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1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT

No discussion about durable goods should go without mention of the Mercedes-Benz W123. For ten years, this model range was the bread and butter of the lineup. Even after almost 30 years since production ceased, this car’s legendary build quality and reliability has built up a sort of cult of personality. The estate model was the workhorse of the lineup, but still had that air of class about it with a touch of simplicity that vintage Mercedes-Benzes pull off so well. This 300TDT for sale in Los Angeles strikes a bit of a German taxi pose in light ivory but has a lot of service left to give with a touch over 150,000 miles.

Year: 1985
Model: 300TDT
Engine: 3.0 five cylinder turbo diesel
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 157,300 mi
Price: $14,950

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT on eBay

Today I am selling my 1985 Mercedes turbo diesel wagon. 1985 was the last year Mercedes built the incredible 123 series wagon. They are known as the over-engineered cars Mercedes built their reputation on. They were made from 1978-1985 and only from 1982-1985 with the turbo charger. By 1982 these cars already had a reputation for being extremely reliable and economical. Now with the added horsepower they also had enough power. My car only has 157k miles on it, which is actually considered low miles for this kind of Mercedes. If you do a search here on eBay, you will find several Mercedes diesel of this vintage with over 400k miles and still running well. If you keep taking care of this kind of Mercedes, they really can last you a lifetime.

This wagon cruises comfortably at 85 miles per hour all day long, while still getting 26 mpg of diesel. It is truly fun to drive in town and on the freeway. It was finished in “light ivory ” (MB color code 623) with Palomino color MB-tex interior. The body and the paint are still in good condition with just minor little dings from 28 years of service. I posted many pictures and you can see, that the body and the paint are still very nice, but not perfect. The interior is very clean as well. There are a couple of hairline cracks in the dashboard, as most of these car have. The wood accents are still very nice, the seats are fine and the carpets are clean. It is a great looking 28 year old car and I get thumbs up whenever I take it out. But the best thing about it is the way it drives. It has been maintained well and it shows.

Just within the last couple of months I replaced the motor mounts, driveshaft axle, fluids and filters, adjusted the valves, installed a new hood pad and new shocks for the rear gate. If you have any questions or if you would like to see the car, please send me a message here through eBay and I will get back to you shortly. I would prefer to sell my car here locally to somebody who could actually come out and see it, but I would also be willing to help with shipping arrangements or an airport pick up. Please do have your funding in order and do all your “due diligence” BEFORE placing a bid. This is a wonderful 28 year old car and it will be sold WITHOUT a warranty “as is” and “where is.” I am located in West Los Angeles and can show the car almost anytime. I did upload many more pictures, so please be patient, if they take some time to load. They can describe this car much better than I can. Thank you for looking at my auction and good luck.

We’ve featured several W123 estates over the past several months and currently the market for examples with 100,000 to 200,000 is ranging roughly from $10,000 to $15,000. As is the case with many cars, final year examples tend to be more desirable as is the case here. While the later style alloy wheels are not correct, they don’t detract too much from the overall package. I’ll always be a fan of the W123 diesels and for those looking to save the environment, what better way to do it than to buy a safe, durable and fuel efficient old Mercedes like this?



  1. Raymond
    Raymond January 8, 2013

    w123s are great cars but they are not immune to physics — parts will wear out and these cars are expensive to maintain properly at this age. Thus, while they can be kept going for a long time, this idea that has been perpetuated on Ebay in particular — that they are 400k mile cars so 150k examples are “low mileage” is BS. 150k miles is still 150k miles. Yes, the motor may be good but the turbos go, transmissions can fail, and anything that is rubber underneath the car will need to be replaced. Not saying this to be a w123 hater — I actually really love them — but people paying $15k or so for these cars on the idea that they are barely broken in, etc. overlooks the high cost of running a car like this as a daily driver.

    USDRIVER January 8, 2013

    Everything you mentioned is absolutely true. But replacing wear items in reasonable intervals is hardly grounds for dismissal. The fact that its even possible to run one with mostly original running gear for 30 years as a roadworthy solid machine is a testament to its build quality. I would argue you cannot buy a modern car that will be on the road 30 years in the future. If spending ~3-5k/year in maintenance keeping a classic machine on the road is a problem you can always lease a Honda, but it would be missing the point of this hobby entirely.

  3. Raymond
    Raymond January 9, 2013

    I understand what you are saying but respectfully you seem to be missing my point: it’s more about Ebay than the car. Telling folks that cars with 150k miles are “barely broken in” or words to that effect is deceptive. In reality, these are well built older cars that can stay on the road with, as you indicated a good deal of money spent each year on repairs or maintenance. Spending say $5k a year on maintenance and repairs is the equivalent of $600 a month on the high end, and that will put you into a lease or monthly payment on a newer luxury car (check MBUSA or BMWUSA’s website for examples). That’s not to say one should get the new car or this older car, but it is rather a question of calling what is now a relatively old car “barely broken in.” As I said, I love old 123s but at this point in their lifecycle they are at best what I would describe as relatively needy daily drivers. If someone is fine with that, then that’s OK. But the language in this sale description, and others, gives a distinctly different impression. That’s my point, it’s not about the relative worth of these cars or the validity of the hobby. Take care.

  4. brian
    brian January 9, 2013

    You mention q lot of what ifs, but no car is immune to any of them. Mercedes-Benz has a proven track record of quality and longevity, as is evident with the sheer numbers of w123 and w124 cars that are still on the road.
    You can site physics all day, but it is a matter of economics. Driving and maintaining an older car is simply cheaper than an equal caliber new car payment.

    Example: I drive a 2003 Audi A4 1.8TQM. I’ve had that car now for 8 years, and 70K miles, as the new models come out, I’m always lusting after them, and the gadgets that they offer, however; financially it’s dumb of me to upgrade to a newer B8 A4 avant and here’s why.
    Aside from the whole set of problems that the B8 and 2.0T bring to the table, it’s just not worth the $500/mo car payment. On average I put about $300-$400/yr in to the 2003 Audi for repairs that I would not otherwise incur (oil changes, and other maintenance are excluded as I’d have to do that on any car)
    Based on those numbers, I’m essentially saving $5500/yr that I would over driving a new car, extrapolate that over the 6 years that I have been car payment free (because I drive an older car), it’s roughly a $30K savings vs. always driving a new car.

    In my eyes, that would afford me enough savings to replace the whole drivetrain a few times over, so as far as I can see the only physics involved here is the gravitational pull on my wallet that gets fatter by the month because I’m willing to maintain an older car, adn not pissing away money on a new car.

    USDRIVER hit the nail on the head, these are older german favorites we post here, if a little work is worrisome, then you’re missing half the fun of the car hobby.

  5. Raymond
    Raymond January 9, 2013

    Wow, I see I stirred the pot here which was not my intention. My point was not about relative worth of this car versus a newer car, or what makes sense to people on an individual basis, financially or otherwise. My “beef” is with calling a car that has 150k miles “barely broken in.” As someone who has driven many older BMWs and MBs as dailies, this statement is misleading as these cars are at an age where they need a constant infusion of money, parts, and time to keep them running correctly. That doesn’t make them junk, and it doesn’t reflect poorly on them or their build quality. I would go so far as to say that when I’ve sold a number of older vehicles, I’ve actually steered away buyers who didn’t understand the time, money, and effort commitment involved in keeping a car like this on the road in good order. Again, not about the car, the hobby, or relative worth of this car versus something newer. It’s about being honest in the description when you are selling something. Anyone who has driven a car like this (I learned to drive on a W123, btw) knows of what I speak. Again, best regards.

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