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Old 10-31-2006, 11:51 PM
1985 300SD Sady's Avatar
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,038
"The Drive: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300 SD" Blog Article

I just read this article I found while browsing all things 300SD. I really love the way is was written. I wish I could put my thoughts into writing as this author did. Simply Astounding.

"The first moment of confirmation is the pull of the door handle.

A heavy and precise mechanical process seems to transpire – as though the vault door needed a split second to release the many steel cogs that all served to keep it latched tightly.

The door swings open in one fluid action to the first stop – mostly ajar – and then another to the final stop at fully ajar. Ingress and egress is simple thanks to the high seating position of the veritable chair.


The early W126 models had the spring-loaded seats, similar in thought and execution to a spring-loaded mattress. With heavy use, many spring-loaded seats are deformed over time. Still, this chair has not lost its support and I feel on top of the seat, rather than in it as is the case with most contemporary cars. The feel is firm. Though the headrest is delightfully soft.

The wheel is large, much like a helm. It is reassuring in its size and proportion and its fixed position seems about right.


Twist the key. An almost fully mechanical process takes place and the diesel starts up. Its there, but no overly intrusive at idle.

Close the door. Like a vault.

Take the black leather shift knob in hand and position it down the signature notched gate to D. It can be a clumsy process for first timers, but it’s muscle memory for me.

By the way, no holding the brake pedal action was required to shift – ah the days of responsibility when it comes to one’s actions…

Go forward.

Looking out of what is a formidable windshield over a formidable hood, that famous star winks at me from a distance. The hood is smooth and has the most wonderful lines. There is something of a rounded plateau at the center which is demarcated in a wide V by two lines that extend diagonally from the sides of the grille to the A pillars; separating the elevated section from the relative flat of the remainder of the hood and the fender. It is all beautifully executed and one feels the presence of this great saloon.

Adjust the helm.

The recirculating ball steering is both removed and in tune at the same time. Unlike BMW steering which tells every little detail, the Benz gives a summary of events. The steering speed is fixed, not speed sensitive. It is a conservative balance towards the heavy. It never feels light, even at great speed, but is not cumbersome at standstill either. It is very well done.

The pedal is long in its travel, and in this diesel model, only flooring it seems to provoke any real reaction.

So let’s see how fast it can go.

Back at standstill. Foot goes to floor. The diesel groans loudly while the mass of car seems to only roll forward to 15 mph. A gear change occurs and we’re off! Past 20…30…40 mph and then it settles into a climb to 50. What an odd torque curve.


Still the 300SD behaves as though it were on rails. The steering is the strongest of any car I have driven in that one can hit serious potholes and the vehicle will maintain its course. It is a brilliant bit of suspension engineering that provides safe, secure handling.


Still, after a vigorous drive, a smooth cruise is in order. Bumps in the road are met, and the Bilstein shocks manage to soak up everything on the road, despite having what must be over a 100,000 miles."

Etc. I loved it.

Let me know what you think.

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Old 11-01-2006, 12:01 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Fall River, MA
Posts: 32
By the way, no holding the brake pedal action was required to shift – ah the days of responsibility when it comes to one’s actions…
Should have also noted no cup holders in these cars, traveling at highway speeds and sipping coffee don't mix people

The pedal is long in its travel, and in this diesel model, only flooring it seems to provoke any real reaction
DUH !!!!

'85 300 D Diamond in the rust
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