My wife loves old Mercedes-Benz station wagons – specifically the model sold in the U.S. from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s – part of the long-running W123 series that also included sedans and coupes. One of these days I’ll find the right one, in the right color, and surprise her.
On Tuesday, though, I stumbled across on older, rarer Benz wagon that piqued my interest. It was a 1967 230 S Universal Wagon model built on the W111 chassis with a 2.3-liter six-cylinder engine and a four-speed manual transmission with a shifter mounted on the column. It is not exactly a “sport wagon,” but it has air conditioning and looks like a fun machine for day trips.
“Too old,” my wife said. And perhaps a bit too spooky looking as well – like it could be haunted or possessed. The later wagons certainly have sleeker, more graceful lines and are true classics. But I would happily take the older version just for its head-turning capability and the novelty of its column shifter. It would make a major impression at the grocery store.
As the story goes, this particular car spent many years in storage awaiting a restoration before a new owner rescued it. It reportedly has traveled fewer than 12,000 kilometers since new and has about 5000 km on the odometer now. It had about 7,000 km before the gauge was reset during the restoration.
By the way — when I checked today the car was marked “sold.”