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Old 07-04-2013, 01:02 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Mateo, CA
Posts: 11
How many people drive their classics as every day car?

Hi, just wondering how many people drive their classics as everyday car, and how many miles average do you drive? Do you worry where do you park?

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Old 07-04-2013, 01:12 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 664
I once owned a 6.3 that I drove a lot. No problems of any kind because it looked just like any old 109/109. Most people could tell it was a Mercedes, but it was nothing special to the ignorant masses.

I finally sold it when it got hard to buy insurance through my regular guy.

And I drove it because it was very comfortable to drive in and did not lack for power! MPG was nothing to be happy about, though.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:12 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 238
I drive my 69 w115 everyday!its my car. Got it for free, someone's cast off. After 5 years of sitting, its back on the road and running great.
Model 220 gasoline
Chassis: W115.010
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:21 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Orange County/Bozeman
Posts: 199
Daily drive my '73 280C. Crappy mileage is my monthly payment! Has only non started three times. All three issues were resolved within 15 minutes. When I'm in OC I drive 100 miles a day, in Bozeman about 10-20. Don't worry about parking, just avoid the sun to prevent million degree interiors.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:36 AM
Stretch's Avatar a shield of steel
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,461
I've nearly always driven old cars - I don't like modern ones much - up until the last 4 years or so I used to drive about 3000 to 7000 km a year in vehicles that were at least 25 years old; I'm not sure if you'd call them classics though!
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:37 AM
Stretch's Avatar a shield of steel
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Somewhere in the Netherlands
Posts: 14,461
Originally Posted by ssk831 View Post
Daily drive my '73 280C. Crappy mileage is my monthly payment! Has only non started three times. All three issues were resolved within 15 minutes. When I'm in OC I drive 100 miles a day, in Bozeman about 10-20. Don't worry about parking, just avoid the sun to prevent million degree interiors.
I bet it works out to be cheaper than a new car monthly payment and say about half or your current fuel costs.
1992 W201 190E 1.8 171,000 km - Daily driver
1981 W123 300D ~ 100,000 miles / 160,000 km - project car stripped to the bone
1965 Land Rover Series 2a Station Wagon CIS recovery therapy!
1961 Volvo PV544 Bare metal rat rod-ish thing

I'm here to chat about cars and to help others - I'm not here "to always be right" like an internet warrior

Don't leave that there - I'll take it to bits!
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:00 AM
Squiggle Dog's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Surprise, AZ, USA
Posts: 3,621
I have owned nothing but vintage automobiles, so my daily driver has always been a classic car.

The first car I got to drive legally was a 1959 Ford Custom 300. Once I had it running right (or, rather the mechanic who worked on it since I didn't know what I was doing at the time), I drove it a few times in high school. I would let anyone who wanted borrow it, as long as they topped off the tank. It was rusting out badly and I didn't make enough money to keep up with the repairs, so I sold it to a friend on a payment plan.

A little later on, I got a job at a bicycle shop, and decided to buy a 1955 Pontiac on a payment plan. I got to drive it a little, but it had a lot of problems. It never really got to be a driver, though I did get it to the point where some friends and I drove it to Wyoming to buy fireworks. My father offered to let me live in a trailer he had if I got a car that was better in the snow (even though the Pontiac did just fine in it). So, I sold the Pontiac and bought a 1951 Willys truck.

The Willys originally came with a 4 cylinder engine, but someone put an AMC 258 engine in there that didn't fit, so they cut a hole in the firewall, and removed the fan. The suspension had rigid shackles that didn't move, and the body only had one bolt holding it on. The body would slide around on the chassis. I liked the looks, but it drove horribly. I got a job at a video rental store, and used it to drive to work. I was using it to push a friend's car, and his bumper slid over mine, which pushed the radiator into the engine block. I still drove it to work, but the engine would lock up partway through, so I would have to pull over and wait for it to cool down. I ended up selling it.

I went back to riding my bicycle as my main means of transportation. Then I got a job in another city, so I was on the lookout for a cheap car. I originally saw a 1977 Plymouth Volare for $400, but the owner was a jerk and I decided he didn't need my money. Then I saw a 1980 Mercedes W116 300SD for $300. It was rusty, but had a rebuilt transmission. The interior was like brand new, and it had 380,000 miles on it. I had heard all of the horror stories and advice to "avoid diesels", but I bought it, anyway. Diesel was cheaper than gas at the time, and I could not believe the great fuel economy it got. It was also really fast and would climb hills like nothing I had ever driven. I was also in awe about how 60 MPH speeds felt like 25 MPH. But, the heater didn't work, and neither did the air conditioning. All of the windows were stuck in the up position. The auto parts store told me a new window switch would be $200. I broke the driver side window trying to get it down. I decided it was too complicated, so I sold it and went back to riding my bicycle.

The next car I drove was a 1967 International Travelall. I loved it because it could easily fit bicycles or other large items into it. It was also great in the snow. I drove it for a few months, but got kicked out of my parents' house, and couldn't afford to pay rent and repair it, so I sold it. I went back to riding my bicycle.

My roommate at the time gave me his 1980 Jeep Cherokee. It had flat tires, so I paid to have new tires put on it. I drove it to work a few times, but then the bank repossessed it from my roommate. So, I went back to riding my bicycle.

Then I traded my bicycle for a 1977 AMC Hornet station wagon. I was told it had only 7,000 original miles, and was owned by a little old lady who only drove it a few times, got in a crash, and then stopped driving. I had to fight and fight to get the title for it. It must have been owned by a really fat lady, because the driver side of the seat was collapsed and had a metal plate over it. The vehicle was covered in moss, and the passenger side of the vehicle was caved in from being hit from the side. The passenger side of the seat was collapsed from the B-pillar being shoved into it. Neither of the doors on the passenger side could open, and the rear axle was broken as well. I replaced the axle and wheel, and drove the car to work. It definitely did not have only 7,000 original miles on it. It would also fill up with Washington rain water and I could never see out the windows without having to constantly wipe off the fog. I drove it from Washington to Utah and back, but on the way to Utah the water pump went out and sprayed coolant all over. I had to take it to a Chrysler dealership to have it replaced. Then the air conditioning compressor threw a rod a bit further in the trip. When I got to Utah, I had the shock absorbers replaced because the car was all over the road. When I got back to Washington, I realized how impossible it would be to repair the body on my U-shaped car, so I sold it and bought a bicycle.

I moved to Utah and continued to ride my bicycle until I got sick of taking the train, and then riding 10 miles to work each day. I really missed my 1967 International Travelall, so I bought a 1965 International Travelall in California. As I was driving it back to Utah, while going through Nevada on a pitch-black night with no moon or city, or even other car lights, I pressed the high-beam switch and both headlights went out. I was doing 75 MPH with a turn ahead. I hit the brakes and braced for impact. I went down the embankment, got bounced around so hard that my foot went through the floorboard, and then finally came to a stop. When I got out of the vehicle, I fell down into a ditch. I backed the vehicle back up the embankment and onto the road. The previous owner didn't attach the wires tightly to the new dimmer switch he installed, so when I pressed it, the wires fell off and cut off my headlights. Then later on in the trip, I ran out of gas and tried to roll-start my car by letting it roll backward down the hill and popping it into reverse. This broke the differential and sheared the axle shaft. I drove the final 100 miles home by putting it in four-wheel-drive and using the front axle. I took my bicycle on the train, then rode my bicycle to the wrecking yard and removed a differential and axle shaft from an International truck. I put the parts in my bicycle basket, rode to the train station, then took the train home, and installed the parts. The vehicle became my daily driver for two years. It was very reliable, but the body was beat-up and rusty, and the ride was horrible. I realized the body was too beat-up for me to realistically do anything with it, and I couldn't stand how bone-jarring the ride was, so I sold it.

I saw a craigslist ad for a free 1979 Mercedes W116 300SD, so I told the owner I would take it. He said I would need to take a free 1977 Euro W116 450SE with no title with it. He said both cars ran and drove great. I decided I would trailer them, anyway, which was a good decision. When I saw the 300SD, it had no front bumper, grille, headlights, fan shroud, alternator, belts, exhaust, battery, fuses, and half the interior was missing. There is no way that would have driven. The owner put a battery in it, sprayed starting fluid in the turbo, started it, took out the battery, and then I drove it onto the trailer. My friend started to drive the 450SE home, but it ran out of gas partway, and then after adding gas, it wouldn't start. So, that one got trailered home, too. Sadly, my roommate said I had to get rid of the 450SE, so I parted it out and sold the rest to a guy who wanted the engine and transmission. It's a shame, because it had heated, orthopedic, leather front seats in excellent condition. The rear seat was like new. In fact, the vehicle was recently repainted to factory quality. I kept many of the parts, including the Euro bumpers. Sadly, I could not sell the bumpers on this forum, or on craigslist, until a local guy said he'd give me $20 for them to shorten and put on a Datsun. I used some of the 450SE parts on the 300SD, and got the rest of the parts I needed from wrecking yards. I taught myself how to properly repair Mercedes automobiles. It was my daily driver for two years, and was extremely reliable. But, what I really wanted was a turbocharged diesel fintail. I thought I had a deal struck with someone who was selling a Euro one that was rust-free and had a sunroof, but no engine. I sold the 300SD and then the seller of the fintail ended up wanting way more money than I was willing to pay, plus I would have had to have it transported from California to Washington, and then still have to do the turbo diesel conversion. I went back to riding my bicycle, but 10 miles each way was too far to do when it rains everyday. I tried riding the bus, but it was an insane asylum on wheels, and my OCD boss was afraid I was going to catch germs from all the people in the bus.

I saw a craigslist ad for a 1968 Mercedes W110 200D. I read the rumors about the cars being dangerously slow, but decided I could just stick to the back roads and be fine, better than riding a bicycle. Once I bought the car and got it onto the freeway, it was not the slightest bit slow. I was doing 75 miles per hour easily, and the car felt like it had effortless acceleration. $3,000 in parts later, it was a reliable daily driver using biodiesel for two years, that I even took on a 2,000 mile round trip to Utah and back. I could cruise in that at 80 miles per hour for hours at a time. Unfortunately, the engine smoked terribly on startup, it leaked oil horribly, and the body was rusted out. The driver seat had fallen through the floor, the firewall was eaten away, the floors and rockers were gone, as was the mounting area around the taillights. I couldn't sell the car, so I parted it out. It saddens me because I LOVED that car and would still be driving it today if the rust didn't kill it.

It didn't seem like I was going to be able to find a non-rusty diesel fintail Mercedes, and converting a gas one to a turbo diesel engine was going to be too much work, so I started looking for another 300SD. I wanted a W116 with that nice bamboo interior, but I wanted one in Walnut Brown, and with a sunroof. Unfortunately, the only year you could get a Walnut Brown 300SD was in 1980, and in 1980 very few 300SDs had sunroofs, let alone one in that rare color. None of the Walnut Brown ones I saw had a sunroof, except for one that was way out of my price range. I finally decided I could settle on black and then paint it Walnut Brown later, and any residual black paint wouldn't haunt me too badly. I found mine for sale in Oregon, which was black, but after running the VIN number, I determined it was originally Walnut Brown, and it had a sunroof! Woohoo! I did what I had to to get the car, but the seller was dishonest. The "new tires" were mismatched and threadbare, the "working" CD player didn't work, the "new" brake master cylinder was leaking fluid, the "new $6,000 differential and axle shafts" were old and rotted, the "fresh alignment" was sloppy steering that pulled, the "good interior" was sunbaked and fried (too-small blue W123 seat in back), and the "good paint" had peeling clearcoat and bubbling basecoat. It was only $1,000, so I paid and drove on my way home. The transmission wouldn't shift out of second gear, and when I stopped to fill the empty fuel tank, there was no coolant in the radiator. I topped off the coolant, the transmission finally shifted, and I got it home. A few months later, it was my daily driver and I have practically rebuilt every part of the car but the engine, which has 317,000 miles on it and still going strong. I've been using it and running it on biodiesel for three years now, and truly love the car. It's a keeper. I even drove it from Washington to Utah and back one summer, and then most recently I drove it from Arizona to Washington, overloaded it with car parts, then drove it back to Arizona. It climbed The Grapevine fully loaded while doing 70 MPH and acted like it was nothing. I plan to use it as my daily driver until I get my fintail station wagon with turbo diesel engine completed. It really, really needs working air conditioning for our 119 degree Arizona days, though.
Stop paying for animal enslavement, cruelty, and slaughter. Save your health and the planet. Go vegan! I did 17 years ago.


1967 W110 Universal Wagon, Euro, Turbo Diesel, Tail Fins, 4 Speed Manual Column Shift, A/C
1980 W116 300SD Turbo Diesel, DB479 Walnut Brown, Sunroof, Highly Optioned, 350,000+ Miles
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Old 07-04-2013, 06:36 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Carson City, NV
Posts: 3,788
I thought I was willing to put up with a lot of old car issues-not like Squiggle Dog.

I used my '77 240D as a daily for about three years and 24,000 miles before the front seal on my '83's transmission got bad and I used the 240 for a donor. My use of the 240 included numerous trips to San Diego and back when I was working out of state, as well as a trip to Atlanta and back to visit family.

I don't know if my '83 counts as a classic, but it's my ride whenever I'm not on my motorcycle. I had a '71 250 for several years, but that POS never made it to daily driver status. I sold it to an older guy who wanted to restore it for $315 and drove it to his house on five cylinders.
Whoever said there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes never had a cheap Jaguar.

83 300D Turbo with manual conversion, early W126 vented front rotors and H4 headlights 362,xxx miles
08 Triumph Street Triple 30,xxx miles, lowered 10mm in front, Pirelli Angel GT tires, EBC HH brake pads, otherwise stock.
88 Jaguar XJS V12 92,xxx miles. I should be in the garage now.
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Old 07-04-2013, 07:35 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mooresville, NC
Posts: 159
Impressive history and run of vehicles Squiggle Dog!
I drive my 1968 230 W110 at least four days a week to work, errands and for enjoyment. My other choice is a 2005 Buick that we "had" to buy from my elderly mother-in-law... it'll become my daughter's car in a few years. The Buick is comfortable and gets better fuel economy but I much prefer the Benz. In the past I daily drove a 73 Porsche 914, 1957 Karmann Ghia, 1973 Mazda RX4, 1971 Torino Wagon and 1967 Bug. My father owned a 1967 230 and 1966 190D that we, including I, drove for many miles including family trips, both sold due to rust years ago. Those two Benz impressed me though and I knew I would eventually have to find another of my own... great cars!
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Old 07-04-2013, 08:37 AM
Jub Jub is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 413
Drive my 71 250 MD to DC everyday (and on weekends). I look forward to the drive when I wake up (50 miles round trip).

Had a 72 280 in Cali which I drove daily (about the same as my 71). Transmission finally gave until I swaped it out from trany from Sun Valley Motors (amazing trans). Drove it for a year after that (sold to Japanese exporter).

Aside: I also own a new VW (my wifes daily driver); always good to have a back-up just in case.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:10 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 48
I drive my w108 everywhere to run errands almost daily. I just don't drive it as much to work as I don't want it sitting and baking in the sun for 8 hrs a day.
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:52 AM
dirtyharry's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: minneapolis
Posts: 110
before I sold my W110 I drove it everyday as I did not have another car, it was the slowest thing on the road, could literally not get out of its own way. I had a lot of fun driving it in the middle of the night, to and from work(even in the middle of winter). drove it 300 miles round trip in the middle of the night once. never really worried about it breaking down, as with the older chassis there isn't much to break. then after I purchased my W108, replaced the transmission etc, I drove it almost every day. then when I got the W114 last year I drove that everyday as the W110 was sold and the W108 in pieces. I put as many miles on em as I can, park em on the street, fix em when they break, the W114 has been messed with once, but it was my fault for leaving it unlocked.
R107.043 Euro 350SL (parts)(crushed)
W116.024 280se (crushed)
W114 280 (m110)
W108.067 280se 4.5
W108.068 280seL 4.5 (crushed)
W111 220SEB coupe
W110 200D went to the crusher
W110 190D sold sold sold

1970 Rover P6B

Used to own(1950 buick,1969 lincoln MK3,4G63t colt,87 300ZX, 79 F100, 92 XJ40)
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Old 07-04-2013, 11:55 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Honolulu, HI
Posts: 475
Originally Posted by Stretch View Post
...I used to drive about 3000 to 7000 km a year in vehicles that were at least 25 years old...
What is that, like, 400 to 500 miles a year, or so??

(/metric joke)

My newest car is 21 years old, and it gets driven daily, but then it is a BMW.

The 108 gets driven more in the evenings after work; a run down to the shops or just to go around at the end of the day.
Looking for Early 108 windshield surround wood in decent-to-good condition.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:48 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: PDX->OR->USA
Posts: 377
The W111 Coupe is my daily driver tho I do not have a daily need for a car so it's driven randomly these days but quite regularly. I do not ever worry about parking because my car has minor dings and scratches from her lifetime of use so I am thankful I don't have to worry about anyone opening their door against her sides, which are also about as thick as the hull of the Love Boat. We now have a modern AWD car for mountain or beach trips or when we need to transport friends.
Mileage is ok for me, she gets three hundred hectares on a single tank of kerosene.
1962 220SE W111 Coupe, 2nd owner

The Coupe Group (W111/112 coupes and cabs) official website
The Coupe Group on Facebook
MotoArigato: Roadworthy News & Humor
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:16 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Dallas, Texas
Posts: 409
W116 daily driver

We live in the Texas hill country and my Euro-spec 350SE gets driven almost everyday on our fun country roads as well as a once a month jaunt (300 miles) to Dallas.
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How many people drive their classics as every day car?-350se-james-fb-profile-pic.jpg  

Charles Cleaver
1975 350SE + 1992 300CE-24 SportLine 5-speed + 2002 SLK320 6-speed + 1974 W114 280
1986 190E 2.3-16 (Decomm rear self-leveling suspension; Euro-code headlamps) sold
2004 Audi S4 6-spd - sold
1969 (2) and 1980 Porsche 911T, S, and SC - alas gone
1987 300SDL - Graf Spee; Euro-code headlamps; 16-inch 8-hole wheels - sold
1994 E420+(E500 suspension/E-code headlamps/PAD chip) sold
1968 250SE 4-speed (NICE car) - long gone
1962 220S 4-speed/column mount - long gone
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