There it was, parked under a tree. Three years of rain, snow, leaves, and dirt shrouded what was once a beautiful example of a 1973 Mercedes Benz 450SE, but instead, it sat with 3 inches of standing water inside of it, along with an abundance of mold and resident spiders, living lavishly by most measures. “All it needs is a fuel pump,” Jose Torres was told by his brother in law, the second owner of the car, feeding a line familiar to Craigslist conquistadors like you and I.
In Tauriq Ajam’s eyes, there’s an inexplicable charm to the W114 and W115 Mercedes Benz chassis. From the iconic Mercedes grille and the stacked glass headlamps that make for an unforgettable front end, to the soft, swept body lines that still reveal a somewhat boxy shape, there’s an exuded air of confidence and old money that comes with such a machine. It’s impossible not to feel a bit like an integral part of organized crime – a mobster – behind the wheel.
For shop owners like Mike Ngo of Eurowise in North Carolina, there are clients that keep the doors open, and clients that make the business worth running. Few shop owners, if any, dream of oil changes and timing belt jobs; instead, it’s jobs like those that keep the bills paid and the techs from starving.
Over the years, we here at StanceWorks have seemingly heard it all. What motivates us to build our cars? Sometimes its memories of years passed, sometimes its the goal of fulfilling dreams. Sometimes we latch on to an engine or a drivetrain, knowing full well that our next project will be powered by it. Sometimes it’s a particular chassis that calls our name, having fallen in love with its looks, its handling, its presence, or its character as a whole.
For a Mercedes fan, a trip to nearly any European car show is bound to result in disappointment. Beyond the droves of Volkswagens, BMWs, and even Porsches, they’d be lucky to find even just a few examples sporting the famous 3-pointed star. The sample size slims considerably if you decide to pass up anything made in the last 25 years, but there are a few folks out there with reverence for the classics.