The once ubiquitous Mercedes saloon of the late sixties to early seventies, the W115, is now a rare car here in the UK – far harder to find than its successor the W123. However the elegant simplicity of their styling, particularly when coloured in a suitably lurid period shade, like the Reed Green you see here, looks effortlessly stylish today.
This 115 is a left-hand drive example that has just been imported in to the UK from the sunnier climes of Southern France, which goes a long way to explain how this car has survived in near rust-free condition while most UK-supplied cars rotted way many years ago.
Being a W115 230, this is powered by the four-cylinder M115 engine with a single carburettor, coupled to a four-speed, floor-change manual gearbox.
Sold new by Mercedes-Benz Paris Porte D’Orleans in 1974, the car moved south and has been in the hands of just two owners until 2016. It has always been in regular use, never been off the road and has never been restored. Indeed, it was driven back to the UK from Southern France with no problems what so ever.
The car’s owner subsequently commissioned us to carry out a mechanical check over and overhaul where necessary, resulting is £1800 worth of work being carried out. This included an all fluids service, new propshaft couplings and centre bearing, new rear subframe mounts, a new driveshaft and rebuilt brake calipers. As a result, the car is mechanically excellent and drives beautifully. We noticed that the dampers had already been replaced in the not too distant past.
We also noticed the underside of the car is quite excellent. It has never had any welding and does not need any. The bodywork has hardly any corrosion but has been the victim of a few parking-by-braille injuries. Still, its slightly dishevelled appearance does give it wonderful charisma.
Similarly the interior, whilst all there could do with the seats retrimming and the carpets replaced. Or you could happily use it exactly as it is!
On the road there is plenty of performance to cruise at 70mph or above. The engine is smooth with excellent oil pressure, the gearbox is slick with no synchro problems and the differential quiet. Suspension and brakes all very good too. In short, it drives extremely well.
It comes with all original books/manuals. Recently MoT’d, registered in the UK and fitted with period-correct raised-letter number plates. This car has just been the subject of the six-page feature in Mercedes Enthusiast magazine too.
In summary, a rare W115 in a fabulous period colour that’s structurally and mechanically superb, which makes a change, bears a few cosmetic scars of its 42 years – patina they call it – but is ready to drive and enjoy.