I feature famous owner Mercedes-Benz from time to time with the scale of their ”famousness” ranging from Rowan Atkinson, Clark Gable, Bono and even Elvis. Personally, I just don’t believe that these names do a lot, or anything, for the values of the cars outside of it being just a cool side note. Maybe with some of the Elvis cars it might move the needle at little, but his star is fading as the years go by and the people who truly remember him are also fading away. Today, I have a car that you could argue is on the A-list when it comes to celebrity cars. This is John Lennon’s 1979 300TD. You might remember him as the co-founder of the The Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. His fame was tremendous until the day of his murder on December 8, 1980 and judging by how much media attention he and his family still gets just by throwing his name into Google, is still quite relevant. You would guess that maybe this car, a car that he owned until his death, is probably going to bring big money, right?
Last week I checked out a cherry 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD that was had a few small issues, but I felt was worth the money. Sadly, it looks like the seller cut the auction short so we didn’t find out what the final selling price was. Today, I ran across another 300CD, but this one is a few years older and a little different. This 1979 up for sale in California uses the non-turbo OM617, which is a fine enough engine in itself, doesn’t have any rust and by some kind of miracle, has a functioning air condition. It also has a nice touch with the European headlights and the best part? It has quite the attractive price tag.
Now that it is the middle of August and it could snow next week for all we know, I have to start thinking about my winter vehicle situation. My trusty Land Rover Discovery 1 that I’ve had for the past 12 years probably won’t see the flakes fly because I think some coolant is leaking into the cylinders and that is a problem. Because a Discovery with 180,000 miles that has been in Pennsylvania for the past 12 years is worth roughly the price of a used lawnmower, which I’m sure people on Craigslist will offer up for trade, it isn’t worth pulling the heads and fixing. This of course has led me to shopping for G-Wagens. The sensible decision would be to find a decent Land Cruiser/Lexus LX and never lose a dime on it while being 100% reliable, but the crazy person in me says go find a G-Wagen because that is what I really want at the end of the day.
During my search for the perfect G, I came across this wild example up for sale in Canada. You might notice it is quite a bit longer and has a few more seats. This W460 300GD was cut up and lengthened a massive 32 inches. This added room for another row of seats while still keeping a healthy amount of space in the rear. The fit and finish look great along with basically everything else on this G. But I have to ask, why?
One of the more interesting things about the legendary Mercedes-Benz W123 chassis is the difference between the production numbers for the sedan, estate and coupe bodies. As you might have guessed, the sedan was the most plentiful at just over 75,000 units made from 1981-1985 as the 300D with the OM617 turbo diesel engine. Next up was the 300TD station wagon with a little over 28,000 units. Bringing up the rear is the 300CD with just 7,502 cars. The easy math here says that from every 10 300Ds, there is only one 300CD. That explains why you can go on your local Craigslist and find a handful of 300Ds, but the coupes? No where to be found. As a result, the demand and values for coupes have always been much higher than the sedan not only because of the rarity, but because they are cool cars and a pillar-less coupe is always classic. Today, I managed to find a really nice 1985 300CD up for sale in Florida and luckily, this one is a wonderful example.
I’ve been featuring a lot of really pristine cars of late almost entirely thanks to their low mileage. The reality is these cars are actually pretty few and far between. The overwhelming majority of cars, even German ones that hold a special place in our hearts, are used on a daily basis to rack up the miles and in turn, the wear and tear. But today’s car, a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300SD up for bid in California, managed to defy the norm and not only rack up a bunch of miles, but stay almost perfect in the process of doing so. How so? Well, it probably took the perfect storm.
It is amazing what a color can do to a car. You could have identical cars, one with a really desirable color and another with a not-so popular color, and have their values be dramatically different. Today’s car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD for sale in California, is a perfect example of that. Regardless of color, the W123 300TD is no slouch in terms of desirability and people willing to do anything to keep them on the road. But paint it in a color that everyone loves and suddenly you’ll be a little shocked to see what kind of money these can bring on the open market. This 1983 painted in Labrador Blue isn’t a perfect example by any means but that is the appeal of an example like this. You can enjoy it without obsessing over every single thing that might happen to it. But seeing as this is a 300TD and it is in Labrador Blue, how high could the price be?
I love a really well-kept Mercedes-Benz W116. Maybe because I own one, but I can’t be alone in feeling this way. These cars feel as solid as anything when everything is sorted and won’t cost you a ton of money to buy and maintain one. All the gas-powered W116s are fine cars and the first ever production turbo diesel car to go on sale in the United States in 1978, the 300SD, was a gem as well. I have a hard time justifying ever selling my 300SD because for the money, nothing can replace it equally and frankly, there is nothing wrong it. So when I see these W116 300SDs come up for sale now and then I always take a closer look to see how other owners treat theirs. Today’s 1979 model for sale in Oregon has me envious and jealous thanks to a few OEM upgrades.
The last few W126 Mercedes-Benz I looked have fell more towards the collector car status in this 1987 300SDL with an outstanding interior and this nearly perfect 1987 560SEL. Today’s W126, a 1984 300SD for sale in California, isn’t one of those cream puff cars but it is far from a beaten up example either. This OM617 S-Class has just enough miles where you don’t feel bad about piling on some more but not too many where you feel like an engine overhaul is around the corner. Finished in Lapis Blue with gray leather this 300SD could be the perfect daily driver. What do you think?
It has been a little while since I’ve featured a W123 so today is as good a day as ever. Today we have a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D up for sale in Seattle, Washington. It sports the great color combo of Pastel Blue (with the matching hubcaps) and blue MB-Tex interior. I’m partial to all things W123 (I own one) and I love to see them when they’ve been cared for extensively. Luckily for everyone, this nice W123 looks to be so.
Now that I’ve looked at some cool and not so cool Mercedes from across the pond, I’m back to our regular left-hand drive cars. Fear not for our international readers as I’m not back to the United States just yet. This 1985 300CD from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada gives us the best of what the W123 coupe has to offer. Much like the other prime W123s for sale, this one isn’t coming cheap, but I’d argue that it’s not exactly the worst deal in the world for what you get.
Engine: 3.0 liter 5-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 91,034 km (56,565 mi)
Price: $14,500 CDN ($11,319 USD)
1985 Mercedes 300CD Turbo Diesel – 91000 KM All Original – Rare Color Combination Dark Grey on Mahogany Leather – Never winter driven – Garage kept – Never rust – Impeccable Kept – Records kept since new – Everything works as new – Nicest one I’ve ever seen – $14,500. Obo
Taking a broad look at this car, this one looks like a real winner. Extremely clean without any issues I can see on the outside, the interior looks even better. The Sienna MB-Tex is relatively rare for any W123 let alone a coupe and I’m glad to see it’s held up great for 56,000 miles. Under the hood, the OM617 looks prime with lots of cadmium plating still fresh. Being a 1985 W123, the last year of the chassis, it benefits greatly from a 2.88 rear differential as opposed to a 3.07. This translates to much better highway miles per gallon figures to the point where owners of prior year W123s seek out 1985 cars to swap in the differential.
At $14,500 CDN ($11,319 USD), it is probably priced on the higher end of the market in general. But being in a snowy Canadian city where these cars are pretty rare in this condition, I don’t blame the seller for asking this price. If you want close to the best, you are going to have to pay for it and that is the case with this one. I doubt this one will sell quickly, but I’d imagine if the buyer softened the price up a little, it will make a new owner very happy.
Thanks to reader Chris for sending this in!