1967 Mercedes-Benz 230

Towards the end of then 1960s, Mercedes-Benz finally laid the automotive fad that was the rear tailfin to rest. Never one to give into trends, it was rather surprising that the typically conservative company from Stuttgart would give in and feature such a bold styling cue. The W110 were the bread and butter midsize sedans for Mercedes through most of the decade. In 1965, the lineup was given a refresh that introduced the M180 2.3 liter inline six to the lineup that you see here in our feature car.

Not only was the W110 at the forefront of Mercedes-Benz’s crash testing efforts, but a few of the W110 and larger W111 Heckflosse models were successful in competition. One of the more notable events was the 1960 Rally Monte Carlo where a 220SE claimed first, second and third place, with first place awarded to Walter Schock and Rolf Moll. This 230 for sale in Illinois has been prepared for classic rallying, which seems a bit far fetched to the uninitiated. Those in the know, however, are aware just how tough and well suited for rallying these cars can be.

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230 on eBay

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230, W110. Fintail, Heckflosse. 2.3 liter inline 6 cylinder, complete tune-up with plugs and wires. Carbs are refurbished. New belts, new hoses. Complete repaint job two years ago, unique factory two tone paint. Front disc brakes, new front rotors, new front pads. Rear drums have been resurfaced. With new hoses all the way around, new brake booster with new spare. Reupholstered in Mercedes MB-tex, correct Becker stereo, has factory FM upgrade, new KYB Shocks front and rear. Vintage AMG factory sway bars. Sway bars were used in the 300SEL. 16″ OEM steel wheels & tires. Have the stock factory 14″ wheels. Factory hubcaps too. Upgraded headlights h4 (yellow). Hella driving lights, vintage factory trip meter for vintage rally events. Tag-Heuer Stop Watch (vintage). Dash clip used in vintage rally events. Amazing running and driving car, head turner.

After looking this car over, I’d smitten with it. But then again, I’m into offbeat rally machines. There are probably only two things I’d change, which would be the somewhat staid color scheme and of course, I’d prefer a 4-speed manual, whether it be a column or floor mounted shift. The seller is being realistic with the price here, as most late model 230s will range between $6,000 to $10,000 in good condition. With the added rally bits, not to mention the vintage Tag Heuer stopwatch, there are worse ways to spend $9,900.

-Paul

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230

A few years before I was born, my father owned a 1967 Mercedes-Benz 230S. Bought used in the early 1970s, he still waxes poetically about this car. At a time when foreign cars were scarce on the streets of Northeast Philadelphia, this befinned jet black saloon stood out. It certainly raised some eyebrows in my grandparent’s neighborhood the first time my father arrived to take my mom out on a date. It was the kind of car that screamed “I’m successful” or perhaps in this part of the world, “I’m connected.”

While his car was based on the more upmarket W111 chassis, the W110, previously available with four cylinders and diesel engines, became available with the same engine carburetted 2.3 liter inline six cylinder engine, the M130, that powered my dad’s 230S. Sold from 1965 through 1968, this was among the last of the fintails to be sold. This model, with it’s single round headlights, was simply dubbed the 230. Over the years, critics have pondered just how Mercedes could have capitulated to such a styling fad, but truth be told, the Heckflosse, or Fintail, has garnered it share of respect. This 230 for sale in California has some lesser seen options on this basic Benz, such as a sunroof and air conditioning.

1967 Mercedes-Benz 230 on JamesList

Vin# 11001110034307 Miles: 87717 4 speed on the floor Sunroof 1967 marked the end of the long lasting production-run of the Mercedes Fintail models. Produced for 18 years and sold in many countries it made Mercedes Benz a household name all over the world. The featured 230 is one of the last cars produced and is titled as a 1968 model. It has the most option I have ever seen, including a sunroof with a matching windscreen made by Webasto and a Frigiking air conditioning unit (still blowing cold air, what is hard to believe). The car was always white and has been repainted in the same 050 white color. It still shows very nice but it is not a 10K paint job. There is very little rust and an untouched original floor pan (with no after-market undercoating or any kind of visible repairs). It looks like it never had any kind of accidents at all.

The chrome is mostly very nice but there are a few minor dents and dings in the bumpers. It would benefit greatly from some new door seals and some other rubber weather-stripping. There are no water spots around the sunroof on the headliner what indicates a good a tight sunroof seal. The original blue MB-Tex interior with blue carpet is in fantastic condition. Wood panels and door panels are nice and there are no cracks in the dash. The headliner has a few perforations in the back but still is very acceptable for a car that is 43 years old. The engine has just been serviced at our local Mercedes repair shop. The trunk floor is dry and just perfect. A new rubber mat is on order.

All of the books, owners manual and service manual are present but do show some water damage. It has an original spare rim and tire and also a jack. My first car was a Mercedes Fintail and therefore I have always had a great love and appreciation for these cars. I almost look at every single Heckflosse that is close by but hardly ever do I see one in this condition and so unmolested. I have taken the car on some extensive drives and she runs fantastic. The transmission shifts smooth through all gears. Just recently a new battery was installed and also both bumpers were complete rechromed and look like new. Some of the photos might still show the old bumpers.

I’m a big fan of this car. Like the seller, I’m partial to Fintails, and the fact that this is a 4-speed manual on the floor (like my father’s 230S) catches my interest even more. At almost $14,000, we are at the high end of what these base model Fintails go for these days. If this were a perfect concours example, we may be looking at a $15,000 car, but realistically, this car may bring somewhere between $10,000 and $12,000. Honestly though, I’d rather have this car than a perfectly restored 230. I wouldn’t feel guilty using something with patina like this. It would surprise many folks just how well these 1960s Mercedes sedans can cope in modern day traffic.

-Paul

Rare 1968 Mercedes IMA Universal 200D Heckflosse Wagon

An uncommon buying opportunity for the vintage wagon lover. This Mercedes isn’t the most visually stimulating car for the untrained eye with the relatively plain front end looks of a W110 chassis Benz and beige paint. The knowledgeable Benz aficionado will immediately recognize the rarity of the vehicle. Mercedes now has a great tradition of building wagons that have grown to cult following status. The W110 chassis fintails converted by Belgian firm IMA were some of the very first.

Update 12.11.2011 – Unfortunately this listing has been ended before we could finish authoring this post. -dc

This two owner car has covered 107,000 miles and is fairly original condition. It was repainted in the 1980s in a slightly different shade than the original. If the car still had its original paint I bet we could’ve seen the price on this go sky high. Even with the repaint though the rest of the car shows great originality and has good service records, and even a Mercedes Universal parts catalog.

I’ve seen some varying figures on the production numbers of the Universal wagons. The seller is claiming this is one of two from 1968, the other being in the Mercedes museum in Stuttgart. The seller states that less than 30 Universals survive¬† of 300 built in 1966-1967, which definitely needs the old “citation needed” attached to it. I’ve seen numbers given higher than that and most certainly higher if you consider models built in 1965 as well. Regardless of what the actual number is, this is a rare car.

The conversion is not some hack job. These were well thought out and produced. The new design took into consideration the fintail profile and made sure not to lose that identifying feature.  The wood load floor in the back with cargo sliders significantly upped the practicality of owning a Benz sedan. The slick split fold flat seats with a third row bench are the type of features that you see advertised today in SUV and minivan ads like they are new inventions.

The car shows use and expected wear, just the right amount. A new owner could restore it to trailer queen status with an all the way re -freshening or leave it as is. If it had original paint the choice would obviously be leave it alone.

Mechanically things seem to all be in order. The 2 liter diesel has legendary reliability status and if something does need fixing it would not be a huge challenge. A four speed automatic should also provide trouble free stately transportation.

The auction has no reserve so we are going to be able to see what the market says about price. The auction is already heading towards $11,000 with plenty of bidding. Seeing twice that will not surprise me at all. If the Von Trapp family were 30 years younger I can easily see them picnicking in the Alps with this ride.

1968 Mercedes I200D Heckflosse Wagon on eBay

~Evan

1965 Mercedes-Benz 220Sb

Mercedes-Benz was never one to give into styling fads until the last decade or so. However, the craze for tailfins in the 1950s led the styling team of the Stuttgart firm to introduce the fintail, or Heckflosse in German. These sedans were a restrained, German interpretation of a popular styling element that would last well past the tail fin craze left the US. The last Heckflosse left the factory in January 1968. Here is a clean, dual carburetor 220Sb outside of Washington, D.C. for sale.

The seller states:

1965 Mercedes Benz 220SB, 6 cylinder engine, automatic transmission. Always garaged, second owner. Original paint, great condition, compression is good, new stock transmission, all new brake lines, Original miles. Have maintenance records dating back 10 years, original books and man

While at the Mercedes-Benz Club June Jamboree in 2006, I remember running into a non-fintail 250S sedan in a similar gray on red color combination. I simply love the contrast of these period correct hues.

Incidentally, a few years before I came along, my father drove a 1967 230S, which was the final evolution of the Heckflosse, with a revised 2.3 liter, twin carb M108 six cylinder. It was black over parchment, with a 4 speed manual on the floor. We still have plenty of pictures of this car, one of which I sent to Mercedes-Benz for use in their ad campaign a few years ago “No One Ever Poses With Their Toaster.” You can see my father and his friends similar ’67 230S in white at 0:30 in the following video:

-Paul

Trio of vintage Mercedes 200 W110 fintails

The W110 fintail Mercedes Benz models fit our budget theme week just fine. These cars have great lines and will give you plenty of looks on the road or at a car show. The 2 liter engines, whether gas or diesel, are bullet proof and can easily be put into daily driver service. They can get you 30+ MPG too. The Heckflosse models have quite a fan base so finding advise on repairs and getting help with parts will not be too difficult for someone new to the breed. Here are three examples that could use a little love. If you budget $5000 for each of these you should be able to get the car and have plenty left over to get a start on priority fixes on each.

The good on this one is that the current owner says he drives every day 26 miles so mechanically it is all ready to go. The bad is that the owner says it could use some paint and floor pans. Paint is no problem, but floor pans could be a bit scary as it means there is other rust elsewhere. Interior looks ok and the manual makes it a bit more exciting to drive. The current owner mentioned that he considered painting the car pink for his daughter, if you buy this car, please don’t do that. Buy-It-Now is $3500.

Here is a gas version with the manual. The interior looks to be in nice shape, the white rim steering wheel is classy. The exterior could use some paint. The seller states that there is some rust, not surprising considering the car is located in Minneapolis. Ask price is $2900 and I’d be surprised to see any bids at that, I bet it can be had for less.

This one also needs some love. The owner says it has a fairly new paint job, but clearly they did very little prep work when doing the paint because you can see rust bubbles and rust streaks popping up in several places. The car some dents that could use attention. The red interior looks nice, but the dash and wood could use help. I’d yank out that ugly modern radio and replace it with a classic Becker or at least something that is visually more pleasing. All the original manuals are included. Reserve is not met at $1550.

~Evan