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  #46  
Old 10-30-2009, 02:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercFan View Post
Let the games begin... I'm trying to talk directly with the owner about the car and make a reasonable offer contingent on satisfactory inspection. As always, doing this long-distance is very challenging... it takes a lot of time and patience.

BTW - side note: for those of you who love snow, we've gotten about 25 inches the last two days and it's still snowing! For now we're trapped in our home and we're starting to feel a little cabin fever... hehe. It's Winter Wonderland out there....

yeah i just got from denver to co springs tonight in a lowered 300sd. it was a nightmare but i made it fine. luckily the rockies werent bad.
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  #47  
Old 10-30-2009, 09:41 AM
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'84 300SD W126/OM617
 
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I wouldn't bother buying from people who don't have the car registered properly. Something's just off with that. Same for having a current inspection sticker. If the price is low to compensate for that, sure. But if they are asking an up-market price for it, then they better have it in a ready condition to be test-driven and taken to a mechanic for inspection.

Is the car that nice that you want all this hassle? Surely another one will come along if you wait a little bit.
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  #48  
Old 10-30-2009, 10:17 AM
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That's a consideration...

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniss View Post
Is the car that nice that you want all this hassle? Surely another one will come along if you wait a little bit.
The car is nice... but my my hassle-threashold is being tested... I'm giving it one more day to resolve before I walk away. I already told them that they need to have the car street legal in preparation for inspection, sale and delivery. That seemed to 'turn the lights on' for them - so we're giving it one more push today... I can still walk away from it, and may have to...
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  #49  
Old 10-30-2009, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by MercFan View Post
I'm considering the following two cars - both of them would require travel outside of my state, which I'm willing to do for the right car... Let me first say that this time both sellers are cooperating very well - which has been the biggest issue thus far in my long-distance-car-shopping adventure...

Candidate#1 is a 1984 300SD - as seen in this ad: http://sanantonio.craigslist.org/cto/1414499663.html
Female driver, odometer broken so approximate mileage about 170K - leather seats, pretty clean inside, no wear on the seats - dash has no cracks. She said the a/c compressor works but the a/c is not cold. The engine bay looks pretty clean, though the aluminum valve cover, cruise look pretty oxidized, not sure why?! Green coolant, the belts and hoses look fairly new. She said the pickup was not as good as the Isuzu truck she had before.... Some service records exist - asking price $1995, willing to negotiate.

Candidate#2 is a 1987 300SDL - as seen here: http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/cto/1422357388.html
The owner has car repair business - this was his mother's Benz from new. She was the only driver until 1 year ago when he bought her a brand new replacement Benz. He sold this car to the employee - carried the financing for him until the guy fell back on payments and the car was repossessed - looking to sell it now. Looks clean in additional photos he sent me - engine bay very clean but not too clean. Proper coolant in the expansion tank. Very clean and shiny IP. No records, but the car was maintained by two dealers in Jax, FL - they have records. Supposedly all systems are working. Appears very clean inside from additional photos. Asking $3500 - willing to negotiate.

So it's between the reliability of the 617 which seems to have been taken care of fairly well and what is seems like a clean, well maintained 603. The 603 is calling my name, but I know the parts can be more expensive and whatever I buy I'd like to keep for a while and use as my DD, including winter driving here in CO.

Advice, recommendations on which one to pursue?! I like the SDL a little better, but I don't want a money pit, if you know what I mean.

THanks,
James
I had a 1987 SDL and currently have an 85 617 model. The SDL is very powerful and big but that engine is less durable than the 617 with its aluminum head which will spit a head gasket in a NY minute if you once let it get too warm. They are both overpriced. If you get the "87 I would replace all the hoses and belts and thermostat immediately and but an engine alarm to monitor engine temp. The smaller 123 chassis cars get better fuel economy than the 126 cars for obvious reasons.
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  #50  
Old 10-30-2009, 12:02 PM
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There it goes...

So I think this episode of long-distance car shopping has come to an end... they couldn't/didn't want to get the car delivered to be inspected. We talked several times and the seller did not want to get the tags for the car from local DMV ($6.00) nor split the cost of a tow to get the car inspected ($50 each).... so I had no choice but to cancel the deal and walk... At the end there was something 'fishy' about it. C'est la vie - no skin of my back, just a lot of phone calls and wasted time I guess, but I did learn few valuable lessons along the way...

If you're still reading this 'blog' about my long-distance-fiasco - thanks all for all your useful comments and suggestions.
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1995 Toyota Land Cruiser - 3X locked; 182K

Last edited by MercFan; 10-30-2009 at 12:11 PM.
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  #51  
Old 10-30-2009, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercFan View Post
So I think this episode of long-distance car shopping has come to an end... they couldn't/didn't want to get the car delivered to be inspected. We talked several times and the seller did not want to get the tags for the car from local DMV ($6.00) nor split the cost of a tow to get the car inspected ($50 each).... so I had no choice but to cancel the deal and walk... At the end there was something 'fishy' about it. C'est la vie - no skin of my back, just a lot of phone calls and wasted time I guess, but I did learn few valuable lessons along the way...

If you're still reading this 'blog' about my long-distance-fiasco - thanks all for all your useful comments and suggestions.
Good for you for being able to walk away from a deal because the current owner is a moron. I mean really, spend $6 to make $2800? Duh. If he won't do this, think of all the maintenance he has neglected to do on it if he refuses to spring for $6.

You'll find one that you know is right. I looked at a few Suburbans this summer before I got mine. When I bought mine, everything about it was just right.

Buying a car can be like looking for a wife. Very rarely should you 'buy' the first one you 'look' at. Do some 'shopping' and 'inspecting' what is out their first.
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  #52  
Old 10-30-2009, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Graplr View Post
Buying a car can be like looking for a wife. Very rarely should you 'buy' the first one you 'look' at. Do some 'shopping' and 'inspecting' what is out their first.
... and lots of test-drives?
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  #53  
Old 10-30-2009, 06:17 PM
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I have the SDL, and my buddy has the SD model. I like the SDL a little better. Definitely less maintenance, and more power. I think the transmission is much smoother too. I would go with the SDL. The price is high especially right now with the slow economy there are a lot of good cars at a reasonable price out there. For that particular car I would not pay more than 2000. I bought mine for 1500, but with 250K, in really good condition.
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  #54  
Old 10-30-2009, 09:29 PM
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There are a couple of SD's in Phoenix, and Las Vegas on CL, the one in Vegas has (claimed) less than 90k on it for $3600 if I remember . . . I use http://www.searchtempest.com/ these are not a long way from you . . .
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  #55  
Old 10-31-2009, 12:10 AM
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DOn't believe it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
...the one in Vegas has (claimed) less than 90k on it for $3600 if I remember . . . I use http://www.searchtempest.com/ these are not a long way from you . . .
I've been corresponding wiht that fellow and when they sent me the photos of that car it was nothing to look at - I don't believe that car had 90K on it... IF tha'ts the same car I'm thinking of...
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1987 Mercedes 300SDL; SOLD
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1995 Toyota Land Cruiser - 3X locked; 182K

Last edited by MercFan; 10-31-2009 at 12:22 AM.
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  #56  
Old 10-31-2009, 12:21 AM
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Found another 300SDL...

I found another '87 300SDL today in OK - this one has 126K miles on it - lots of records, seems the owner was pretty good about the maintenance - think he has 4 MBs total. This one looks clean, especially the engine bay, never in a wreck, AC and all the systems work, new breaks, glow plugs, block heater, new paint... but the guy wants $5000... now how you gonna get him to a reasonable $2500-3500 without putting a gun to his head?!

That's just the problem - there are plenty of cars out there it's just that most of them are junk and the ones that aren't are pricey... so, at least from my vantage point the last 2 months or so you almost have to pay a bit of premium to get a clean car with low miles... otherwise, you've got to make tough choices...

Case in point is this one here: http://sandiego.craigslist.org/esd/ctd/1444544898.html - now lemme know the 'voodoo that you do' to get this one down to $2500 and you'll get a $500 bonus when I sign the title...
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1987 Mercedes 300SDL; SOLD
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1995 Toyota Land Cruiser - 3X locked; 182K

Last edited by MercFan; 10-31-2009 at 12:31 AM.
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  #57  
Old 10-31-2009, 04:21 AM
Craig
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$5k for a decent (not perfect) low mileage car is very reasonable. If you only want to pay $2500, you are probably going to buy something that needs $3000 worth of work anyway. The car that appears perfect probably only needs $1000 worth of work. These cars are now old enough that the unmaintained ones are junk and the maintained ones aren't cheap.
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  #58  
Old 10-31-2009, 08:14 AM
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True...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig View Post
These cars are now old enough that the unmaintained ones are junk and the maintained ones aren't cheap.
Well said - that's very consistent with what I'm seeing as well every day.
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1995 Toyota Land Cruiser - 3X locked; 182K
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  #59  
Old 10-31-2009, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MercFan View Post
I've been corresponding wiht that fellow and when they sent me the photos of that car it was nothing to look at - I don't believe that car had 90K on it... IF tha'ts the same car I'm thinking of...
Here it is:http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/cto/1442374052.html claiming only 59000 actual miles!
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  #60  
Old 10-31-2009, 08:49 AM
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Yep...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn T. W. View Post
Here it is:http://lasvegas.craigslist.org/cto/1442374052.html claiming only 59000 actual miles!
Yep - that's the car.... good story (older couple that got their cars, motorhome and house reposessed... kid selling bought two of their cars). I got high resolution photos from them... it just didn't wow me - the 59K is intriguing but the photos somehow didnt' jive with the claimed mileage... The seats were worn pretty good, and there was a wire from the bumper to the trunk! I didnt see the engine bay in their photos... I think calling it 'immaculate' is definitely a stretch... CHeck out this photo and see for yourself... sorry, I'm a little bitter now...
Attached Thumbnails
Considering 617 vs 603-camera-lens-060.jpg  
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1987 Mercedes 300SDL; SOLD
1985 Mercedes 300D; SOLD
2006 Honda Pilot - wife's ride; 122K;
1995 Toyota Land Cruiser - 3X locked; 182K

Last edited by MercFan; 10-31-2009 at 09:09 AM.
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