Had to buy parts car to fix my 300E. Will have leftover parts.
Time for a followup. I wish the news was all good, but things have not developed as I hoped. My inexpensive body guy did what he promised and scoured the "pick-your-part" junkyards and found a number of 300E's as he expected. What he did not expect was that 100% of them had been hit in the front, whereas other makes tended to be a better distribution of front versus rear or side damage. Insert your own comments about MB drivers here. Long story short (too late), there were no good front end parts to be had in the junkyards, so I have reluctantly bought an intact car with a bad head gasket for $850, and am now looking at tow costs of about $350 to get the dead car the 100 miles from its current home to the body shop where it can act as a donor car. Although the cost of the car plus towing is high -- and might have even been comparable to buying parts new -- what pushed me into buying the parts car was the discovery that my wrecked car even has engine parts damaged in the front (fan bearing bracket, squashed pulleys) and ringing up all those engine parts one by exceed the cost the parts car easy, and I know it has everything I need.
When I am done, I will have a leftover 1987 300E with 208,000 miles, a blown head gasket, and missing its hood, left fender and goodies from the front of the motor but otherwise intact, 50 miles from my house. The interior is pretty rough (brittle, dried leather, apholstery tears), but the body is real straight, so in a separate post under Parts I'll try to recoup some of my parts car cost by selling that car in the largest chunks I can. Perhaps someone really, really needs 4 nice doors, or a trunk lid, or a rear end. We'll see.
Will post again when I have some news.