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Old 09-02-2003, 10:05 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 329
Fair price on 83 300D, 145,000 Miles?


I'm clueless as to the cost of these cars....I see such a wide varience...but almost always above blue book....
I'm interested in a Lite Blue 300D 1983 mercedes....Very pretty on the outside (I don't think there are alot ot lite blue ones are there?)....145,000 miles, Transmission smooth, new tires, needs a new clutch on the air conditioner, but thats supposedly It!....Oil has supposedly been changed on a regular basis....I think i love this car, but don't want to make a mistake....How much do you all think is a fair price for this??

Also...I Was thinking of getting an 85, because I heard it was the best year for the turbo diesels...but I live in CA...and then started hearing they were great, but parts harder to get, ya da, Ya da...SO....Is the 83 as superior as an 85?...(the 85 I am interested in has 215,000, as opposed to this pretty 83 blue one, with 145,000.

Please Help..
THANK YOU!,....I wish I could find a man with the brains of you folks
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Old 09-02-2003, 10:13 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,355
Buy the 83. There's not that much mechanical difference between them and that is a big difference in the number of miles. Of course, this depends on them having been maintained in a similar manner, and on the price.
1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 09-03-2003, 07:27 AM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 12,223
If the '83 is that good with low miles AND if it has records be willing to pay $4k+ for it.
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Old 09-03-2003, 09:05 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: oregon
Posts: 135
Linda, about a month ago I bought a simular car to the one you describe. An '84 300D in a color I rarely see - Biscayne Blue. I bought it from the second owner which he and the first owner took meticulous care of the vehicle, have very complete repair records and many of the common failures of thes vehicles were already fixed before...climate control, AC, power antenae, and a few others. Not cheap items, but hopefully fixed for awhile and expense I may not need to deal with. Tires, brakes, filters, AT service all been done recently. The exterior and interior are in near pristine shape...a couple slight door dings if you look at it at the right angle.

Bottom line, I paid the guys asking price of $4700. I really like the car, it looks near new and should be a great runner for some time (it only has 152,000 miles on it). Do I feel like I paid too much? Yeah, I tried to get him to come down on the price but no budge. He knew what he had and so did I and I then felt comfortable paying it and now drive it like I have a 20 year old new car.

p.s. A couple other novelty items came with it...The original owner bought ordered this car to be picked up in Stutgard, Germany while there on vacation and drive it around the country. Included in the papers is the paperwork and customs forms that have all the stamps and brochures and tour guide of the factory on how to pick up your new car.
Whoever dies with the most toys......Wins!

1984 300d
165k miles
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Old 09-03-2003, 10:36 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,373
There is a big difference between seeing a car that you like and being trapped by the asking price AND searching the country for a good deal. On the first I'd say that the above posts are accurate in the $4-5k range.

On the other hand, I believe you can find some really nice options around the country for $2-3k. But that involves more risk (not seeing it ahead of time), travel, etc.

'84 300DT 298k (Aubrey's)
'99.5 Jetta TDI IV 251k (Julie's)
'97 Jetta TDI 127k (Amber's)
'97 Jetta TDI 186k (Matt's)
'96 Passat TDI 237k (Don's
'84 300D 211k Mint (Arne- Undergoing Greasecar Conversion)

'82 240D 229k (Matt's - Converted-300DT w/ 4 speed
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Old 09-03-2003, 10:44 AM
Randall Kress
Posts: n/a
Well, for a really good car be prepared to spend $5,000 and above, for an average car, $2500-$3500.00. But even if the car is "really good" its going to need work to be perfect. If you have a car with 130k, its going to need work, typically if it hasn't already been done. Things like suspensions, timing chains and head gaskets will probably need fixing, not to mention A/C and vacuum tid bits. Things can get more expensive as the cars age, but if you buy it with records, you know what you are getting.

I'm going to go out on a limb here but, these are not cheap cars to own. To maintain them correctly, they need money. Sure, they are much better than other 20 year old cars, but they are 20 year old cars! They are not going to be perfect. It all depends on the level at which you want to own and drive these cars. If you want a "like-new, drive across the country" 300D, it can be a $20,000 investment over the course of 5 years. I don't care how much work you can do yourself, there's a considerable investment of tools and time to DIY a Mercedes correctly. You can also drive a beater for a few thousand dollars and nickel and dime it till it stops, its going to be a very long time before it stops...

As per the 85 Cali version, I would stay away, if you can find an 85 Federal Version, great! But I don't know how legal it is. The 83 is a sold year, I would own an 83. But for some strange reason, as stupid as it sounds I'm not a fan of 82s and 84s. 82s for they were the first year, not that there is anything too wrong with them, but an 85mph speedo? and being the first year, they have minor niggles- all can be updated and fixed over time. And the 84, while an awsome car is just a year short of being an 85, my favorite... So, I'd rather wait for an 85 if I didn't live in California. But outside of my demented world, there is nothing wrong with ANY year w123 300D.

Rule is, no matter how nice a car is, its a matter of time before it breaks or needs attention. The few thousand more for a super clean car is just buying time really. Of course, things like rare options and colors go with the choice as well.
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Old 09-03-2003, 11:35 AM
Rick Miley's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Land O Lakes, FL
Posts: 3,086
Re: Fair price on 83 300D, 145,000 Miles?

Originally posted by lindajane
...needs a new clutch on the air conditioner...
This is a red flag to me. (You didn't really expect to look at two cars and buy one, did you? ) If the A/C compressor clutch is bad, then that would mean you can't engage the compressor to check the operation of the system. You're in California, right? Deduct $1000 from the price for non-working A/C. A clutch alone wouldn't cost anywhere near that, but it's pretty unlikely that the clutch is all it needs.

And finally, when you get close to purchasing one, a prepurchase inspection by the technician of your choice is definitely in order. You should expect to pay $100 or so for an inspection, and the seller should have no problem letting you do it.
Rick Miley
2014 Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model 3
2017 Nissan LEAF
Former MB: 99 E300, 86 190E 2.3, 87 300E, 80 240D, 82 204D Euro
Chain Elongation References
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Old 09-03-2003, 05:46 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 709
Could you not get an '87 300D for $5-7K with 150K miles that is in good shape?

seems to me that would be the way to of differnece in the 123 and 124 in both drivability and safety features

1992 300SD 168K
Columbus Ohio
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Old 09-03-2003, 08:39 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: RI
Posts: 1,040
Fair Price. This weekend I went to look at an 84 with 60,000 miles on it. The dealer wanted 9,990 for it. The car was a total piece of crap. The insides were nice but way too faded for a 60 K car, under the hood looked like 500K with no maintenance. The battery tray had 2 inches of white crusty gook; the hinge areas were completely rusted. Underside looked pretty good. Basically, it doesn't matter so much the miles on the car but how it was cared for. This car may well have had only 60K (very very doubtful) but it wasn't any better looking than mine with 185K and it didn't run as well. The dealer made me feel unconfortable too, I felt like they were trying to hide something. They had a lot of cars that looked good but were crappers. Another was a 92/93 diesel, a 300D which I think has that "bad" 350 motor. They started it up for me and you could hear a very distinct clunk clunk clunk coming from the engine. Oh, all diesel's make that noise. Yeah, right. Keep shopping around.
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Old 09-03-2003, 08:49 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,791
Here's another test - do you like the 83 enough to spend $150-200 for a thorough inspection (Rick Miley doesn't live in CA )? On one hand it adds to your cost of ownership, on the other hand it gives you a professional opinion to use in bargaining. I don't know about you, but as a seller, "it's only worth $xxx to me" is not a valid bargaining point. A worthwhile opinion, but not a bargaining point. So find a tech you can trust to do the inspection. A AAA or Greenslip inspection isn't good enough for these cars. I hope you're not in NorCal as recommended techs are few and far between and the good ones have dance cards filled on both sides.

95 S420
91 300SE
87 300SDL
83 300SD
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Old 09-04-2003, 08:01 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 709
Another was a 92/93 diesel, a 300D which I think has that "bad" 350 motor. They started it up for me and you could hear a very distinct clunk clunk clunk coming from the engine. Oh, all diesel's make that noise. Yeah, right. Keep shopping around.
Actually the early 90's 300D is very reliable. It has a 2.5 liter engine and it does sound very different from the car you have ....quieter but with a highed pitched "tinny" sound

1992 300SD 168K
Columbus Ohio
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