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  •   Daniel 1982 reacted to this post about 1 year ago
    Mercedes-Benz W114/W115s in for the long haul

    VALUE 2012 £5500
    VALUE NOW £7250

    / #Mercedes-Benz-W114 / #Mercedes-Benz-W115 / #Paul-Bracq / #Mercedes-Benz-OM615 / #Mercedes-Benz / #Mercedes / #million-mile-engine / #Mercedes-Benz-240D-3.0-W115 / #Mercedes-Benz-240D-W115 / #Mercedes-Benz-240D /

    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 #Mercedes-Benz-220D-W115 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 Safron Walden has a rhd 1973 220 petrol auto in light blue with 80k miles for £8000 while M&M Automotive has a rhd ’1972 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 ’1973 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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  •   Quentin Willson reacted to this post about 2 years ago
    DRIVEN AUTOMOTIVE LEGENDS WORDS: DANIEL BEVIS / CITY SLICKER
    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.
    DRIVEN AUTOMOTIVE LEGENDS BACKGROUND

    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.

    IN POPULAR CULTURE…

    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…

    ORIGINAL SPEC
    ENGINE & TRANSMISSION: 2.5-LITRE STRAIGHT-SIX SOHC, BOSCH D-JETRONIC FUEL INJECTION, 148BHP,
    3-SPEED AUTO
    CHASSIS: 5.5X14-INCH STEELS, INDEPENDENT COIL-SPRUNG SUSPENSION ALL ROUND, DISC BRAKES FRONT & REAR
    EXTERIOR: TWO-DOOR PILLARLESS COUPÉ
    BASED ON W114 SALOON PLATFORM
    INTERIOR: WOOD-EFFECT DASH, MASSIVE WHITE STEERING WHEEL, COSY BUT INEXPLICABLE WOOLLY SEAT COVERS
    PRICE NOW: £7,500+
    PRODUCTION: 1968-1976
    POWER: 148BHP (250CE)
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  •   uptownw114 reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    A blooming blue.

    This platform would set benchmarks for future mid sized #Mercedes . W114 coupes are not usually considered worthy of comprehensive restoration, but this immaculate 250C bucks that trend.

    In the early 1960s, while production of the W110 Pintails was just commencing, plans were already coming together for the W114/115 saloons that would replace them. The designers and engineers at Mercedes-Benz, under the leadership of Fritz Nallinger, Mercedes’ chief engineer, started with a clean sheet of paper, the #Mercedes-Benz-W114 and #Mercedes-Benz-W115 cars given the first post-war Mercedes-Benz platform that, excluding its drivetrain components, borrowed little from the Pintails that preceded them. This platform would set benchmarks for future mid sized Mercedes, cars later referred to as the E-Classes.

    The technical structure of the forthcoming vehicles was determined by Karl Wilfert, head of car body development. One of the primary considerations was that the replacements for the Pintail models would sport more compact dimensions overall, yet provide increased passenger space owing to the use of a contemporary unit body structure. In terms of styling, the design would be simple, elegant and timeless. By 1964, the basic parameters of the upcoming W114/115s were locked in place. Like the Pintails they would replace, four- and six-cylinder engines would be offered and as expected, a diesel motors would be crucial part of the line up. In base form, the four-cylinder oil burner would become ubiquitous in European cities as a virtually indestructible taxi.

    By 1965, three years prior to the introduction of the W114 and W115 saloons, the decision was made internally to minimise the distinction between the four- and six cylinder models, but the four-cylinder versions would ultimately get their own model designation – W115. Also in 1965, Hans Scherenberg took over project management as chief engineer when Nallinger went into retirement.

    MAKE OR BREAK

    Since the W114/115 cars were mainstream models expected to sell in greater numbers than the Pintails, the decision was made early on that, in addition to the four-door saloon, a two-door coupe, a long-wheelbase limo and an estate were also put into development. The station wagon variant was especially 4 significant as, prior to this, Mercedes-Benz had not hinted at a factory built estate, leaving that market to outside suppliers like Binz. Sadly, however, the estate variant didn’t make it into production, the first factory built Mercedes-Benz estate being the S123 that debuted in 1977.

    While the vast majority of W114 models produced would be the saloon, the coupe was still an important part of the line up. Like other W114s, the car’s elegant shape was penned by the legendary Paul Bracq, and the pillarless look - a design popular in America at the time - pointed to the car’s importance in the US market. The C-pillars, much thicker than the ones found on the mainstream four-door models, gave the car a far more luxurious look and feel.

    In anticipation of their launch in 1968, production facilities for the new model series were set up in Sindelfingen. The W114/115 cars were one of the most extensively tested new Mercedes launched up to that time. Prior to the market launch proper, 1,100 pre production vehicles of the two series were produced to facilitate testing, such was the importance Mercedes-Benz management placed on the model.

    As these new cars would be introduced for the 1968 model year, they were often referred to as the ‘Stroke 8’ Mercedes. Previewed to journalists at a pre launch event in Sicily, the W114/115 saloons made their official debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1968 as full production was ramping up in Sindelfingen. The W114/115s were the first Mercedes to have a rear axle with semi trailing arm. This so-called, diagonal swing-axle design was equipped with, among other things, auxiliary rubber springs and a torsion bar stabiliser as standard. Compared to the Pintails, the new axle afforded distinct improvements in handling characteristics without sacrificing ride comfort.

    GENEVA DEBUT

    The W114 coupe joined the line up in October 1968, in 250C and 250CE (fuel injected) forms. There was no four-cylinder version because the coupe was positioned as a luxury carat the top of the W114 model range. Indeed, this was the first time Mercedes-Benz offered a coupe model as an exclusive variant in the intermediate class, its status reaffirmed by the 280C an 280CE models, presented in April 1972, which boasted Mercedes’ punchy M110 straight-six, in 158bhp and 182bhp forms respectively.

    In the years after their introduction in 1968, the Stroke 8 cars were used by #Daimler-Benz Research as the basis for vehicles in its Experimental Safety Vehicle (ESP) programme, including the ESP 05 (1971) and the ESF 13 (1972). These were the cars in which technologies such as anti lock brakes and airbags were tested, paving the way for their introduction on mainstream Mercedes in the coming years.

    HOLDING ITS OWN

    The three-owner, 57,000-mile, Medium Blue 250C featured here is currently offered for sale by Classic Showcase in Oceanside, California. Built in 1972, it is one of 8,824 2.5-litre 250Cs made by Mercedes-Benz (total W114 coupe production exceeded 67,000), and we first encountered this carat the Desert Classic Concours d’Elegance in Palm Springs in February 2014. Even though it was parked next to a 300SL Roadster on the show field, it still caught our eye, and Classic Showcase’s Tom Krefetz told us this was an exceptional example of a rare W114 coupe.

    Its first two owners were related and the second owner had the car restored as a tribute to his brother-in-law. Clearly, no expense was spared. “It’s difficult to imagine performing such a comprehensive restoration on a #Mercedes-Benz-250C ,” said Tom. “But the work was performed by master craftsman Eduardo Palermini and is flawless. The restoration was completed at Classic Showcase and includes the fitting of a NOS exhaust system.

    “Everything works including the factory installed air conditioning, power windows and the #Becker Europa AM/FM stereo radio,” continued Tom. “Looking at the underside of the car, you can see that it has been prepared to the highest concours standards. While it’s safe to say that I would have had second thoughts about restoring this model to this level, it will make a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast, especially one who seeks the best 250C in the world, very, very happy.”

    This was confirmed when we drove with shop supervisor Brian Boyce on the way to our final photoshoot location. With California’s notorious potholes unavoidable, we confirmed the car’s revolutionary unibody construction remains as tight as ever, which is remarkable for a car now more than 40 years old. While not a speed demon, we had no doubt that the #Mercedes-Benz would still sprint from 0-62mph within a heartbeat of the official 12.9 seconds, and reach its top speed of 109mph.

    As enthusiasts interested in the preservation of all cars of the marque, we are very pleased to see that this Mercedes-Benz coupe was deemed fit by its previous owner to be restored to this level, for future generations to enjoy.
    Thank you to Classic Showcase for the loan of the W114 250C.

    Documentary

    Searching YouTube, you are never quite sure what you will find. During our hunt for information for this feature, we were able to locate a video that documented the launch of the W114 and W115 Mercedes, including the coupe. This video illustrates just how much Mercedes-Benz had riding on these cars, especially in export markets like North America and the UK, just as it had on each succeeding generation of the E-Class, plus the latest 212- and 207-series cars.
    To view the video, search ‘Mercedes-Benz Fascination W114 #W115 Stroke Eight Documentary’ on YouTube - it’s well worth a watch!

    Rubberon bumper, and reflector for US. The full size spare is on show in the boot area. Legroom in the rear is at a slight premium.

    The car’s revolutionary unibody structure remains as tight as ever, which is remarkable for a car now more than 40 years old

    The coupe model joined the line up in October 1968, in 250C and 250CE forms. #Becker-Europa AM/FM radio, four -speed auto. Hub caps in Medium Blue like the body.

    Safe yet very beautiful - the cabin is a dream.
    M114 unit with two carbs and an automatic choke.
    The attention to detail is truly extraordinary.

    TECH DATA
    The #Mercedes-Benz-250C-W114
    Engine #M114 2.496cc 6-cyl inline
    Power 128bhp @ 5.400rpm
    Torque 147lb ft @ 3.600rpm
    Transmission 4 speed auto. RWD
    Weight 1.375kg
    0-62mph 12.9sec
    Top speed 109mph
    Fuel consumption 24.1mpg
    Years produced #1968 - #1972

    OVERVIEW
    Solid In feel and performance, the 250C looked up to the fuel injected 250CE, and later 280C and 280CE.
    Figures for a 1972 250C as pictured – the 250C #W114 continued in 2.8-litre form until 1976: fuel consumption determined at ¾ of top speed (not more than 110km/h. 68mph) plus 10 per cent.
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