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Old 10-27-2005, 07:59 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 1
Lightbulb Help me decide...


I am faced with deciding between purchasing one of three inexpensive mercedes. As I know nothing about Mercedes vehicles, I was hoping you could help me decide. Here they are:

They are:
A 1978 300D Diesel ($1500)
A 1974 450SEL ($1200)
A 1979 280SEL ($1200 but they're fixing the Cat and smogging so $1600)

They all seem like good vehicles and as I'm not spending alot of money I'm not terribly concerned about getting a lemon.

So sight unseen if one had to make a snap judgement, which one would you pick, and why?

Also if you guys could give me a little background about the three cars and their years that would be awesome!

Thanks guys,

A future Mercedes owner...

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Old 10-27-2005, 08:09 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 20,800
I'd get the 280SEL because it's a non-US model and I'm generally upset with MB for overstuffing US cars. The fabric upholstery and manual AC controls in that car appeal to me. Looks like it needs a compensator spring in the rear axle. Make sure it has a BAR tag in the driver door jamb. If you want to deal with the cat, that's up to you but make the sale contingent on the smog check station of your choice accepting it. The last thing you want is to take it for a smog check and have them tell you that the VIN is not in the database.

When you have a finalist, spend $150 to have it checked by a reputable independent MB specialist. You don't want to spend $1500 on a car that will need $5000 of work in the first year. In that case raise your budget and eliminate untimely surprises.

87 300SDL
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Old 10-27-2005, 08:15 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Lafayette Indiana
Posts: 36,091
i would go with q

the 300d. because that is what i am most familiar with. the 280 engine is also bulletproof mechanically but the fuel injection is prob not as reliable as the diesel. but either car if it runs and shifts well will prob give good service. if you are in the rust belt the 300 will be somewhat less rust prone. the 450 i wouldnt want. 971k ????? really? amazing, but why would they lie about that?

tom w

[SIGPIC] Diesel loving autocrossing grandpa Architect. 08 Dodge 3/4 ton with Cummins & six speed; I have had about 35 benzes. I have a 39 Studebaker Coupe Express pickup in which I have had installed a 617 turbo and a five speed manual.[SIGPIC]

..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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