thanks for your notes!
I'm in England (check my 'location' bit!), and saw the car again today - it's done 214,000 miles (we work in miles in England, thank God). The autobox was done by the same transmission specialist as mine. I'm sure they knew what they are doing, so they'll have done any necessary work. I remember riding in it before it was done, it was slipping lots at low speeds, and would then suddenly bang into gear and go.
You're right - its an M103 engine, but without catalyst you get 188 bhp (in the owners manual, and on http://www.ollihart.de/mercedes/pkw/start.html
I'm still fairly sure the 4matic has never had work (my dad has maintained it since almost new.. and he says so!).. I know it can be dodgy, and am very surprised. Of course, I'm not sure if it works either!
The interior is in good condition, and very solid.. electric seats / bootlid / aerial all work.
I'll get all the fluids changed ASAP.
here are some pics I took - it could probably do with a clean and minor cosmetics!