The mid ‘40s era pickups are extremely desirable and highly sought after. As a result of their popularity, the prices have climbed steadily over the past 10 years. This era of trucks is a great canvas for complete restoration as well as custom jobs.
For us, we are looking for a project vehicle and these are trucks that are on our list. So, we usually peruse through the ‘30’s and ‘40’s era trucks trying to find just the right one. We love seeing some of the newer power plants in these old trucks and were quite surprise at what was powering this truck that is for sale on Ebay.
It is something that you don’t often see; a Mercedes 300d engine used for a conversion. Now if you aren’t familiar with the 300d, don’t worry. Most of our readers probably won’t know off the top of their heads that this is an inline 5 cylinder engine. The turbocharged versions were available with 120 or so horsepower and around 180 lb-ft of torque. If you were unlucky enough for a naturally aspirated one, you might have been able to squeeze 80 horsepower out and about 120 lb-ft of torque.
To be completely honest, we had to do a little bit of digging to find out some information on the engine itself. This is part of the old diesel engines installed in cars that would blow lots of smoke and heavily contributed to diesel engines getting a bad rap in the US, but outside of that, we only know they are reliable.
As we conducted our research, we did find quite a few videos, threads and websites dedicated to the 300d. We found that many people are using them to convert their older gas engines over to diesels in the Mercedes cars. But on top of that, people are using them in Jeep Wranglers and there seemed to be a wide range of other one off conversions.
This led us to start thinking. Could this be a great engine for a conversion that no one ever thinks of? We know these are relatively bullet proof engines, they can be readily found for around $1,200 and they are mechanical, so there isn’t much wiring or other things to hook up.
Check out this listing. The original builder seemed to like the 300d option and did what appears to be a stellar job setting the truck up. Granted, he didn’t finish and now the second owner didn’t finish either. It appears that this is still a good project for someone with some skill and time. The truck has been torn down pretty far and it sounds like there is a bunch of work still left.