I’ve often thought an ideal storage arrangement would be some sort of basement-style setup where you could sock away a few project cars next to the surf boards and old bicycles. One owner of a vintage Mercedes-Benz W136 chassis is living that dream, as his project-grade 1952 170VA here on craigslist shows, where he’s had it off the road for 22 years awaiting restoration. It’s located in Alabama and the price is $6,000.
At one time, these were among Mercedes’ best sellers in its vehicle lineup. According to historical reports, Mercedes’ factories retained enough of its tooling even after Allied bombing in WWII that production of the W136 could restart and help the company get back on its feet. Given the condition of the Mercedes, there’s no doubt this sedan has been off the road for many years – and the seller doesn’t hide from the fact that it will require extensive rust repair.
One detail that threw me off is that 1952 seems very late for this kind of design. I have seen some references to production continuing into the early 50s in Europe, but other accounts say this model’s production run ended in 1942. Whichever it is, parts sourcing will be a challenge, I’d expect, especially for bits like an original windshield. Perhaps Mercedes’ Classic Center can be a resource for a challenging restoration like this one.
The upside is that everything is claimed to be there: the motor, transmission, (broken) glass, chrome, trim and so on. At least having some good molds to work with could make some aspects of the restoration a bit less daunting, but good luck finding parts for its front-mount 1.7L four-cylinder engine. As someone who routinely hunts bits down in Germany and seemingly every other country, I can only wish the next owner good luck, or simply recommend the current owner continue to enjoy his basement art. What would you do?