I saw it with my own eyes. I spoke, albeit briefly, to the man who claimed to be the owner. I walked round it. I looked closely at some details. I took photos of it. It even got photo bombed. But still something puzzles me, and when you see the boot lid you’ll probably be puzzled too.
It is Mercedes-Benz W114 Coupe, marked as a 250CE. So far, so good, and a true Curbside classic in my book. This is a 1973 pre-facelift car – the facelift removed the quarter glass, lowered the bonnet and added new taillights and bumpers. Without putting the two side by side, you might miss it. The patina was curbside classic standard – the owner claimed an original, American spec interior and bumper rubbers. The wheels look like W123 items to me, though.
The 250CE was one of the coupe variants of W114 range – the visually similar W115 were the four cylinder 200, 220, 230 and 240 variants. 250 meant the 2.5 litre straight six M114 engine, with around 130bhp and 147lbft. C denoted coupe – a two door hardtop with a clear relationship to the saloon but which misses the CC definition of two door saloon, just. E denoted the Bosch D-Jetronic fully electronic fuel injection, used here for the first time on a Mercedes Benz.
So what puzzles? The word “Diesel” visible on the boot lid. There were diesel versions of the New Generation cars, but, apart from the 5 cylinder 240D 3.0 and 300D, these were four cylinder saloons and therefore were part of the W115 family. There wasn’t a 250D or 250 Diesel, there wasn’t a diesel coupe (how does 250DC sound?) and the bootlid is different as well, so it’s not inheritance from any body repair.
Therefore, someone has added a Mercedes diesel badge to the boot lid of a nicely patina’d 250CE. Why? Has some strange engine swap been done?
And the photo bombing? Another straight six, about the same size, in nicely restored Jaguar Mk2 on wedding duty.
I know the gas engines were not quite as reliable or easy to get parts for as the diesels, so it may have been a pragmatic swap. But as a dieselhead, I’d imagine the motivation was to have a w114 coupe with the diesel, the best of all worlds. My w123 is an early 240d 4-speed with a later om617 turbodiesel engine and manual windows/ AC. It combines the simplicity of the 240d with the ability to merge into traffic, something my w115 240d automatic is not really happy to do.
This car was never sold as such. However in various European countries, engine swaps were permitted and legal. As a young boy in the mid seventies, I have seen 300 SEL’s (W108 model) with an anemic 2 liter diesel engine swap, fuming unceremoniously in the slow lane …
I’m not at all an expert, but that “DIESEL” badge doesn’t even look like a genuine M-B part. It looks more like those stick on letters sold at big-box auto parts stores.
I think it’s from a more modern mercedes, late 90s/early 00s used that font….it’s less than professionally installed though ..which doesn’t help
Agreed. And the S is upside down.
Here in Uruguay almost all 114/115/108 gas cars had a diesel swap. There probably are, or were in the 80s, many more OM engines in this country than MBs of any year. Lots of other cars also had a swap.
There never was a diesel 250 C from the factory, and that badge is not original, real Mercedes badges had connected letters back then.
Judging by the Diesel smoot on the rear bumper I’d say it’s an engine swap .
Nice car .
I’m not a big fan of Bosh’s D-Jetronic fuel injection .
The left rear lamp is darkened by soot; that’s not seen on the gasoline-powered Mercedeses, but the only diesel ones without it are those with new tailpipe-side lamps.
Does this car actually exist?
You’re the only one that can answer that, as you actually saw it. It seems to exist, but then digital images can be deceiving.
Seriously; it’s obviously had a diesel engine swapped in.
I suspect that is the most likely reason, and some other gentle modding has also happened I think, despite the claims of original interior and bumper rubbers. Those look like W123 wheels to me for a start
If it were a diesel from the factory it would be named the 250CD not 250CE or 250DC, a la the later 300CD in the US market.
The others are correct in that the diesel badge would have had the connecting underscore and be larger lettered, these letters are from a later car and poorly applied. It doesn’t seem like it would have been more difficult to source and apply a period appropriate badge. It rather ruins the car for me at least, but as long as the owner’s happy with it I suppose it’s fine. At least he didn’t put an //M badge on it… 🙂
Beyond all of that it’s a nice find in a good if rarely seen color on these. However the Jaguar completely steals the scene as it enters from stage left…