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1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Estate With 52k Miles

Low mileage W123 chassis Mercedes-Benzes are rather uncommon, as they were workhorses. These cars were employed as taxis the world over and beloved by folks in underdeveloped nations for their durability and comfort. Occasionally you see an under 100,000 mile example of a coupe or sedan come up for sale, but rarely the sought after T-Modell, or estate. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief then, when I spotted this impossibly immaculate 300TD for sale on eBay out in San Francisco.

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Estate on eBay

The seller states:

This wagon is a prime example of why the W123 is one of Mercedes most successful and desirable vehicles.

These cars are meant to be driven. Purchased from the estate, this wagon appears as if it were in a time capsule the past 29 years. The original owner put less than 1500 miles/year on her car, and never let it see a drop of rain or snow. The car and its original owner lived at the gates of Yosemite Valley, and despite her love of fly fishing, never once used the car to haul anything but herself to the market or church. The car looks and feels like new.

Since acquisition, the car has been driven, almost as-if it were being broken in the first time. Everything works the way it should, the car starts the first time every time, there are no oil leaks, no squeaks or leaks. Drive it now, keep fresh oil in it, and it’ll likely become a part of your estate someday!

* All Documented Repairs and Maintenance since purchased new from Rudi Motors in Merced, CA
* Garaged its entire life
* All original equipment
* All window and door seals are new
* Most of the pucker molding has been restored or replaced
* Engine is bone dry, and averages 26-28 MPG on Diesel Fuel
* All Fuel lines Bio-Diesel safe
* SLS system that works – car is level and rides like a Benz
* Heating and AC work!
* Original Becker Radio (newer MP3 type unit currently installed)
* Original carpeting is spotless
* All seats are spotless
* All glass is intact – not a spot of rust anywhere
* Original Invoices, Manuals and First Aid Kit in place
* Third Row Jump Seat has NEVER been used.

Bidding is a little over $15,000 with about three days to go, and it hasn’t met its reserve. I know it sounds crazy, but I would have no hesitation paying that much or more for a car so impeccably maintained with such little mileage. You could easily drive this for the next several decades, as long as it was maintained. I know it sounds cliche, but they don’t build them like this anymore.

Having seen W123s pressed into action in such disparate places such as New York City and the remote villages of Portugal, it wouldn’t surprise me if the longevity of these tanks on wheels might outlast the earth’s own energy supply. One can wonder…



  1. always_fixing
    always_fixing June 18, 2011

    I think a Mercedes wagon would be an ultimate car. Most have been seriously abused by the time they hit the used market. I guess family life is tough on them. Even finding a 2000’s E320 Estate in good condition is next to impossible.

    $15k is a chunk of change for an old car, and it would go a long way on a downpayment on Jetta Sportwagen. Still, this looks so good, I think it’s worth it.

  2. Larry
    Larry June 19, 2011

    Incredible find, Paul!

    My neighbor growing up had one of these (same colors too) for at least 20 years. Classic M-B good looks, great functionality, and it wouldn’t die…perfect!

  3. Bob
    Bob June 20, 2011

    Yup, could drive that to end of time.I think one door has been painted though.

  4. Larry
    Larry June 20, 2011

    Did Mercedes use galvanized steel on these? It would be a shame to bring it to the Northeast, just to have it rust away…

    Then again, there’s a pretty good chance the eventual buyer will do exactly what the current buyer did – not put it into daily use. The mileage is too low.

    Maybe we’ll see it at car shows with a “only 52K original miles” placard.

  5. Paul H.
    Paul H. June 20, 2011

    Not sure if they used galvanized steel, but I see plenty of them hanging around in New England and other parts of the Northeast.

    I wish, in some way, perhaps in a parallel universe, that Mercedes-Benz would restart production of vehicles such as the W123, W126, W201 and W124. I’m getting worn out from cars that are too complex and are expensive to fix. This problem has become so pronounced that my father is actually eyeing a low mileage 2003 BMW 525i to replace his 2000 MB C280. After talking with him last night, we both agreed. There are few new vehicles out there that are desirable for enthusiasts. Too many gimmicks, styling has become too homogeneous and driving pleasure has been usurped by ease of use/comfort. /soapbox

  6. Larry
    Larry June 20, 2011

    Auction made it to $17,000. There were 5 bidders and 11 bids total. Reserve not met.

    Wonder what the reserve was…

  7. always_fixing
    always_fixing June 20, 2011

    Definitely agree with Paul H. on complexity and a parallel universe with the good old cars. I lust for an E30 more than any new bimmer.

    I think Honda gets it right in some of their cars, though. A radio, HVAC controls, and a superb manual transmission.

  8. Larry
    Larry June 21, 2011

    I contacted the seller. He’s looking for $26,500 for it.

    Unfortunately, that puts it out of any reasonable price range for a daily driver, and it really no longer makes sense as a low-mileage preservation show car either.

    Too bad though…I like the car, but it doesn’t work at that price (at least for me).

  9. always_fixing
    always_fixing June 21, 2011

    $26.5k, that’s insane.

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