My slow project: 1975 W115 220 D
Time for a new PYC once again. As someone may have read, I was looking for some summer car to congratulate myself for a succesfull weight loss project. The criteria were wide open, I was looking at pretty much all directions. I have always wanted a W123 or a W114/5, but as they have become older and rarer in decent condition, their prices have risen a lot. I was not too hopeful I could find one. However one advert caught my eye. The ad had three really bad pictures and no description at all, except that no trade offers accepted and questions only by phone. The car located just 150 km away from me, so I gave it a shot and called the seller with not too high hopes.
The seller told he had bought the car in 1988, and did a complete restoration for body, engine and interior in the early 90's. He said bodywork was still in decent condition, apart from left rear arch that had rust in it. Interior was done with bus fabrics, so that would need a complete replacement to get it original. MOT was passed yearly, but the car was driven only in summer in very small annual kilometers. Sounded so good that I had to check it out. I also had another car (a -77 Taunus automatic) on the same town I had planned to see after the W115, so even if this would have turned out as a total piece of s*it, the journey would not have been totally waste of time.
On -28°C freezing weather I traveled to see the car. I had a strong feeling that I have seen a very similar car in my childhood town, so first thing I asked the seller was if the car had spent some time in my old home town before turn of the millennium. He said the car had been in his brother-in-law's use there for a few years 20 years ago. So this is actually the very same car I had looked up to in the late 90's.
The car itself was pretty stunning. Of course, lot of dust on it but the rust seemed to be nonexistent. Which is really rare in these nowadays at least in this price range. Only the rear arch had some bubbling, but the metal is still solid. Due to the extreme cold and the fact the car had not been started since August, not surprisingly we could not get it started as the battery had drained. The condition of the body however convinced me that if the car will start normally once it gets some electric juice and drives without big issues, this would go home with me. Mechanics are so simple in these, that repairs are not too extensive or expensive when it comes to engine or powertrain. The body is the big money-spender, and it seems to be excellent.
Couple days later as weather had warmed close to 0°C I went to see it again thinking I'd drive it home. Engine started really fast without pretty much any cranking, so the engine cannot be in too bad shape. It sounded also really nice with no extra noises. Transmission was really smooth too - regular oil changes throughout the powertrain must have treated it well. Auxiliary belt did scream quite badly, but got silent after engine had warmed up. Biggest issue was the heater, that decided not to work. On August it had worked normally, but now nothing. Anyway we did the deal, but I left the car there for now. Driving without heater in moist 0°C would be dangerous, as the windows would not stay clear. I promised I'll come to pick it up with a trailer asap, and went home with only S211 instead of two Mercs I had hoped to. Even the 211 got cranky on the way home and put the ESP on fault mode...
Only one pic so far, but more to come as I get the car home.
There is a lot of work to do in this even if the bodywork don't need immediate attention.
Needed repairs that I know of so far:
- heater problem
- complete interior must be swapped to get it look original again
- instrument cluster has noon-functioning fuel and temp gauges. Also the trip does not work.
- dashboard is cracked and also has two aftermarket gauges for fuel and temperature
- summer tires have DOT date from year 2000, so probably best to replace even the tread is still good
- winter tires are from 2003, so their grip is lost even though they look as new. I don't plan to drive this in winter too much, but some winter cruisings could be fun to attend
- rust on left rear arch, the other side has some minor rust too so both sides need some repair and paint. However there is no real hurry with this, since it wont develop too quickly when it cannot see road salt.
- block heater cord has been drilled through metal and insulated with some glueish shit
Long-term plan is to get this museum registered. That would free this from taxes (currently around 750 €/year) and insurance would drop to about 30 €/year from ~500 € it normally is. Using time would be limited to 30 days a year too, but that is still plenty. To achieve this it must pass an originality inspection, which means car must look really close to how it looked when it left the factory 41 years ago. But this is quite probably not going to happen on this decade.
Last edited by luokyio; January 9th, 2017 at 8:42 AM.
____________________________2003 Mercedes-Benz E 220 CDI T Classic 2003 Honda Odyssey 3.5 V6 EX-L 1997 Ford Scorpio 2.3i + 1996 2.0i 1975 Mercedes-Benz 220 D
ex. Grand Voyager 3.3 V6 AWD
, C 200 CDI Business
, Grand Espace 2.0T
, SRX 4.6 V8 AWD
, 960 3.0i
, Mondeo 1.8i Ghia Wagon
, Laguna II 2.0 Break
, Marea Weekend 1.6 ELX, 9-3 Aero
, V70 2.5D, Escort 1.8i CLX, E 300 D
, C 220
, 200 D
, 626 2.2i SVX
, Sierra 1.6 CL