Stay Classy, $349 Benz

Ask yourself, "Self, can I really go wrong for that kind of money?"

As mainstream America knows, Mercedes-Benz ownership is a privilege reserved for the well-off (plus yours truly), and it’s impossible to pick up a complete, titled one for under four figures, right? RIGHT!?!

This 1966 W108 S-Class blows that conventional wisdom out of the water like so many Allied Merchant Navy ships other common misconceptions. Yes, there’s more than a bit of body rot, The twin-carb six’s head gasket is leaking water, and it’s not entirely clear what model this even is (The badge on the trunk says “230,” though the smallest engine these cars were ever fitted with was a 2.5L six.). But for 349 bucks, does any of that really bother you? Of course it doesn’t!
Whether you fancy the heinously expensive noble task of restoring it, building an upper-crust(y) LeMons weapon (If it was up to me, I’d paint it silver, paint the mirror and the area around the right taillight DayGlo yellow, stick a wing on the trunk, number it 63 and christen it the “Slobber Mercedes CNein.” I don’t think anything similar has been done before…), creating a highly precise chicken coop, or something completely different, this is your canvas, da Vinci.
Where can you find this diamond in the rough? Schaner Automotive, a repair shop founded by my late great uncle Pete 58 years ago and now run by his son, Kevin. But that’s not all! Call within the next 10 minutes and Mitch will poledance for you while wearing his lobster hat! Behind that fence lies a treasure trove of drool-inducing derelicts that I plan to explore, document and share with my fellow Hooniversarians in the coming weeks and months. Kevin says some of them could be going to new homes if the price is right. Consider yourselves, your significant others and your financial planners warned…

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  1. superbadd75 Avatar

    Now that's what I call patina! That thing would be just fine with a little SBC action underhood and some matte black paint.

    1. RWB Avatar

      No, no paint. Just clearcoat.

      1. RWB Avatar

        And forget it, no clearcoat. It's perfect.

      2. superbadd75 Avatar

        I don't know why, but I'm pretty sure I'd paint just about anything either matte black or matte silver. The patina look is sweet, but I can't help but think of rust as a mortal enemy, and could never allow it to stick around. I wouldn't fix this thing up all shiny and bright, but I can't see leaving it covered in sheetmetal cancer.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      As much as I'm down with the SBC love, it's sort of a shame to overlook the AMG V8 out of some doctor's ride that was spun off into the weeds. There's just so much durm und strang.

  2. Alff Avatar

    Is this evidence of the gentrification of Placentia?

  3. dustin_driver Avatar

    Nothing a 454 couldn't fix.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      My thoughts exactly.

      1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

        Hmmm. I was going down the twin turbo Cummins daydream road.

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          Cumminses are great motors, but make for really lousy swaps into anything but full-size trucks b/c they're like 4 feet from valve cover to oil pan. Also, they weigh like 800lbs.
          My engine swap hierarchy works like this:
          Small car: 'busa, that crazy 'busa V8, turbo ecotec, turbo 13b rotory
          Compact/pony car: small V8 (260/289, 283) either built to rev or rocking forced induction
          Muscle/Midsized car: stroker smallblock (347, 383, etc)
          Fullsize Car: Ford FE (pref. 406 or 410) or Chevy Rat motor (usually not a 454 just for variety's sake)
          Half-ton trucks: stroker smallblock or small diesel (hypothetical 4.5L duramax, Cummins 4BT)
          Heavy duty trucks: Cummins 6bt.

          1. highmileage_v1 Avatar

            Wow, you have really thought this through! Yeah, the Cummins was just a torquey thought. Oddball swaps, Offy's, PT6 turbines, etc., appeal to me as well. An old Benz with a power upgrade would be a great Q-Ship. Speaking of 'busa's, I saw a pic of a nice swap into a Caterham 7. Insane performance.

          2. dustin_driver Avatar

            You forgot:
            Mid-engine compact (Fiero, MR2): Northstar, Turbo GM 3800
            And for this one, I change my mind. Definitely a Cadillac 500 c.i. V-8.


    Some Bastard Beastie Boys fan took the Hood ornament! Damn, I hate when people do that! Other than that, it's friggin' perfect.

  5. M44Power Avatar

    "Restoration" step 1: Add cow-catcher.

    1. engineerd Avatar

      OK, that one made me laugh.

  6. Thrashy Avatar

    Now imagine rolling up to a stoplight next to a Eurotrashed-out VW. You roll down the window and cast a dismissive glace across the acid-rusted hood of the Volkswagen, and when the other driver rolls down his window, you say but one thing:
    "Your patina is weak."
    The light turns green and you floor it, the recently-transpanted AMG mill under the hood turning you into a rust-and-chome missile streaking away from the chavs in the VW.

  7. smokyburnout Avatar

    The faux-Sauber theme is cool, but I think it'd be more appropriate to drop an M100 under the hood, leave the "paint" as-is and call it the Verrosten Sau.

  8. dustin_driver Avatar

    Hours, nay, YEARS of entertainment for less money than you'd spend on an iPad!

  9. muthalovin Avatar

    Ah, if only it had T-Tops…

    1. superbadd75 Avatar

      Sawzall offers a solution for that. You just have to be a fan of permanently open t-tops.

      1. muthalovin Avatar

        Nice. Is there any other kind of t-tops though?

      2. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

        An old Milwaukee and some Old Milwaukee, and suddenly going whole-hog with a convertible sounds like a good plan…

  10. FTGDHoonEdition Avatar

    That's prolly the classiest $349, I would spend. Ever.

    1. superbadd75 Avatar

      You mean spending the same amount at Baby Dolls isn't classy? Oops.

  11. SVT2888 Avatar

    That W108 is a SHARP contrast to the one a friends father owns. His has 77,000 original miles and has been garaged most of it's life. It is absolutely immaculate!
    I love W108's and will one day own one.

  12. Novaload Avatar

    Ratrod Benz, coming right up! I just love these old Ws. It could certain be a Lemons contender. Somebody? Anybody?

  13. engineerd Avatar

    All it needs is an OM617 running on vegetable oil and pureed zombie (80/20 mix).

  14. Froggmann Avatar

    So, when am I being invited over to take a gander at the inventory?

    1. Tomsk Avatar

      My current plan is to photograph them, post them on here and, if you see something you like, I'll put you in touch with Kevin. I don't want to turn the place into a theme park, as it is still a working repair shop with loyal customers who expect their cars fixed in a timely fashion. Hope you understand.

  15. scratch and dent appliances Avatar

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