Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Mercedes utility van? It happened.

If you’re a tradesman, and you own a Mercedes 3C, what do you do with it? You turn it into a working car. In this case a utility van, complete with original panels. A work of art, no less, and a work of art with a real lesson for Mercedes owners. We’re not too sure how he handled the car insurance, but the job was superb.

The tale of the Mercedes
A 3C is an old Mercedes, but a good one. This was one of the last versions of the traditional Mercedes sedans, the classic model from which the modern Mercedes are derived. Finding parts for the 3Cs isn’t easy. It takes time, but being Mercedes parts, they don’t get thrown out. It’s usually possible, if you have the patience, to restore a Mercedes from about 1960 onwards.

This tradesman must have had the patience of God, or better. Even the upholstery was immaculate. It was all leather, the sort a hardworking tradesman can truly appreciate. Green leather, and good quality, heavy duty, stitched like the Mercedes grew it itself. It was absolutely immaculate in the easily recognizable front cabin. The dashboard was also fully authentic, the true classic Mercedes interior to the last detail, all in brilliant condition.
The notable difference, however, was an oversize radiator. It looked a little odd at first, but even the radiator was a very good effort at an authentic Mercedes radiator. A bit of investigation located the reason. Being a working car, the 3C had had its engine up-gunned. A reasonable precaution, because being a tradesman, the revamped Mercedes was carrying a tradesman’s load. The thing purred. Even the little suburban lawnmower cars around the neighborhood made more noise than it did.

What was interesting was that the car’s engine housing and the body wasn’t modified for this obviously much more powerful engine. This was our first clue to how well the conversion to a utility had been managed. The replacement was seamless. No body work, no resizing, just a new engine under the original cream yellow

The suspension was also reworked to deal with a back load. Tools, materials and heavy equipment can take a working truck apart over time, let alone a Mercedes. If you’re now getting the impression that this guy knows a bit about cars, you’d be right.

The piece de resistance, without a doubt, was the body work. The tradesman managed, somehow, to find a complete panel to join the large tray to the Mercedes body. This was a customized piece, and it was identical to the unmistakable original Mercedes body and doors. A perfect color match, too, absolutely authentic. 
The sheer visual impact of this car, sitting majestically in the car park outside a local village retirement home, where the tradesman was working, was astonishing. A Rolls Royce couldn’t have got more attention from the local car aficionados. Wherever this guy gets his car insurance quotes, he must have to talk for hours to the insurance people.


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