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After Mercedes let IMA build the Universal cars, Binz decided to design a seven seater Heckflosse. In May 1967 Binz came up with a seven seater on basis of the 200D and very rarely the 230 cars. The 200D LWB was only supplied with a standard transmission. Like the ambulances and Universal cars, the seven seaters were equipped with 15in wheels. The self-levelling strut on the rear axle was also standard but power steering was not.
The Diesel engine car didn't supply enough power to pull the extra 140 kg in weight and although it claimed a top speed of 125 km/h, such a speed was only realistically obtainable on a long motorway run, especially when the car was carrying seven passengers.

The seven seater Heckflosse had its wheelbase extended by no less than 65 cm so that a third row of seats could be fitted in the middle.

The example shown here is equipped with extra chrome trim. Standard LWB cars did not have the chrome wheelarches or the horizontal chrome trim along the side.

The extra row of seats allowed the car to be used as a taxi. On the right you see an example of a taxi painted in the standard taxi colour ivory, early taxis were painted black. Some hotels were interested in a car who could pick up a large number of hotel guests from the airport, bring them to the hotel and who could bring them back again to the airport and this car could do the trick.

Here you see how the middle row of seats was fitted.
The seat could be folded in to let rear passengers enter and leave easliy. The seat was divided in a 1:2 ratio.

Although these cars were designed at Binz, they were built at the Mercedes-Benz factory and not by Binz. The quality of the parts made by Binz are not always up to Mercedes-Benz standard it appears. An owner of two cars bodied by Binz tells me that you can clearly tell which parts of the vehicle were built by Daimler-Benz and which parts were built by Binz

Production stopped after just nine months when Mercedes decided to replace the 200D and 230 with its new mid-range saloons, the W114 and W115 cars. That is why these models remaine quite rare, its not clear how many of these cars were built, but there can't have been many. It is said that the number stops at 188, how many cars have survived remains a guess.

Bob Gunthorp has not only provided me some great pictures of his car, he also knows a story about the evolution of these cars. This story was told to by a man who was a zone manager for MBNA ( Mercedes Benz North America) at the time the cars were built. You may choose to believe the story or not, either way its a great story !

"In New Jersey USA in the early 60's there was a very well to do Mercedes Benz dealer. Every year he made a pilgrimage the the holy land. He would fly in to Haifa Israel. Well, the airport in Haifa was many kilometers from the city. It would require two taxis (Mercedes Benz 200 D's of course) to get him and his family to the city. He felt that Mercedes Benz should build a taxi that would hold 7 passengers. That way his family could ride together to the city.
He was able to exert some pressure on the factory to start production of the LWB cars. The factory was probably pursuing the idea on their own at the time.
When the cars were built they became known in MBNA's home offices as the 'Haifa Taxis' ".

Bob knows this because the has met the man in question, the first time he saw his 200 D LWB he started laughing loudly and pointed at the car and said 'You own a "Haifa Taxi' ". When asked what he was talking about he told Bob the story above."

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