Modern Art Monday – 1970 Mercedes-Benz W114

Oh lord.

Last Friday, walking to the City Hall, I photographed this stately and admirable cream-coloured Mercedes. I’ve mostly accustomed to expect every old Mercedes-Benz to be diesel as default, as they’ve most often done long-distance duty for living; so I was pleasantly surprised to find out it was instead a 250 sedan, with a 146-horse 2.5-litre M114 straight six and automatic transmission.

It’s also beautifully preserved, without the passing 42 years having left as much as a scuff on the off-white paint.

The black plates on the car, undoubtedly renewed but with the original identification, are similar to historic plates but the car isn’t registered as a historic car according to the ad I found after some sherlocking. The ad also claims the car’s had the same owner from ’70 to ’06, and that it’s completely original and inspected without complaint. Recent repairs include a new driveshaft bearing and a pair of new carburetors, with the old ones still in the shelf at the car’s garage.

Inside, there’s brown cloth and on the dash is a Becker Mexico radio, as the ad says.

On the snow on the windshield, a parking warden’s hand has wiped off the snow to check for a parking permit. There it is, present and correct, and the Mercedes has been left well alone. Good.

Most likely, the car is in the hands of a Mercedes enthusiast these days, as it continues to shine even in February. Especially the chrome on it is absolutely flawless.

I like the fuel flap hidden on the rear fascia, instead of being found on the calmly designed flanks. The W114 is a Paul Bracq work, and is an excellent representative of his ’60s-’70s design portfolio.

The classy appearance is topped off by the correct chrome wheeltrims. Is this 208 000 kilometre, all-original Mercedes the way you would want it, or is there something you wish were different?


Bonus Content: Not all Mercedes of the same model have it so good. Here’s a post-facelift mid-’70s W115 240D photographed some time ago, that’s aged worse:

The passenger-side headlight is tilted a few degrees outside by now. There’s got to be a lot of filler on the fender there.

Round the back, there’s… well, there’s a huge FAIRLANE badge. And a tow bar. And an Ikea brochure perched on the stuff on the rear seat.

[Photo credit: Beater Mercedes photos courtesy of Joose Puustinen]

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