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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-27-2015, 06:38 AM
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The "handmade" moniker seems to get tossed around everywhere, as it is often noted on the W126's also. Seems everyone wants to claim it. We like to romantically think that handmade is somehow better.

I agree that the 280SE 4.5 is a fine automobile, but I sure love my W126. Hard to do apples to apples since they are entirely different foundations and technology. I do think that was the last well made, by whatever method, then the downfall happened.

I am soon to receive my 6.9 and will then be able to compare 3 saloon chassis side by side. Should be interesting.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 08-29-2015, 07:06 AM
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So again, why do so many sellers refer to 1971 as the last year of "handmade" Mercedes? If true, does anyone know what happened in model year 1972 to substantiate this claim? Thanks.
A big crock is what that is.
I repeatedly see these claims in seller ads and think to myself: another idiot, who doesn't know jack sh*t about Mercedes. That is how you recognize them.

Mercedes were assembly line built after WW2 .
The ONLY difference was the 600 (W100), because it was built regardless of cost and in such low numbers, that it did not fit the format.

Find me documentation to show the opposite , be it in the form of photos or witness testimony.

All fairy tales.

And then to put a year on it is the epitome of ignorance !
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 02:00 PM
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This makes for interesting reading.
Mercedes-Benz Ponton Overview and Production Data © www.mbzponton.org

The term hand built can be used in so many ways but its hard to draw a line. I build and restore furniture for a living. You could say its hand built sure, I can't afford a robot But I still use many different types of tools ranging from old school chisels and mallets too modern routers, saws, drills etc. As long as quality in each step is the goal. I don't think it really matters. I like older cars for many reasons. Mercedes, I believe are no nonsense straight forward beauty's Assembly line or not.
Cheers John.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 02:28 PM
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I was thinking about my 6.9, there were only 7380 made over ~6 years, which is only 23 per week. It was built on it's own assembly line. No doubt cranes were used for heavy parts. I would consider this car "hand built", as they would not have spent huge amount for special assembly equipment. They no doubt had dedicated tools (air wrenches set to correct torque values for each bolt put in at a station) at each work station along the assy line.

I'm not sure that the use of an assembly line is the qualifier for hand built. Model A's were built on an assembly line, but I bet every bolt and part was put on by hand and tightened with hand wrenches. Some seem to equate hand built with well built. I think that is opposite. Modern tooling makes cars built to a certain spec that doesnt vary much, especially compared to something put together with hand wrenches.

As I said in an earlier post, today's cars are about half hand built and half robotics. The quality level is very high.
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by mrbrower43 View Post
I've often heard that 1971 was the last year of the "handmade Mercedes".

What is the truth to that and why 1971?
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Hand built is probably more a romantic idea, does not necessarily equate to a better built car.
That's correct. And as DirectLA says upthread, 1971 was the final year for the W111 which was semi-hand-built.

But the same claim was made (with far less justification) for the final year of the W124 cabriolet in 1996/97.
Note that it was not Mercedes making these claims..
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post #16 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by 6punkt3 View Post
Mercedes were assembly line built after WW2 .

The ONLY difference was the 600 (W100), because it was built regardless of cost and in such low numbers, that it did not fit the format.

^This

Although some parts may have been hand made, most of the work was parts assembly. They even had assembly lines to build E Boat engines during the war, see the last two pics and links.











https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercedes-Benz_MB_518
http://dave-mills.yolasite.com/german-e-boat.php
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post #17 of 17 (permalink) Old 09-03-2015, 07:50 PM
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Love those old pictures. Especially the line up of Gullwings
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