Time, she is a flying. I bought my 1974 Mercedes-Benz 280 sedan back in the spring of 2017. The plan was to replace my 1965 Ford F100 with a machine that would accept a car seat. And still be old. Since Benz built tanks back in the day, the 280 sedan got the green light and my green backs.
And now, fast forward to the latter half of 2019, and the car has moved on.
Over the course of classic Benz ownership, I learned a few things.
- Some parts are wickedly expensive. That’s why I never brought the air-conditioning system back online.
- Some parts are delightfully inexpensive. That’s why I went through a handful of window switches.
- The world moves slower when you’re in an old Benz, and that’s a good thing. I nicknamed the car Sunday Morning, because it was easssssssy to cruise comfortably down the road. Let the rest of the traffic worry about fighting for position and getting to their destination at ludicrous speed. In the Benz, we will get there and we will be calm about it.
- There’s not yet a ton of love on the used market for the W114. People are scooping up the W108. Folks love the later W123. The W114 exists in a weird state in between. They built tons of them, so there’s no shortage of cars out there. But I’m surprised the rest of the world has yet to fully fall in love with Paul Bracq’s excellent design. If you asked someone to draw a Mercedes sedan, it would look like this.
- Embrace the diving board bumpers. Yes, the slim euro look is great… but the federally mandated parking smackers definitely grew on me.
- The thicker the oil, the better. The 280 enjoys sludge in its guts, otherwise it may drip a bit.
Driving the 280 down the highway was a great joy. There’s something special about pointing that star towards a destination, cranking the (aftermarket, thanks Clarion!) radio, and cruising. Sure, things broke along the way. But they were taken care of without much drama. The Benz was always back on the road quickly. And now it’s in the hands of someone who is ready to enjoy it.
I still have another Benz to worry about. And I’m deep in Montero country at the moment as well. Stay tuned for an update on that one… it’s about to get some fresh chassis bits.