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  #1  
Old 01-15-2020, 10:09 PM
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W123 Wagons -- 300TD or 280TE, Which is Worth More?

What do you guys think, which is worth more in the US -- a 1985 280TE Euro wagon, or an identical 300TD U.S. wagon? Both cars otherwise being equal, side by side!

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Old 01-15-2020, 10:55 PM
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If the condition is comparable, then the 300TD is the more desirable.

The 280TE, although it has a decent. robust, gasser M110, is a fuel hog. Age works against also as it has the C-Jet injection system which, by now, is going to be showing wear. Figure 15MPG on a GOOD day.

The 300TD, although a diesel with all the drawbacks of diesel power, will deliver you about 20+MPG, albeit at a slower, noisier pace.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:55 PM
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I’ve wondered the same. The 280te must be faster. Right?

Do either have a manual transmission?

How do you plan to drive it?
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:58 PM
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I agreed the 280TE is a gas hog versus the diesel, but at the same time, it's about half of the 0-60 and keeps up in day to day traffic much easier. Doesn't that count for some?
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeinhor View Post
I agreed the 280TE is a gas hog versus the diesel, but at the same time, it's about half of the 0-60 and keeps up in day to day traffic much easier. Doesn't that count for some?


You don’t buy classic cars for fuel economy.

How do you plan to drive this thing?
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:41 AM
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The more rare, the more value as far as classics are concerned. In the US there many more Diesels than gas W123s of any model. The fact that the TE is Euro makes it even more rare yet.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 280EZRider View Post
The more rare, the more value as far as classics are concerned. In the US there many more Diesels than gas W123s of any model. The fact that the TE is Euro makes it even more rare yet.
Not always true. I had an 84 280e euro with the five speed od. it would get 22 higheay mid teens around town. With a four speed stick I would expect 20 highway and with the auto 18 highway...?

The CIS injection is all mechanical and very robust. I would not fear it. Don't open it up though.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:48 AM
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Love the commentary! I should add, I already own mine — a 1985 280TE that originally went to the gulf states, and then California. Injection system is great on mine — starts ice cold on first tick. Just always curious to see how it stacks up value wise (123k miles, auto) on equal condition diesel wagons I see going for $20-30k on BAT. I actually think it’s worth more than a diesel from a vintage car perspective, because it’s peppier and fuel economy is not at issue. Just love everyone’s thoughts.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:25 PM
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I don't think the gas vs diesel makes much difference on value at this point. The gasser pulls like a small block chevy but uses gas like one too.
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:52 PM
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All other aspects equal, I'd expect the diesel to be worth more $ and attract more buyers due to the legendary/iconic five cylinder turbo diesel engine.

The gasoline version would have more value in the driving "fun" category but not the $ department.

Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:07 AM
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The TE, with the twin cams, would require more maintenance than the D. The parts for the fuel system are also getting rather costly.

I had a 280TE sedan at one time. And yes, 15 mpg was about it. The fuel pump developed some sort of problem about 200 miles from home. I don't remember the fix but it had something to do with rerouting a hose near the fuel pump. This was about 30 years ago.

Much more pep than my 123 240d. Nicer to drive as well because of the horsepower, but that might just be me.

I hope you never have to change the warm-up regulator. It is a tough one to get to. And mine had a calytalic convertor I had to change. Neither fun nor cheap.

But it did ride nice.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:13 AM
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Good question, hard to decide that. From the surface, both are so similar minus the badge, but would seem to sell to very different buyers. The younger me would have certainly opted for a 280 Euro. But as I've gotten older (and I'm only 28), I've more affinity for auto trans, power windows, vinyl seats, and air conditioning. I've not seen a 280 TE with all of those. So if both are all decked out minus the sunroof for its practical issues - rusting and leaking - it would be hard to choose. I guess I'd base my pick on projected miles driven in a given year. More miles, 300TD.

However, I've got a different criteria than I did in years past as I'm now a bigger city resident and plan to be, perhaps forever. I don't feel safe throwing a laptop bag or purse in the back of a station wagon and leaving the car street parked. We need to do this all the time. Too easy to throw a rock in the window and grab it from a wagon. Having a sedan with an enclosed trunk solves that problem. It's also nice it's non-turbo, less parts to break and I don't care about power. So it's hard to imagine being in the market for a 300TD. Sedan is cheaper, easier to find, just as practical, and W115 looks like a mini 600 limo. I always leave the main cabin of the clean, empty, and often unlocked. Nothing to break in for. Perhaps I should get a wheel lock, though. Anyone ever have theirs stolen? I don't know how hard it would be to start with jamming a screwdriver, but my cousin's 80s Nissan truck has been stolen in SF more than a handful of times by that method. I hope to not have it happen.

Once I get the cruise control rebuilt it will be the perfect car for me.

-Henry C.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleeves View Post
I've more affinity for auto trans, power windows, vinyl seats, and air conditioning. I've not seen a 280 TE with all of those.

This is my car!!!
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  #14  
Old 01-17-2020, 08:10 PM
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while i have both, i'd think the 280te would ultimately be worth more since it's considerably more rare in the US.

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