PCH, Beelzebub's Benz Edition: '58 219 or '73 450SL?

The '88 Bentley Mulsanne had its entourage of coked-up thugs stuff the MGC into The Crusher in Friday's Choose Your Eternity poll, with nearly 65% of voters preferring Bentley Hell to MG Hell. With all the British, Italian, and French machinery we've seen in this series recently, we tend to forget that the Germans are no slouches at providing us with Hell Projects. Oh, sure, the Germans do a pretty good job with engineering and quality control (and British Leyland-style labor strife was never a factor, what with the stern Prussian overseers brandishing their riding crops at the assembly line workers), but complexity is dear to the heart of any self-respecting German engineer, and complex cars have complex problems! That's why we're taking a little trip to German Car Hell today, with a pair of vintage Mercedes-Benzes featuring budget price tags.


Everyone liked the Ponton Mercedes-Benz we had on DOTS not long ago, so I've been keeping an eye out for an affordable one. Now, let's say- just for the sake of argument- that you could find a Ponton for $500. Would you do what Team Field Find did with their Mercedes Fintail? Get ready for exactly that dilemma, because here's a 1958 Mercedes-Benz 219 (go here if the ad disappears) for exactly five Benjamins! You can't expect a W105 Mercedes at that price to be perfect, so it doesn't come as much of a shock to find that this one doesn't run. However, the seller states that it "has motor use to run," which should be reassuring. Looks like the interior needs some work, too, and some trim pieces have gone AWOL. The thing about this car that serves as such an effective lure to the sulfurous abyss is that it's so solidly built that you know it's possible to make everything work again. You can do it!

It would be fun to feel like the decadent Baron von Hoon in your staid Ponton, heading out for a night of Early Jet Set Era absinthe-fueled cross-dressing action at an exclusive Berlin nightclub, but perhaps you like your Mercedes-Benzes to be more on the sporty side. We've got just what you need, Jürgen! How about a 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SL (go here if the ad disappears) for only $750? Amazing! You won't have to worry about getting that complicated-ass Mercedes V8 to work, because it's gone... but that means you have guilt-free authorization to enrage the purists by dropping a Nissan VK45DE into the engine compartment. The body and paint aren't too bad, and the interior... well, just remember the car was only $750!

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