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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 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 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.
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 !
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