Oddball Camper: 1964 Mercedes 190D

So you have been searching for the perfect classic camper that has style, reliability, and a little bit of economy when it comes to fuel usage? Well, look no further than this unique 1964 Mercedes 190D camping rig. Equipped with the essential basics and then some, this wild looking camper can be yours for the bargain price of just $2,900! Be sure to check this one out here on craigslist out of Boulder, Colorado. Thanks to reader Frank C for this wild submission!

Although there is a possibility that this is a 20,000-mile vehicle, this 190D is not currently running. The seller shares that the engine is free, and was a runner when parked. I am guessing this Mercedes has been parked a while based on the style of batteries. There are two batteries which I am sure facilitate camping.

With wide plaid upholstery, wood paneling, a cot, and a stove/fridge combo, this Mercedes has all the basics you need. There are several storage areas inside of the camper, and I believe there is also a sleeping area over the cab. So if you played your cards right, I imagine two adults and a kid or two could camp in a Brady Bunch sort of way.

When I look at this camper I see a once wrecked 190D mated to a forgotten trunk bed camper. Granted, I would say this camper was thought out and executed better than most custom campers. The truck mirrors have an odd sort of appearance and feel on the Mercedes body. I do not see any rust or any failing attachments between the camper and the Mercedes. I imagine some cleaning and sealing work are in order for the camper section, and perhaps a tune up, and brake work on the 190D side. Perfect for a classic German car show/race weekend, or perhaps this could haul your vintage Formula Vee racer?  Would you take a cross country excursion in this oddball camper?

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  1. canadainmarkseh Member

    This thing will be so under powered that it wouldn’t be able to get out of its own way. Kind of a neat looking rig but one thing I see is access to the interior is only through the car doors which is a bit awkward climbing over the seats all the time.

    Like 7
  2. Bill Shields

    My first thought when I saw this was “Wow! Someone would do this to a Mercedes?.” That was immediately followed by “Wow! Someone had the brass to do that to a Mercedes!”

    It’s kind of neat in its own way.

    Like 9
  3. Al

    I think you missed something “canadainmarkseh”, that back window flips up.

    So just prop the back window open and do a dive or a high-jump through the opening onto the bed.
    By the age of this thing the elder (probably) owners, no longer have the flexibility to dive onto the bed.
    I think it would be a nightmare to replace the stove. But, there just may be a roof hatch for just that type of activity.

    Like 10
  4. Chebby Staff

    On one hand it’s a travesty…on the other hand it’s really cool. It would not take much to spruce it up. A good cleaning and some contemporary colors on the interior and it would look a whole lot better. Would be fun just to revive it and sell it.

    Like 2
  5. Wayne from Oz

    I can smell the musty interior from here. And I’m in Australia.

    Like 15
  6. LAB3

    Love the weird factor with this one! With 55hp and 87ftlb torque though you probably won’t want to run it down the interstate with the possible exception of Kansas.

    Like 2
  7. Suttree

    Flat land use only.

    Like 6
    • Al

      I’m fairly sure you can “Slalom” down any hill you want.

      All you need, since it is in Boulder, Colorado
      are a few ski towropes or T-bars or if you are really adventurous a gondola.

      Like 9
  8. Mountainwoodie

    I have to say I like it. I was always a sucker for fintails even when they’ve been defintailed. I think a clever person could re-imagine the interior with some up to date fixtures. There must be some way to juice up the diesel maybe with a different rear end….maybe a MB diesel person can chime in. I had a ’67 200 with a column shift…loved to see the speedometer move. Thank the cargods this is in Boulder and I cant bop over to see it cause I might buy it! Just cause

    Like 1
  9. Francisco

    Ditch the camper and convert it to one fantastic Mercedes pickup truck.

    Like 11
    • Classic Steel

      I wonder on the safety factor of flipping an unbalanced self made contraption . The truck would take the top heavy off …

      It’s cool but just lil concerned
      on roll over and underpowered which maybe good as speed could be s factor too.

      Like 2
      • C.Jay

        The aluminum and wood structure is probably not that heavy. But it has the aerodynamics of a brick!
        The shear leverage of that large flat side on the small platform, would make your butt pucker. Especially in a cross wind or being passed by a big rig. Because the only big rigs you could pass would be parked.

        Like 2
  10. Z1rider

    I’ll confess upfront that I”m probably picking nits here, but I’m dissapointed that they didn’t find a way to keep the fins when they did the conversion. I did an image search just to remind me of what the back of these looked like. I think it would have been easy to have have the structure start at the top of the fins. Oh well.

    I suspect the motivation for this project was avoiding the very poor gas mileage of the typical motor home. I’m sympathetic to that. If that mileage is actual I think that says everything you need to know about how successful this was. Crying out for a 5 cylinder turbo diesel swap. Would it fit?

    Like 1
  11. Howard A Member

    20K miles? HA!. Probably had 220K when they cut the back off. I like it too. It’s different. Ok, top heavy, underpowered, yeah, we know, lots of vintage campers fit that bill. And you can make it around on 2 lanes, take a bit longer, you may have to actually look at a paper map to find the best ones, but what’s the rush? Probably get decent mileage, diesel bulletproof, I’m thinking Alcan Highway.

    Like 1
  12. Fred W

    I think it would not just be underpowered, but dangerously underpowered. I remember trying to access the interstate in a 300D and it wasn’t pretty. The car was a babe magnet though.

  13. rustylink

    it’s possibly a 20K vehicle, or 120K, 220K or 320K…

    Like 1
  14. Madmatt

    Iam a fan of home built motor homes,as long as they are done well.
    This would certainly get a lot of looks at the camps.
    I would have used a slide in camper with a rear door,and would
    like to have a more modern interior.This is really different,but
    I would ditch the powertrain,for something more powerful,and reliable.
    I wonder how all of the “Benz” fans feel about it…??

  15. Peter


    Like 1
  16. Cobra Steve

    Our family bought a ’65 190Dc with an automatic transmission back in 1966. Being a kid, it was my job to keep it washed and waxed. Beautiful car but grossly underpowered.

    I recall one summer taking a family vacation up Pike’s Peak, ironically, in Colorado, too! Poor car, with an AT, PS, PB, A/C, Mom, Dad, three kids, & luggage, barely climbed at a rate of perhaps 10 mph. We had a line of cars behind us and all I remember seeing was a CLOUD of black diesel exhaust engulfing the cars behind us. I also remember the car directly behind us would move to the left lane (oncoming traffic lane) as if to pass, slam on his brakes, and allow the people behind him to take up the slack. He then got further back in line to avoid the exhaust. We were so embarrassed but what could we do?

    I will say this…the Merc made it up (and down) Pike’s Peak safely. This MB RV is definitely destined for either flat lands or perhaps to be converted to a pick up truck?

    Like 1
  17. Ol Caddie

    This one has been on internet awhile. On another site, this was “confirmed” to be by a builder in Colorado. He would buy cars wrecked in the back from junkyards. Put a camper on, used fenders, bumpers, etc. The ones I’ve seen are Cadillacs and Buicks. Somewhere on internet there is pics of them. They had V8’s, plenty of power!

    Like 2
  18. LodeStar

    I fantasize over the “individual” who but this monstrosity together. WHO appreciates the prestige and durability of an old Mercedes and yearns to travel America in a truck camper? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?

  19. Cobra Steve

    While my wife would divorce me for even discussing (let alone purchasing) this unique car, I find myself going back and looking at it a few more times! Is it my eyes or are there two (2) 6V batteries wired in series under the hood? I do know our ’65 190Dc was 12V but why have the two 6V batteries? Perhaps to improve handling with more even weight distribution? Surely the camper rig would negate that.

    Was that the propane pressure regulator next to the left rear taillight? And the louvered panel where the driver side rear door would have been…could this be where the Onan generator is housed?

    Somebody, please BUY this car before I check myself into the Henry Ford clinic.

    Like 1
    • Chebby Staff

      The vent panel is for the stove/fridge…that is a regulator but i’m not sure where the gas bottle lives. That cabin is too small to cook in anyway, it would reek. I’d take out the stove/fridge unit but I don’t know if any of the doors are big enough to get it out. Why am I so compelled by this thing?

      Like 1
  20. chrlsful

    like the 2 votes 4 p/u truck’n the 1 for ‘re-attach the orig fins’. Lastly, also as said, a ‘mil mi’ 300TD (or the ford 4.9 i6) for longevity!

  21. Dirk

    What? No tow hitch?

    Like 1

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