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Old 11-30-2001, 05:04 PM
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Why a Diesel?

When I was 18, way back in 1975, my dad brought home a 1965 190Dc and said he would co-sign for a loan if I could make the payments on it. I agreed, and ended up driving that car for the next 13 years. During that time I learned to appreciate the particular charms of diesel powered locomotion, including slooooowwwww acceleration and that unique diesel sound. That car had character! When the 190Dc rusted away I was reduced to driving vans and other generic vehicles.
My dream car during the 190Dc years was the 123 series 240D\300D. Two months ago I found a good one. It's a 1983 300D, and I'm ready to go to work on it, like the rest of you have been doing. Now that I'm back in the diesel world, and among other like-minded individuals, I've got to ask: "Why do we love diesel Mercedes?" For me it was driving something that was different from anything else on the road. The 190Dc, with the starter knob and the 4 speed on the column, was different, and demanded a special driving style. I remember trying to hit all the lights, and staying in third gear as much as possible, to avoid coming to a complete stop. The lack of power made me a better driver, just because you couldn't take chances. The 300D is several levels above the 190D, but the essence of the diesel experience is still there. My question to the members of this forum: "Why do you drive a diesel?"

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Old 11-30-2001, 05:52 PM
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Hi Kevin,

My first Benz was a 68 200-D, starter knob on the dash & 4 spd on the floor. It too was slooooow. I was 18 in 86 when I bought it. I too remember the then new 123's flying past me up hills as I'd be chugging away. It was a great car.

All my friends hated it, it wasn't cool, too slow & attracted too much attention. People used to actually turn their heads as I went by in that thing.

I like the diesel for the simplicity, the longevity & because its different. The sound & speed is all part of the charm. I don't know of any other make of car that when over twenty years old with 2,3,4 hundred thousand miles on it, you could still use the piss out of it and it will still go. Its not like that even the exception, but the rule.

If the pic comes up below, that was my 68 200-D in all its glory.
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Old 11-30-2001, 07:26 PM
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Ok, so everone here knows I'm not quite right in the head so the following statement will not likely even raise an eyebrow..That picture of the '68 excites me more than if some young thing in a thong were to walk by me!

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I have diesel fuel running in my veins, well ok, it's biodiesel but you understand. The reason I like diesel power is because it's clean and steady. I drove truck for a while and I just love the "feel" of the diesel power plant. I used to be addicted to the soot in my nose, couldn't go a day without it. Now though I prefer the smell of biodiesel, it makes me feel like I'm sticking it to OPEC!

Also, diesels are easier to diagnose and work on than their gas sucking counterparts. They will last longer and are less needy on maint. ( no dang spark plugs and electronic ignition to get wet or go bad)

Last but not least! YOU CAN'T RUN A GAS CAR ON USED RESTAURANT GREASE! WOOOOhooooooo! Sorry, I get a bit excited about darn near free fuel! Tom
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Old 11-30-2001, 07:41 PM
jcd jcd is offline
village idiot
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
Posts: 1,102
They are just cool

I have a 1977 300D. MB Diesels are are a classy well handling car that run forever and are relatively easy to work on. There is something great about having a 25 year old car that runs like a top and you have people coming up to you and saying "nice car". Especially when you paid less than $2,000 for it.

That's why diesels are cool.

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Old 11-30-2001, 09:27 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Evansville, Indiana
Posts: 8,150
Well, aside from the fact that if the rest of the world turns right, I will turn left, the reason I like diesels is that they are, aside from soot, much more efficient and ecologically friendly -- the use less fuel, they last so much longer that there is a definite savings in production energy use (this also applies to gas MBs), and they produce far less nasty stuff out the tailpipe.

The basic economy really appeals to me, somehow. My sister-in-law won't part with hers, either, after grumbling quite a while about my brother wanting to buy one. Guess that 300SDL is to nice! My mother has been driving the 87 this week (long story) with no problems and no complaints!

And, other than the adjustment to driving performance, they handle just as well as a gas car. I've gotten to the point that I'm surprised by the lack of rumble and shake at idle in a gas car, but I miss the steady surge of power I get from the diesels, including the 220D. The latter is somewhat slow, but what the hey, I'm only driving to work or to town, not racing.

I plan to keep the 87 for at least ten more years, and the 30 year old 220D may still be salvagable! I'm not much on style (never been pretty, either!), so it doesn't bother me to drive an "out of fashion" car.

Waste not, want not!

1972 220D ?? miles
1988 300E 200,012
1987 300D Turbo killed 9/25/07, 275,000 miles
1985 Volvo 740 GLE Turobodiesel 218,000
1972 280 SE 4.5 165, 000 - It runs!
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Old 11-30-2001, 10:46 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Diego, Ca
Posts: 186
I drive a diesel because my dad sold it to me for dollar. He had bought what is now my 79 300D in 86 with about 80K miles on it. he then put about 260K miles on it. Finally he treated himself to a much deserved new car, a Chrysler 300M. Funny, he misses the old Benz. To help with his loss, I frequently recruit him to help me fix it's climate control and other maintenance issues as I do some "catch up" work on it. I think that makes the loss of his old benz a little easier to take but he still says he misses it. It's a "hell of car" in his words. I agree. Now if I can just get the heat to shut off.....

'82 300SD
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Old 11-30-2001, 11:58 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Manhattan; Shelter Island
Posts: 1,372
I tried my dad's new M5 for the first time today. Brought a big smile to my face. Driving my MG always brings a big smile to my face. Strangely, driving my old 300D brings a smile to my face too. It's not so much the fact that it's a diesel (although I love the simplicity, uniqueness and unrefined power of diesel engines). I think I like driving my 300D because it's a perfect example of old world luxury and quality. You really really get the feeling of driving a car of the highest quality and it evokes a remembrance of history. It's a car that you can drive with absolute complete confidence knowing that it will provide years of reliable service and will age gracefully. I also like the reaction I get from people who can't believe it's as old as it is.

1983 300D (parked for four years)
2012 VW Sportwagen TDI Manual
2001 Miata SE
1962 Chevrolet Corvair Rampside
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Old 12-01-2001, 12:11 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,373
I like diesels because it seems like they want miles compared with gas cars that are afraid of high miles. I can remember getting nervous when the mini-van hit 100k miles. Now I take special trips when I'm close to a roll-over and I do so with a camera.

I like them because they run and idle so consistently. During the winter months, I let them rumble in parking lots with the heat on low so that I don't have to return to a frigid car. I tried to run one out of fuel once by letting it idle (thought I had a bad tank of fuel). The stinkin thing would still be running because they use hardly anything just sitting there.

Finally, I love the heavy-duty feel whether behind the wheel of our coach bus (700k & tight) or the MB's.

'84 300DT 298k (Aubrey's)
'99.5 Jetta TDI IV 251k (Julie's)
'97 Jetta TDI 127k (Amber's)
'97 Jetta TDI 186k (Matt's)
'96 Passat TDI 237k (Don's
'84 300D 211k Mint (Arne- Undergoing Greasecar Conversion)

'82 240D 229k (Matt's - Converted-300DT w/ 4 speed
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Old 12-01-2001, 03:37 AM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,937
Ok, I'll admit....

Well, I have been driving the 280SE (W108) since August. I bought it to replace my '83 300D that I sold because I wanted an antique for daily use. While I LOVE climbing into that 280SE every day, I still miss the diesel. Of course, TXBill now has Eduardo, my beloved W116 300SD in his posession and he is getting much enjoyment out of that car!

Obviously, the reliability and longevity of a diesel, particularly an MB diesel are legendary. It's quite true that they are 20+ year old cars we can climb into every day and head across the country, usually without a hitch. I'd be going over my 280SE with a fine tooth comb before heading out west on a long journey! I have complete faith in the car, but you know how it goes with 30+ year old machines! Things do tend to break a little more often, and those engines are pretty wound up on the freeway at 70mph! With the diesel, I could hammer out distances in no time flat but with the 280SE, I take it much easier, keeping speeds to a modest 70mph. Sure, the car will cruise at 85-90 without a problem, but it's just that mental thing about pushing an antique so hard.

Anyways, I'm pursuing another diesel, just to have around in case something major happens with the 280SE. I've got a couple cars which I'd use for backup in the winter time in my own stable right now, but most of my other cars won't see the light of day during the winter. If I could land a 300TD wagon, I'd be happy. I need something to haul with anyways. I've been trying to get our neighbors to sell me their '87 TD wagon. One day!!
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Old 12-02-2001, 01:17 AM
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This reply would probably get me banned from any self respecting sixties drive in, but I like the way my 81 Sd accelerates better than my 81 lightened 2WD Chevy Blazer with the warmed up 454 that I put in it. As long as I'm confessing I like to drive my ageing 240 D better on winding gravel roads than my Chevy rocket....
William Rogers.....
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Old 12-02-2001, 02:55 AM
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Location: Tucson, Arizona
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Now the real truth

Greetings All,

I think everyone has great points and reasons why they enjoy their diesel Benz, but I think there's more to it. My first diesel Benz is this '80 300Td still driven daily and parked at my house. The start up racket and clatter tells you it's ready for business. The smell of diesel in the air on a cold morning tells you, it's with you all the way, let's go, I'm a man's car. All of us men, whether we admit it or not like the sound as well as the torque that a diesel has to offer and the sound dignifies our driving experience of a strong engine and of a wimpless power plant. Most women if given the choice won't choose a diesel to drive if they can avoid it. Noise to the female sex is a distraction in most cases, and yet to the male it simply is another source of testosterone. Now with my new to me turbo diesel, I seem to lose some of the rattle of my diesel at highway speeds, but once down to idle speed the sound of an engine running perfectly, but sounding like it's falling apart is music to my ears. It's a relationship not only with our car that we have, but a respect for it's chunk of cast iron we call a diesel engine.

"Tell me and I will listen, Teach me and I will learn, Show me and I will accomplish, Involve me and I will succeed."
'84 300SD 256,000 Gold on Brown (Mileage Award)
'86 300E 246,000 Blue on Tan
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Old 12-02-2001, 03:18 AM
HaYN Benz
Posts: n/a
One last reason to own a diesel:

Ever known a thief to have stolen one?????

Neither have I.

'nuf said
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Old 12-02-2001, 12:19 PM
Holson Adi's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,561
Originally posted by HaYN Benz
One last reason to own a diesel:

Ever known a thief to have stolen one?????

Neither have I.

'nuf said
Good one...

I saw somewhere, it was in another forum..
I think it was or something... hehe yeah i fancy owning a beat up crown vic...
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Old 12-02-2001, 01:41 PM
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Location: kansas city mo
Posts: 21
I bought my first benz about 6 months ago, a 84 190D and before that I had a gas guzzeling 77 dodge pickup with a 360 V8 that after many modifications put out about 350 horse, and it was fast but with the high gas prices i couldn't afford it anymore so i bit the bullet and bought my benz and i was very skepticle at first but i am very glad I bought it, i paid 4,000 for it, it has 240,000 miles on it and it drives better than my moms 97 chrysler cirrus, i love the diesel, it is a nice looking car and I dont think i will ever be able to drive anything else. And belive it or not I just turned 18 so its kind of a conflict to what a normal teen would be driving, but when you have to pay for your own vehicle, tags, and insurence it tends to wise you up in a hurry.
But anyways, long live mercedes diesels!
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Old 12-02-2001, 02:14 PM
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Location: oregon
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Better not leave the keys in your diesel G Wagen
if my wife is nearby......
William Rogers......

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