I am using photos here, that I have found in the last six years. If I know the owner of the photos, I will make a copyright note there.
If I used any photo from anyone who a) doesn't want it here or b) wants his copyright mentioned, please let me know. Thank you.
If anyone has any more information, I would be more than delighted to receive it, maybe post it here (of course mentioning the source).
Design - Binz ...
11 January 2020
The original design was made by Binz, close to Stuttgart. They were well known for their ambulances, hearses etc. So based on the chassis with short or long wheelbase ("Fahrgestell") those cars were produced.
Afaik there has definitely been one car in Germany, produced for the Stuttgart City Tram Operations. I do not have any contact nor do I know, if this car still exists.
In 2016 I contacted Binz, but their "archive" consisted of a container, where nobody knew what was in there. So they weren't very helpful. Binz went into insolvency in 2018 but even the contact to the insolvency lawyer didn't result in any response.
Production in Argentina ...
11 January 2020
The following is based on information I gathered over the last years. I cannot guarantee, that everything stated here is 100% correct.
In 1972 Mercedes started this production for several reasons. One was the importance of Argentina (South America) as an export market. However, the import of vehicles was made more or less impossible due to extreme taxes, as politics wanted to have local production. Afaik the Pick-Up wasn't a "passenger car" tax-wise, but a "utility" (like a truck), so tax was different.
According to another source, the reason why all Pick-Ups had the seat bench was the fact, that it became modern in Germany at the time to have separate seats. So MB could do a "stock clearance" ;-)
According to this source here, 1,044 pieces were produced in 4 years. This could be right, as my car is number 297 and it was registered / produced in May 1973.
On a side note: I thought, that more or less all parts were just shipped from Germany and then put together in Argentina: This is not correct. When I dismantled the "220D" badge from the cargo door, I turned it around and it said "Industria Argentina" (!) so even that was produced locally!
What is an original Argentine Pick-Up?
11 January 2020
Especially during the introduction of the Mercedes X-Class (Pick-Up), there were many articles with an "Original orange Argentine Pick-Up". This was a converted sedan, but no Original.
All Argentine Pick-Ups had:
- Front seat bench
- Column shift manual (4-gears)
- 220D Motor
- Rear lights identical to the "ambulances"
- Slim B-pillar (unlike the fake one)
- Special cargo door, with swivelling license plate holder
- Rear bumper approx. 10cm lower than the sedan
The VIN (vehicle identification number) started with "115.100" (chassis with short wheel base), so NOT a sedan number. The photo shows my original Plaque (no. 297). Unfortunately the Mercedes Classic Centre does not know anything about those numbers.
Update 15.05.2023: After a nice and long phone conversation with the president of the German W114/115-Club, Rolf, we think that those Argentine VIN-numbers of the "chassis with short wheel base" were just started from zero again. Obviously nobody ever thought, that any of those cars make it back to Europe or Germany. According to him, more than two thousand 115.100's were produced in Germany; so it's likely, that a 115.100-10-000297 existed in Germany too.
TUEV Data card received
7 December 2021
This here is quite funny. After purchasing the Pick-Up I had my local Mercedes Dealership ask the Classic Centre, if a data card exists. The answer was "No, we don't know this car".
However, the TUEV had a data card with this VIN available. I thought it might be interesting for documenation purposes. It's not entirely correct, e. g. the Pick-Up had 15" wheels, length and width differ from the brochure, etc. ... you can compare it easily with the brochure scans.
Production in Argentina II
27 August 2023
What a great story I have today, this project is extreme in all possible ways! Last weekend I was at a classic car meeting and someone approached me "I know these cars".
Hmm, surprising. He drove an Opel and explained to me, that his grandfather, Paul Längle, was in Argentina for six years to improve production there!!! At his farewell, they gave him a booklet with photographs from the production in Argentina!
I was flabbergasted and couldn't believe my ears. So I asked him, if I could have it, maybe for scanning. After some emails back and forth he was willing to give it to me, what a gift! So I have an original 30 page booklet (A5 format) of the production of the time incl. trucks, unimogs and buses.
I want to sincerely thank Frank from Mannheim here, to be so generous to actually give it away. It will be cherished in my little collection of original Argentine Mercedes memorabilia.