Why I posted the comments from the LA Times.
Uno, this is the best MB forum and these are serious comments from serious sources that deserve some discussion. I, for one, have an 86, 300E with more than 240K approx. (my wife drives it to work) and I think about getting another one eventually. It make me wonder about buying an MB again. This 86 does 60- miles in third gear and if you do not pay attention and shift, you may stay in third as it does not vibrate at all; it requires you to pay attention, a thing of the past.
Dos, the gadget issue: it is like the cell phones today. They are not phones, they are toys or conversation pieces. MB looks at us from Germany and sizes us as a bunch of morons who want gadgets and are willing to pay for them and their repairs.
Three, by discussing these issues, their cost and their headaches, we help those who are not willing or capable to spend 40 K and laugh if we wasted the money. We sort of lay (lie?) it on the table so that they can make a thoughtful decision.
Now, if those expensive, repair prone late used models stay long enough on the dealer's lot, a msg gets through to the idiots who think we are idiots. It takes two three years but that is the way it works.
The so called marriage between the American driver and his car is no longer a marriage; it is an abusive relationship. May my 86 last another three years.
Best to all,