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Runs and Drives: 1961 Mercedes 180

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It’s rare to find a Mercedes still wearing its iconic hood ornament after so many years, but this 1961 Mercedes-Benz 180 wears the three-pointed star with pride. This vintage sedan is located in Colorado where the seller claims it runs and drives. It seems quite straight and priced fairly at $3,499 with the option to submit a best offer. Find it here on eBay with a few other classics scattered in the background. 

Although not a valuable car by any means, this entry-level sedan looks like it’d make for a tidy classic for fall rallies and summer drives near the shoreline. Showing very nice chrome bumpers with matching hubcaps, it also has a few obvious needs like taillight lenses and lower chrome trim strips on the driver’s side. All glass looks solid and accounted for.

Surprisingly, the interior is where the most disappointment lies, likely let down by the relentless sun and desert-like conditions as a result of long-term outdoor storage. The floors are a mess, possibly showing signs of a heater core leak under the dash, and the door panels appear dry and tired. The seat covers look like they came off of an actual deer, and the steering wheel is the solitary bright spot in the cabin.

The headliner is gone, too, and overall, putting the interior back together will be among the list of things the next owner will have to do address. As you can see, the rear window is in nice shape and shows yet another idled classic hiding out in what appears to be a backyard or side lot. This Mercedes 180 could be a deal if purchased below the current asking price, just don’t expect to get your money back out of it anytime soon.

Comments

  1. steve turner

    I believe this MB is a 58 or 59 and NOT a 61.

    • Anthony R from RI

      What do you say its a 58 or 59? Can you point what what identifies it as such?

      • steve turner

        Complete different body style.

      • Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

        By 1961 they were Fintails.

      • Mike W H

        Actually Mercedes made pontons until 1962.

      • Paul

        This is A 61 mercedes

  2. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Jeff. I can’t help picturing this with the powertrain, dash, and interior from a wrecked STS-V. It would be tough to give up that deer hide seat cover, though. Maybe a deer hide headliner would be in order. I think Chip Foose or Troy Trepanier could hit a home run with this baby and take it to SEMA.

    • Bobsmyuncle

      I can’t resist asking why? What is the connection or desire to combine such an unlikely pairing?

      Like 1
      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Bobsmyuncle… Fair question! I would respect virtually any path the new owner takes, but for me, once there are 3? or maybe 20? perfectly restored cars of a particular type and, assuming it’s not super-rare, I’d like to see something unexpected. LS swap stuff is everywhere so a supercharged LS-powered sedan would be easier than, say, a 2004+ V12 BiTurbo MB-powered one, though that would be awesome too. I’ve never seen one of these done as a modern high-baller. How about this rendering? https://samcurry.deviantart.com/art/1953-Mercedes-Benz-180-399010333

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Right on, I have no quibbles with hot rodding at all, I just was surprised by the swap choice!

    • Clinton

      Probably meant CTS-V not the STS. The STS-V was made 06-09 with a 4.4 Northstar, not an LS engine.

      On another note, I saw there is a guy on instagram building a 70’s Suburban with the CTS-V interior, drivetrain, and exterior bits blended in. I like it and I bet you’d really like it!

      • Bobsmyuncle

        I was wondering that myself.

      • Todd Fitch Staff

        Thank you Clinton! As Johnny Carson used to say, I did not know that. I had foolishly assumed the STS-V was more-or-less a supercharged CTS-V motor. Thanks for that clarification!

  3. JohnT

    From what I can see, The best part of the interior of this iconic antique German sedan is the 3-pedals and the column shifter. To the best of my knowledge, this is actually a (four) 4-on-the tree rather than the usual and customary American 3-on-the-tree. Pretty Cool … What a concept!

  4. Fred W.

    This model was my first car, purchased for in 1973 for all of $95 at age 14. Mine was medium grey and had pine tar all over it- but that was easily cleaned off, to reveal original paint that buffed out nicely. Interior was red leather. Had 4 speed on the column. My dad, a WWII vet who hated “Jap jobs” and German “Krautbuckets”, remarked that the glove box was made out of cardboard and was unimpressed. But he did rebuild the engine, late to find that the knocking noise was a rocker arm hitting another part.

  5. Wolfgang Gullich

    Mostly agree with Steve Turner, but the W120 cars had the same body from 1953-62. As this is a plain 180, it is likely a ’57 or earlier. If it were any other W120, it’d have a further model designation on the badge (180a, b, c, D, Db, Dc) which denoted different engines. This baby should have the M136 gasoline 4 cylinder.

    Pontons are fantastic cars. Mercedes 1st unibody design and bullet proof.

  6. Brakeservo

    So much nicer thsn a diesel .

  7. Rex Kahrs Member

    Two years ago I bought a ’60 190D out of a barn for $1850, and it ran! I loved driving that car, but man did it smoke on start up. The gas engine would be nicer, quieter, and not as smelly. I sold mine to a guy in Germany.

  8. Chris

    In 1975 I cut a widow’s lawn for a season and took her departed husband’s ’58 220S as payment. It was solid, really built like a tank with amazingly heavy sheet metal. Cream color, like this one, but with a full red leather and timber interior. The chrome was so deep, the original radio would hum as it warmed up, the horn-ring served as the turn indicator switch, the delicate 4-speed shift lever on the column was like butter…Just such a nice car!

    • Sirpike

      Do not mention tanks as ve Germans do not like to talk about var machines also don’t mention u boats or aircraft …. Achtung Spitfire !!!!

      • Brakeservo

        But didn’t they refer to the porculent 450SL as a “Panzerwagon?”

  9. Peter Atherton

    In 1961 MB went with that larger grille,so it’s definitely a ’61.My first Mercedes was a ’58 180 that had a cloth bench seat; wonderful car.

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