Launched in 1968, the 6 cylindered Mercedes Benz W114 and its W115 four cylinder sister are possibly the archetypal classic Benz. Staid, solid, and supremely sensible, there’s no reason why a good one couldn’t serve as either a show car or a classic daily driver.
Check the wings, sills, and boot area for signs of rust – most W114s will have started to go at some point, but many will have been sorted. These cars were spot welded – and whilst they were well undersealed, in practice this served equally well at keeping the water in as keeping it out! Check also the front bulkhead, upon which the sound deadening acts as a water trap – when these rot, it’s serious, so make sure it’s good. Trim can be hard to source, so it may be worth stockpiling if you can. European and UK spec cars had the stacked headlamps seen on all Mercs of this period – if you view a car with round headlamps it’s to US specification and will be less powerful to boot.
A series of Mercedes in-line sixes provided power for the W114 range – the M180, M110, and M114 series engines ranging from 2.3 to 2.8 litres, with the option of fuel injection on the 2.8 litre iants. These are generally bulletproof, and have been known to cover mileages in excess of a million. They’re shared with other models in the Mercedes range too, so parts are easy to source. Potentially costly, mind – Merc specialists know how to charge! Twin carbs can prove tricky to set up – we recommend an injected car for ease of maintenance.
Four speed manual; either column or floor change, or four speed auto gearboxes are the order of the day. Autos will be easier to sell on and neither is known for unreliability. Trailing arms and coil springs replaced the swing axle of the old Fintail, the service interval was increased to 5000 miles, and grease nipples were eliminated from the design. Most of the running gear was also used in the 1970s and 1980s Mercedes SL, so should be fairly easy to source if anything is needed from SL specialists such as the SL Shop.
Safety and solidity are what make a W114 interior so special – and whilst viewed with derision by styling experts at the time, it has a Bauhaus simplicity which appeals today. Electric windows, a heated rear window, a sunroof and seat belts were available – but all were cost options. Don’t be surprised it any W114 on the market today is lacking any of these features. W114s could be specified with leather or the standard MB-Tex – a superior grade vinyl which has fooled many.
Why Should I Buy One?
Not because you want something cheap to own, nor because you want something with all the toys. If you want a Mercedes W114, what you are buying is quality strength, solidity and dependability first and foremost. A W114, properly maintained, should last forever – and if you get the pretty Coupe it should serve as a most stylish form of transport too. Both saloon and Coupe are ideal family classics, with space for all plus their luggage – and with so few sold in the UK they’re pleasingly different.
What Should I Pay
Project - £1200
Usable - £3200
Nice - £6000
Concours - £7000
Engine – 2746cc, 6-cyl, SOHC
Power - 185bhp@6000rpm
Torque - 176lb/ft@4500rpm
Top Speed – 126mph
0-60mph – 10.1seconds
Economy - 22mpg
Gearbox – 5 speed manual, optional 4 speed auto