $3,000.
    Surprisingly, comparable Kingswood or Falcon sedans from that time are not as cheap as you might think.
    Prices start around $3,000 for really poor examples of these home grown vehicles. Given that price they are likely to need lots of work.

    At the top end of the market we've seen sellers asking $35,000 for a Kingswood. Definitely not your first time classic!
    The papers and log book which came with the car show it cost $15,000 when new. By comparison a 1974 Ford LTD set you back less than half that amount.

    The W114 was a technological leap forward by Mercedes. The car used a newly engineered chassis, which owed nothing to previous models. The new chassis format of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end would later be used in all new Mercedes passenger cars

    The model range was released in 1968 and was positioned below the bigger S class. It replaced the “fintail” model.

    Above: Early sketch of the W114.

    The W114 has been referred to as "tank-like" by their enthusiastic following due to their robust construction and reliability. Parts are never a problem because over 1.9 million sedans were built during the eight year production run which ended in 1976.

    A stylish two door hardtop coupe was also part of the range, and it always commands a premium over the sedan. We seen nice ones go for around $10,000 (AU 2015) and that's an absolute bargain when compared to a Holden Monaro of the same vintage.
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