Roshake77 found this Mercedes 240D (W123) in Budapest, and it’s quite obvious that its owner has great faith in the high speed and towing capabilities of his 67 hp diesel. Perhaps both at the same time?
There’s just one minor detail: spoilers like this slow cars down.
How fast can a 240D go? There’s several numbers to be found on the internet, but they range from 83 to 89 mph. 86 (138 kmh) seems like a good average. But then rear spoilers create down force at the expense of aerodynamic drag, so this one might be a bit slower. Has anyone told him that’s how spoilers work?
The rubber lip saves your teeth if your slip pushing.
But it will help get the air stream over the trailer at 80 mph!
My dad’s best friend had a used previous gen 240D for a while, until it ran out of oil and seized the engine. “If only it had had a warning light, I would have noticed” he said, but the car mag writers love all the gauges.
I wonder if he ran out of gas a lot too? 🙂
Wow faster than the 90 Toyota Corona 2.0 diesel wagon I had, but with big leaf springs on the back I could overload that thing with firewood and it would still pull my trailer with a load on it, not quickly but it always made it home
That spoiler looks like the one on my old 1.6 Capri.
The rear end didn’t need any help sitting down at speed, saggy leaf springs took care of that.
After heavy rain you could squeeze water out of the spoiler if you tried hard enough. So there was an extra weight penalty in addition to the drag.
Extra grip, you mean.
Great color and with the matching hubcaps too. Being a 240D, perfect for just looking at as it won’t move away too fast. I wonder how long it would take to reach terminal velocity, which is still over the “Richtgeschwindigkeit” in Germany.
The purpose of the spoiler is to help judge distance when reversing – these old Mercs had no back-up sensors or camera…..
Those duckbill spoilers were *everywhere* in the 70s and early 80s. A company named Kamei of Germany made tons of them. I’m pretty sure that at speeds of which a 240D was capable, they were mostly aesthetic.
I just looked, and Kamei is still in business. They make a lot of roof-top boxes, but it appears they also still make plenty of stick-on bits to “improve” the appearance of your vehicle.
My buddy’s 81 BMW 320i had a Kamei rear spoiler just like this.
It depends on the material. If the spoiler is hard plastic or fiberglass it’s Kamei or Zender (the other big body kit maker). The 80s spoilers are mostly foam rubber and made by Foha (I may be missing an umlaut). These were on every other E30 BMW and quite a few GTIs plus they made the factory spoiler on 2nd generation Sciroccos. I think German safety regs may have driven the shift to soft foam over hard plastic.
My ’82 240d with a stick would hit an indicated 80, and felt like it might have a bit more but the racket did not inspire investigation.
Wow, I just checked that this car is still on the road. It still has the rear spoiler, but now a huge portion of the rear is painted in black primer.
In Hungary you can look up any car by their number plate and access pictures taken during inspection. By the way, yesterday’s Alfa seemed to be on the road too.
To be honest: It is no joke that many folks put that Kamei gimmicks on the boot lid for better viewing the rear end of the car while reversing!
My granddad did so, and he claimed: Also it’s a better handle to open and close the lid than that tiny chrome thing!
I remember traveling from the Bay Area to San Luis Obispo with a colleague in his 220 MB diesel… which had a manual trans, and at one point encountering a grade where I’d swear we could’ve traveled faster if we’d each stuck a leg out and helped with some “scooter action”. Can’t imagine a 240 would be much better.
That’s on your return trip just north of SLO, the infamous Cuesta Grade. I made that trip a lot after graduating from there and moving to the Bay Area. My girlfriend (now wife) got stuck on it in a Suzuki Samurai. For some reason she decided to pull over and stop and then had all kinds of trouble getting going again. It is (well, was, back in the day), a foot to the floor, giv’er all she’s got, type of grade that just seems to go on and on…Manual transmissions weren’t her forte either, so that didn’t help.
These days? As long as there’s a V8 or turbo power under the hood, it’s a non-event. In a 220D, yeah, that’s a long afternoon… 🙂
Many moons ago, I was piloting my dad’s rather gutless Holden with a camper-trailer attached up a very long and steep three-laned country hill way out nowhere. The double lanes were on our “up” side for passing slower vehicles ofcourse, but they ran out just near the very top. Now, my dad was never one to flog any car, so I was conscious of not doing so either (he was passengering, a bit unwell to drive), so I let the car fall down from 65 mph to 60 to 50 as the hill rose. Behind, I was aware of a Toyota ute in the other lane, and knew it would be held up by my cautious speeds once the hill ended.
So, I let the speed fall, to 45mph, then 40, then less still, and right at the top as the extra lane merged, the ute, flat-chat in diesel 2nd, just crawled past as I intended. Now, I expected a cursory wave from them: country folk are generally polite drivers.
Instead, to my huge amusement, the passenger opened his door as they squeezed past, stuck out one gumbooted leg, and imitated scooting along the roadway, whilst gripping the dash and leaning intently forward!
Well it worked, didn’t it?
Being Danish I don’t have that much exposure to that kind of hills, but we once rented an RV in Toronto to return in Vancouver and going over the Rockies we were losing speed up hill. Seeing as this was the 6.8 liter gasoline V10 I was so disappointed it was struggling so bad. How can you build a V10 that almost can’t get up a steep incline?
(Joke’s on me. I’m on my second Ford since then)