1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT

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I think it’s safe to assume that most of us who read GCFSB on a regular basis are familiar with the Mercedes-Benz W123. Almost 30 years since going out of production, you can still regularly spot these machines on the road. They are about as close to an automotive durable good as we’ve ever seen. And while some Mercedes-Benzes may be a bit flash, the W123 is rather stigma free. It’s a simple, reliable, no-nonsense cruiser. None of the range, save for those with the M110 inline-6 engine, were particularly fast, but all were economical and built to stand the test of time. This W123 estate for sale is a final year example of what has become a legend in its own time.

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Year: 1985
Model: 300TDT
Engine: 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-5 diesel
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,500 mi
Price: Reserve auction

Click for more details: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT on eBay

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For sale is a beautiful 1985 300TDT in very nice condition, inside & out. It is a documented, low mileage car that has never lived in the snow, and thus has “O” rust from the salted roads. This vehicle lived in Texas & Florida before coming to rest in California. I have owned this beauty for less than a year & have driven it very little. I need to thin out my large diesel herd, so I thought I would start with the prettiest one first.

The exterior is beautiful with only the drivers door & fender being repainted at some point(MB 040 paint). There are some door dings & light scratches which do not show in the pics. If you wished, paintless dent removal could have the exterior looking brand new. The rubber, chrome & glass is excellent. The interior is excellent with the leather seats looking almost new, with very little wear. The headliner is excellent with no rips or tears. The carpet is clean & w/o tears, but there is fading in the rear compartment. The dash is perfect, w/o a single crack!

The car starts, runs fine & the trans shifts normally. The only thing I have done to this car is change the oil, & repair some items that were not working or broken. Everything works except the A/C, as it blows warm air. Possibly a new compressor is needed. I’ve tried to give an accurate description, but remember that it is a 28yo auto. Other wear items may need to be replaced over time. Please feel free to contact for any additional info or pics.

PLEASE NO LAME DUCK BIDDERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ONLY BID IF YOU HAVE FUNDS IN HAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Today, even W123s closing in on 200,000 miles can command princely sums on the used market, provided they have the right combination of condition and equipment. This 300TDT has spent its years in warm climates and hasn’t even broken 100,000 miles yet, which, in W123 years, you could consider a baby.

We’ve seen a few clean W123 estates pull anywhere between $12,000 and $15,000 as of late. While some people might think that black gives off a bit of that hearse vibe, I like it, especially with the palomino interior. It’s getting harder to find these cars with under 100,000 miles, especially the estate variants, as they are the workhorse of the bunch. I’d suspect this one, given the color combination, condition and mileage will probably bring somewhere close to $15,000, given the current market.

-Paul

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8 Comments

  1. The bidding has reached $10,999.99 and the reserve appears to be met with 4 days to go.

    Last year of production, unique color, low miles, and what appears to be excellent condition from the pictures. All good things. Unfortunately, the car also has issues. The current seller has owned the car less than a year and makes no mention of a documented service history. Non working A/C always has the potential of racking up huge repair bills. At 100k miles, there is also the potential for some suspension overhaul and other mechanical repairs.

    All that being said, if you really want a W123 wagon, this is probably about as good as you’re going to find these days.

  2. Dear Folks,
    not to be the critical guy (again), but be aware that the automatic A/C this car is fitted, is such a great engineering wonder…in case it is working! Problems: It is working with a bunch if flexible hoases and tubes, has some under-pressure valves and so on. The compressor is not the only problem or at least the minor issue. Mostly the system is leaking. As the result the compressor is gone. So change the compressor and WHOOPS the compressor is breaking again…we are talking about 800Euros/1000US$ (Bot aware of the US prices). Then there is the dryer which has to be changed every 2 years. This automatic A/C is nice to have but needs work and maintenance. In these times mostly US-customers ordered A/C. In Europe A/C in cars of this price-range/class rarely had A/C at all. A lot better to handle but less fancy: The “normal”/simple A/C with the on/off-button.
    Good luck. But be prepared to invest some extra time, nerves and money into this lady.
    Cheers
    Kai

  3. A 123 is a beautiful and well built car. But the above two posts are why I continue to be amazed at what people will pay for what is now a slow, outdated, 30 year old wagon. For the same money, or not much more, there are better cars out there.

  4. Raymond, do you think your post is very helpful? Or is it simply your personal opinion, taste and logic? Well, I guess so…

  5. Kai,
    I do. I say what I say as a fan of the 123 (I learned to drive on one) and a longtime Mercedes Benz owner who has read far too many Ebay ads hyping the 123 beyond reasonable expectations in order to achieve a selling price that is largely disconnected from where the machine is in terms of the machine’s useful lifespan. Stated a bit differently, a 123 will go 300k miles, but it will require a great deal of maintenance, repair, and overhaul to achieve that mileage and be in good order. Buyers scrambling to outbid each other on a 30 year old wagon should be aware of this on the front end. Finally, and by the way, the fact the 123 needs such care and feeding to achieve that mileage does not negatively reflect on Mercedes Benz, but rather on the integrity of sellers who are basically being fundamentally dishonest about the needs of a car at this age and mileage. If people knew, and were told, what a car of this age needs to be truly reliable — HVAC, suspension overhaul, engine / transmission resealing, etc. — it would certainly impact what they would be willing to pay, and how they would evaluate that amount relative to alternative vehicle choices. I hope that helps clarify the basis for my comment — I meant that seriously, not to be snarky.

  6. Raymond, good points!

  7. Raymond,
    what I would like to see in this posts about the offered car is more a detailed information and less a statement of opinion. If somebody is interested in this car and want to get out some information about the type and the issues, your comment does not help. You told us, that you would spend that amount of money in another car. Well, this is your decision. And the market will show if there are people out there who thing differently. A lot more helpful – regarding the price – is the information about the specific issues with this type of A/C. THIS helps to let people think about bidding for the car. This helps to get an idea about the specific offer. Your did not. That is all what I am asking for: KEEP THIS SITE HELPFUL not only a statement of personal taste.
    Referring your points of the W123s: The quality of the body and mechanics are generally great. BUT this turbo-enigines: They make about 100k without issues but THEN they need major overhaul due to the turbocharger (leaking) and damaging the engine. The real 300k or even 700kmodels are the diesels (200D, 240D, non-supercharged). Simply put gas and oil in it. thats it! The turbos at this time simply “overstretched” the engines. The 300D (non-supercharded) engine is a lot smoother (5zylinders plus balancing shaft) than the 4-zylinder diesels but a bit more tricky and need some more attention.
    This is my comment to this specific car (in relation to the other W123s) and I hope it helps. Take it easy, Raymond no probs at all – just wanted to get the crowd focused on THAT car with THIS (A/C) issue.
    Cheers
    Kai

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