Budget Pagoda – 1970 Mercedes 250C

Older Mercedes sedans seem to be one of the better bargains of the classic car world. Generally straightforward and durable cars, these could also be considered to be an alternative to the significantly more expensive SLs. The /8 coupes in particular share some styling cues with the SL, including the Pagoda-style roof with inset metal trim strips, and of course the tall headlights in a similar style. While they’re not fun to drive in the sense a BMW of the same era can be, a person who argues that point will say any similar car (see Volvos, non-turbo Saabs, Lancia sedans) are also no fun. Check out this 1970 Mercedes 250C for sale in Van Nuys, CA with bidding at $1150 and 20 hours to go.

1970 Mercedes 250C for sale

It’s said to have mechanical damage, which could mean anything from broken timing chain (bad on this interference engine) to non-runner that just needs a little attention to get it going again. The body certainly looks good, with paint that appears to be glossy, and no major dents or scrapes. And who doesn’t love the dual fog lights that were standard on these? Just brings you one step closer to a pseudo-rally/weekend warrior look. Picture this on some period alloys – Minilites or Cosmics might work well.

1970 Mercedes 250C for sale

Dual exhausts, even on this relatively junior coupe, account for a nice, fruity exhaust note you no longer hear on modern luxury cars. Styling by Paul Bracq, who was responsible for many European sedans of this era (see BMW, Audi), is simple and nearly timeless. The earlier small-bumper, smooth tail light cars are more desirable than the later big-bumper, ribbed tail light version.

1970 Mercedes 250C for sale

Hmm, looks like this car might have a manual transmission, based on the shape of the knob on the end of the column shift lever. It also is equipped with the original Becker Europa radio, a unit which might be worth a significant part of the car’s value all by itself. If it doesn’t work, Becker Auto Sound can rebuild it for you and make it compatible with your smart phone. Aside from something unrecognizable (a floor mat? insulation) on the passenger side floor, the interior looks nearly immaculate. The brown/tan combination is elegant and right for the period.

1970 Mercedes 250C for sale

Here’s the engine. If you’re able to get it running, look out for a failing water pump and clattering timing chain – those are the main failure modes. It looks like most things are easily accessible under the hood, and if you’re lucky, you’ll just need to do a standard revival (fluids, hoses, etc.) to get the car running again. On the other hand, seeing the loose wing nuts from the air filter, perhaps someone already tried a shot of ether to get the thing started… do you have a W114/5 experience you’d care to share?


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One Response to “Budget Pagoda – 1970 Mercedes 250C”

  1. Peter Atherton Says:

    The most common damage to the 250’s was a thrown connecting rod;these cars revved very high on cold starts,and suffered from oil starvation leading to eventual rod-bearing failure.Incidentally,this one’s an automatic,lever is in “Park”;the dealership for whom I worked sold lots of these back in the day,and never saw a 4-speed manual coupe.

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