Date registered: Dec 2004
Vehicle: 300TE 4-Matic 300GD
Location: Oslo Norway
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RE: how good of protection is a 1971 220 d benz??
According to 1971 standards, you will be fine. If you compare to newer cars, the answer is not too great protection.
It depends a little on how many seats you have, 5 or 6. If you have a six seater, you will have a steering colum gearshift and a sofa in front. In that case you MUST have belts for all seats. If you crash with six people onboard, and nobody in the back wear belts, the front seat has a tendency to loosen and smash you good up in the dashboard. It is vital to connect the middel seat belts to the sofa, and not to the floor behind it. It will contribute to making the sofa heavier, but fastening the belts to the floor might kill your middel man. I have seen that happen.
The original steering wheel is fairly hard. Buying a 123 wheel is safer, but looks corny to many. But they are definitely safer.
I have worked as a heavy wrecker for many years. And I have pulled a lot of 115's of the road. I can't seem to recall a lot of deaths or excess injury in these cases.
I have a feeling that your renovation also includes welding of plates/rust. Some people reinforce everything they come over under there. That has implications when you smash her up. If you reinforce the intended "weak" points, you might make a future crash much more serious than necessary.
But this was a real safe car in it's day. That's for sure.
Safe driving for you and yours.