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First Person: A Quest to Find a Classic Daily Driver

Chris Harrell

Mercedes 240D Bridge

My name is Joshua Snee, and I am a 27-year-old self-employed elevator mechanic living in Los Angeles.  I own a 4-speed manual 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D that was first sold in Europe as a US-spec model. It was purchased by a gentleman in the military, who bought it brand new to drive while he was stationed overseas. Prior to shipping the car to the U.S., he and his wife took it on a European tour, which makes it kind of special in my opinion.

Mercedes 240D Black and White

The car eventually arrived in the States, where it acquired the U.S. delivery badge it currently sports on its front grille. The original owner later sold the car back to Mercedes-Benz and “upgraded” to a new model, but his daughter purchased the car back from the dealership the next day, wanting to keep it in the family due to its history.

I am the 3rd owner and have updated the car from its original appearance to a slightly modified aesthetic: I retired the Bundt wheels and replaced them with steel wheels, adorned with matching "Thistle Green Metallic" 14" hubcaps and sporting 195/75/14 Uniroyal whitewalls. I also installed a vintage Nardi steering wheel and created my own houndstooth fabric shift boot.

Mercedes 240D in fog

Mercedes 240D Interior

This is the first car I’ve owned exclusively for personal use in 10 years, as I have just acquired a work van for daily driving. I wake up every morning to a freezing cold cabin and drive to work, but I never think of it as an experience I'd rather go without. My fiancée Rubie has been a huge supporter of my running restoration.

Josh and Rubie

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Images © 2016 Joshua Snee

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