Find of the Week: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 220 Diesel

It's a classic luxury sedan that's about to mark a golden anniversary: One of the iconic German luxury sedans that might not have the most power in the world, but will probably survive until the end of it. It's a 1970 Mercedes-Benz 220D with a great ad, and it's the autoTRADER.ca Find of the Week.

Mercedes-Benz models, especially older ones, are most often referred to by their chassis codes, because until 1972, badges like the S-Class didn't exist. Even then, it was a while before those names started to catch on. Of course, buyers most likely just came in and asked for the new Benz in the size they were looking for.

In 1968, Mercedes-Benz introduced an all-new midsize sedan. The automaker gave the car two chassis codes. One for the inline-six models, called the W114, and one for the four-cylinder cars, called W115.

The cars were all-new underneath, when most of the rest of the automaker's lineup was more of a refresh. They replaced the fin-tail Benz sedans that first arrived in 1961, offering up a more contemporary shape than the fins that were almost dated before they even went on sale.

This new model introduced some interesting features to the brand, too. It was the first sedan they built with a centre console, for example. And perhaps starting the end of the front bench? Okay, probably not.

What the automaker created was an extremely solid mid-size sedan. While top trims offered plenty of luxury, this car was the absolute workhorse of the taxi service in much of the world. In fact, it's a 1976 model, which was the last year of the car and largely built alongside its replacement for the year to keep taxi drivers happy. A model which also boasts the highest-mileage Benz vehicle ever: A 240D that belonged to a Greek cab driver from that year until 2004. It was donated to the Mercedes-Benz museum with 4.6 million km on the clock.

Typical for Mercedes-Benz of the time, there were a total of eleven different engine options over the years. The six-cylinder gas options, the four-cylinders in diesel and gas, and a diesel five-cylinder engine. This one got a 2.2L four-cylinder diesel option, hence the 220 diesel badge on the boot lid.

It wasn't a screamer. The seller says it makes 65 hp, but the figure might even be a bit lower than that. A non-turbocharged diesel makes more torque than a gas engine, but not all that much: around 95 lb-ft on offer. But slow and steady wins the race, right? Helping make the most of the engine is a four-speed auto. That's one gear than most other sedans offered in their autos at the time.

And this car, for sale in St Catherines, looks like a stunning example. The absolutely right beige 1970s Mercedes paint, the tan interior. The wrapped steering wheel with that ever so delicate horn ring.

Plus it comes with an interesting story – you may have noticed that spotlight on the driver door.

The seller says that the car "was originally sold back in Florida in 1970 to a local sheriff who used her as his personal car when he wasn't out putting cuffs on the stoners. She still rocks this piece of history wearing a vintage Police spot light."

It's also had just "three marriages", which we're just going to assume means owners.

If you're looking for a classic luxury sedan with a neat history, this could be what you're looking for. And, like the seller says, this is your chance to help a classic celebrate 50.

Classic luxury 7/24/2019 11:00:00 AM