Mercedes is of course famous for many classics. But when was the last time you saw a Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D? And that while whole masses of vans are used as campers or food trucks? The MB 100s were available from 1988 to 1995 as the smallest commercial vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. They were delivered in various versions, such as van, van (with windows all around), light truck and camper.
Characteristic of the Ecosprinter Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D was the economical diesel version with a five-speed gearbox, the front-wheel drive, the compact external dimensions and a low loading floor. The delivery program for the Netherlands consisted of panel vans with wheelbases of 2450 mm and 2675 mm, and two roof heights. Their maximum payload was about 1000 kilos and the Mercedes came from… Spain.
Mercedesses from Spain
The production 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 tubular chassis made the Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D very suitable as a basis for special bodies. For example, sales cars, often with a considerably extended chassis and double rear axle, were manufactured city buses, but car ambulances.
Although the Mercedes look like boxes, the aerodynamics had been thought through. Boarding the MB was a party. The footboards sat low in front of large, wide-opening doors. The driver had a spacious place, the adjustable seats were comfortable and the vans were equipped with an attractive and practical dashboard. Due to the use of sound-damping materials, it was pleasantly quiet in these brave workhorses.
Diesel with five-speed
As standard, such a Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D was delivered with an OM616 four-cylinder front-chamber diesel of 72 hp. Those horses went through a five-speed gearbox to the front wheels. The chassis frame provided a high level of active safety and the steering behavior (power steering was standard) was neutral in all conditions. This was also due to the independent wheel suspension with friction-free parabolic leaf springs in rubber tubes at the rear, the wide track 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 then on. The extended front would increase the aerodynamics and passive safety of the vehicle. After production of the Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D in Vitória ended, the tools from the MB 100 cab were used to produce the MB 550/700 truck in Indonesia using a modified MB 100 cab.
The Mercedes-Benz MB 100 D with a new Asian body was further built in Korea by Ssangyong until 2004 and sold under the brand names Ssangyong and Mercedes-Benz.
The first generation copies, which were simply bought as work easels, have largely disappeared. Used until the final 'run out'. But there are still MB 100s. These are usually the ones that were once newly converted into a camper by companies such as Westfalia and so on and vans that have been converted into a camper (or nowadays: food truck) in various degrees of skill by do-it-yourselfers before their final end.
All in all, driving an MB 100 D is the most frugal way to drive a Mercedes-Benz. Think of purchase prices from a few grand for a project, something from four-five grand for a neat copy that is ready to travel and habitable to fantasy prices that are not about anything.
But days can pass before you see such a MB 100D. The chance that it is a Brabus or AMG tuned copy is even smaller.