Welcome to Little Car in the Big City, where I highlight fascinating cars I found walking around a town that is known for being bigger than everything else, but where every car is fighting to stand out: New York, New York.
When most people think of an old Mercedes-Benz, they think of enormous cars for dictators, like the Mercedes-Benz 600 Grosser, or a diesel station wagon from the 1980s. If they consider themselves an aficionado, they might think back to the original 300SL.
But the truth of the matter is that Mercedes made a full lineup of cars, much like today. Cars that I think are a bit under-appreciated, like this 1958 model. I spotted it in Red Hook, just outside Sunny's Bar in Red Hook where I saw that old Willys pickup. Red Hook is strangely one of the best places to spot old cars in New York.
I say "strangely," because it's right next to the water, and salt water destroys cars, naturally.
If you'll notice, I haven't yet mentioned exactly which body type the car is yet, and that's because to be honest, I'm not entirely sure. Mercedes' W105, W180, and W128 from this period are all pretty similar externally, and they can all be considered an early ancestor of today's C-class and E-class.
Sure, those two models are fairly divergent nowadays, but back in the 1950s there were very few "small sedans," and the ones that were small would still be considered pretty big by modern standards. Remember, this is a time when Cadillac was throwing fins on everything, and I would totally believe you if you told me they had planning meetings concerning how the next Eldorado was going to outweigh the upcoming USS Enterprise.
As you can see from the interior, this Merc was beautifully maintained, and it's full of details bestowed upon it by a caring owner.
But really, everything about this car is beautiful. Why don't modern small luxury cars come in black with black wheels, straight from the manufacturer?