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mjlehner's Garage

1971 Mercedes-Benz 220 Series 220 220D Sedan Base

Tobacco Brown with a camel Mercedes Tex interior. Roll up windows, no sun roof, four speed manual on the floor.

What I like about this car:
It's simple, cheap, and the collectors have scoffed at it. This makes it an affordable driver/collectible.

What I do not like:
Bad paint job. Very bad paint job.


The 220D is a 4 cylinder 2.2 liter 68 horsepower bare bones driver. It has Mercedes Tex interior like most of them had.
It has a 4 speed manual shift on the floor. Bucket seats in front and a bench in the rear. Four wheel disk brakes, steel
5 bolt wheels and 15 inch tires. It has stainless steel hubcaps that are very high quality. The car has air
conditioning, roll up windows, no sunroof, and this also is the basic configuration that a lot of the 220D's had. It's
an early unibody construction, so when the car gets too rusty, it loses its structural integrity and gets pretty loose.
The rocker panels are a box assembly that also contribute to the structural stiffness of the car. The trunk is very
large and flat. The spare tire mounts in the rear quarter panel inside the trunk on the passenger side, leaving the
whole trunk for luggage or whatever. The car has an amazing turning circle for its size. It will u-turn on a normal
street without touching either curb. That is better than a VW Golf will do. For a vehicle with only 68 horsepower, it
will cruise on the highway nicely at 60 mph and get 30 to 32 mpg. It is a smaller Benz than the later 80's 300 series
and feels very sporty in the tight turns. It's also very torquey off the line and it's not hard to squawk the tires but
of course, I don't. It still has the big square vertical Benz grill with the Mercedes star ornament on top. Tinted glass
but not too dark and a rear window defroster plus the front windshield wipers start from the outside and both wipe to
the inside, like the oldies used to do rather than both wiping the same way. This gives it a vintage feel, as does the
body shape and chrome. It's hard to find one of these in nice condition any more. They are all pretty beat up and rusty
now. The 220D has escaped the significant price escalations that the 220SEB cabriolet and some of those models that are
going for 80k or better. I have had 3 of them for this very reason. The reliability along with the cheap entry price
kept me coming back for more.