In the states the name “Merc” conjures up visions of lead sled Mercury’s that are chopped and slammed, but in Australia the term “Merc” is used quite readily as short for “Mercedes” cars. Adam, Cory and Mark’s Classic Mercedes Benz trio, or “Mercs” henceforth, are the perfect functional daily cruisers taking care of those long hauls from show to show in nothing but the utmost style. When it comes to vintage German cars, we find it fascinating to see where their owner’s previous builds were categorized; more specifically, the enthusiasts that now build elegant classic BMWs and Mercedes Benzs, started somewhere before diving into vintage german builds.
The ‘60s and early ‘70s Mercs feature a timeless look that seems to draw in all sorts of auto enthusiasts from a wide range of genres – ranging from the minitruck scene to the JDM scene, to hot rodders, and the like. The regal chrome that accents these chassis’ down to the luxurious interior enchants us with no regard to our previous styles or upbringing. This trio of late ‘60s Benzs laid out before you, all have different journeys but the end result are creations that manage to spread a smile across your face whether you are the privileged ones wrapping your fingers around the wheel or just the lucky ones who happen to catch these machines hard-parked leaving you in a state of euphoria at a local cruise-in.
Photos: Avit “Toasty” Chauhan | Words: Josh Wilson & Mike Alexander
Adam Thaler, Cory Kerewaro and Mark Wilson all have something in common besides for these three beautifully appointed classics – they were all looking for a change in scenery when it came to what was parked in their garage and for each one of them the classic Benzs stood out for different reasons as the platform for their ambitions to come to fruition. Not only did they each want something different in overall appearance and style, but they also were each at a phase in their life ready for new experiences as they swept through the streets of New South Wales, Australia.
Adam and Mark both came came from the minitruck scene with Cory being the only one having owned a Mercedes before these current builds, but Cory has also had short flings with Volkswagens as well as a current courtship with a 1963 Impala that is now under construction. And these mates’ eclectic tastes are exactly what Slam’d Mag is all about! Even though his previous builds had all been minitrucks, Adam is quick to admit that he’s always had a thing for old-school Mercs. With his 1969 Mercedes Benz 230 Adam went the route of a “revitalization” (or restoration) rather than a full custom build as he has spent countless hours working his W114 back to its original form with a few personal touches. The very first thing that jumps out at you on Adam’s 230 is the non-tradtional “front-up” or “cali-style” stance. Adam opted to take the old-school taildragger route and install air suspension in the rear but keep his coils up front leaving it with a stance that is reminiscent of more traditional hot rods from the ’40s. Adam also kept the original OEM 14-inch wheels and continued with that vintage look by pairing them with a set of white-walls.
Keeping with the vintage style of the car, Adam has spent countless hours reviving the original paint and also getting the straight-six purring like it did the day it rolled off of the assembly line more than 40 years ago. The reason for the endless hours consumed by this car is because Adam found it and purchased the Benz as it had been sitting in a garage for the last 20 years. But with some major elbow grease he has his Benz proudly cruising the streets just like it did back in its hay-day. This brings us to the second Benz of this sensual threesome: Cory’s 1966 Mercedes Benz 250. Cory found his Benz locally from of a friend who had decided it was time to part with the car after an eight year love affair.
Since he already had a project filling up his garage, Cory decided to jump on his buddy’s Benz since it had been completely gone through and was ready to drive unlike his other current projects. After a few small touches and loose ends that had to be tied up, Cory had this gorgeous ’66 ready for the pavement. Rolling this Benz on the tarmac are the factory 14-inch Mercedes wheels that have been coated red and accented with the original center caps and beauty rings with white walls rounding out the look. Air suspension was installed at all four corners accompanied by an engine driven compressor. To add some flair to his Benz, Cory has fabricated a custom grille insert that hangs gloriously on the nose of this iconic chassis which is one of Cory’s favorite highlights for his Merc. Similar to Adam’s W114, Cory has also stuck with the original paint which has been well-maintained over the years. This Mercedes Benz might be a fill-in until his ’63 Impala is completed but this is one serious ride to have just sitting in your bull-pin as a daily cruiser.
Last but certainly not least of this posh triad is Mark Wilson’s 1969 Mercedes Benz 280S. Mark is the veteran of the group spending 15 years in the minitruck scene before making the jump into old school Euros. His 280S has been three years in the making and is also the most modified of the three as he has balanced the classic look with some serious custom touches that he has incorporated into the build. Mark made the leap from minitrucks after he had decided that he needed a change of pace as the abundance of slammed hilux minis in Australia were ever increasing. His journey on his “Merc” started shortly after getting it back home where he started on the heart of his ’69 which was due for a serious transplant. Originally his Benz came with the factory 6-cylinder and after a run of bad luck with not one but two replacements, Mark elected to abandon the 6-cylinder in favor of a 302 Ford Windsor engine build which would snowball into a complete make-over for the drivetrain.
Before being placed into the 280S’ engine bay, Mark cleaned up the Windsor and decided to add some “go fast” fun by way of a roller cam, Weiand intake, hand-fabricated headers and Holley carburetor with a few other additions thrown into the mix. Since the original Mercedes transmission had to be replaced Mark went with a C4 transmission accompanied with a shift kit to add a little pep in this Merc’s step. After installing a custom driveshaft to mate the new heart to the rearend of the Benz, he quickly found out that it would need an upgrade in that area as well after creating a “little” smoke with the back tires. A differential from a 4.5 liter V8 Mercedes Benz rounded out the drivetrain on his Merc which has completely transformed the performance aspect of this ’69. With the drivetrain completed, Mark moved to the exterior of the car. With the help from fellow Severed Ties club mate, Thomas Tatton at Classic Customs, a full respray was performed on the car featuring a custom two-tone look. PPG Silver lies atop PPG Gloss Black with a white pinstripe that fences the two colors apart. Similar to the other two Mercs, Mark also went with air suspension to achieve both the look and ride that he was after for his build. Along with the air setup, he elected to keep the stock 14-inch wheels with the OEM hubcaps wrapped with classic whitewalls.
This look, even though mild, fits the car’s classic styling perfectly keeping the period correct look but adding a little twist to help it stand-out. Adam, Cory and Mark have all enjoyed their time with one of Mercedes Benz’s most cherished time periods when it came to the styling that rolled out of the German Auto Benz factory. Even though these three gentlemen kept to the original styling and period for these cars, each has managed to give them a personal touch that sets them apart from your basic restoration project. They showcase personality, functionality and most of all – living life close to the pavement no matter the manner in how you achieve it. Adam would like to thank: “Scott, Ben and all the boys who helped out.” Mark would like to thank: “James Foden for the Billet Rocker Covers & Overflow, Castle Maine Rod Shop for the assorted drivetrain, bracketry, Ben for the bag work, and Thomas Tatton for the body and drivetrain work.” Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the different worldwide genres of ALL things LOW.