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  #1  
Old 07-19-2017, 10:51 PM
RobertFini's Avatar
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Location: Millville, NJ
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WTB: Daughter's First Car in SoCal/Inland Empire

Daughter is moving next week to the Inland Empire region of Southern California. She will have a rental car for the first week, but Dad needs to score a sweet ride for her by the time the rental goes back.

The criteria are pretty straightforward: something modern but nothing newer or bigger than a W124 (I'm thinking 107, 123 or 124), good service history with all updates, all systems fully functional, decent looking in and out (she prefers red exterior) and of course able to pass all required California emissions tests. This needs to be the kind of car in which you wouldn't hesitate to send your own daughter out into the desert by herself; I will be requiring a full pre-purchase inspection from a qualified shop, since I won't be able to inspect it myself.

I've budgeted $4k but would prefer to spend less.

Please PM me directly with a full description and your asking price.

Best Regards,
Rob
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Rob Fini

'07 E350T 4MATIC, 204k miles (wife's)
'05 Sprinter T1N/Pleasure-Way Plateau TS, 53k miles
'99 E320 4MATIC, 248k miles (dormant)
'97 C36AMG, 260k miles (son's)
'94 E320T, 243k miles
'93 190E Sportline LE, 168k miles (daughter's)
'84 190E-2.3/5spd (Stage Rally Racer)
'66 230 W110 Sedan (Barn Find, Future Vintage Racer)
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  #2  
Old 07-20-2017, 02:37 PM
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As the father of three daughters.......

...... I've had the responsibility of providing cars for each.

I see a red flag in your posting, and it's the MB criteria.

I was happy to seek out and maintain MBs for the girls as long as the cars were close enough to home I could repair them if required.

Once they left town, MB was off the table. The potential cost/reliability issues killed the Benz option for me. You and I may be into the cars, but I'll guarantee you your daughters are not. They may claim so, but don't believe it.

Focus instead, on cars that tolerate neglect well. Ten years ago, my car of choice was a Buick Century. Top of the list for old geezers, bottom of the list when resold.... Lots of nice, well kept cars out there for a very good price. Not sure anymore what todays equivalent is....

For my youngest, I went a different direction. Ended up with a Toyota Solara. Whilst not the good deal the Century was, it has 5 plus years of boring reliability, with only tires, battery, oil changes, required.

It's amazed me over the years what my girls have done with (or to) cars, and both aforementioned cars stood up to the abuse (and wrecks in the Buick). With the Buicks I developed a saying about GM products: 'Nothing runs poorly longer than a GM car.'.

Jim
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  #3  
Old 07-20-2017, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
I'm thinking 107, 123 or 124
These are all antique cars. . .not something that you can walk into a random auto parts and walk out with anything you need.

And, who is going to fix it?

She needs something that is going to run more or less most of the time.

Buy something domestic so anyone can work on it.

She does not get to choose color over getting a good car.

4K isn't much so spend those dollars on a "good" basic dull car not "more" of a car ( options and such ).

Whatever is purchased, give it a heavy preventative maintenance like all coolant hoses, electric fuel pump , filters , belts , crankshaft sensor , plugs / wires , battery if it is more than 3 years old , brake pads if sub 40% thickness remaining and anything else that is getting towards end of expected life. This way the chances of the car being in the shop _yet again_ at random times is minimized.

The worst mistake she could make is running out and leasing / buying a new car then being upside down with debt the rest of her life.
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  #4  
Old 07-20-2017, 04:59 PM
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Yep, this too.


Quote:
Focus instead, on cars that tolerate neglect well. Ten years ago, my car of choice was a Buick Century. Top of the list for old geezers, bottom of the list when resold.... Lots of nice, well kept cars out there for a very good price. Not sure anymore what todays equivalent is....

For my youngest, I went a different direction. Ended up with a Toyota Solara. Whilst not the good deal the Century was, it has 5 plus years of boring reliability, with only tires, battery, oil changes, required.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2017, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
(I'm thinking 107, 123 or 124), good service history with all updates, all systems fully functional,...
I've budgeted $4k but would prefer to spend less.
Ain't gonna happen. Only way she could run one of those cars in your price range is if she's as handy with a wrench as Bodhi. I second the thought of an old Century. I've been thinking of trying to get one of them myself. Only thing that would possibly cause me to hesitate is an unfortunate experience I had with a 2000 Buick rental's air conditioner, and the question of the fire catching v6. But they are about the most rock bottom solid transportation out there having often been owned by older folks not prone to abusing them. I just don't see one of your preferred Benz's being achievable for that price even if in great condition given their age.

- Peter.
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81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2017, 10:27 AM
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lease her a new toyota/hyundai/nissan/honda for $200/mo. 35-40 mpg, full warranty, roadside assist included.
i would bet my boots the rental isn't an old mercedes

if you're dead-set on getting the perfect, cheap old merc for her this would buy you a couple years to search out the perfect car.
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  #7  
Old 08-27-2017, 03:27 PM
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Thank you all for your comments. As you might have noticed from my signature line, I am no stranger to vintage Mercedes-Benzes and I know exactly what I am getting into here. To those of you who hijacked the thread by recommending all sorts of other conveyances, thanks, but no thanks. I wasn't asking for recommendations, I was asking for someone who was selling a car that fit my parameters to let me know about it.

My daughter just took ownership of a '93 190E Sportline LE, a solid ten-footer with 100% fully functioning accessories and only 168k miles, for $3,200; the W201 with the M103 is just about as bulletproof as a mechanical device can get, and they tolerate neglect exceedingly well: I regularly flog my '84 190E with M102 motor (which everyone knows is just two-thirds of an M103) all day long, both on and off the race track, with nothing other than regular maintenance every once in a while, and it has never ever let me down.

Never. Ever. And I anticipate nothing less with this new addition to the family.

Best Regards,
Rob
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Rob Fini

'07 E350T 4MATIC, 204k miles (wife's)
'05 Sprinter T1N/Pleasure-Way Plateau TS, 53k miles
'99 E320 4MATIC, 248k miles (dormant)
'97 C36AMG, 260k miles (son's)
'94 E320T, 243k miles
'93 190E Sportline LE, 168k miles (daughter's)
'84 190E-2.3/5spd (Stage Rally Racer)
'66 230 W110 Sedan (Barn Find, Future Vintage Racer)
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  #8  
Old 08-27-2017, 03:30 PM
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Oh, and I forgot to mention the stack of receipts and original window sticker that came with it.
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Rob Fini

'07 E350T 4MATIC, 204k miles (wife's)
'05 Sprinter T1N/Pleasure-Way Plateau TS, 53k miles
'99 E320 4MATIC, 248k miles (dormant)
'97 C36AMG, 260k miles (son's)
'94 E320T, 243k miles
'93 190E Sportline LE, 168k miles (daughter's)
'84 190E-2.3/5spd (Stage Rally Racer)
'66 230 W110 Sedan (Barn Find, Future Vintage Racer)
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2017, 09:12 PM
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nobody hijacked your thread; helpful, prudent advice was offered by a bunch of folks who are also not strangers to vintage mercedes cars.
glad you found a good car for your daughter.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
Thank you all for your comments. As you might have noticed from my signature line, I am no stranger to vintage Mercedes-Benzes and I know exactly what I am getting into here. To those of you who hijacked the thread by recommending all sorts of other conveyances, thanks, but no thanks. I wasn't asking for recommendations, I was asking for someone who was selling a car that fit my parameters to let me know about it.

My daughter just took ownership of a '93 190E Sportline LE, a solid ten-footer with 100% fully functioning accessories and only 168k miles, for $3,200; the W201 with the M103 is just about as bulletproof as a mechanical device can get, and they tolerate neglect exceedingly well: I regularly flog my '84 190E with M102 motor (which everyone knows is just two-thirds of an M103) all day long, both on and off the race track, with nothing other than regular maintenance every once in a while, and it has never ever let me down.

Never. Ever. And I anticipate nothing less with this new addition to the family.

Best Regards,
Rob
__________________
James 4:8

"...let us put aside the blindness of mind of those who can conceive of nothing higher than what is known through the senses"
-Saint Gregory Palamas, ---Discourse on the Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ


Centrally located in North East Central Pa.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2017, 09:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
Oh, and I forgot to mention the stack of receipts and original window sticker that came with it.
Looks like you scored a miracle there. Well done. Hope it works out for her.

- Peter.
__________________
81 240D stick. 316000 miles at purchase. 342000 now
2000 GMC Sonoma
Formerly...
2002 Kia Rio. Worst crap on four wheels
1981 240D 4spd stick. 389000 miles. Deceased Jan 08
1984 123 200
1979 116 280S
1972 Cadillac Sedan DeVille
1971 108 280S
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2017, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
Thank you all for your comments. As you might have noticed from my signature line, I am no stranger to vintage Mercedes-Benzes and I know exactly what I am getting into here.
While it isn't in _my_ sig line, I have 40 + years in and around the auto repair business. When I had my shop I looked at many used cars for customers and recommended certain ones based on their needs and budget.

I'm not a brand snob, I'll drive anything that runs and I've driven a few things that don't. My car selection is based on what is easily repaired and cost effective to purchase.

The point is that while you are familiar with older MB, the car in question will be out of your reach for even the simplest repair. Other threads have lamented that many independent MB shops won't touch cars older than 2000 or so. Unless you find a reliable shop than is willing to look after the car, she is taking a huge risk. At minimum she has extended loss of transport during a breakdown and at max the car is write off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
To those of you who hijacked the thread by recommending all sorts of other conveyances, thanks, but no thanks. I wasn't asking for recommendations, I was asking for someone who was selling a car that fit my parameters to let me know about it.
My recommendations were based on her actual needs and if someone else in a similar situation looked at this thread. Proceed at your own peril.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
My daughter just took ownership of a '93 190E Sportline LE, a solid ten-footer with 100% fully functioning accessories and only 168k miles, for $3,200; the W201 with the M103 is just about as bulletproof as a mechanical device can get, and they tolerate neglect exceedingly well: I regularly flog my '84 190E with M102 motor (which everyone knows is just two-thirds of an M103) all day long, both on and off the race track, with nothing other than regular maintenance every once in a while, and it has never ever let me down.

Never. Ever. And I anticipate nothing less with this new addition to the family.

Best Regards,
Rob

Unless the trans has been rebuilt, it is getting close to losing reverse and / or chewing off the governor gear.

If this still has CIS, expect the fuel distributor to fail / fuel pumps ( 2 ) to fail if they haven't been changed.

Be sure to keep this thread updated as to how the car is holding up and if a reliable repair ship is found. Sure it is possible that the car is in run forever condition and a good shop could be found but, in her situation being out in the wilderness so to speak, the risk is too great.
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2017, 10:33 PM
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When your daughter needs a repair shop, I suggest she goes to Jim's German Auto in Corona.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2017, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post
Daughter is moving next week to the Inland Empire region of Southern California. She will have a rental car for the first week, but Dad needs to score a sweet ride for her by the time the rental goes back.

This needs to be the kind of car in which you wouldn't hesitate to send your own daughter out into the desert by herself;

I will be requiring a full pre-purchase inspection from a qualified shop, since I won't be able to inspect it myself.

I've budgeted $4k but would prefer to spend less.
DON'T DO THAT!!!!!!!!

How about a Toyota with a Mercedes emblem taped onto it.
Or a six cylinder Subaru-- The 4 cylinders have head gasket issues.

Hate to say it, but unless your daughter knows how to do the incidentals and pick up on car problems before they become a full failure an old Mercedes is not the way to go.
I would not send my daughter into the desert in an old Mercedes.


AND!!!
Your daughter will get screwed every time she goes to get that thing repaired.

About the only thing I might trust would be a well maintained diesel 123, 190, or 124 before the 1990s when they started putting in lots of eletronics.
But, you are taking a chance on old belts, plumbing, atrophy brake lines etc.. you name it.

As far as having a shop inspect the car.... I bought a car off ebay from florida.
I had a forum member who owned a shop nearby inspect the car.
Yeah he inspected the car, but failed to mention a **** ton of stuff that I would have noticed in person. Had I inspected it in person I would have walked at the price I paid.
So don't think an inspection is gonna pick up everything.
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  #14  
Old 09-09-2018, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertFini View Post

My daughter just took ownership of a '93 190E Sportline LE, a solid ten-footer with 100% fully functioning accessories and only 168k miles, for $3,200; the W201 with the M103 is just about as bulletproof as a mechanical device can get, and they tolerate neglect exceedingly well: I regularly flog my '84 190E with M102 motor (which everyone knows is just two-thirds of an M103) all day long, both on and off the race track, with nothing other than regular maintenance every once in a while, and it has never ever let me down.

Given it has been a year and in the name of science, how is this car holding up?
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  #15  
Old 09-10-2018, 02:42 PM
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Thanks for following up; she loves the car and I have first dibs on it when she outgrows it.

Other than the cracked oil pan from taking speed bumps too fast and the AC being barely adequate in the face of 100+ degree weather (neither of which we can blame on the car), the only major issue has been a head gasket replacement, which we knew was coming when we bought it.

I can't recall how we found him, but care and feeding is being provided by Kevin at Inland Mercedes Service in Riverside, and we couldn't be happier with either his technical abilities or his bedside manner.

Best Regards,
Rob
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WTB:  Daughter's First Car in SoCal/Inland Empire-00o0o_igux3w5gmyd_600x450.jpg   WTB:  Daughter's First Car in SoCal/Inland Empire-00w0w_2afqot7owcq_600x450.jpg   WTB:  Daughter's First Car in SoCal/Inland Empire-00q0q_7h7j4cjs3vm_600x450.jpg  
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Rob Fini

'07 E350T 4MATIC, 204k miles (wife's)
'05 Sprinter T1N/Pleasure-Way Plateau TS, 53k miles
'99 E320 4MATIC, 248k miles (dormant)
'97 C36AMG, 260k miles (son's)
'94 E320T, 243k miles
'93 190E Sportline LE, 168k miles (daughter's)
'84 190E-2.3/5spd (Stage Rally Racer)
'66 230 W110 Sedan (Barn Find, Future Vintage Racer)
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