Mercedes-Benz L 206 D – engineering masterpiece of the 1970s

Over the course of its 22-year history, the Mercedes-Benz L 206 D changes manufacturers three times. In 1970, it is offered as a Mercedes-Benz model.

The Mercedes-Benz L 206 D – a van with a past

In 1970, Daimler-Benz takes over Hanomag-Henschel and acquires a small van that gained renown with the name Matador, manufactured by the company Tempo. From then on, the van is offered as a Mercedes-Benz model and rounds out the light-weight product range as a commercial vehicle weighing less than three tonnes. After the takeover by Daimler-Benz, the Hanomag-Henschel lightweight vans are equipped with either an Austin carburetor engine or a 2 liter 50 hp diesel engine from Daimler-Benz. In 1972, the significantly more powerful 2.2 liter 60 hp diesel engine is added.

Side view of the Mercedes-Benz L 206 D
 Overview of the Mercedes-Benz L 206 D
Manufacturer Daimler-Benz AG
Production Period 1970-1977
Production location  Bremen and Hamburg
Original model  Matador
Successor model  “Bremer” T1
Designs Minibus, delivery van, pickup
Engines OM 615, 2l, 4 cylinders, 44 kW (88hp)
Length 4,490 mm
Width 1,820 mm
Wheelbase 3,050 mm
Permitted total weight 2,400 – 2,700 kg

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Side view of the Mercedes-Benz L 206 D.

Attractive option for local companies

In January 1973, a less work-intensive chassis is integrated into the vehicle. This requires a longer front section but also provides a larger crush zone. Other changes made in 1973 include brakes with load-dependent braking force control and the padded dash panel. The compact front-wheel drive van is also available as a minibus and panel van with different heights, lengths and track widths. Body manufacturers also offer shop vehicles and camper vans. The comparatively low price of 6,000 German marks makes the L 206 D an attractive option for local companies such as beverage suppliers. With 165,000 units sold, twice as many vans are sold with the Mercedes-Benz brand than with Tempo or Hanomag.


Photos: Kai Knörzer