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  #1  
Old 09-11-2013, 07:59 AM
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Musings on the Current State of the Used Diesel Market

Just some random musings (from a market observer and participant in New England)...

First, the market for the W123 seems to be going the way of the dodo bird (sorry, I don't mean to offend). Yes, I know they will always have their devotees; and that one in unusually good condition will command a significant premium. But, due to the reasonable pricing of the W124 (see below), it's hard to see how someone gets more than $1500 (give or take) for a good condition W123. Others on this forum have made similar observations about the passing of the torch from 123 to 124.

Second, good condition W124s seem to abound. I don't have any doubt that, at any given moment, I could pick up a decent W124 that I'd be happy to have as a daily driver somewhere in the $3-4k range. Unless the car is just extraordinary, it's hard to see $5-6 prices going forward. FWIW I think the W126 straddles the line between W123 and W124.

Third, I am now seeing good condition, desirable examples of the W210 in the $5-6k range. I've never owned one....but they sure look fun. With the prices dropping, I can't imagine it will be too long before I snag one....their deficiencies notwithstanding. (Incidentally, my auto body guy will do preventative spring perch replacements for $300 a side....not too bad.)

Fourth, while I have not followed the W211 very closely, it seems like we're getting to the point where a good one can be had for $10k or close to it.

I will add that right now seems to be a particularly soft market....everyone seems to be having difficulty selling. Not sure why that's the case.

Anyone have similar....or different....observations?

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Last edited by shertex; 09-11-2013 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:18 AM
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Saving money for the W123 that will see me to 2025. This works for me. Saw a clean 85 300TD, on CL 1900. Too in the hole to bite.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:24 AM
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I have to agree with you on these points.

The 123 has the slow performance (non turbo automatics), lack of modern safety equipment (abs, srs, asr), and the number one killer of 123s, non galvanized steel. These make the 123 a difficult choice for a daily driver for all but a die hard enthusiast. I paid way too much for a 123 back in 2011. I sold it to greazzer after after my son's misadventure with it.

The 124 addresses many of these issues and a well sorted 124 can be a great, reliable, daily driver. I concur with the price points, I bought my 124 in the low 2s and have probably invested another 2-3k over the last year in parts to bring it right. This car is currently at vstech's mercedes heaven in NC, we were undertaking a driveline and differential repair (replacing flex disks, axle boots, diff seals) when John's dad passed. Hopefully this car will be on the road soon where my son up at Clemson will be using it for a DD. He drove the car last year to high school and back every day and it never missed a beat.

The 210 was the first car produced after the influence of Daimler-Chrysler. However my opinion is that the 210 is really a 124 version 2.0. Same series indirect injected engine with the addition of drive by wire. Subsystems run off CAN bus, that's either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it.

I purchased a well maintaned 210 last spring for just under 7k and it has worked out well. I have had to put less than $1000 into it on items I consider routine maintenance, the most major problem I had so far was the #2 injector hard line cracked due to improper support. And my right rear passenger window regulator died last weekend. This car is my daily driver.

My wife wanted an SUV so we made the logical choice, a 2008 ML320 CDI. Still looking for the injection pump on that thing...

I think Diesel is getting a bad rap due to the high fuel costs. However, if I recall correctly, any gas powered MB beginning with the 124s requires premium fuel. In most places the price difference between gas and diesel is negligible, and you get a significant MPG boost with Diesel. Couple that with the higher reliability of Diesel engines, and I can't understand why they are not more prevalent than they are currently.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:27 AM
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I think the above observation is great if you are an enthusiast of the 123, as you can pick one up for cheaper these days. However, it does make them less of a paying proposition to repair and resell, so more will probably just get junked if they are slightly damaged.

On the other hand, I think this is a local market thing. Seems to be plenty of the 123s passing hands in less rusty areas.

I kinda like the 126, but honestly while the 124s are great cars, I just can't get into the styling. I like the classic old ones, they way they look is very distinctive, but the 124 just doesn't do it for me, and DEFINITELY not the 210, which I am not a fan of. Some of the newer ones are pretty good looking though. Obviously all of what I just said is a matter of personal taste, do not be offended if you disagree
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shertex View Post
Just some random musings (from a market observer and participant in New

Third, I am now seeing good condition, desirable examples of the W210 in the $5-6k range. I've never owned one....but they sure look fun. With the prices dropping, I can't imagine it will be too long before I snag one....their deficiencies notwithstanding. (Incidentally, my auto body guy will do preventative spring perch replacements for $300 a side....not too bad.)

Fourth, while I have not followed the W211 very closely, it seems like we're getting to the point where a good one can be had for $10k or close to it.

I will add that right now seems to be a particularly soft market....everyone seems to be having difficulty selling.

Anyone have similar....or different....observations?
Man, 300 per side for new spring perches, that's good. I was quoted twice that. But mine ended up fine for now. They say they rust from the inside out. The guy said keep an eye out for holes. I'm not close to having holes yet.

It love the 210. The best daily driver I've had. And the best engine for Wvo so far. It's beat to follow the improvements over the years. Brakes, interior, engine, transmission all better on a w210. And how the car looks when sitting in driver seat was always important to MB and the 210 looks really cool with the headlight bumps and interior design.

With new rotors and brake pads all around, my 210 has literally saved many animals lives. It's easy to see how it got named safest car in America in its time.

The 211 I bet is a nice refinement of the 210. They fixed my two biggest gripes with it , fuel economy and size. The 210 is just a bit big for a daily commuter. It drives like a small car but takes up a lot of road. I'm betting the 211 is a nice middle ground. I can't wait to get one.

In fact if anyone wants a nice southern 210 , ill sell them mine for 6000. Then I'll find a 211 that needs some work.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:54 AM
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Well, I probably will get a tongue lashing from the misers here, but I just paid a nice asking price for a member's extraordinarily clean w124 E300D with 46k+ miles on it. He even had a few offers over asking after we agreed on the price.

While the w211 can be had in the low tens, most that I find here in the Austin area are either very high mileage or well up around $15k. Nice car, and I test drove one a few months back for another out of state member, but it was a little too new and complicated for my tastes.

The 95 w124 is EXACTLY what I wanted. And this one is tighter than a, well, it's nice.

Barring an accident, this car takes me down the road another 200k and I think I'll love every minute of it.

Selling the '85 wagon is what I'm most afraid of. I've done extensive driveline restoration and it roll down every road with greatness. But I still see many hours of cosmetic restoration that I can't see borrowing from my wife & kids (that I'll never get back). I need a car I don't have to spend so much time on.

Was that investment in the E300D worth that? No question.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:08 AM
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Well, I probably will get a tongue lashing from the misers here, but I just paid a nice asking price for a member's extraordinarily clean w124 E300D with 46k+ miles on it. He even had a few offers over asking after we agreed on the price..........
Was that investment in the E300D worth that? No question.
Speaking as a miser, I actually agree with you on that one. I saw that when it was advertised and it's clearly an exceptional car. If I didn't own a W124 and wanted one in exceptional condition, I'd be willing to pay close to what you paid for yours.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:42 AM
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As far as I am concerned no later model Mercedes after the W123 could tempt me. I am no master mechanic but can do most jobs on the 123s but I dont think that would be the case with later MBs. "Simpler" is better for me plus I really love my cars
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:53 AM
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In the lands that rust forgot W123 and W124 prices are all over the place. It just depends on condition. Same with W210s. Asking prices and actual transactions are 2 very different things.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:53 AM
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As far as I am concerned no later model Mercedes after the W123 could tempt me. I am no master mechanic but can do most jobs on the 123s but I dont think that would be the case with later MBs. "Simpler" is better for me plus I really love my cars
Definitely a valid point. And my observations, if valid, should be good news for folks like you. It will bring down the prices of the nice 123s. I think this is a GREAT time to acquire and own 123s....but a tough time (that will only get tougher) to sell them.
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Old 09-11-2013, 11:55 AM
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You all touched on points which I had been thinking about too. The low resale value, cosmetic restoration that will not see an increase in value, and The simplicity of the
W123 on which I can use my basic mechanical skills but wouldn't be able to DIY on later model vehicles. And also the amount of time I spend doing all the many repairs needed.
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Old 09-11-2013, 12:06 PM
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Around here the market for 124s is pretty bad for sellers. If you're buying it couldnt be better though! I've been tryin to sell my w124 for months now with not too much interest (even after dropping the price). I'm throwing it on craigslist today and hoping for the best.
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Old 09-11-2013, 01:58 PM
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The 210 was the first car produced after the influence of Daimler-Chrysler. However my opinion is that the 210 is really a 124 version 2.0. Same series indirect injected engine with the addition of drive by wire. Subsystems run off CAN bus, that's either a blessing or a curse depending on how you look at it.

Chrysler had no influence on Mercedes products, it worked the other way, in what I like to refer to as the "Teutonic Takeover". There were some quality improvements and engineering transfer, but basically Chrysler was plundered and then the carcass was sold off to Bob "Home Depot" Nardelli.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:28 PM
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W210 started production in 1996. Daimler AG purchased Chrysler Corporation in 1998.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:28 PM
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124s are ugly.

As are 201s.

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