Budget Benzes – 1969 Mercedes 220D and 1965 Mercedes 190

When you drive a car with a fancy grill and a hood ornament, people assume you’re made of money, even if the car is 30-40 years old. However, there are plenty of older Mercedes out there that can be had for a song, and that’s not just that clapped out mid-1990s S-class with the chrome dubs on it. In spite of the image they’ve tried to cultivate with their modern cars, the older Mercedes do range from plebeian (4-cylinder sedans) to patrician (600, 280SE 4.5 cabrio). Which end of the spectrum do you think we’ll land on? You can find your answer, this 1969 Mercedes 220D for sale for a mere $2100 in Federal Way, WA, just north of Seattle.

1969 Mercedes 220D left front

It really presents quite nicely, but as is the case with some bargain Benzes, once you look closely, you’ll find some rust and other cosmetic issues. Now, since this is a Washington car, there is some hope that the structural integrity is fine, and the cancer is just cosmetic. The paint looks glossy, and while the car’s been subject to the dealer’s full arsenal of Armor-All products, you can wash those off and have a respectable looking little car.

1969 Mercedes 220D interior

The interior looks pretty decent, although there are plenty of minor nicks and tears in the upholstery. Two great things about this particular car – it has a manual transmission, and the 2.2-liter OM615 diesel engine. Yes, with 60ish hp you won’t win any races, but this car will hang right up there with older Peugeots and Land Cruisers in terms of longevity.

1969 Mercedes 220D engine

When’s the last time you saw one of these engines in clean condition? Granted, you lose the record of what leaks where, but maybe the upside is the leaks you should be worried about will be readily visible. Some level of skepticism is appropriate given the selling venue and what you can see in the pictures, but this could be a great bargain.

1965 Mercedes 190 left rear

And then there’s this Heckflosse 1965 Mercedes 190, a more unusual gas-engined car. With 94hp to motivate around 2700lb., you’ll show that young whippersnapper in his 220D who’s boss, but he’s the only one you’ll beat. Of course, that presumes you’ve done the work to make the car fully road-worthy – the seller concedes the car needs attention to the brake and clutch hydraulics due to a longer period of (outdoor) storage. This lower-tier model did not get any of the wood trim, but that’s actually a blessing in disguise since it probably would have had water damage or cracks.

1965 Mercedes 190 interior

Looking at this car, it was quite a huge transition from the Heckflosse to the newer /8 models – in one fell swoop they jumped from post-war 1950s design to a much cleaner, much more modern look. Which would you pick? Gas or diesel? Fins or smooth tail?

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2 Responses to “Budget Benzes – 1969 Mercedes 220D and 1965 Mercedes 190”

  1. Mike P Says:

    The 220. That’s the design that I think I first noticed and tagged in my then 8 year old brain.

  2. steve in podunk Says:

    My Dad bought a fintail in 72 for $50; it had a crumpled right front fender but was nice otherwise. My 8 year old brain was impressed with thermometer style speedo and the leather seats; it was much posher then Pop’s usual “on it’s last legs Beater”. Dad promptly ran it into the ground and I was sad to see it go.

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