1975 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter O 309 Diesel

Although it's hard to believe, spring is coming up and then summer, and you know what that means...road trip time! What better way to canvas miles of American pavement then this sweet vintage Benz bus?

First of all let me say I love Mercedes-Benz. Not the snooty, blingy, gimmicky, over-engineered global car company of today. No, I love the company they used to be when they rose from the ashes of the second world war like a phoenix and remade themselves into a company that built great cars not just for their own people, but for the world. This meant a range of cargo vans, buses and trucks that could go anywhere and do anything. Best of all, they were often equipped with Mercedes-Benz's legendary diesel engines. Back then, the diesels were almost entirely mechanical, meaning they could theoretically operate submerged under water. These engines went on for half a million or more miles. They were specifically designed for the long haul.

So you can imagine a vintage Benz enthusiast pulse quicken when this baby popped up on ebay. Mercedes introduced the O 309 in 1967 and it lasted until 1986. This lovely '75 model year example comes smack in the middle and is equipped with a 4-cylinder diesel engine. The seller says they have added a factory turbocharger. These are far from fast, so the extra boost is welcome.

Inside there are two captains chairs up front and padded bench seats in back. There's also a fold out table, a full size bed, 3 way power, carpeted flooring and LED lighting.

Cosmetically, the seller says it is unrestored and may wear its original paint. They do say there are dings, dents, and some rust and rot but nothing too serious or threatening. Mechanically, the speedometer doesn't work, the engine leaks oil and a sway bar bushing will eventually have to be replaced. Despite all that, they stress it can be driven away and used as-is, which would be the most economically sensible idea.

Fortunately, they say it has had 13 years and over $11,000 worth of maintenance done and the records to back it up.

If you plan on living out of this, I'd put the time and money into perfecting it just how you want. But if you're just gonna embark on that summer road trip, it could be all set to go.

Available here on ebay with an asking price of $11,950

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