CC Outtakes Berlin – Curbside Classics from Neukölln and Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Part 2: Mercedes


Recently this C126 has showed up in my street and it is somewhat special. It is, by any means, a classic poseur. The BBSs are huge and give the viewer a taste of the time when the C126 was the car of choice for pimps and other shady figures of the night – think Koenig specials. This one even wears a 560SEC badge on the trunk, but the speedo tells a different tale – it ends at 240 kilometers per hour which would make this a 500 or even the rare 420 coupe, as the 560SEC was the only C126 with a speedo reaching all the way up to 260.

Also fascinating to me is the cloth interior with a seat design that I have never seen before on a 126. Does anyone here know if this was offered by the factory?


I love dusty cars! The mystery! The tragedy! The story that no one tells ! Is this really a 560 as the vanity plate would have you believe? Was there a 560 without a passenger side mirror (I would think not).


Not 50 feet from the tragic king of the hill gone under I found street parked his grandfather in spirit – or should I say his grandfather who had emigrated to the US and made a killing there?

The 280SEL 4.5 was exported to the US only and never offered in Germany, where the top dog V8 ran out of displacement at 3.5 litres – apparently deemed insufficient for American duty. I have seen this very vehicle parked around my place of work for more than ten years now. It is kept in immaculate condition. And has no passenger side rearview mirror…..


I have a soft spot for cars who have made the journey across the pond and back, like an immigrant who after a long life of hard work returns to his home country – maybe because it reminds me of all my own trips to the US and back over the years? Be that as it may, there are not many who have completed the journey and the most interesting ones are the one that were never available in Germany. Seeing them back on the roads here makes for a satisfying feeling.

Like finding this W123 300D Turbo, parked right next to a bicycle repair shop that I frequent. The 123 in Germany was offered with the inline-five turbo diesel only as a the station wagon – basically creating the fancy wagon class of vehicles in the German market.


Continuing the tradition of importing Mercedes from the states back to Germany is this W210 E55AMG – the first of its kind that I have seen on German roads.


Apart from a rare US-only import, the 123 is still a very common sight on German streets, this being a fairly rare early C123 with the still-carburated 2.3 liter engine.


When you hailed a cab in West Berlin in 1980, your chances of this being your ride were like 99 percent.


A typical sight in my neighborhood – curbside classics on cobblestone roads with painted walls. This generation of Mercedes diesel engines helped coin the term “Wanderdüne” – traveling dune – Its progression through space was almost imperceptibly slow.


The R129 has been fully accepted as a classic Mercedes by now and for some it is the last true SL. They are not particularly rare around here, but this one is the first one in a long time to come along in that particular shade- Tourmaline Green metallic, if I’m not mistaken.

It’s nice to actually spot a classic Benz that hasn’t been restored to better than original, for a change. My grandfather had one just like that.


Before you say blasphemy, you can’t post the car that marked the end of Mercedes as we thought we knew it (even though I would argue that would be the W202 C-Class), please scroll below. I know how hard it must have been for Americans not to receive the W/V168 A-Class. But the high roof long wheelbase W414 Vaneo that was based on the 168!!!


Just look at the proportions! And while some W168 survived in the hands of caring senior citizens who appreciated the high seating position, the W414 – whose purpose must have been unclear even to the Mercedes marketing department – is by now easily the rarest of Benz’ on Berlin’s roads.

Such a strange vehicle: I’m gonna go out on a limb and argue that in twenty years, this will be a total classic and highly sought after. Needless to say, I absolutely want one – preferably with the 1.7 liter 74 hp diesel – good for 0-60 in 19.5 seconds and 94 miles per hour pedal to the metal – the true successor in spirit of the Wanderdünen from the classic era of Mercedes diesels and by far the slowest Mercedes Benz since the end of the 123 diesels production run.