Back from the Dead: Mercedes-Benz 407D Fires Up Again After 12 Years of Neglect

Mercedes-Benz T2 407D 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Back in 1967, Mercedes-Benz was launching its T2 series of vans and light trucks. After almost 30 years in production (with a mid-life facelift), the successful commercial vehicle had been produced in over 485k units, all with countless destinations.
The T2 cabin is instantly recognizable to anyone, being part of that generation of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that were quickly raised to legendary status due to their resilience to lay down their weapons and die. They were built to last, and that's what they have done, some of them still being in use to this day.

Well, that's not necessarily that impressive since the T2 had been in production until 1996 when the newer Vario model replaced it. But the 407D in the video below is pre-facelift, which automatically places its birth sometime between 1967 and 1986, when the T2 suffered some pretty minor cosmetic changes. Mainly, it got a black plastic grille that made it look like a raccoon.

The yellow T2 these brave mechanics are attempting to revive has been reportedly sitting idle for 12 years, and we all know that a car that's not in use deteriorates even more quickly than one that keeps on putting miles under its belt. As the man with the camera approaches the Benz, it immediately becomes obvious that van isn't going anywhere. If it tried to move, it would probably collapse instantly into a pile of rust.

But these people are there just to see if they can get the engine rolling once again. They've obviously brought a new battery, some diesel fuel, and some other equipment that will help them in their daring task. After installing the new power source and pouring the juice into the tank, they begin arming the fuel pump. After that, it's a case of patience, skill, and blowing hot air into the air intake. After several tries, the engine bursts into life with the kind of rampant noise you would expect from an engine that hasn't been turned on for over a decade. Oh, and plenty of smoke.

Throughout the video, it sometimes sounds as if there's a Geiger counter clicking, which is somehow very appropriate to the whole post-apocalyptic atmosphere of the video. This whole process reminded me of the old Top Gear special where they tried to kill an Old Toyota Hilux, but no matter what they threw at it, the Japanese pickup refused to give up. This clip doesn't have the same production value of the BBC show, but it does send off the same message: "they don't make them like they used to."

Have a look at the clip below and let that impeccable German manufacturing sink in. It's quite long, so feel free to slip every now and again, but make sure you don't miss the part where it first sparks to life.

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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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