Out Of Africa

The most Germanic of German cars is – these days – African.

Nearly two million Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115s were built during the 1970s, with countless numbers registered as taxis across Germany.

Painted in mandatory primrose yellow, they covered hundreds of thousands of kilometres during their working lives, before – at the end of their service in Europe – being shipped to Africa to cover hundreds of thousands more, and where thousands of W114 and W115s are still in use today. It’s safe to assume taxi standards may not be quite as rigorous in their second countries of residence than they were in 1970s Germany.

Of course a sign on the roof is one of the many items that you don’t need in order to operate as a taxi in much of the world, thus battered W115s once owned by German businessmen in the ’70s are now also doing something far more important; keeping whole communities connected.

These two superb brick-built replicas of the car that continues to keep parts of Africa moving are the work of SvenJ. of Flickr, who has made free building instructions available so you can create his excellent Mercedes-Benz W115 too. There’s more of the model to see via at SvenJ.’s Flickr album, and you can head to 1970s Munich, or – more likely – central Africa today, via the link in the text above.

2 thoughts on “Out Of Africa

  1. Sven

    Thank you for blogging my little creations!
    The mandatory colour for German taxis was in fact called “hellelfenbein”, “light ivory”. It replaced the former (also mandatory) black livery, as dirt and small dents were less visible on the lighter colour.
    But “primrose yellow” also sounds very poetical… 😉


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