Curbside Classic MercedesBenz 207D (T1) And Other Vintage MBZ Vans

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Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic

Curbside Classic: Mercedes-Benz (T1) And Other Vintage MBZ

November 13, 2013

Needless to I’m a lover of vans, especially suitable for camping. Few things hopping into a vehicle all the basic necessities of life and the road. I have a vintage ’77 Chinook , bought for $1,200, in we’ve racked up 35,000 miles during trips to and all over the west. And in my younger I had a ‘68 Dodge A100 that I to a less wife-friendly (no bathroom) camper. But all along, I’ve had my on Mercedes vans, and I’ve run several of these  T1s hereabouts. As a kid in I was absolutely in love with its and delightfully rounded L319 and 0319 (bus) predecessors.

The L319 appeared in 1955, and was one big step above the popular VW in terms of both size and capacity. It was built as cargo pickups and passenger buses–and was the very first of the Sprinter-class that now dominate the market in and in the U.S. They were pokey, though: the diesel used the 43 hp engine from the 180D; later, the 65 hp gasoline 1.9 from the 190 also became Top speed with the diesel? 49

But to ride (slowly) through the one of these panorama buses the sunroof rolled back was one of the of my earliest years, and I’ve lusting after one ever I used to see them from to time in the U.S. the last one a of years ago, before I documenting my finds. They a highly desirable step up the ubiquitous VW bus for the wandering nomads so on the West Coast during the and Seventies.

When I went to Austria for the first time in the of ’69, I was an obnoxious sixteen-year-old. mostly to get rid of me for a few days, my parents put me on a bus from Innsbruck to Venice. Our bus was the then quite new successor, the T2, replaced it in 1967.

Needless to say, I have pretty vivid (and memories of hanging out in Venice, as a bird. Let’s just say my passport didn’t survive the nights of (legally) drinking red with other young someone must have it out of my pocket. The T2 we rode over the (pre-freeway) Alpine roads was slightly faster than its might have had all of 55 hp by then–and were about twelve or so on the bus. But thankfully, the border at the Brenner Pass were a balmy August evening, and us through without the usual

The T2 series also covered a range of body types; was a wonderful old ex-Feuerwehr (fire T2, like this one, around Eugene until year. And when I was in San Diego in the city transit department a bunch for their smaller They were bigger their predecessors, and powered by really noisy direct-injection M-B four-cylinder engines.

So in 1977, M-B introduced the somewhat T1 series, which includes our blue van and this black one T2, now called Vario, was still made until earlier year, when production was ended). The T1 was closer to the original in concept, sharing its engines Mercedes diesel sedans the 200 and 240D.

But plenty of the more turbo-five diesels from the have found their way these, thus making quite capable of keeping up modern traffic.

From matching paint jobs, and the way two hang out together, my guess is the Benz is the dinghy to this big Bird bus. Or something that.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic

Now there was a smaller predecessor to the T1, but it was not originally a Mercedes. Hanomag was a producer of cars, light and tractors, and in 1965 introduced a van to replace the legendary Tempo story here ). Like the the new “Harburger” F25 was a FWD design, which the load compartment floor to be low.

Hanomag was a struggling and in 1970 it was acquired by Mercedes. The T2 had creating a need in the   M-B lineup for smaller, but still a notch than a VW bus. And so, the three-pointed went on the hood and MB’s replaced the out-sourced Austin gas and Hanomag diesels.

There was a version, similar to this version and possibly made by that I used to occasionally see lust after) while I was on the Coast. And if you can believe it (by now you probably a ratty one lived two blocks my house until about six ago. I actually considered it and fixing it up, but I decided that I wanted to spend time on the and not on an endless restoration project.

In 1977, Mercedes replaced the with the T1. Mercedes designed it the traditional RWD setup instead of it was a popular van which made a camper. The blue one seen is in the beginning stages of a conversion. The T1 was until 1995, when it was by the Sprinter.

I was very excited the Sprinter finally showed up here a few years back, and it jumped up to the top of my list of eventual for the old Chinook, which gets 11 mpg on a day. I spent time the interior layout using highly modular components. I’d learned to ignore such overpriced conversions as Airstream and the other things, they’re designed for genuine camping, instead to imitate the plush of a corporate jet.

Over the past few years, I keep hearing about expensive maintenance and reliability with the complicated new diesel in the Sprinters, and how a very unhappy UPS theirs.  What’s more, don’t come cheap converted. So I may just keep the going–unless, of course, I happen to onto a beautiful, rounded-front like this gem.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Classic


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