1972 Mercedes-Benz W114 250C 2.8 OHC L-6 from North America

Summary:

A unique and classy coupe that demands attention, but gets quite a bit as well

Faults:

Original starter finally went after 31 years.

The original dual Zenith carbs were worn out. Did the dual Weber replacement retrofit, and couldn't be happier. Instant throttle response.

Right rear power window motor gave up the ghost. Again, original piece.

General Comments:

My 250C was a 1-owner and meticulously maintained until around '94. Original owner sold it to someone who was either too cheap or too stupid to fix what needed to be done.

The first year of ownership has been tough; mostly repairs of things that have been neglected too long. I highly recommend the carb retrofit. Brings the car back to life. While under the hood, I swapped out the original distributor with a Mallory electronic ignition unit intended for a Jaguar E-type. With some machining, it fit perfectly and transforms the driving experience.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th July, 2003

8th Dec 2003, 13:56

I have a 1973 280c, a car I would like to retrofit.

What type of distributor did you use exactly?

Also any ideas for retrofitting the carb.

The original pierburg carb is basically junk.

Any thoughts or ideas would be great.

8th Jan 2004, 13:27

I'm not familiar with the 280C; highly recommend dealing with a knowledgeable MB mechanic before the substantial investment... carb job cost $1200 alone. I used a set of Weber 32/36 DGEVs, and the settings took a couple of weeks of tweaking before hot start and cold start issues were taken care of. Distributor is made by Mallory corp. The basic unit is produced for the E-type Jaguar, but my tech had the unit machined by Mallory before install, as I think the shaft needed shortening, and the oil pump drive gear needed to be reversed. Advance curve was set IAW "Technical Data, Passenger Cars" issue Dec. 1972 (for US version). Drive-ability difference is like night and day! Go for it!

1974 Mercedes-Benz W114 280 2.8 six from North America

Summary:

A divine statement of post-war love and hope

Faults:

Water pump replacement at 120,000 miles.

Occasional stranding from normal service items.

Seat bolts have broken.

Radio emitted a puff of blue smoke after 2 days of ownership.

Transmission leaks at 130,000.

Heating and cooling systems are not very good.

General Comments:

This is an interesting automobile. We have a love/hate relationship. I love her - sometimes she hates me. At the end of the day though, this car is reliable, comfortable and safe.

The engineering of this automobile is incredible. For instance, the valve cover weighs 10lbs!

She drinks prodigious amounts of fuel (this is the 4 barrel carburetor model). But when you consider the other sedans of this comfort, size and power that were manufactured in this era (with an American point of view), this car could be considered positively fuel-efficient.

This car has taught me quite a few things. It taught me what a 'hack' mechanic I was. Working on a Mercedes is not like working on an old Chevy. It is a methodical experience... somewhat symphonic. Chevy's are like 3 chord rock.

She gets me to where I want to go in style, with comfort, with power, a wonderful smell and she teaches me.

What more could you ever want in a car?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th July, 2003

11th Sep 2012, 02:23

Love your review, sir. I can relate to everything you've written here -- and the way you wrote it was uniquely expressive.

30th Oct 2012, 14:45

Could not agree more. What a beautiful, well written review.