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  #1  
Old 08-25-2002, 09:58 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 7
Desperately Seeking a 300SD!!

I'm new to this diesel discussion forum and just thought I would post my eagnerness about finding a 300SD within the years of 1981 to 1986. So far I have looked at five 300SD's and test driven three of those five that I looked at. The first 300SD, a 1982, that I test drove had not that great of an interior, however, drove with no problems. The next 300 SD, an 83, that I test drove had some clunking going on in the front of the car and my husband said that 300SD was in need of some front end work. The next 300 SD that I test drove, an 81, would shake once stopped at a stop sign, there was a dent in the dash, the car looked like it had been repainted, and the sunroof didn't work, my husband concluded that the car might have been in a wreck, hence the new paintjob. My husband, DieselGent, currently owns a 1984 300D and it drives like a dream. I was never one to think much about diesel Mercedes, until my husband purchased the 84 300D this July. I currently drive a 1992 Buick Century and by no means can the two cars compare, the Mercedes, as like today, is in a class of its own. I just can't believe that with the car being 18 years old that it still drives like it rolled off the showroom floor, can Mercedes make a great car or what? My car, the Buick Century, is only 10 years old and is not in that great of condition, albeit I've tooken care of the paint and everything and changed the oil on a regular basis, still definitely no Mercedes. At first, after realizing what a great car that the diesel Mercedes is I wanted to get a '87 to '92 Diesel Wagon, but then after looking on Autotrader.com, I realized that was out of my price range. There is one Mercedes dealer in Florida that had an 84 300 TD wagon for sale and wanted $12,900 for it, which was a little more than double what we payed for the 84 300D. So I decided I would have to wait for the wagon, but then I concluded why wait, what I can do is get a 300D or a 300SD, preferably a 300SD, now and then later get my wagon. But as you read from the subject of this message, I'm having a hard time finding any good 300SD's between the years of '81 to '86, like who of us isn't? I guess the trouble too is that I don't want to spend more than $6,500 for a 300SD between the years of '81 to '86. There is one dealership in Texas that is charging $9,900 for an 83 300SD with exceptionally clean interior and exterior and only 58,000 miles on the odometer of the car and the car has only been owned by one person. I emailed the dealership to see if they would come down in price to the $6,500 level and they said no but that they might be able to come down some what. On the Kelly Blue Book website and after entering all of the key information on the car being sold by the dealer, the price was only $4,700 even with a Texas zipcode. My guess is that dealers know how in demand these cars are and so therefore keep the prices higher than should be, but what can you do? My husband, Diesel Gent, has claimed that recently all I have done is been obsessed with finding this 300SD between the years of '81 to '86, which is true. I believe that one has to look repeatedly, because the true beauties of the 300SD btwn '81 and '86 are gone within a matter of minutes. I'm going to give myself a certain time frame and if I cannot find a 300SD within that time frame I plan to put an ad in my local paper and in my local business journal saying something to the effect "Wanted 300SD, willing to negotiate on price, etc.", the other thing I've thought of is when I see a really nice 300SD on the road, maybe I could pull along side that car and ask the individual how much do you want to sell this car for? Who knows, desperate wants of a 300SD call for doing what necessary to let people know you're searching, hey I might get my 300SD out of that. I even went to a well known Mercedes dealership within my town, the one where the 84 300D was originally bought from in 1984, and asked a sales representative if they had any 300SD's from '81 to '86 on their back lot or if they were getting ready to ship any of them to auction or if there was any auctions/dealers/or other sources I might try in my pursuit of this beautiful 300SD and all the salesman could tell me was to keep looking in the paper. I thought it was funny when I told him what I was looking for he said you're looking for a diesel, why? He went onto further say you like that '81 to '86 body style? I just thougth this guy definitely does not know the history of Mercedes diesel engines. He didn't even mention anything about the new diesel engine that Mercedes is trying to get imported into the states. When I told my husband, Diesel Gent, that, he said if I was the sales manager down at that dealership I would make sure that all of the salespeople knew their history on Mercedes, especially when you're selling $125,000 S-class Mercedes to doctors, lawyers, and engineers the exact people that would want all of the details, but what can you do. I keep telling myself that she is out there, my 300SD is waiting for the right time to make herself available to me, but I know that the one I truly want is out there, it's just a matter of time. By the way I can always tell when a diesel Mercedes is around, it's a very distinct beautiful hum of an engine. Bye for now!!!!
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2002, 10:19 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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Anyone who can write a post that long certainly has the determination to find the car they want. Keep looking. By the way, I wouldn't take the comment by the dealership about not coming down in price too seriously. If you showed up with cash in hand they might have a completely different attitude than in a response to an e-mail.
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2002, 10:24 PM
Registered Diesel Burner
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 2,911
Glad to have you here on the forum.

In my opinion, you will never get a good price at a dealership. They keep their asking prices high and wait for people who don't know any better to show up.

Since you are here by way of the Internet, I suggest you search through the cars on EBay for the potentially best deal. In this way you can cut out the dealership middleman and get the best price.

I have a few rules for buying a car on EBay that may help you:

1) Never consider anything other than a local car within easy driving distance.

2) Go look at the car before you bid if you can.

3) If you can't look at the car before bidding - and you win - go look at the car to "verify it matches the description" before paying for it.

4) Stay away from sellers that are really a dealership.

5) Stay away from sellers that are new on EBay or have zero feedback.

6) Look for a car listing where the seller has made some kind of mistake in the advertisement. Maybe they put it in the wrong category. Maybe a typo in the description that makes it hard to search for.

The EBay route takes a lot of patience and the willingness to spend a lot of time considering candidates. I think you can find something within about three to four months of searching.

Have you heard about CarFax? www.carfax.com
Well worth the two-month unlimited subscription if you are searching for a car and ready to buy.

You won't believe the cars being sold out there that have bad records in Carfax, like salvage title, flood title, wrecked and repair, etc.

Should be lots of followup posts here providing more opinions and advice.

Ken300D
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2002, 10:28 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
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The Ebay guidelines are really good. However I wouldn't ignore all dealerships. Non-Mercedes dealers are sometimes a good place to look since they often don't have a clue about what they have. They may not even know how to start a diesel let alone market one.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2002, 11:34 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Bella Vista, Arkansas
Posts: 116
where are you? and how far are ya willing to go? what price range are ya wanting to spend? and what cond are ya looking for? ya mighta said this in your post but I guess I'm ADD and cant read that much
hillbilly
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  #6  
Old 08-26-2002, 12:00 AM
TANK
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You can get one for $5-7k or less. Just remember that just because they are older cars doesn't change the fact they are mercedes (like you didn't already know). What I mean is that they will need repairs and some repairs are going to be that of 40, 50, $60k+- cars, meaning - expensive. Anything with lots of original or old parts is going to need a lot of work. Engines, drivetrain, and body are golden. We know that, it's why we buy these cars. On the other hand starters, and timing chains, and electronics have most likely met their end in some form. Just ask for service and repair records and ask questions. I would find someone who has made lots of repairs already if you can. Good luck! I feel great every time I get in mine and look down that long hood seeing that shiney (sp?) symbol at the end. It just puts me in a good mood! I am getting close to the end of a long/expensive restoration period on my sdl so it gets better every week..Pretty soon I will be able to drive it anywhere with no worries just like a new car. Best thing, it's paid for and for < an hyundia, I am driving a $60 k s-class with timeless class and looks!
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  #7  
Old 08-26-2002, 07:20 PM
markluta
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Couple of other comments:

If you have a choice between a few cars, at least in my experience the interior is the most expensive (I would even say outrageous) area to fix, the body will be second most expensive (unless the damage is confined to a single area, like a scratch or dent on the hood that can be fixed separately from the car) and the engine and transmission will generally be the cheapest to repair.

I have three bought sight unseen on eBay, other than asking for lots more photos and quizzing about how the car runs, what maintenance has been performed, etc. Unless someone is committing outright fraud, you can get some good deals as long as you are aware you will be spending $2000-$3000 either right away or in the first 10000 miles, but to me you might well do that driving off a used dealer's lot anyway. In all cases I looked first for a pristine interior, second for a decent body, and third verified the car could be driven as is (see comment above).

At least around here, prices at dealers for any used foreign luxury cars are simply outrageous, the interior is typically completely trashed and often the chrome is nearly gone. I would never have bought any foreign luxury car from the 80s I have seen in the Tulsa area at a dealer, generally not at any price but certainly not at half the asking price. They are definately hoping a sucker will walk in. Now, if you want a nice older Cadillac or Lincoln, the Tulsa area is a great place to look.

On the other hand, I have found reasonable deals, but never bought, at mechnics and transmission shops, particulary ones specializing in foreign luxury cars. Apparently, they have something of a problem with fixing a car, then the owner refuses to pay the price asked for the fix (as I said, they run in the thousands on these cars, but once the repairs are made, these cars are great for some time). So I suggest you look there, check out eBay, at least that will give you a price range.

Just my suggestions, I think I posted somewhere else about getting good deals from eBay postings done poorly.
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2002, 09:46 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 7
Thanks for all the responses!!

Thanks for all of the information that I have received from all of you, it will be very helpful in me finding my 300SD!!!
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  #9  
Old 08-26-2002, 10:23 PM
TANK
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Thumbs up

Good analysis markluta. Although for me I found the interior to be least expensive for a couple of reasons. One, instead of purchasing new seat springs, I used spongy green foam (the durable kind) in all my seats. That in combination with the existing springs makes a better seat than original and at literally 1/1000 of the cost! Yes wow! Secondly in the case of leather interior, if it was a rip, I simply purchased a used seat at pga (ask for Pat!)and resurected the faded leather back into a new and original by using spray (yes, spray cans) from world upholstry with factory match original color dye. It never wears off after applied and looks new and highly durable. Works great on window trim and plastics as well!! I hope this saves someone up to $8000+- like it did me!!
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2002, 12:26 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Posts: 502
SD prices

Diesel Lady,

You might want to try this website to get an idea of what rust- free California Mercedes Diesels go for. www.recycler.com Click on cars and then enter Mercedes and the year range that you're interested in and you'll probably find 250 Mercedes in the year range you want. Don't pay any attention to the day thingie as it will cause you to miss some cars.

BTW, why haven't you considered the 123 Series from 1977 to 1985. They can be had with the Turbo 5 cylinder diesel and are lighter, faster, better handling on mountain roads, less complex electrically and can often be found with mileages under 150,000.


Check them while you're on www.recycler.com .
Ben
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2002, 12:35 AM
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
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Cars

Diesel Lady,

Check the "CARS" section of this website and see the pictures of the, FS: 1981 300 Turbo Diesel, it's just what I mentioned in my last thread.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2002, 05:11 PM
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07 E320 Bluetec 7 pistons
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 170
Check this out

83 MERCEDES 300SD: Turbo diesel, green, 88K original miles, garaged, runs good. $6500. (713)460-0234.

I don't know who the owner is. give them a call...
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09 GL320 Bluetec 65K+
07 E320 Bluetec 43k+
05 Nissan Frontier NISMO 4X4 72K+


07 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 5k+ gone
87 300SDL 158k+ gone
91 300D 113k+ gone
83 300SD 220K+ gone
89 300E sold
87 190E sold
83 380SEL sold

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  #13  
Old 08-27-2002, 05:22 PM
rebootit
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I have a line on a pure Florida car with zero rust, 1985 300d owned by a vet (animal doctor) who bought it new. A/C is not working, needs paint as the clear coat has failed (black). Has 105k miles, full service records, and interior is very good. If I had a place to park this car I would buy it. He is driving it daily, and has said he is going to sell it but has not put it in the paper yet. I'm thinking as is he would take 2k for it. I am tempted to buy and repair to resell but just not had the time. If interested let me know and I will see what I could do.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2002, 11:51 AM
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Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 218
I am going to sell Blanche as I can't keep both of the cars.

I sent you an email and will be putting a posting the for sale ad later today.
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2002, 01:19 PM
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Location: Lathrup Village, Michigan
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I don't see a problem with dealerships. Some, yes, ask outragous prices. I think I just got a good deal on an ML320 in Houston that I'm flying down to pick up on Friday.

I also will NOT buy a local car. I will only buy used cars from the south. I don't want any rust or beaten up suspensions from our pothole ridden roads. I'm done buying Michigan cars. (Unless it's something like a '71 Barracuda)
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'05 E320 CDI - 86,000 miles
'86 300SDL - 360,000 miles
'85 300SD - 150,000 miles (sold)
'89 190D - 120,000 miles (sold)
'85 300SD - 317,000 miles (sold)
'98 ML320 - 270,000 miles (sold)
'75 300D - 170,000 miles (sold)
'83 Harley Davidson FLTC (Broken again) :-(
'61 Plymouth Valiant - 60k mikes
2004 Papillon (Oliver)
2005 Tzitzu (Griffon)
2009 Welsh Corgi (Buba)

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