BF Exclusive: 1954 Mercedes-Benz 170 in Australia


UPDATE – The car has been sold!

This find comes from one of our readers in the land down under! It’s a 1954 Mercedes 170 S-D and was a family car for decades before being parked in a farm shed. All the panels, running boards, and drivetrain are with the car, but it’s going to need some serious attention. This looks like a big project, but it might be perfect for someone in the area who wants a luxury oil burner. It’s located in Hunter Valley, Australia and the seller is asking $2,000 AUD. You can contact Glenn here via email if you’re interested.


The diesel engine found in this car may not have been the most powerful ever built, but it could rank among the most durable. This car wasn’t so much about going fast as it was about making sure you got there. These were cheaper to run too and that made them popular among people and businesses that cared about economy.


Compared to today’s standards, this may not look like a luxurious place to be. Everything was high quality on a Mercedes though. If you have ever looked at one from this vintage before, then you know what I mean. Luckily, you can still get parts from Mercedes if you decided to restore this thing. I can’t help but wondering if it might be better used as a parts car to save another project though. Or, dare I say it, used as for a custom build.


Mercedes had introduced the more futuristic looking 180 by the time this car was produced, so there weren’t a lot sold the last two years of 170 production. It looked a little old fashion and didn’t have the same performance of the updated car. That doesn’t mean it was bad though and the pre-war styling is something special today. I’m not sure how popular these old Mercedes are in Australia, but hopefully someone down there will see this and have a desire to rescue it. What do you think would be the best use for it?


  1. Frank martin

    Sure wish it was in the states, if it was it would be in my garage.

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    • hhaleblian


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      • Dairymen

        Really? It’s gonna be a money pit! I would for 1 in better shape, and its RHD, which is a PITA!

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  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    I like it! Of course it being diesel-powered makes it more attractive–to me anyways. I work on diesel engines and fuel systems for a living so I don’t have a problem with them and their quirks. I wouldn’t mind taking on a project like this one at all, if it were somewhat closer to home. However, since my numbers haven’t come up yet, I’ll have to put off something like this and stick to the projects I’ve got.

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  3. Jesper

    Old Diesel Mercedes is more attractive.
    If engine not is wery bad, its a good price. The price in Europe are minimum 3 dobb.
    I also would have snapt it , if it was in my arear.

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  4. z1rider

    If someone elects to buy this and ship it here, engine parts should not be a problem. Frigiking used that engine (OM636) to power the refrigeration units for their “refer” semi trailers. Back in the 70’s I bored and also sometimes sleeved many of the blocks. I imagine many of these are still running.

    As a side note, for those who think you can’t convert a gas engine to diesel, these started out as flathead gasoline engines with 3 main bearings. To convert to a diesel Mercedes had to of course use OHV so that necessitated a new head design, but Mercedes retained the 3 main bearing lower end.

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  5. Paul

    I’m down under and restore a 170S Year 1951 and a Unimog 411 Year 1965. This one looks for me older, with Diesel Tank in the front and Whippers from the top????
    To many Parts missing, I think it would be good for a Parts-Car

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    • Em

      Hi Paul
      I have this 170S in Perth, WA (photo attached) – what year would you think this one is?

      Like 1
  6. Hitman

    I wonder if it’d be worth saving the shell and the grille, junking the rest and making a cool two door hot rod. New chassis and big block V8 up front, could be really unsual car.

    Like 0

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