The owner of this classic is Cicely Chin, an 88-year-old woman who now lives in Contra Costa County and thinks maybe it’s time to sell it. Like pet owners who must part with their beloved companions, she would like this car she has owned for 54 years to go to a good home.
Her husband worked in Atlanta but had family in Berkeley so they had many trips and memories traveling to and from California in this Mercedes. After more than 200,000 miles, she had a second Mercedes 2.8-liter engine rated at 170 horsepower installed that now has 37,000 miles on it. The car has an automatic transmission and air conditioning plus two tops. It has a removeable hardtop and inside, under the hardtop, is a manual soft top hidden under a solid boot cover.
This car was Chin’s daily driver until about five years ago. She said she stopped driving it “Because everywhere I park, a lot of people were looking at it. I’m so scared I’ll get somebody with a gun holding me up, so that is why I quit driving it. Every time I’m on the freeway, some dumb guy will yell at me, ‘what year is it?’ so that is why I quit driving it. So now, with my Honda, nobody looks at me.”
There have been other problems too.
“My biggest problem with this car is always the stealing. I’ve had a lot of stuff stolen out of the car. The hub caps (wheel covers painted the car’s color) were stolen several times and even had the hardtop stolen in Los Angeles. It was quite new at that time and the driver’s side window was broken many times because they wanted to steal the car. One cannot (easily) steal the car because the ignition key is so special that you have to have that key to get the car to start.”
It’s almost like a “barn find” car. The original owner has stored the Mercedes on jacks in her home garage. It’s going to take some TLC and maybe some mechanical work, I suspect, to get this beauty road-worthy again. The major question is, once that is done, is what this one-owner 54-year-old Mercedes is worth.
In looking up the prices of similar cars online, the range is quite broad. I found cars of this vintage selling from $30,000 to $99,000, but they appeared to be in showroom condition. I think Chin will soon look for a good home for her treasure.
You’ve probably heard the expression that “Behind every great man there’s a great woman.” That certainly is the case with Karl Benz, credited with inventing the first internal combustion engine in a car, which was financed by the dowry of his wife, Bertha, and patented in January 1886.
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It was a three-wheeled model called the “Motorwagen.” Men sometimes make derogatory comments concerning women drivers, but it was Bertha Benz who in 1888 took her sons on the first long-distance drive from Manheim to Pforzheim, Germany, about 43 miles.
The first Mercedes automobile was marketed in 1901 by Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (DMG). Emil Jellinek, an automotive industrialist, worked for DMG and registered the trademark in 1902, naming the 1901 Mercedes 35-horsepower vehicle after his daughter, Mercedes (fortunately, his daughter’s name wasn’t something like Suuanahilt).
In 1926, the first vehicles branded as Mercedes-Benz (MB) were manufactured as a result of the merger of Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler’s companies. During the 1930s, MB produced only 117 of the famous 770 models sometimes called the “Grand Mercedes,” which was liked and even driven by Adolf Hitler, but his had a bulletproof windshield.
Starting in 1937, MB produced mostly military products, including trucks and airplane engines, and by 1942 auto production had stopped. Like BMW, about half of the company’s workers were either forced labor, prisoners of war or concentration-camp detainees.
After World War II, MB started building cars in 1947, initially producing ambulances, police cars and delivery vans. By 1952, MB started exporting vehicles to the United States and in 1958 teamed up with America’s Studebaker-Packard Corp. primarily for their distribution and dealer organization.
MB has been very innovative and been credited with the development or improving of the honeycomb radiator in 1901, the electric-powered car in 1906 and all-wheel drive in 1907. More recently, MB developed …read more
Source:: The Mercury News