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Old 02-08-2009, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 61
1961 220se

Gentlemen - my first request for specific feedback.

You already read my "classic for a year" mission. What do you think of a 1961 220SE for the purpose?

And ... if I can press the issue ... are there any idiosyncrasies of that model I should be aware of?

As an aside - the one I've stumbled upon is exactly the same model I drove back in the 1960s, when it was new, so I've got to fight off the "serendipity" factor. The only problem in my *first* 220 was the a/c compressor went bad after five years. Really enjoyed and respected that car.


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Old 02-09-2009, 08:03 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: brisbane,Qld.Australia
Posts: 2,066
You would have a great car for a long trip. Get a local Mercedes specialist to give it a complete lube job and fluid change ( there are lots of grease nipples on the front end and two on the back axle. Change the fan belt and the radiator hoses ,the fuel filter ( and carry spares) fit a pertrojnix to get rid of the points and travel in complete confidence. I would also plan ahead to ensure there are mercedes dealers close to where ever you passing through.
Read this blog for a little inspiration!
BTW,if you get 5 yearas use out of any aircon compressor you are doing well. The aircon has nothing to do with the quality of the car. mercedes hadn't made their own aircon by that stage.
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Old 02-09-2009, 09:36 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 38,592
The weak link imho would be the carburators.

But if its an se it would be injected. If it runs well you are probably golden. If it does not it can be expensive to put the injection right.

Its a mechanical injection...kissing cousins to the diesel system but without the lubricity of diesel.

If it has been driven regularly thats a good thing. I would expect modern gas to play havoc with the injection pump if it sits very long.
[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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Old 02-10-2009, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Alexandria, Virginia
Posts: 5,480
The four-wheel drum brakes can be quirky. The front discs on the later Fintails are preferable, and power steering is nice to have when parking one of these. I'd avoid the automatic. Otherwise, try to find a solid one, with as little rust/filler as possible.

Happy Motoring, Mark
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 61
I've heard many positive things about the mechanical fuel injection, and just about as many comments that few people know how to service that system.

Could someone please point me to a source of info on how to troubleshoot and maintain the injection system on the 1961 220SE?


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