Steve Edwards is the kind of person who buys a car and hangs on to it for a long time. “If I get something I like it, I keep it,” he said.
His 1952 Mercedes-Benz 170Sb is a prime example. He bought the car for $500 in 1972 when he went to Fairless High School that is near Brewster, Ohio. A couple of years later he replaced its black and yellow paint with metallic green. “I was a kid and wanted something metallic,” he said, even though the color was not exactly what would be found on the car originally.
His mom reupholstered the interior with cloth that looked surprisingly close to the original, although the vinyl on the lower door panels is considerably more colorful than it would have been in 1952. But as Edwards said, “I was a kid,” and a kid isn’t concerned with period-correct material. Nevertheless, it still looks pretty good, and who wouldn’t be proud of having a car that your mom upholstered?
After high school Edwards went to an automotive technical school in Montana then returned to Ohio to work for a Mercedes-Benz dealer in Massillon, Ohio. While taking night classes at Kent State, he discovered that a classmate bought the car in Germany as a GI and shipped it back to the states.
“Was it black and yellow?” his friend asked. “I bought it in 1961 for $300, but later traded it for a Chrysler.”
At one point the car sat for years in Edwards’ dad’s garage, and the piston rings became stuck so that meant diving into the engine. Mechanical work is no big deal for Edwards, now of Overland Park, because of his extensive experience and mechanical training.
During the 43 years that he has owned his car he has added original taillights, original bumpers and other bits and pieces. He even ended up with another complete frame and engine that was discarded by an owner who was totally customizing a similar car.
The 170S first appeared in 1949. It had a 1,767cc, four-cylinder engine with 52 horsepower and a four-speed manual transmission. “It’s comfortable at 55 or 60 miles per hour,” Edwards said. “It’ll do 70 but the engine is wound pretty tight,” he said.
Edwards has worked for Daimler for 36 years, and 13 of those years were in Technical Service. He is currently a District Sales Manager. He has restored several cars and some day he will give his little four-door a complete restoration. “It will be a complete process,” he said. In the meantime, though, he enjoys taking it to an occasional Mercedes-Benz Club show or just driving it and remembering how much he liked the car 43 years ago.