Australia is known for its large distances between cities and towns, but sometimes it’s the shorter drives that can add up to a high odometer reading.

    That seems to be the case for this Mercedes-Benz 240D, which has been operating as a taxi on the small Spanish island of Gran Canaria, which makes up part of the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa.

    This Mercedes is a 1986 240D ‘Lang’ – the designation for the dedicated limousine body of the W123-generation model – and, as reported by local outlet Tenerife News, has completed more than seven million kilometres.

    If the claim is true, that’s approximately 30,000 trips around the 45km-wide island, or about nine round trips to the moon.

    The car entered service on August 30, 1988 with Domingo, who Tenerife News says became known on the Canary Islands as “Dominguito”.

    Under its bonnet is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine, which produced 53kW of power and 137Nm of torque when new, driving the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. Though its engine has been replaced – just once, if you can believe it – it was a direct swap from an equivalent model.

    In 2008, Dominguito left his company and the taxi to his son. In the same year, one of the mechanically-minded drivers proposed the idea of restoring the Mercedes to make it into the company’s flagship vehicle, and was granted permission.

    At the time, the car had covered 3.8 million kilometres. Every effort was made to keep the car as original as possible in the reassembly, though it did receive a new driver’s seat and steering wheel. The passenger seats were also reupholstered and covered.

    The body was reinforced to mitigate fatigue fractures under constant load, while the brakes were replaced with those of a more modern Mercedes.

    These days, the car reportedly operates in three eight-hour shifts every day. It can carry up to seven passengers on a trip, and it covers around 700km daily, equating to roughly 5000km every week.

    All those kilometres means the car needs up to 52 oil changes every year, with set maintenance intervals in place including a thorough engine inspection every million kilometres.

    Even though it is the car’s second engine, Tenerife News reports the company already has another replacement engine sitting on the sidelines for when the time comes.

    When the Mercedes reaches 10 million kilometres, there will reportedly be a large celebration in the city of Maspalomas on Gran Canaria.


    MORE: How many batteries, motors were needed to get this Tesla to two million kilometres

    Max Davies

    Max Davies is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Max studied journalism at La Trobe University and stepped into the automotive world after graduating in late 2023. He grew up in regional Victoria, and with a passion for everything motorsport is a fan of Fernando Alonso.

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