Curbside Outtake: Oh Lord, Won’t You Buy Me Three Mercedes-Benzes?

Daniel’s post with the imagery of Denver’s Colorado Blvd the other day reminded me of this little grouping I saw in front of a church on that same street last week as we were killing time before an appointment.  An unseasonably warm morning meant getting out for a stretch and a walkaround wouldn’t be at all uncomfortable and when the walking is around three of Untertürkheim’s finest, so much the better. 

Coincidentally the building across the street towards the left is the Mercedes-Benz of Denver’s current showroom, so perhaps these three are facing the local Mecca (it is sort of eastward too for that matter).  Well, two are facing it and one is perhaps being disrespectful.  It is the young’un of the bunch so maybe not unexpected.  Let’s take a closer look at these three and see what we have.

Closest to us is a 350 SL, so if it’s a US car that makes it a 1972, the first year.  These sported the same 4.5liter V8 as subsequent years, but after this year they were renamed (more logically) 450 SL and produced 190hp and 240lb-ft of torque this year.  The burgundy paint with the light interior is quite nice, the wire wheels aren’t as much but I suppose as the early 1970’s car are still fairly appropriate even if I associate such stuff more with hardware from across the Channel.

It was certainly a nice enough day to take the hardtop off and enjoy a drive up Colorado Blvd.  Those huge ribbed taillights always take me back to my formative years, as that was the era in which the while lineup got them.

Next up is the oldest of the bunch and perhaps starting to look a little infirm.  Then again, maybe it’s just getting ready for a little rejuvenation therapy.  This is a 220 S (W111), the “Heckflosse” (fintail) and must have looked light and airy when new in that silver color along with a similar interior color to the R107 we just looked at.  The star still stands proud, the grille as big as it ever was.  Built between 1959 and 1965, I can’t tell the exact year from here.

This though was the volume model, produced over 161,000 times in this form.  Able to just touch the 100mph mark with the 2.2l I-6, it would’ve been a pretty good car to hop on I-25 a mile to the south with and then keep heading south to I-10 and then west all the way to the coast.  It’s pretty much all downhill, so easy to keep the speed up.

Last but not in the least bit least, the modern one of the bunch, a 190E 2.3, dating from 1986 with those headlights and the third brake light combination.  A huge success for Mercedes, the “Baby Benz” did good business and with the base 2.3l engine here in the US was able to do about 126mph, not bad at all for a four cylinder in the mid-80’s.  The W201 would go on to spawn a series of faster versions and with a Cosworth head in 2.3-16 and later 2.5-16 form became a formidable racer as well with a street version of each on offer as well.

But these more basic versions were all over California back in the day, and it looks like the good pastor enjoys his as well.  A little sun bleached in this case, but that’s what happens when the car is a mile closer to the sun than in many other places.  With a wash and viewed from the side it surely still looks quite good.  Somehow even almost forty years later this shape doesn’t look old.

Alrighty then, we spent enough time dawdling around these Benzes and our appointment is coming up shortly so it’s time to hop back in our own car and cross the road to get to the German honorary consulate around the corner.  But it’s good to see that someone is keeping the faith.