READER AD: 1965 Mercedes 190D Heckflosse + Parts Car

Reader Hillary B’s Fintail needs a new home quickly! This Mercedes 190D looks to be in good cosmetic shape, but it has a blown head gasket. Due to lack of storage space, it had to be moved outside two months ago, so the sooner someone gets it moved the better. It’s a well-documented car and it comes with a Ponton parts car that has a complete diesel engine. All of the needed parts needed to get this Fintail back on the road come with it as well. You can find the pair in Freeport, Michigan with a $4,000 asking price!

From Hillary – My 1965 Heckflosse (W110) has a diesel engine and a “three on the tree” manual transmission. I believe the car has 211,493 original miles. I have extensive service records for the the first 200,000 miles and receipts for the remainder. It was first owned by a Pennsylvanian. The first receipt is dated 09-16-1965. The odometer rolled over for the first time around 4th of July weekend, 1975. The last receipt in his name, with 17,722 documented miles, is dated July 12, 1977. The first dated receipt of the second known owner is from Cherry Hill Motors in New Jersey, 07/16/1979 at 32,060 miles. The engine was last overhauled by Cherry Hill Motors of New Jersey in 1981 at (1)48733 miles. The car was repainted, the radio replaced, the seats recovered, the front door cards recovered or replaced, and new tires installed when the owner moved to Nevada in 1998. The last dealership receipt with mileage shown was July 21, 1997, at 5006 miles. A receipt from a tire shop lists the mileage as 205,435 miles on 09/24/1997. I have mostly receipts for little things at Pepboys from 1997 to 2009.

I am a third known owner. The car had about 7,000 miles on the odometer when it was purchased. The seller said that he had inherited the car. In 2012 and 2013, it was a summer daily driver, driven 10 miles round trip in Detroit on most clear weekdays. It was also driven to car museums and club events.

Unfortunately, it has a blown head gasket. The engine was torn down and the cylinders filled with oil immediately. Most of the oil sloshed out when the car was towed from a storage area, but they are filled with oil again. the car is riding low in the back because the parts to fix it are in the trunk, including a new gasket set, a new timing chain as recommended, and a full set of new headbolts – all genuine Mercedes Benz parts. I also have both a Chilton’s repair manual and an original factory repair manual. I am also including a few parts from a brown 1980 Mercedes 240D that I once owned.

There is a small dent on the hood with a spot of cracked paint. The dash is cracked badly through the center. The windshield bezel on the passenger side is cracked through. There is a 0.5cm x 1cm rusted door ding in the rear passenger door. There are some little chrome trim strips missing from the front grille. I have been told that the rear differential leaks a little bit, as does the radiator. The upper seals on the rear doors are old and cracked. The steering wheel is cracked. The center console is a replacement. The last time I drove the car, the brake booster was not working. The front door sills are rusty under the black covers.

There are few things I would love more than to be roaring down the highway at 77 miles per hour in this Benz again, but it is time for me to let this project go. Garaged until about two months ago. It is currently parked outside. I also have a 1960 Mercedes 190D Ponton (W121). Supposedly, it was acquired “just in case” because the engine ran, and it has the same head as the 190D. The previous owner said that he was restoring it when a tree fell on it. Has been parked in a garage from 2012 until about a month ago. Currently parked outside, wrapped in a tarp. Smells like mothballs. I would like to include the 1960 Ponton at no charge. If you only want the Ponton, I might consider selling it separately, but make me an offer. I do not have a title for the Ponton, but I do have the keys. $4000 obo for the pair!

While there’s lots of work to be done here, this actually seems like a heck of a deal! It’s too bad the Ponton’s roof is crushed and that the title is missing, but it looks like there are lots of good parts on it still. If you’d love to have this pair, be sure to take a closer look via the link below!

Seller’s Listing: Here on craigslist

  • Asking Price: $4,000
  • Location: Freeport, MI
  • Mileage: 211493
  • Title Status: Clean
  • VIN: 11011010171542

List your car here on Barn Finds for only $50!



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  1. Rodney - GSM

    One of the best owner/ seller write ups I have read. Clearly Hillary loved this car.

    Like 5
    • Brakeservo

      I think it’s all puffery – ol’ Hillary here has NEVER driven this car – because if she had, she’d know it was a FOUR-SPEED not a “Three on the Tree!”

      • Jake Blough

        That might have been a typo, This is her brother, and for sure she and her husband at the time drove it frequently.

      • Rodney - GSM

        …perhaps she never got past third gear. I’ve seen it happen

        Like 1
      • Hillary Blough

        This explains why the only references to 3-on-the-tree were obviously not Mercedes people. In my defense, I was mostly a passenger, though I did drive it all the way from Detroit to the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners on 8-mile/Baseline. This was my ex’s daily. Mine was a 1980 240D. I still miss that car.

        Like 1
  2. normadesmond

    But the vinyl they recovered the seats with is hideous.

    Like 1
    • Brakeservo

      Absolutely TERRIBLE upholstery – done by someone who hates the car much more than the cost of decent material!

  3. Rex Kahrs Member

    Seems like a pretty square deal for an MB enthusiast. I really liked my ’60 190D, and the fintail is a great design too. Best of luck to all.

    Like 1
  4. Car Nut Tacoma

    This would make a better parts car, since much of the parts are all there. If one wants to buy the whole car, why not buy it, and then it can be restored to driving condition?

  5. canadainmarkseh Member

    When I was a kid no older then about 8 years a friend from up the street had a dinky toy car collection of about 200 cars. In his collection was this car and it looked different from all the other cars, it was my favourite car immediately I tried to trade some of my car for it but he wasn’t interested. It’s been a favourite car ever since and is on my bucket list. If I could afford this car I’d be bidding. It’s also to far away and would be expensive to ship. I hope the new owner gets this thing back on the road.

  6. Cobra Steve

    Description should say “Four-on-the-tree”, not three, if it’s a manual transmission. Even their automatic was a four-speed at the time. When first gear was engaged, one could literally pull out tree stumps from the ground.

    If only I lived a little closer and had a few less projects…if the frog had wings, he’d never bump his arse.

    Like 3
  7. Mike L

    I would love to have the time to do this old frauline justice! Although my version of justice might be a bit askew from others….. I’m thinking full resto-mod! Body and interior would get a proper full Mercedes restoration, all NOS parts from Merc’s very own historic parts bin, while the drive train would have to come from AMG! Engine, trans, complete rear end, suspension and associated electronics as well. Just imagine this sexy little geliebte in all her new glory!

    • Brakeservo

      These with the old diesel engine were actually terrible cars, hard to start in the winter cold, belching black stinky smoke at inopportune times, acceleration that rivals a snail with mileage little better than the gasoline version which was actually fun to run through the gears! Best choice for this is a gasoline engine, yeah AMG would be glorious!

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