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Old 01-03-2005, 12:34 PM
Coming back from burnout
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: in the Pacific Northwest
Posts: 2,274
Wow..Good used cars are so cheap now but used Diesels for sale rare....

After my unsuccessful trial balloon to find out what I could get for my 300D 87, I decided to keep it.
Conversely I took a look at other cars on the market.
I know people list them high. I found tons of classy Mercedes and BMW gassers I found a newer Mercedes gas sports car that sold for 50K new listed for 8K and probably buyable at 6K..
On the other hand, I hardly saw any Diesels on the market. I guess we Diesel drivers are just too damn smart, huh?
Is this my imagination or misperception?

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Old 01-03-2005, 12:46 PM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,853
The buzz about diesels in the automotive industry has been getting louder recently. It's not just because diesels get better gas mileage, but there's talk of regulating CO2 emissions (which I personally doubt will ever happen). The only way to reduce CO2 emissions is by burning less fuel (as does a diesel). Hence, CO2 regulation is a veiled form of boosting CAFE requirements.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 159K
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Old 01-03-2005, 12:55 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 15
There's always something up with the gassers tho. Yeah - it's funnier n all get-out to see someone's 740iL for sale for $6000 with 165K on it. Normally I'd think "No big deal" but in these cases:

1. (not spec to mentioned car) the turbo's wiped out.
2. Compression - what compression?
3. "Knock in engine"
4. Transmission 'shifts funny'.
5. "It ran without oil" (which you'll never be told unless it's siezed).

Or some other such horror story. True, true there are some truely good deals out there but usually when you buy a high-durability car used you're buying someone's problem. It might be space in the garage or a financial problem - or it might be someone went "Better get rid of it before that knock-knock-knock turns into bling-bling gone from my pocket".

The best deals I've seen were cars that'd been broken into and 'totaled' out the the ins company. Low milage older car with nice radio broken into, radio ripped off, interior vandalized, windows smashed and paint defaced. Assuming you don't have to repaint the car they can be a real bargain. Buy a few wrecks and call your local interior shop - it's amazing what you can have done for $1k when they're NOT paying your insurance company.
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Old 01-03-2005, 02:34 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,318
Diesels are getting rare and still comand a premium over the gas models, my SDL is worth twice what a 420/560 with 250k on it would sell for. What is happening now is that people are trading up to new cars because money is still cheap. Interest rates are still low and can only go up. Car makers are also offering discounts and rebates. I just saw brand new Nissan Altima's listed for $15,695! It was the base model but it had power windows and AC, thats not bad at all for a new Nissan, the new Altima is a nice car. So the average joe sees $16k for a used 70k mile E class or $16k for a new under warranty Altima. It doesn't help that the W211 is out and a new S is coming soon to. I predict the market will get a little worse for sellers before it gets better.
1999 SL500
1969 280SE
2023 Ram 1500
2007 Tiara 3200
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:24 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
Over the next month or two there should be a flood of old cars that have been donated to charitable organizations - they go to local auction - then to EBay.

I think I see one on EBay now, a rustbucket 1976 300D. You know its going to be bad when the front strut rusts loose.

One key to recognizing these is to ask who's name is on the title..... If not the seller, then they're trying to "curbstone" the car - which is technically illegal. That means they're trying to sell the car over to you from the previous owner - without ever actually owning the car themselves.

Better to go to these auctions yourself so you can examine the car in person.

1982 300D at 351K miles
1984 300SD at 217K miles
1987 300D at 370K miles
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:38 PM
bullwinkle's Avatar
manic mechanic
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: cincinnati
Posts: 377
I've owned a couple of Nissans-I think I'll stick with the Benzes-Nissan's quality is slipping a bit(but then again, isn't everyones)
1982 300DT 190K (Diesel Purge + synthetic oil=smoothness at last!!!)
2004 Ford E-350 6.0 L PSD 227K
2006 Dodge Ram 3500 SRW HO Cummins 4X4 48RE 42K (brute force tow vehicle)
2005 Scion xB wife's rolling pop can
1993 GMC Sierra C3500 6.2 142K
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:02 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: S. Texas
Posts: 1,237
Check out There is usually a bunch of MB Diesels there.
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:56 PM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 1,264
There are hundreds of used diesel MBs for sell every day, maybe just not 87's.

I would rather a gasser then the post '85 diesels. 103 motor over a 603 motor anyday. Heads don't crack, faster, quiter, parts are cheaper and they weigh less.

Diesels are overpriced. Buy gas if you want a newer MB.
'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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Old 01-03-2005, 11:47 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Posts: 20
Whoever has a 1980-2000 Diesel is not selling. Where I am, gas has been near or over the $2/gallon mark for the past 4 years. Until the Iraq war, diesel could be had for only $1.75. I think the fuel economy is what drives this. I do remember when gas was much cheaper, you could find SDs and 300Ds for sale easily and at low prices. I bought mine right before gas was $2 per gallon. Now, even a high mileage 300D asks no less than $3000. I am not about to sell mine any time soon.
Geben Sie ihnen Russ!


Honolulu, Hawaii

1983 300D Back From the Dead. Thanks, Erich and Shane.
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Old 01-04-2005, 02:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 650
Since the laws for donating cars are much restricted for 2005, I think we'll see lots more donated cars than usual coming from last year. One of my relatives donated an s400. They bought it last year and got fed up with spending thousands when it broke. Might be the time for deals.
1984 300Sd 210k

Former cars:
1984 300D 445k (!!) (Strider) Original (and not rebuilt) engine and transmission. Currently running on V80 ( 80% vegetable oil, 20% petroleum products). Actually not, taking a WVO break.
1993 300d 2.5 275k. Current 120/day commuter
1981 300SD 188k (Hans) Killed by a deer
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Geographically challenged on the S.W shores of Lake Michigan in S,E Wisconsin
Posts: 1,160
i actually saw

ads in the sarasota herald tribune for a couple 80's diesels and a mid 90's one. looked at hemmings at b&n and saw several more(pages 500-501) in fla listed. even saw a nice silver/black 300td and a nice blue/dark blue 300cd. both were parked at the same lot two days apart. lots of diesels in fla. most were 'merrican p-u trucks. lots of diesel available at almost every station in town. guess thats the boating community.
[1981 300 td tdidi 165500 dark brown/palamino-Brownie-mine-3k miles of ownership
1983 240d 162+++ Anthricite grey w/ henna red interior and hella lights-wifes car-Red

the above two cars are for sale
and can be seen on the cars for sale thread here. pix also available.

240d-144+ Manilla Yellow w/ palmino interior-greasecar kit-Blondie-the college kids car

23" gt 21 speed still on original tires-still got the nubs
21" khs tandem
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:58 PM
Veloce300DT's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Sacramento-Bay Area Corridor
Posts: 1,110

Interesting point.

Ive always wondered what happend to my 85 300DT. My friend had to borrow it and was driving in a low visibility area on the highway (blind curve) and it was raining. Next thing ya know and theres a stage set in the middle of the road, which has no shoulders and cement barriers on either side. Flew over the debris at 60mph, and wrecked the suspension- everything was shot- control arms axles, you name it-it was trashed. Couldnt afford to repair it, and with THE MEASLY settlement would have barely helped.

The car was in great shape beforehand. a good 8 out of 10, 10 being the best. 147K miles.

Funny thing-
About 2 months after the car was totalled, and taken away, I was scouring the classifieds for a replacement w123- my finances were in better shape. I was kicking myself in a way for not keeping thhe car and just fixing it.
Sure enough I found one that sounded like it could be a good find. 85 300D, 147k miles, Midnight blue, clean. $4700.

I knew it was my old car. Same mileage, same color. I had to go see it, my curiosity was killing me. Sure enough, as i pull up to the sellers house, there it was in the driveway. very WEIRD experience. I looked underneath, and the suspension was still shot- the car hadnt been repaired in 1 way or another. After the seller surprised me by actually telling me he buys cars at auction and re-sells them, I let down my game and told him I was the last owner, and what had happened to the car. After the accident the car still drove fine, steered fine- to te un-tuned driver it would seem perfect. Which makes me wonder what a sour mood the person who ended up buying that car was in when thhey discovered the hidden suspension secret... If someone who had some extra dough to kick around used it to thhrow in a complete new suspension, hed be one lucky joe, that is if the seller brought the priice down to a couple hundred bucks. Aside from the shot underpinnings, thhe car would appear to be in SUPERB shape. Engine was strong too. Whenever I see a midnight 300DT around, I always wonder if it could be my old one.....

I look back now happy that I moved on from that car, I couldnt be happier than i am with my current 300DT, and a little more cautious about buying a used car from a private party.... RECORDS RECORDS RECORDS. Have alwways been careful, but to be in the shoes of someone who could have been swindled made me open my eyes as to how easy it can be to get scammed, esp in the used diesel market! High demand, low avail. of nice examples and lots of "junker" cars out there....

I would never buy a car at auction, but considering all of the cars repossesed for one reason or another- im sure there are alot of nice cars requiring little work to be brought back to shape. Just like Javven pointed out.


1995 E420
1992 BMW 525i
1984 300D Turbo sold
1993 Volvo 244 sold
1995 Volvo 944T R.I.P!

"The details are not details. They make the product."
-Charles Eames
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