TheÂ sight of a W123 wagon on the road never fails to bring a smileÂ to my face. It’s a testament to the durability of these cars that they can still be seen today doing exactly what their designers intended forty years ago, chugging along faithfully and reliably,Â hauling stuff around. We’ve seen nice, well-kept examples fetch between $10K and $20k over the last few years. As a result, a lot of the nicerÂ ones have been snapped up byÂ rich hipsters (it’s not for nothing that many of them have ended up in Brooklyn). That’s a shameÂ becauseÂ these were always the workhorses of the Mercedes lineup and the hike in their value has put them out of the reach of those who just want a cheap, no-frills hauler.
That makes this particular car, suggested toÂ us by our reader Don, all the more refreshing. While the mileage is low, the car isÂ certainly not mint,Â and the somewhat tired but perfectly usableÂ condition will help to keep the priceÂ of this one on the affordable side.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-5 diesel
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 151,730 mi
Price: No reserve auction
This No Reserve auction is for a 1980 Mercedes Benz 300TD station wagon with a 4-speed manual transmission.
This wagon has the legendary OM617 straight-5 diesel engine that has a reputation for lasting over a million miles. This car only has 151k miles on it so you have a lot of life left in it. This is a non-turbo engine with a 4-speed manual transmission so it is as simple and uncomplicated as it gets. 300TD stands for 3.0 liter Touring Diesel not Turbo Diesel as many people think.
The exterior is the original Mercedes Benz Pastel Gray (Paint code 740) and it shows its age. There are a few rust spots around the car along with some surface rust and touch up paint here and there. It wonâ€™t win any car shows for glossy paint but it is honest and original. If you wanted to replace the front fenders and repaint the car, it would look very much like John Lennonâ€™s 1979 300TD in appearance.
Even though the bottoms of the front fenders have rust, the floor panels are surprisingly solid. The interior is blue although palomino seats were installed at one point.
It comes equipped with Climate Control A/C, manual sliding sunroof, power windows, and aftermarket CD player with Satellite radio. The A/C does not blow cold but the heat works fine. The left rear window does not work (window regulator?) and the radio antenna is broken off (but radio still receives a good signal.)
This has been used as a surf wagon for many years, used only to go to the beach on sunny days. The roof rack has cross bars that have been used to carry surfboards to the beach but can be removed if you so choose.
You are welcome to come check it out in person and I would be happy to take it to a local mechanic if you would like to pay to have it checked out before buying.
This is an iconic car that will not go down in value, is cheap to insure and maintain, and gets great MPGs. It is rare to find one of these in the states with this low of mileage and a manual transmission.
I would feel confident driving this car cross country. Iâ€™m happy to pick you up if you would like to fly in to Norfolk International Airport (ORF) , spend the weekend at the beach and then drive it home. If you would like to have it shipped, I will help your shipper to load it onto their truck.
This is a No Reserve auction so whoever is the high bidder at the end, will be the lucky new owner of this Mercedes Benz 300TD manual transmission diesel wagon!
The first thing that stands out is theÂ four speed manual transmission TheseÂ things normally come with anÂ automatic, so that’s fairly unusual. Enthusiasts will probably rejoice (wagon! diesel! manual!) but the truth is that Mercedes manuals have never been that great, and the autoboxes on these were very smooth.Â So this could be a plus or a minus, depending on your perspective. But if nothing else it should make the car a little more entertaining to drive.Â Second, theÂ owner has had the good sense to installÂ European-specification headlights. These are more attractive than US-spec units and they put out better light. Third, this one comes with the OM617 inline-5 cylinder diesel engine, with a mereÂ 151k miles on it. This is one of thoseÂ rare instances in whichÂ I wouldn’t even mind if theÂ ad saidÂ “million mile engine,” because it’s true. When the end times come and all that remains are the cockroaches scurrying around (so, about 6 months into a Trump presidency), thisÂ engine willÂ still be running. It really can lay legitimate claim to that oft-usedÂ phrase: “most reliable engine ever built.” With barely anyÂ miles on the clock, this one has onlyÂ just been broken in.
On the other hand, the exterior condition of the car isn’t great;Â it’s described as “honest” which is, well, honest. The shadows cast by direct sunlight in theÂ photosÂ make it hard to assess, but according to the sellerÂ the pastel gray paint “won’t win any car shows” and thereÂ is rust apparent on the fenders.Â The A/C doesn’t work and parts of the interior aren’t original: theÂ blue seats, which presumably gave out at some point, have been replaced withÂ palomino colored ones instead. Still, without these issuesÂ we’d be back into silly money territory, andÂ in my opinion these flaws neither detract from the charm of the car nor will they stop it from being used for its intended purpose. I hope that someone buys it and continues to drive it to the beach for the next twenty years.