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  #1  
Old 10-23-2015, 08:39 AM
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Considering 1990 w126

We are in Oregon now and we are considering buying a very clean one owner well maintained 1990 300se. It has 84,000 miles and we got it up on a lift and everything is tight and clean.

To me the price is a little high but they have already come down and don't seem to want to go lower than $8500. The two negatives for me (these engines seem to need head gasket replacement often and the rear differential is geared to low for cursing at 85mph).

We would be driving the car back to Minnesota and it would more than likely become my dd.
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  #2  
Old 10-23-2015, 09:35 AM
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Mine is in anthracite grey,European model 300se/90.
It really is a lovely model to drive , gaskit failure is Not a frequent repair or required on a well maintained car.
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Old 10-23-2015, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adler View Post
Mine is in anthracite grey,European model 300se/90.
It really is a lovely model to drive , gaskit failure is Not a frequent repair or required on a well maintained car.
Thank you for the reply. Yes the car is lovely to look at and drive.
Regarding the head gasket failures, it sounds like so many owners have had the issue. How can it be avoided besides keeping the cooling system in good working order?
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  #4  
Old 10-23-2015, 10:04 AM
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What, there's a speed limit for cursing?
" rear differential is geared to low for cursing at 85mph"

Oh wait, I see, you just forgot a couple of letters.
"rear end differential is geared to allow for cursing at 85 mph"

The price is a bit high but the 300SE's are fine automobiles. Fuel mileage isn't the greatest. Probably 15-17 MPG in town.
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  #5  
Old 10-23-2015, 10:07 AM
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Oops my bad on the Typo! ��
Here is the vehicle in question.
https://bend.craigslist.org/ctd/5255767062.html
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  #6  
Old 10-23-2015, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjohnson3240 View Post
We are in Oregon now and we are considering buying a very clean one owner well maintained 1990 300se. It has 84,000 miles and we got it up on a lift and everything is tight and clean.

To me the price is a little high but they have already come down and don't seem to want to go lower than $8500. The two negatives for me (these engines seem to need head gasket replacement often and the rear differential is geared to low for cursing at 85mph).

We would be driving the car back to Minnesota and it would more than likely become my dd.
Welcome to the forum!

I love Mercedes. My current daily driver is a 2001 E430. It gets about 21 MPG in mixed driving. The silky smooth V8 delivers 275 horsepower and propels the car to 60 MPH in 6.2 seconds (My 1985 Porsche 911 did 0-60 in 6.1 seconds). I paid less than half the price mentioned for my one owner car that had 120,000 miles then. It did need maintenance items like tires, fluid changes, etc. and some other small stuff like a door jamb switch, instrument cluster bulbs, etc.

Is the car you are looking at going to need tires, brake pads, transmission service, oil change and other normal maintenance immediately? Has it recently had fresh suspension bushings, wheel alignment, transaxle fluid change, etc. Ask to see the maintenance history. Money well spent: take the car to an independent Mercedes shop (not the shop who is loyal to the owner/seller, and not someone who expects you to have work done there) and get a pre-purchase inspection (PPI). You might mention your concern about head gaskets. A thorough PPI might cost you $300.00 but could save you thousands of dollars and sleepless nights.

Do you have mechanical aptitude, tools, place to work? Are you dependent on Mercedes service technicians for maintenance and repair?

Buying a beautiful car can become an emotional decisional. Having a PPI can help put things in perspective. Another tip I have heard often, don't buy the first one that you see. I shop for months typically so I buy the right car at the right price.

What else could you buy for $8,500.00? You might find a 10-15 year-old Mercedes one-owner car for about the same price. It doesn't hurt to look.

If the W116 chassis car is your dream vehicle that you will love forever and never regret then buy it. Life is too short to drive a car that you don't enjoy.

Please let us know how this turns out. If you buy this 300SE we would love to see pictures!

Best regards,

Jeffrey
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  #7  
Old 10-23-2015, 11:52 AM
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Another thought after seeing the ad... A car dealer flipping a vehicle is a different proposition for me. My definition of one owner is different than that of original owner seller. If I had a relationship with someone at a Mercedes dealership who let me know about a trade-in I would consider that.

A used car dealer will not know the car he is selling the way the original one owner did. If something is wrong with the car, he honestly would not know to tell you. How much of the price is gross profit? Could you find a similar car and buy it directly for $4,000.00?

When the dealer buys the car from the original owner, then it becomes a two-owner car. Dealer does not state that any maintenance was performed or complete maintenance history is available. Did the car come from auction? Was it a trade-in for a new car sold at auction? How much value does a good car wash and detail add?

The term rare is often abused. I would not curse a used car dealer for using it. However, there were 818,105 W126 chassis cars manufactured of which 105,422 were the 300SE (source; Wikipedia). Not so rare. Between 1951 and 1955 Mercedes Benz built a total of 85 cars on the W187 chassis 220 Coupés; that is rare.

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  #8  
Old 10-23-2015, 12:25 PM
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He is a broker representing the sellers. All maintenance was done at MB dealerships (Oregon and Nevada). He is a reputable guy in my book, yet he does add some cost to the transaction.
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  #9  
Old 10-23-2015, 12:57 PM
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Looks like a no go on this one. I offered with 7500 and they said no. We are flying back to Mn empty handed.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2015, 07:51 PM
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It is still a one owner car even if a dealer bought it as it is just passing through their hands.

If someone leased a car then bought it rather than turning it back in, the car history report will show 2 " owners " , the lease co then the owner.

One of the hazards of buying a "one owner car" , is the owner still remembers the car when it was new and what the paid for it sometimes making it less likely to get a good deal. Or even a realistic price on an old worn out one.

At least in my area, that car would have trouble bringing 3K as the market is very small for big old cars. Even on the open market, 8,500 will get you a pretty good 90 -00 R129 SL but that is a completely different car.

Do you have a backup car? Using this ( old car ) as a daily driver may become difficult because most parts are not sitting on a auto parts store shelf on a Sunday afternoon. ( Though they are in stock at many specialty parts sellers. )
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  #11  
Old 10-26-2015, 12:41 PM
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I just looked on Craigslist Houston for an E430. There is a good looking two-owner car for $5,250.00. I have owned W126 Chassis and W210 Chassis cars. I much prefer the E430 as a daily driver. It is reliable as a baseball bat.
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  #12  
Old 10-26-2015, 06:51 PM
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Don't know what your DD requirements are, but I'd have an alternate, newer vehicle on-hand if it were me. Now then, to answer your original Q; it sounds very high to me @ $8,500. I might go $5K, but not likely over that amount of $.

I see you didn't buy -so that's probably all the better.

FYI - a W126 sold near me in Texas for $4K that appeared to be very good one-owner with about 135K miles on it. Very good condition is absolutely essential to retrieve the bigger dollars on aging used cars.
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  #13  
Old 10-28-2015, 03:28 PM
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If you really have your heart set on a w126 see if you can find/contact Bruce Mendel. I don't know if he still does them, but he used to find & sell cherry w126 vehicles of all kinds.

Craigslist can find the car you want, you may need to search just "Mercedes" and look around the country. You will need to quickly separate junk from good by photos. You can also use AutoTrader, just search Mercedes, the year range(s) and then look @ photos to find the right model(s) you want. I have seen SLs listed as SELs and vice-versa.
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  #14  
Old 10-28-2015, 04:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomguy View Post
If you really have your heart set on a w126 see if you can find/contact Bruce Mendel. I don't know if he still does them, but he used to find & sell cherry w126 vehicles of all kinds.

Craigslist can find the car you want, you may need to search just "Mercedes" and look around the country. You will need to quickly separate junk from good by photos. You can also use AutoTrader, just search Mercedes, the year range(s) and then look @ photos to find the right model(s) you want. I have seen SLs listed as SELs and vice-versa.
Sounds like a good source to shop/contact. Any idea what part of the Country he may be in? Or, any examples of what he may have/had in inventory? THX!
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  #15  
Old 10-28-2015, 04:45 PM
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http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/members/brucem105.html

Last active about 3 weeks ago but he may get an email alert if you PM him. We used to not allow dealer posts, so he left, but we do now. It'd be nice to see him post here again. He always had creampuffs.
Example of his w126s:
FS: 1988 560SEL, 1-owner, all original, 47K miles, white/grey, southern car - Mercedes-Benz Forum

Set a budget for him and he can find you the nicest one for that price for a reasonable fee, I'm sure.
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