Horsepower versus handling


Many years ago, in the early 1960’s when the Mercedes 180 D was coming to the end of its production run, we put one up against a Ford Galaxie on our (un)official test track up, around the top and down a mountain in Brisbane, Australia.  At that time, the 180 D was certainly not thought of as a performance machine.  The Galaxie, on the other hand had seven liters of all-American V8 up front and you could accommodate a cricket team inside, with just a little squeeze.

For some good reason (unknown by this stage 40 odd years later), we decided to send these two cars around the test track in the late hours of the night, when all good policemen were home in their beds.

The Galaxie was all tyre squeal, tyre smoking acceleration and angles of lean in the corners reminiscent of the America’s Cup yachts.  It was a very large handful.

Classic Mercedes Fintail Classic Mercedes Fintail

On the other hand, the Mercedes just chugged its way up, across and round and down, with no dramas and was minutes quicker than the big Ford.  We could hardly believe it, but there it was on our watches.  Down the mountain in particular, the Galaxie was a huge handful, while the 180 D just instilled more and more confidence as we explored its handling capabilities.

Now I know of an immaculate 200 D (the model after the 180, complete with the tail fins) for sale in Pattaya and hopefully still there.  The owner tells me it has had a recent full service, new tyres, battery, and new air con units.  Tinted glass, new leather seats, etc.  Correct Blue book, taxed and insured.  Baht 535,000 contact [email protected] or phone 081-834-3260.  If you are after a real classic, give him a call.