Monday, July 23, 2012

Car Of The Day: July 23, 2012

Today's car comes from craftymore's collection and is Summer's 1974 Mercedes 240D.

The Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115 models are a series of coupes and sedans introduced in 1968 by Mercedes-Benz, manufactured through model year 1976, and distinguished in the marketplace by nameplates designating their engines.
W114 models featured six-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 230, 250, and 280, while W115 models featured four-cylinder engines and were marketed as the 200, 220, 230, and 240.

All were styled by Paul Bracq, featuring a three-box design. At the time, Mercedes marketed sedans in two size classes, with the W114/W115, positioned below the Mercedes-Benz S-Class.

The W114/W115 models were the first post-war Mercedes-Benz production car to use a newly engineered chassis, not derived from preceding models. The new chassis format of semi-trailing rear arms and ball-joint front end, first displayed in the W114/W115 chassis would be used in all new Mercedes passenger car models until the development of the multi-link rear suspensions of the 1980s. The W108/109 S-Class chassis of the 280S/8, 280SE/8 and 300SEL/8 (and W113 280SL Pagoda) would be the last of the low-pivot swing axle and king pin/double wishbone front ends. The next S-Class -the W116 chassis- having the same engineering of the W114/115.

The W114 received a facelift in 1973 - with a lower bonnet-line, lower and broader grill, a lower placement of the headlamps, A-pillar treatment for keeping the side windows clear, ribbed tail lights to minimize occlusion of the tail lights with road dirt, and larger side mirrors. The interior received inertia reel belts and a new padded steering wheel with a four-hole design.

The W114/W115 was introduced in North America in 1968, but with fewer engine choices than elsewhere. These models from the start had unique headlights, utilizing a sealed beam lamp instead of the H4 type used in the European models. Bumpers changed frequently and there were at least three different bumpers used over the production run in NA. For 1974 the bumpers grew significantly due to new DOT requirements.

North American 240Ds were offered with a 4-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, whereas all 5-cylinder 300D models were equipped with the 4-speed automatic without a manual option.

Back in the 90s, large 25 car packs of Summer castings were sold at dollar stores. I must have ended up with a couple of those and enjoyed playing with them more than some of the HWs and MB I had. At this time I started to do my own demo derby customs with many of these Summer models used as prime candidates. One of these I used was the '74 Mercedes which I painted green and silver. For years I had looked for an adequate replacement and scored this one at a flea market not long ago. -craftymore

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