Mercedes W123 300TD El Camino 1979 – USA

To, jak odległe są motoryzacyjne światy Europy i Ameryki widać za każdym razem przy próbie ich połączenia. Na ebay’u pojawiła się konwersja, która próbuje zaprzeczyć temu twierdzeniu. Samochód został zbudowany na bazie Mercedesa W123 300TD (czyli kombi z wolnossącym dieslem), do którego zaaplikowano zmniejszoną pakę z Chevroleta El Camino. Czy myślicie, że jeżeli Mercedes zdecydowałby się na produkcję pick-up’a, samochód mógłby wyglądać podobnie?


1979 300TD Mercedes Benz Diesel Ranchero El Camino Pickup Working Tailgate Recaro

This vehicle started out life as a 1979 Mercedes Benz 300TD (non-turbo) wagon; sometime in the 1980’s it was converted into a Ranchero or El Camino style pickup truck. The conversion was done so well even the guys at the MB dealership have been fooled into thinking that this was a factory pickup. The best thing about this is the working tailgate, which many conversions, whether they be Cadillac or Lincoln from the 1970’s, or BMW or Mercedes more recently, do not have. This is a fully functional vehicle, not just done for looks. It was custom built in Wisconsin by Bill’s Auto & Body, using a 1980’s era Chevrolet El Camino bed, rear window, and trim. Of all the custom El Camino and Ranchero style creations I have seen over the past 40 years, this is the most factory looking. The dark gray exterior with blue pinstripes and navy blue interior only adds to the class of the vehicle.

Despite the mileage, this vehicle is in excellent condition, a good solid car, looks and drives great. I bought it in June 2004 with 142,500 miles on it and it now has 149,800, so you can see it has been a reliable old car logging about 700+ miles per year, using it as a fun run-to-the-parts-store vehicle, obviously not as my daily driver. The title says actual mileage on it since MB’s have a six digit odometer. The car starts, runs, drives, all excellent, this is a good solid fun driver. If you know these wagons, they handle very nicely and are great highway drivers. And you know these diesels are nearly bulletproof. It has had one major repair; the transmission was rebuilt in 2010, at about 147,000 miles.

The interior is in very good shape. No rips in the door panels, all in good shape. I replaced the headliner a few years ago. The A/C has worked during my ownership, just not right now. The A/C parts are all there but it does not work, my mechanic ordered a new compressor last fall which he will install before the car is delivered, but he thinks there might also be a leak in the lines somewhere, we aren’t sure. I replaced the original seats with a set of Recaros (covered in a deep blue velour to match the interior color) that I had sitting in storage just for the fun of it, and added a power seat base for the driver’s side. I also did this since the original seats did not tilt forward, being that this was a four door wagon to start with, so the Recaro seats will tilt forward so you can put stuff behind the seats for more storage. Unfortunately it seems that when we moved, the original seats got thrown away; sorry they are not with the vehicle.

The Flaws?: The wood on the tailgate needs to be either painted or revarnished, there are a couple of chips and cracks in the paint here and there as with any 35 year old car, there is a small carpet rip to the side of the gas pedal, there is a tiny crack in the dash by the right front speaker, and the weatherstrip is starting to crack around the doors. The window switches on the console obviously only work for the windows in the doors, the other switches are dummys now, the rear quarter windows are lexan and do not go down. There is one panel on the dash that had two screw holes in it from where I mounted my XM bracket (no longer connected). And the back up lights do not work right now, I’ll see if I can get them fixed before the auction ends.

Comes with 6 printed owners, radio, emissions, etc. manuals. Everything works, the windows, radio (which appears to be the original radio), antenna, clock keeps accurate time, central locking, etc., with the exceptions noted above. I just put a new battery in it.