By on March 1, 2011

The first Mercedes-Benz W110 to compete in the 24 Hours of LeMons was this ’65 190, and it did very well in spite of having spent many years vegetating in a California field prior to being brought back to life as an endurance racer. Last weekend, we saw another W110; this time it was a ’67 200 that spent a few idle years in Texas before waking up on a race track.

Team B League Film Society – How I Learned To Stop Whining And Love The Judges was expecting to have many problems with their 44-year-old luxury automobile, but only a few fuel-filter-clogging incidents forced the car in for repairs. Otherwise, the car kept going around and around the track (the same could not be said for the team’s other car, a Jetta that blew its engine three laps into prerace practice and got a DNS).

When you bring a car like this to a LeMons race, you really don’t need to decorate the car with a theme like this, but we appreciate the extra effort. That thing on the roof is a replica of the bomb Slim Pickens rode to glory while going toe-to-toe with the Rooskies in nuclear combat in Dr. Strangelove.

Quite an appropriate theme for a Texas race!

The 200 wasn’t particularly quick— in fact, its 2:26.659 best lap was the slowest of the entire 81-entry field— but the team came in 48th place after doing 241 laps at 2.38 miles apiece. That’s 573 miles of about the worst punishment you can dish out to a car; quite an achievement for an elderly sedan that was never meant to go anywhere near a race track!
Photo source: Nick Pon

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

9 Comments on “Strangelovian W110 Thrives On 573 Miles of Full-Throttle Abuse...”

  • avatar

    Man, considering their reputation for being unreliable German cars sure kick ass on the rat track.

    • 0 avatar

      Like the Jetta whose engine blew up?
      I think this is more a testament to those incredible old Mercedes cars.

    • 0 avatar

      The W110 is not from the 90s “rust and electrical gremlins”-era but from the late 50s “engineered to live a 100 years”-era.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      Plus this one is a stripper-special diesel, so there is next to nothing that can break or wear out anyway.

    • 0 avatar

      Pre-90s Mercedes-Benz cars have a reputation for reliability, and the handful we’ve seen in LeMons have lived up to that reputation. What’s really impressive about the two W110s we’ve seen is the fact that they ran fine after sitting idle for years- 95% of LeMons cars that get resurrected from long-term storage get nickeled and dimed to death during the race, with dozens of small, maddening problems. Not so with the W110s (except for the usual crap-in-the-fuel-system headaches).

    • 0 avatar
      Diesel Fuel Only

      The local body shop owner here restored a 190 Ponton years and years ago (same engine, earlier body style).
      He said that the carb. was “very complicated” and that the only way to describe the paint was like “looking at a black mirror”.
      Don’t forget that this little 4-cyl has an overhead cam and a 6,400 plus redline.  Like all german engines of the day, the higher the RPM, the smoother they go.  Great handling on these cars, too.  Excellent driver visibility – really commanding driving position, and the faster you go the more “planted” on the road they feel.

      One of the first cars with crumple zones, doors that wouldn’t open in a crash and cause occupants to fall out on the road, padded dash, fade-proof brakes, really tough cars – don’t be fooled by how dumpy they look on the styling.
      Pretty decent performance for a four-on-the-column setup, too…

  • avatar

    Surely a poor imitation of New York Central’s M-497 jet-powered rail diesel car! At least they should of made it functional, sort of, for added impact (and humor)!

  • avatar

    LeMons racing, Dr. Strangelove and W110s are some of my favorite things.  Nice job combining all three!
    My W110 (1964 220) has 4-speed on the column.  Has anyone ever attempted a LeMons race with a column-shifted manual?

  • avatar

    Where is Eugen Boehringer when you need him?  Let’s not forget that the heckflosse/fintail Mercedes-Benzes were common rallye rides in the 1960s.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Inside Looking Out: Frampton opened the landmark July 9 1971 show at Shea Stadium for Grand Funk Railroad – the...
  • speedlaw: The buyers and the US OEM. Any imported car has traditionally been shorted, decontented, and eventually...
  • speedlaw: came here to say that. The pneumatic computer was a great idea in japan and the japanese could pull it off...
  • Inside Looking Out: Is there any use of CIA or it should be disbanded? There are too many secret organizations in USA...
  • Inside Looking Out: I don’t want to die! paisley1/index.htm

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber