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  #1  
Old 10-01-2003, 08:44 PM
GottaDiesel's Avatar
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NADA, Edmunds, Galves, Kelly... who's insane?

I'm having a really hard time understanding this. I sold cars to pay for college when I was a youngster --- and I know some cars are soft and some are strong.

I went and looked at two 300D (1985) today. One was worse than the next and the prices were 2 - 4 times book prices. And that was me looking with "wanting" eyes... granted, I didn't offer what they were worth, since they weren't what I wanted -- no point in insulting an owner if I don't want their car... but I really want to know what I'm missing.

Am I missing something? Hope some folks can explain.

Thanks.

WD

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  #2  
Old 10-01-2003, 08:57 PM
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I think NADA is the best. Edmunds is next. Kelly is dead last in determining old diesels. Those are the three books I am familiar with.

Don't even look at Kelly, you'll faint if you owned a diesel.

In fact, older cars are sold by exclusivity. Cars with books and records since new, original paint jobs with very few blemishes will sell for many MANY times the amount the books claim they are worth.

Use your gut feeling. What is it worth to you? If it IS a "no-stories one-owner automobile", buy it (after a little negotiation, first). They are almost impossible to come by. See if any parts were replaced recently, and what may need work. Have it checked by an honest mechanic.
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  #3  
Old 10-02-2003, 01:55 PM
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I agree- the book value (no matter which one) is basically irrelevant when it comes to deciding what an old diesel is worth. I have seen quite a bit of regional variation, too, along with the desirability factor of these cars, depending on condition, records, colors even.

Basically, it comes down to what you are willing to pay for what you want. After you have it checked out, of course.

For example, the 84 300TD that I bought almost 2 years ago with 150k on it (with third seat, leather interior, rare-ish colors, etc) was not cheap-

Cheaper was the 82 300D sedan I bought with only 119,000 on it, in hard to find black, because the sedans simply are not as rare and desirable as the wagons, even with less mileage etc.

Again, it comes down to what you will pay for what you want. I imagine a beater off a sketchy used car lot would be the only time you could use the book values accurately. For a late model car, M-B included, the books don't lie, but for cars this old, with such a following and reputation for longevity, the book values don't make much sense.

my $.02

JAS
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  #4  
Old 10-02-2003, 02:31 PM
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Now I'm really confused.

I have a chance at a 1 owner 300D (1985) with 190K -- the car has rust issues (behind rear wells, etc.) -- the two front light (next to headlights) are smashed up and the area behind is rusty.

Doesn't look like an excessive leaker and seems to run strong Needs wood trim inside repair. The dash is good -- don't know about seats, he has seat covers -- didn't go that far. The sunroof and ant are not working -- for sure. There may be other issues.

He's asking $2k. -- I thought he was nutso.

Was I?
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Old 10-02-2003, 02:54 PM
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Poeple with the 190e 16v and the BMW E30 M3, always charge
2-3 and somtimes 4 times the value in writing for these cars too, but NOONE ever sells one, just dreamers... I figure,
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  #6  
Old 10-02-2003, 02:55 PM
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Smile

No, you are not nutso.

Basically, when I have looked at and/or bought these cars, I have found that the "book" value is good to determine what something that will need some work is worth. Sounds like the one you are considering falls into this category.

When you look at a 123 with full documentation, and no major issues, and a very good body, that is when the "book" values seem to be irrelevant.

Of course, ANY car you buy is going to need something, that is just the fact of buying any car that is not right from the factory, whether it is 3 years or 23 years old.
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  #7  
Old 10-02-2003, 03:25 PM
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Thanks for all the encouragement.

I'm going to keep my nose to the grindstone -- I'll find the right car! :-)

Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 10-02-2003, 05:27 PM
mrdane
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I just thought I'd throw my recent used-car purchase experience for comparison.

My wife and I determined that we'd really like a VW Eurovan (since we now have two children.) Year 1993 was the only year they were imported before reintroduced in 1999. She wanted a really clean example.

Edmunds suggests $3,000, $4,800, and $5,500 (trade-in, private, dealer) for a nearly excellent condition 1993 model.

This June, we located a one-owner in Annaheim, CA (I'm in Wisconsin) with just the right features (welll, no cruise control) for $7,250. After flying in and meeting the guy, he tells me some lady offered him his original asking price of $8,000 and to pay for our plane tickets out to CA. (Obviously, a devoted following and demand can skew what are reported values.) BTW: the trip home from CA in that Eurovan was a hoot! A very fun, versatile van with a 5 speed stick to boot.
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  #9  
Old 10-02-2003, 05:35 PM
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So you're saying what exactly?... "Supply and Demand" and to hell with the books?
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  #10  
Old 10-02-2003, 09:01 PM
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WannaDiesel I have been looking at Mercedes prices for about a year now. All I can say about the books is that they are useless. The prices for these cars are all over the place, but in general here is what I have observed, for New England at least.
Good 300SDL's are rare and go for 8-9k. For that you get a sub 150k car that is mint.
1982 -1985 300SD's in mint condition go for around 7k. Real nice ones go for 4-6k. Good drivers can be found for 3k or lower.
I'm not to sure about the w123's as the w126s are the ones that I am intersted in. They seem to follow the 300SD's maybe a little cheaper. I have had good luck searching autotrader.com and ebay. I hope this helps.
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  #11  
Old 10-02-2003, 11:16 PM
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The only time these books can come in handy is in a state like Washington that requires a "Statement of Facts" which is a notarized bill of sale when you go transfer a car. If you don't have one when you bought the car and you go to transfer title, the State of Washington comes up with its own inflated value schedule. The only way to get around this BS when you don't have the "official" form is to have a copy of one of those books mentioned and show the jerks, I mean clerks that work at the DMV what the "true" value is for the car. It worked for me when I bought my 300D back in March. I didn't feel like wasting anymore of my or the seller's time by going back to fill out one of those "Statement of Facts" forms and then finding a notary to complete the form.

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