Nothing Changed Since New: 1970 Mercedes 220

Mercedes of this generation always leave me with mixed emotions: they are good, solid classics, and fairly cheap to run if you buy the right car. But how are they as driver’s cars? Nothing exceptional, is my understanding, so if you’re happy cruising, this claimed 100% original 1970 model here on craigslist could be worth checking out for a mere $3,400. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Michael for the find. 

The seller says this 220 sports original paint and interior, and the old-school California blue plates (blue is the new black, don’t you know?) along with the period dealer plate frame all lend credibility to the originality claim. This 220 is a bit more unique given the manual transmission it’s equipped with, which doesn’t translate necessarily into more stirring performance, but does at least make the drive a bit more interesting.

The interior does present quite well, although the dash pad will need replacing if you’re a perfectionist. I’ve spotted one of these in the local Pick ‘N Pull and was amazed at how nice the gauge cluster, dash trim and swichgear were all holding up. These were the early days of the Mercedes overbuilt era, so it’s no surprise that a loved example still presents this well. The seller claims “…nothing has been changed on it since 1970,” but I’m sure that’s a slight exaggeration.

That’s no OEM Mercedes battery from the factory in 1970! OK, so perhaps we’re beating this seller up a bit too much. It does look quite tidy, the paint looks consistent and shutlines appear to be as Mercedes intended. The market is fairly light for a car like this, so I’d expect the price to be bargained down – especially if the seller’s claim of a pending move and we-can’t-take-it-with-us story is true.


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  1. Luke Fitzgerald

    I cannot imagine the person who secures this will not be left feeling satisfied, for the rest of their life

  2. Gearheadengineering

    Ad is gone already. This looks like a bargain. I had a ’70 220 diesel, same color combination. Gas version would be better. Manual shift even more so.

    Good, solid, reliable cars.

    – John

    • On and On On and On Member

      I too had a 1970 220D. Dark grey, red M-B tex interior. Bought it for $1400 in about 1984. Dead slow in town, but at speed was a great car. Noisy-yikes. Got 35 mpg and went a long way on a tank of diesel. Loved the glow plug in the dash that glowed when you started it to show you the cylinders were heating up. Mine had a block heater so it did start in Chicago winters. A different type of motoring, but I do miss it. Was built to last, heavy metal everything. Folks who rode in it always liked it. Mine was a 4 speed that was butter smooth, strong and geared properly.

  3. fahrvergnugen

    i brought home a very similar 280 about 7 years ago. The dealer wanted $5k and i gave him a punch list of why it was never gonna go for that. But ultimately though i would have done a deal for $3k She Who Must Be Obeyed (1.0) said NFW / NGH.

  4. ulm210


  5. Michael

    I never really liked these when I was younger. Now that I am old….er, I do. Would be a nice car to putt around in.



    • Suttree

      Classy. Beautiful lines.

      Like 1
  7. Lane-O

    That car sold for $1300 on ebay two days prior that craigslist ad.

    • Jimbosidecar

      Wow! I’m pretty amazed that with all the markets and all the cars out there you could find this out on this car. My hat’s off to you.

  8. Dolphin Member

    It looks very nice, but maybe too nice for 1970, unless it has under 10K miles and never got out much, and was waxed every year to keep the paint shiny, and……

    I think it’s had paint, but still pretty good despite the varying gaps around the trunk lid. I think it’s not exactly as claimed, but would be good for someone who likes these ’70s M-B sedans.

  9. George Soffa

    Rode in a Taxi of this model once that had over 400,000 kilometers on it !

  10. Concinnity

    “. But how are they as driver’s cars? Nothing exceptional, is my understanding”

    Not a good understanding then? These cars drive better than American sedans of the period. And better than some other contemporary European cars, like Volvos or Opels and even some BMWs. Just check out some road tests of the time online. It becomes obvious at speed when they are much more planted and stable than (say) a Nova or early Seville. They don’t have much acceleration, but compared to today’s cars they don’t accelerate as well. What cars that age do?

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