Mercedes is of course famous for its many classics
But when was the last time you saw an MB 100 D? And that while there are masses of vans used as camper or food truck? The MB 100s were available from 1988 to 1995 as Mercedes' smallest commercial vehicles. They were delivered in various versions, such as delivery van, van (with windows all around), light truck and camper. Characteristic of the Ecosprinter MB 100 D was the economical diesel version with a 5-speed gearbox, front-wheel drive, compact exterior dimensions and a low loading floor. The delivery program for the Netherlands consisted of panel vans with wheelbases of 2.450 mm and 2.675 mm, and two roof heights. Their maximum payload was about 1000 kilos and the Mercedes came from… Spain.
Mercedesses from Spain
The making was done at Mercedes-Benz Espana SA and the MBs were sold in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Italy.
The combination of the front-wheel drive and the tube chassis made the MB 100 very suitable as a basis for special construction. For example, sales cars were produced, often with a considerably extended chassis and double rear axle, city buses, but also as a car ambulance.
Despite the fact that the Mercedessen look like boxes, there was thought about aerodynamics. Boarding the MB was a party. The footboards were low for large, wide doors. The driver had a spacious place, the adjustable seats were comfortable and the orderers were provided with an attractive and practical dashboard. The use of sound-damping materials made it pleasantly quiet in these brave workhorses.
Diesel with five-speed
As standard, such an MB 100 was delivered with an OM616 four-cylinder front chamber diesel from 72 hp. Those horses went to the front wheels via a five-speed gearbox. The chassis frame provided a high level of active safety and the steering behavior (power steering was standard) was neutral under all circumstances. This was also due to the independent suspension with at the rear friction-free parabolic leaf springs in rubber tubes, the large track width and the low-profile tires.
At the front the Benz braked with discs, rear drums
The braking force control was load-dependent and the system had a vacuum-operated braking power amplifier. Because the superstructure and the chassis were separate, there was minimal transmission of vibrations and noise. The maintenance costs were kept to a minimum because all control points were placed centrally and easily accessible.
For the 1992 model year, the MB 100 was thoroughly revised
External features were an extended front with a sloping grille from that moment on. The extended front would increase the aerodynamics and the passive safety of the vehicle. After production of the MB 100 in Vitória was terminated, the tools of the MB 100 cab were used to produce the MB 550 / 700 truck in Indonesia using a modified MB 100 cab.
The MB 100, with a new Asian body, was built by Ssangyong in Korea until 2004 and was sold under the Ssangyong and Mercedes-Benz brands.
The first generation of specimens, which were just purchased as work asses, have disappeared. Used through until the final 'runs out'. But there are still MB100s. These are usually the ones that were once newly converted by companies such as Westfalia and so into a camper and vans that have been converted by DIY enthusiasts to varying degrees of ability into a camper (or nowadays: food truck) before their final end.
All in all, driving an MB 100 is the simplest way to drive Mercedes-Benz. Think of purchase amounts starting from a few mille for a project, something from four to five mille for a neat copy that is ready to travel and habitable up to fantasy prices that are not about anything.
But days can pass before you see such an MB 100 D. The chance that it is a Brabus or AMG tuned copy is even smaller.