Continuing on the diesel theme from yesterday, let’s take a look at another no spark Volkswagen. Again we have one that flies below the radar but is worth a lot more than you’d expect. The pre-scandal TDis have a serious niche following. While not quite as set-it-and-forget-it as the 1Z, the derivatives – first the AHU, then the later ATD/AXR and other models similar to today’s example, were nonetheless high-mileage warriors. Rated at 100 horsepower and 177 lb. ft of torque, performance wasn’t outstanding – 0-60 took a few ticks over 11 seconds, it’d take a half minute to hit 100 and top speed was limited to 115 mph. But then you weren’t really buying this car for it’s straight line acceleration. What you were buying it for was notable longevity and, of course, fuel mileage. At a time when the standard 2.0 inline-4 struggled to return about 30 mpg at best and the 1.8T was no better, the premium for the TDi gave you 33 mpg city and over 40 on the highway. You could stretch it even farther on a tank if you were careful. Impressive? Well, for the time, it was one of the very few diesel motors you could buy in the U.S. and set the stage for the popularity of the Mk.5 models.
As we saw with the Jetta Wagon, the ‘GLS’ trim moved upscale and included nicer wheels and interior bits. But just like that Jetta, the combination of a 4-door Golf, GLS trim, the turbo diesel motor and a 5-speed manual are quite hard to come by:
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.
File this one under another great Mercedes-Benz that you usually see with hundreds of thousands of miles on but for whatever reason has almost none. This 1984 300SD shows a crazy 11,300 miles and looks every bit the part. You can totally see why people plunked down almost $40,000 (over $93,000 in 2017 dollars) for these when they are new. It’s frugal, handsome, secure, has enough to power to get out of its own way and all this won’t cost you a fortune to keep going. Except this car, as you might have guessed, will need a small fortune to take home with you.
Engine: 3.0 liter 5 cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 11,300 miles
Single owner SD through 2015.
Rare 904 Midnight Blue with Creme leather.
Spectacular preservation from new.
Spotless engine bay.
Runs and drives beautifully.
What is there to say about this car? I overwhelmingly prefer the gen 1 (1981-1985) W126s over the later ones even though they do look a little more dated, but I think that’s the beauty of them. Give me a clean set of 14 inch Bundts with a OM617 and I’m as satisfied as I can possibly be in owning a car. This is a great color combination with the Midnight Blue and tan interior even with those terrible North America spec headlights.
Like I said, all this is going to cost you. $35,000 is a ton of money for any W126 but it’s tough to fault the seller for asking it. The market for clean golden-era Mercedes diesels isn’t slowing down but I wouldn’t bet on this car gaining anymore value once you start driving it. As I’ve said before, miles don’t scare me one bit so I’m really not the guy that this car appeals to.…
I’ve confessed my love for green cars before and today’s featured vehicle is no different. This 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD in Moss Green up for sale in Florida combines my favorite color with one of my favorite cars in the W123. It’s not often that I see a Moss Green car come up for sale and even better, the interior is green as well.
Engine: 3.0 inline-5
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,000 mi
I have owned these cars for over 10 years. I scour the country daily for them and of all that I have ever owned this is the coolest most unique 300CD. It might have been a one off special order. I have never ever seen the color combination in a turbo diesel. Moss green with green interior. The car is completely original and the paint is exeptional. It shines as new and there are only two dings that I can find. Quarter sized and likely removable. The paint is 100 percent original. No accidents ever. The rims have no curb rash and the tires are matching with plenty of tread. The glass is all original and excellent with the exception of the rear window. The defrost has left a green blob at the bottom. Not visible when driving but from the outside is noticeable but not crazy offensive. I would change it. The interior is nearly flawless with the exception of two wood pieces readily available on eBay. There is also a small tear in the armrest easily repairable and the window switches are worn. I will include two switches that are mercedes and in excellent shape. I cant overstate how nice the car is. The last one I sold for 20k was not as nice.
Powered by the legendary five cylinder OM617, the sort of motor for which Mercedes-Benz earned their reputation as manufacturers of “million mile engines,” the W126 300SD was a classy and reliable ride, offering a frugal option for S-class owners not perturbed by a clackety-clack sound coming from the front end of their luxury car. This engine would be replaced in 1985 by the OM603 six cylinder unit (later enlarged to 3.5 liters) that, while offering more power, was susceptible to a number of very serious problems (a fault with the trap oxidizer – part of the emissions system – that could ruin the turbo, cylinder heads prone to overheating and cracking, bent rods and head gasket failures). So those looking for a diesel W126 would do well to consider an early, first generation car like this one.
After spending a weekend riding around in a friend’s Volkswagen Touareg with the V6 TDI engine, I came away impressed. If you read GCFSB on a regular basis, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of SUVs, but this one is quite comfortable and has plenty of smooth diesel torque. Taking off from a standstill, I was rather impressed just how quick on its feet this truck was. I can only imagine what the power of four more cylinders in the same diesel format would bring. Thankfully, a few Touareg V10 TDIs made their way to the US market at a time when Volkswagen was throwing a lot of things at the wall to see what would stick. These experiments included in the Phaeton and the W8 engine that found its way into the B5.5 Passat. The Touareg V10 TDI was not a huge seller and gave way to the V6 TDI, but they were powerful enough to tow a Boeing 747. This 2007 Touareg V10 TDI for sale in Connecticut is perfect for those out there with heavy hauling demands.
The other day I wrote about how I was getting the itch to swap out my daily driver, an E34 525i, for an older Benz. One contender for the car’s replacement is a W124. But I’m also very tempted by the W126. There’s something irresistible about these timelessly classy and stately cars. A 560SEL would be my first choice, but I have a long commute and a V8 is therefore out of the question. So if I were to take the plunge on an old S-class for daily duties, it would have to be diesel model. From what I’ve read online, the six cylinder diesel engine in the 300SDL gets pretty similar gas mileage to my 525i – around 27-28MPG on the highway – which is pretty remarkable given the size of these things.
I’ve been on a wagon kick lately over the past week and I’m not about to slow down with my first post of the week. This BMW E30 estate might not have the engine the enthusiast lusts after, but it is wrapped around the one body style forbidden to US customers that is highly sought after on these shores, given their legal status in the eyes of the government. This 324td estate for sale in New Hampshire is originally an Italian market vehicle, equipped with a 5-speed manual to help get the most out of the oil burner under the hood.
There’s not much more I can say about the W123 Mercedes-Benz than I’ve already said here on GCFSB. A few words come to mind. Indestructible. Timeless. Reliable. This car was many things to many people. From motorists on the Sunset Strip who chose the 300CD coupe to the errant 200 series sedan you still see cruising unpaved roads in the far reaches of the African continent, these Mercedes made their mark. This 300D for sale in California is one of the early turbocharged five cylinder models and looks quite young despite clocking over 150,000 miles.
A W126 diesel provides all the comfort, style and luxury of the legendary S-class while giving your wallet less of a pounding at the pump. There were three diesel engines available for this platform: one five cylinder unit (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SD between 1980 and 1985) and two six cylinder units (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SDL between 1986 and 1987, and a 3.5 liter offered in the 350SD/SDL between 1990 and 1991). These later engines were afflicted by a number of reliability problems, quite out of character for a Mercedes diesel product. So if you really want an oil-burning W126, the safest bet is to stick with one of the earlier cars, like this one. Not only does this ’82 300SD have the more reliable five cylinder engine, it’s presented in a particularly fetching and suitably classy shade of green.