I have during the last seven years gone through twelve cars, ranging from a 1935 Singer Le Mans to a Super Snipe and a Consul. In all of these I have felt natural pride on taking delivery but after a few weeks the car has gently turned into a mere means of transport.
However, I have no longer the feeling of frustration on finding settlement figures, insurance comprehensive rates, etc., and I shall no longer have to sift the truth from a barrage of slick sales talk.
I have now bought a 1935 Mercedes-Benz 200 and have contacted all the previous owners. Perhaps you will let me overflow a little in your paper, as this is a revelation to me. All the doors lock, something I have never had before. The hinges of the doors have no play and the running-boards can be stood on. The seats fit me instead of my having to fit the seats. The driving position is perfect and one at once commands the whole situation. Unlike my Morris Oxford, where one needs a body 2 ft. long so as not to bump the roof, arms 9 ft. long to reach the switches, and permanent bow legs to avoid the steering column.
The Mercedes has 4-wheel independent suspension, built-in overdrive—a chassis, one-shot lubrication—filters on every hole from radiator to petrol filler cap, and a total weight of 39 cwt. To propel this weight, equal to it Super Snipes, the engine is a modest 6-cylinder 1,949-c.c. side-valve unit which gives a performance of 70+ m.p.h. and 28+ m.p.g.
The suspension, of which I have yet to see the equal, including DSI9s, simply makes all roads like autobahnen. The engine is noisy when not working but under load is perfectly quiet. The shape, I think, is both beautiful and useful. The finish better than the many 20/25 Rolls I have been in.
I dropped lucky, the mileage of 57,000 was original, but the tourer body had had the boot and hood removed to build on a shooting-brake body which cost £200, so that it is not a poor job. Thus I got the qualities of this marque without the cost which I should have had to pay had the body been original.
I believe that there were only four 200s imported and that mine is the only long chassis, and I would like to know where the other three are or if there is a club through which I might meet fellow enthusiasts.
I am, Yours, etc.,
Burscough. F. B. HEATHCOTE.