Some Assembly Required: 1936 Mercedes 200 Cab

OK, pop quiz: who here sees potential in this project? Anyone? If you do, I take it you are a greater optimist than I am or have a handsome Mercedes-Benz 200 Cabriolet in the garage in need of a weathered Virginia license plate, since that’s the only part of any value I see here. You can form your own opinions by checking out this 1936 Benz drop-top here on eBay, where bidding is right at $1,000 and the reserve remains unmet. 

See the license plate? That must be worth $1,000! Oh, OK….I’ll stop. We’ve all paid way too much money for projects (I have, several times), so who am I to judge. But I do honestly wonder what is useful here: if I’m buying a parts car, I’d want a roached-out rig that has actual, you know, parts still attached. This one looks like it has been at the bottom of a lake since the plate’s last registration date of 1949.

Now, you do get an engine and gearbox, and the seller claims he holds a clear title for the Mercedes. However, whatever you don’t see in the pictures should give you an idea of exactly the level of work this frame will need to come back to life. I don’t see how this would be useful as a transplant candidate, either, because if whatever has happened to your 200 convertible is so bad that this looks like an appealing alternative, well…perhaps it’s time to let the dream die.

Here are some other parts included with the sale of the Mercedes. You’ll get a windscreen, some assorted rusty panels, a dash panel with gauges still attached (that’s how they determined the mileage of 92,722!) and that’s about it. I suppose the clear title and a number plate is what you’re looking for here, so I’d assume one of the bidders has a project-grade 200 missing those components. This one is more about the paper, than the parts, it would seem.


  1. Howard A Member

    ______________________________________________________________ .

    • Johnni B

      Well said Howard A

  2. RayT Member

    You’re such a pessimist, Jeff! It’s so simple: crate up the pieces, ship to the nearest Mercedes-Benz Classic Center — don’t forget to slip a six-figure check into the box! — and presto!, in time you’ll get a sweet M-B 200 sent back to you!

    It will have about as many original bits as George Washington’s axe, but it sure will be shiny!

  3. Howard A Member

    Like the Chalmers, gonna take some imagination ( and a fat wallet) for this. Details are sketchy, but I think this is what it looked like once. Really, a beautiful car.–2617_1.jpg

  4. Rocko

    Whats needed here is someone with a magic wand.

  5. Peter R Member

    Rare transverse engine/rear wheel drive…

    • Mark S

      That’s what I was thinking.

    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Rear wheel drive, as in ONE rear wheel drive! Seems to have lost the left half of the DeDion rear swing axle. When I first saw the top photo, with the skate in the center of the rear, I thought perhaps a Morgan?

  6. Van

    Just needs Bondo and a JC Whitney catalog.

  7. Jeffro

    Hey dude, let’s party!

  8. Fred W.

    Ray T, I don’t think a six figure check is going to get this one done.

  9. KeithK

    Yes , it’s all about the paper on this one. I have a 99% finished project that lacks those valuable papers. Try as I may I have given up. I’ve spent too much money trying to “legally” obtain them only to be thwarted by the dreaded DMV and threatened confiscation by the state police. The paper is sometimes infinitely more valuable than the pieces.

    • Dave Wright

      Two words Keith……Lein sale…….I have obtained legal titles for maby hundreds of vehicles that either came with none or for some reason was never sighned off……each state has a procedure for lein sales on vehicles. Many states have agencies (private) that will do it for you for a nominal fee. In California, it is 150.00, here in the northwest, it is 300.00. The only problem would be if the vehicle had been stolen at some point. Off course…..I am a Mercedes guy. They have scrupulous records about all the cars they have ever built. That is a good thing and a bad thing. If the engine matches the frame number, it would carry more value. A 200 series cabriolet is not in the same class as a 500 or even a 300. I would be suspect if this car was a cabriolet simply because of the numbers of sedans built by percentage but if (and if and if) it is and the engine numbers are correct…..maby….but I think you would be betting on future value appreciation to make this project work financially. Good pre war 220 cabs are available for less than 100K actually less than a say 1957 220s. The 50’s cars are higher quality and much more sophisticated than these mid size pre war cars increasing the enjoyment factor.

      • KeithK

        Two lien sales and two Internet title companies later still no dice. In my state, the state police have the final sign off on all lien sales. No signature in my case. Not enough documents for parts and services. They know me now. Not a chance. Was told it will be confiscated next try. Internet title company documents not recognized as legal in this state. Will sell for parts eventually.

      • Dave Wright

        That is really ugly…….send it to me…..I will title it and send it back…..time to do some changes with the ballot box…….I hate to see a restorable car sold as parts…..we buy cars in California that have ridiculous huge back fees due, license them here…..where they are not recognized……and they can even go back to California without the old fees………….

  10. Dairymen

    It will buff out…

  11. James

    Another ARSE that deserves a good kicking for leaving that car out in a field for the last 50 years.

  12. Jim

    I’m thinking that if a classic restoration shop doesn’t want to fix it, it must be pretty gone.

  13. stillrunners stillrunners Member

    Jeffro….loved that line….after what they did….great movie !

  14. Bob Yeager

    Something that has been bothering me for a long time…..Why would anyone destroy a vehicle like this? Not just this particular vehicle, but a large percentage of the vehicles that we see on this site. It just doesn’t make sense to go to the work of tearing a vehicle apart just to be doing it! I just don’t get it, maybe someone can explain it to me.

    • Dave Wright

      Looks like it was in a swamp… the Bugatti that was sunk in a lake by an angry woman 60 years ago.

  15. Tom Hendrickson

    The motor has six spark plugs, but states it is a four.

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