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Mercedes-Benz W114/115

Mercedes-Benz W114/115 Published: 6th Feb 2019 - 0 Comments - Be the first, contribute now!

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Fintail replacement which offers the square cut style of the Pagoda with the space, comfort and stamina of the S Class

If the Fintail Mercs were SL190s for families, then the replacement W114 range is surely a Pagoda (or R107) which all the household can also enjoy? The W114/5 Series is closely related to these sportsters and what the saloon lacks in stylish, open top motoring, it makes up for in terms of practicality, usability and value.

Penny to a pound you know this already because you’ve been in one, perhaps without knowing it? In the UK, Mercs were – and remain – prestigious purchases but abroad they were simply something a bit more upmarket than a Ford and thus used for taxi service. Now’s a great time to ‘hail’ one…

What makes them so special

More youthful and crisp than the Fintail it replaced – yet feels just as tough and longlasting – the new rear suspension gives the W115 far tidier handling and a better ride. With such a wide spread of engines, there’s something for everybody but like the SL, these saloons are happier when not at full bore, allowing the excellent cruising qualities to surface. “The quality of Mercedes engineering is undisputed and a strong selling point for British executives as well as German taxi drivers”, one road test concluded.

Right choice

The W115 signified four-cylinder ranges (strangely) the W114 six pots plus the badge on the boot lid doesn’t automatically signify the engine size so gen up! There’s a wide range of engines (petrol and diesel) powering saloons and (CE) coupés; with the sixes much nicer to drive. Many are fuel injected but carbs are easier to keep sweet although the twin cam 280E is especially satisfying, less so any of these old school diesels. If you want four pot power then the 1973 revised line up sees the ‘2.3.4’ introduced. What about the W108/9; similar in looks but larger and more sophisticated.

Affordability

Like most Merc saloons, they aren’t really in fashion and cheap as a result; it’s hard to spend over £9000 irrespective of engine or badges although the best CEs will probably make five figures. Beware of average condition buys with a view to making good as these are expensive to make them top notch. S Class (W108) perhaps 60 per cent dearer unless it’s the 6.3 – think over £50K.

Significant dates

Launched in 1986, known as ‘Stroke 8’ with UK cars featuring 2.2/2.5-litre power. A year later the CE joins the range with Pagoda-like roofline, a LWD saloon offering for 1970. For 1972 a 2.8 TC engine (185bhp) is introduced although some markets see this engine in the 250. Better diesels for 1973 (240D) while 230.4 four-cylinder is offered alongside 230.6. First real facelift in 1974 sees tidy up plus 2-litre (200) range which barely improves on economy.

Don’t get caught out…

  • While body panels are readily avail from M-B it’s not a car to restore, due to their poor values. Buy on condition rather than engine size or power.
  • Petrol injection system is durable but pricey to fix; stick to carbs if poss.
  • Tired cars will be badly rusty; check crossmembers, sills, floors, inner and outer wings, wheelarches, bulkheads and rot around the screens.
  • Engines can go on and on albeit (M110) twin cam ‘six’ can become a bit rattly. Look for hot running and failing head gaskets on all high milers.
  • Running gear holds few surprises, and problems may only be down to lack of use; check for steering slop, worn dampers, tired springs and bushes.


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