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  #1  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:26 AM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 279
Any newer car/truck possessing attributes of W123?

Just wondering if you feel there are ANY cars (or trucks) out there, 10 years old or less, that embody some of the attributes that we find so attractive in W123 Benz's (or 240 series Volvos): dependable, solid, well-engineered, safe, quality-built, long-lasting, user-maintainable, reasonable parts/service costs, pride of ownership, etc.

I'd like to get a newer vehicle to complement my 82 240D and can't seem to get excited about any other car/SUV/truck out there. The Honda CRV is one that has a certain appeal, and embodies some of the attributes above. Any others out there as far as you know? Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:32 AM
rrgrassi's Avatar
mmmmmm Diesel...
 
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None that I know of...
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70's SPM #5608 Fairmont A-4 MOW car

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  #3  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:33 AM
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I think the trend in vehicles has been more towards high tech dependability and doing more with less - getting away from the more traditional solid feel and easy servicability of the older Benza and Volvo's. I don't think you'll ever find anything that will have that "feel" in a newer vehicle. Now days they use stronger, thinner steel in combination with special re-inforcement and air bags to create and exceed the safety found in the older cars that tended to use mass to reduce damage in accidents.

This is not to say there aren't high quality newer vehicles but more to say they will have a lighter more sanitary high tech feel.
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  #4  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:35 AM
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Rollin' on 16s
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Vancouver WA
Posts: 6,528
I think my Toyota Yaris has many similar aspects. It's well engineered, dead simple, cheap to buy (un-like the W123 was), safe (front, side and front and rear curtain airbags), and should last a very long time. My in-laws have a Toyota Echo, which has the same engine and transmission, with 250K on the clock. It still runs and drive just like new.

Granted the Toyota does not have doors that close like bank vaults, but what car today does? The doors also do not close with an econo-box clang.

The best thing is it gets an easy 32 city, 42 highway. It costs less than $20 to fill up now.
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  #5  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:52 AM
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Location: RI
Posts: 271
I seem to remember reading that Honda in the '80's copied alot of detail from MB for their Accord I think it was. The first time I got in my sisters late '80's or early '90's Accord and thinking it seemed more German than Japanese. I think they copied the door pulls and locks and the door shut feel of MB, probably other things as well.
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  #6  
Old 11-21-2008, 11:59 AM
johnbonds
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mount Pleasant SC
Posts: 56
Smile Solid car...

Three years ago I bought a '99 Lexus LS400 for $23k. 40,000 miles, garage kept--pristine. I've now got 90k on it, and am completely happy with the car. I just had the timing belt, plugs, etc. replaced ($1400 by the time it was all over--I had them do the water pump, idlers and tensioners and the drive belt while they were in there). The car drives effortlessly at 80mph, and delivers 27mpg or better while doing it. Very quiet, very comfortable, big trunk. And VERY reliable. I think it's as good as the old Benz models in terms of feel and quality--and more trouble-free than the new ones. Premium fuel, of course, but that's now cheaper than diesel and I get almost the same mileage as my '82 240D 4sp (28 vs. 30). I'm very happy with the car and will probably look for another like that when this one has 250k or so on it.

John Bonds
South Carolina
'82 240D 4sp, 200k; '99 Lexus LS400, 95k.
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  #7  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:08 PM
Fulcrum525's Avatar
Sing Blue Silver
 
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Only three that I can think of.

One, Gwagens (Cause they just didn't stop makeing them)

Two, Toyota pickup trucks.

Three, probably some cheap car out of Russia, simple tough and reliable.
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  #8  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:28 PM
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Rollin' on 16s
 
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Oh yeah, my 'yota has a timing CHAIN too.
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  #9  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fulcrum525 View Post
Only three that I can think of.

One, Gwagens (Cause they just didn't stop makeing them)

Two, Toyota pickup trucks.

Three, probably some cheap car out of Russia, simple tough and reliable.
Like a Yaas? I saw a lot of those in Iraq and I was impressed. Light truck/SUV sort of thing. Available in gas or diesel, stick shift, simple and seems easy to work on, tough enough to stand up to Iraqi conditions. Not sold here
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  #10  
Old 11-21-2008, 12:44 PM
Caduceus's Avatar
123 Or Bust
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgkast View Post
I think my Toyota Yaris has many similar aspects. It's well engineered, dead simple, cheap to buy (un-like the W123 was), safe (front, side and front and rear curtain airbags), and should last a very long time. My in-laws have a Toyota Echo, which has the same engine and transmission, with 250K on the clock. It still runs and drive just like new.

Granted the Toyota does not have doors that close like bank vaults, but what car today does? The doors also do not close with an econo-box clang.

The best thing is it gets an easy 32 city, 42 highway. It costs less than $20 to fill up now.
http://www.forbes.com/2007/07/26/cars-dangerous-twenty-forbeslife-cx_bh_0726cars_slide_6.html?thisSpeed=20000
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  #11  
Old 11-21-2008, 01:17 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
Posts: 279
Thanks for the ideas/suggestions. Indeed, I realize there _is_ nothing comparable to cars like W123's and Volvo 240's - they belong to an era of design and engineering that we'll never see again... But since those old cars are getting older, and harder to find good specimens, I figured I'd cast my net a little broader and at least try to find something that embodies some of the characteristics that I so cherish in those older designs.

About the Toyota Truck, hope you didn't mean the Tacomas. Aren't they the ones subjected to this unadvertised factory recall because of rotten frames in the 90's models (part of a venture with GM I believe), where Toyota gives 1.5 times book value if you bring it in, and they send it to the recycler. I've read it's going to cost TOyota $100M!

The Lexus is a car that has appeal to me, and I keep looking for one that's reasonably priced and well maintained. The older Toyota Cressidas (the pre-Lexus model) were outstanding, but they stopped importing them in N-A in 1992 so finding a good specimen is very difficult in the Northeast.

In addition to my 82 Benz and 92 Volvo (latter is getting long in the tooth) I also own a 92 diesel Land Cruiser wagon which is tough as nails, but am looking for something in a car or stationwagon format, for all around driving.
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  #12  
Old 11-21-2008, 01:52 PM
Asylum Escapee
 
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Location: Knoxville, TN
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Volvo suggestion

I just finished putting a '94 Volvo 960 Wagon back on the road for my wife, and am very happy with the car. It has been a year-long project (too many concurrent projects), but I think (and more importantly, SHE thinks) it was worth the effort.

I've never touched the 240, so I don't have a point of reference, but I was duly impressed with the overall engineering of the car, down to the little light that comes on when you open the fuse panel. Things came apart and went together very logically, parts were readily available at good prices, and a local indy was incredible to work with for the things I didn't have the tools or desire to tackle.

At 134K, the car is still tight, smooth, and quiet. The donor car I pulled mechanical parts from, with 177K on the clock, was equally in good shape. All the hyped Volvo safety engineering is still there.

There were well-documented engine casting problems with the first few years of the engine in the 960, but the 96-97 engines were and continue to be rock solid performers. Just my 2 cents, but I think you should at least look at one.
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  #13  
Old 11-21-2008, 01:59 PM
H-townbenzoboy's Avatar
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Maybe the Panther bodied Fords?
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  #14  
Old 11-21-2008, 02:03 PM
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Sing Blue Silver
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rstl99 View Post

About the Toyota Truck, hope you didn't mean the Tacomas. Aren't they the ones subjected to this unadvertised factory recall because of rotten frames in the 90's models (part of a venture with GM I believe), where Toyota gives 1.5 times book value if you bring it in, and they send it to the recycler. I've read it's going to cost TOyota $100M!

I'm thinking more along the lines of the Top Gear style Hilux models.
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  #15  
Old 11-21-2008, 02:09 PM
Diesel forever
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Canada
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Quote:
Originally Posted by techboss View Post
There were well-documented engine casting problems with the first few years of the engine in the 960, but the 96-97 engines were and continue to be rock solid performers. Just my 2 cents, but I think you should at least look at one.
Thanks, I may just do that. The 240 series originated in the early 70's I believe and lasted until 93 (last model year). Volvo had come out with the upgraded 740 series in late 80's to replace the 240, but Volvo diehards refused to stop buying the trusty old 240 series. The 940 came after the 740. All three cars shared pretty well the same bullet-proof B230 4 cyl engine, which is probably one of the most durable engines ever put in a car. I had heard misgivings about the x60's (engine issues) but sounds from what you say that they ARE worth a look, and I will do so. Thanks!
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