1955 Mercedes-Benz 170 S-D – REVISIT

We used to run a feature called “Heap of the Week”, and while it’s something we decided we weren’t generally known for, it was a fun feature. It allowed us to look at vehicles that had potential or were potential struggles; rare cars or just cars that are rarely seen. It’s another expression of automotive enthusiasm – anyone can walk down to a Porsche dealership with enough money and buy what will certainly be a classic someday if you keep the miles low enough and condition good. However, to take something neglected and return it to pristine shape? That’s the domain of a different type of enthusiast, one who sees the potential through the years of neglect and anticipate a result that could be considered near impossible. There’s also a different sect of enthusiasts who appreciate patina; the worn perfection of years of neglect, but also the specter of countless stories. Throw a particularly rare model into the mix, and you have what could potentially be a show stopper:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1955 Mercedes-Benz 170 SV-D on eBay

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1953 Mercedes-Benz 170DS

By the mid 1950s, industrialized nations had made good strides towards reorganizing civilian manufacturing in the aftermath of World War II. This was also the time at which new automobiles started appearing on the scene. The 1955 Chevrolet, Ford Thunderbird and Hemi powered Chryslers were vehicles consumers were eager to clamor up. Over in Europe, things got off to a slower start naturally, but in an amazing twist of fast, Mercedes-Benz began producing new models at this time.

By the time 1953 rolled around, the 170 was on its last legs, as this was the year the W120, or Ponton as it is affectionately known, was introduced. However, this was the car that kept Mercedes alive in the aftermath of devastating destruction. These cars were used in rather austere trim during the war, but post conflict, gained a bit of luxury about them, as we see here with this DS model for sale in Wyoming.


Year: 1953
Model: 170DS
Engine: 1.7 liter inline four diesel
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 80,000 miles
Price: $35,000 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1953 Mercedes-Benz 170DS on eBay

Mercedes Benz made this model from 1936 to 1955 as it was the only body style they had after WWII. This particular model, 170DS was made in 1952 and 1953. The D is for diesel and the “S” was to indicate the leather and luxury trim which includes the beautiful wood on the dash, windows and doors. All the wood is beautiful, no cracks or peels and it shines like new.

This car was owned for years by the owner of an automobile restoration business that specialized in interiors for Mercedes, Rolls, Bentley and other high end cars. This was his personal pet and was taken to shows and used be Mercedes for special events. You will not find a nicer one, I know because I looked for 30 years before I discovered this in the owners estate. Along with the car came numerous service manuals, and even the original owners manual.

It is time for a new enthuseit to enjoy my rare find. It is truely an amazing car, BUT slow!! Perhaps 55-60 MPH although the book says 71. (I am at 6000 ft. so at sea level 70 is possible). My phone is available for questions, but being 80, I nap in the afternoon and go to bed early at night! 307 7334791 Charlie

Outside of car shows and museums, you won’t see many of these early post war Benzes these days. With the diesel engine, this car is an exercise in patience as you will have to anticipate your moves on the road way in advance given the power constraints. A 170 with the petrol engine of this vintage may run you around $25,000 to $30,000 in good condition. I tend to doubt the diesel engine would constitute a higher value, unless you are in it for the novelty factor given that these were early on in the technology.


1955 Mercedes 170 SD diesel truck

We’ve listed the occasional truck like vehicle on the site before and this particular listing is worth some additional press.

1955 Mercedes 170 SD diesel truck

This 1955 Mercedes pickup is listed as one of less than 80 ever built and one of three that still exist. You know I am always skeptical of claims like these, but there is no question that this would be one rare beast out on the road. According the the seller numbers show it to be original throughout.

This right hand drive truck originally went to Australia, but now resides in New Mexico. The current owner has had the car 28 years and says he last drove it 26 years ago and that the transmission is blown.

Any 50s Benz is cool, but the uniqueness of the added pickup bed and cap really make this neat. How many pickup trucks do you know of that have suicide doors? It is fun to think that this was rolling of the assembly line at the same time as the Gullwing.

The truck comes with a load of spares and replacement parts, including an engine rebuild kit with pistons, bearings, and gaskets. It doesn’t sound like the truck runs now, but it also isn’t clear if the rebuild items are necessary to get it to run. The seller says the engine does spin free. In top form the little 4 puts out 40 or so horsepower.

If this can be gone over to be made safe and reliable it would be a super to leave as is, not really restore it, and use it on weekend trips to the home improvement center. I think rather than giving it full, perfect show car, treatment, letting it be and using it as it was intended, to do some work, would be great.

Enthusiastic bidding has it up at over $15,000 with the reserve not met and lots of time left.