1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

 You are listening to “The Chapel of Love” originally by The Dixie Cups

 

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

I purchased this car in Auckland , while on a visit to my sisters. I saw it advertised in the Trade & Exchange paper and went to have a look at it. It had been used and abused and had rust, a broken drivers window, tatty interior, both the body and the bumpers were dented and the generator wasn’t charging, but I saw some potential in it. I made an offer for it and ended up owning it. (Actually, I swapped an early Audi 80 for it).

Anyway, I took it back to my sisters, where I stayed for the weekend, then decided to head home. One fully charged battery got me to Paeroa by which time the car was getting progressively slower. A stop in Paeroa to get the battery put on a fast charge for about an hour, did the trick, then it was Tauranga, here I come. Believe it or not, I made it all the way home, but as I turned into the drive, the car cut out. The battery was dead flat so I put it on charge again while I fitted a spare generator that I just happened to have in stock. (the beauty of owning quite a few cars of the same make ). I fixed the drivers window at the same time, and drove it for a couple of months then decided it was time to give it a tidy up.

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

At this time I was still working as a Motor Mechanic and had a friend , Peter Trewartha, who was a panel-beater / painter and had owned Hot Rods & Customs when he was in Australia and still drove a nice 65 Ford Fairlane, as well as owning a 450 Mercedes Coupe. I told him what I wanted done and he got stuck in, after I had completely stripped the car inside & out, along with all the windows.

A few weeks later, it had all the chrome-work re-done, the car had been completely paneled and painted shiney “midnite black”, and at the same time, I had a black vinyl roof fitted by Ian (Hank) Yardley of First Ave Auto trim.

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

Ian also fitted new brown colour carpets and new boot mat, along with a new headlining, and he also recovered the seats in a light mushroom coloured velour upholstery which was done in a pleated & rolled style. Instead of doing just two or two & a half inch pleats, I got him to do do them with a half inch pleat between each of the two inch pleats. The effect was stunning . To finish off the look of the car, all the paint was removed from the hubcaps and these were all buffed & polished.

Now, I had told another friend, just after I got the car, what I was intending to get done to it and how it should turn out. He had been trying to find a nice car to use for his daughters wedding and time was running out, so I had offered the use of the Mercedes. Talk about taking things to the wire. I picked the car up from Peter on the Friday night and my friend’s daughter was getting married the next morning.

The windows were all back in, but nothing else and I drove the car home sitting on an old nail box.

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

1965 Mercedes Benz 220 SE

A quick meal and then I was into putting it all back together, and when it got dark I carried on working in the driveway with a lead-light determined to get it done. I had to !! Anyway, a young girl that I knew at the time, Tracey, came to visit and ended up giving me a hand to re-assemble the car. We finished it in the wee small hours of the Saturday morning, stopped for a break, then it was time to dress it up as a wedding car. Instead of just using ribbon, we used long white tassles, fitted the brides doll, did the rear window ledge up with gold horse-shoes and red & white roses and it looked a treat.

I lived in Tauranga at the time and the bride lived at Papamoa & I was running late to be there at the time I promised. I figured if I hoofed it, I could still make it in time. Coming along the Papamoa straight, I passed about 5 cars at well over the magic fiqure, with all the tassles fluttering like crazy, but nothing came adrift and I pulled into my friends house, to pick his daughter up, bang on time…
The car got a lot of attention at the wedding, and I ended up driving for a lot more.

The car always attracted attention and comments, and was one of the best Mercedes that I have owned.