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Tag: 1980

1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

The desire for the W123 Mercedes-Benz 300TD never really seems to wean. I honestly think a lot of the desire comes from the car looking so good on paper, and then diving in and hoping for the best. Yes, it is tremendously reliable and sturdy in a world of cars built just to outlive the warranty period, but they are not without many sacrifices. They have just enough power not to be a nuisance on the highway, luxury comforts are almost zero, and safety versus any object bigger than it deploys the “hope and pray” strategy rather than airbags. Still, if you are looking for a stylish cruiser that can haul some stuff a day or two a week, it is tough to argue. However, these cars are getting old – very old. The newest example from 1985 is now old enough to run for president and the earliest 1979s models are ready to go to their kid’s college graduations. That doesn’t seem to bother paying truly crazy prices for them however.

Today, we have a non-turbo 1980 up for sale in Florida in the classic shade of English Red. Yes, it sure looks pretty and would look great in a world of earth tone swarming the land, but I’m maybe not so high on this example. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

In my modest collection, my oldest car is 1980 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. I don’t drive it much at all, a few hundred miles a year at most, but I can’t seem to let it go. Just this past Sunday I gave it a really deep wash and applied a coat of wax on it for the upcoming winter, and then thought there is no way I am selling this car after I was all done with it. It is literally the definition of “They don’t make them like they used to” in terms of Mercedes-Benz products. The car will be 40 years old soon, but it still drives and functions like a 4 year-old car despite over 225,000 miles on it. The flaws of the chassis are few, with the biggest one being a climate system they outsourced from Chrysler, of all brands, which turned out to be total garbage. Imagine that!

Today’s car, 1980 405SEL up for sale in California, seems to have a bit of an identity crisis. At first I thought it was a Euro car as it has the Euro headlights, bumpers, and plate holders, but peeking inside I’m seeing a speedometer in MPH and the aforementioned garbage automatic climate control. What is going on here?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL on eBay

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

Back in October I took a look at a very nice 931 over in Europe for sale; one of the best examples I’ve seen on the market recently:

1979 Porsche 924 Turbo

931s are broken into two periods – Series 1 (launch in ’79 -late ’80) and Series 2 (’81-’82). Series 2 cars all had the 5-lug, 4-wheel disc upgrade that only some of the Series 1 were equipped with. Additionally, they had a revised ignition system, improved intake, higher compression pistons but a smaller turbocharger, and the transaxle was shared with the B2 Audi inline-5s. Today’s example is loaded like most and comes from the end of the first series, so it has power windows, locks, mirrors, air conditioning, rear wiper and sunroof. It also has the M471 package, which added Koni shocks, 5-bolt forged 16″ wheels, 928 calipers with 911SC vented discs, larger swap bars, a quicker steering rack, and a small-diameter four-spoke leather covered steering wheel. Outside of the wheels, these changes were mostly invisible to the eye, and generally speaking don’t make a difference in the value of the vehicle. What does is condition, and when you’re looking at a 924 Turbo you want to buy the best one that you can afford. Is this the one?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC Euro-Spec

I’m certainly not a huge fan of the R107, and when it comes to beautiful and classic Mercedes-Benz models, it’s hardtop sibling – the C107 – probably isn’t on the top of anyone’s list. But it is an interesting car, and it has some unique history – including competing in the World Rally Championship before Audi redefined the category:

The Big, Bad, Automatic Benz That Took on the WRC – the C107

These C107s occupy an interesting spot in the marketplace; generally ignored, they offer a lot of classic Benz attributes without breaking the bank. And recently one popped up on Bring a Trailer with some neat modifications that really had me intrigued. So when a similar European-specification 280SLC popped up, I thought it was worth a look.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280SLC on eBay

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1980 Volkswagen Jrgens AutoVilla

Last week I looked at the oddball LT28 Westfalia Sven Hedin camper. While it was affordable relative to some crazy VW Camper pricing, at the end of the day it wasn’t a really great example. Somewhat surprisingly, another Sven Hedin popped high-topped up immediately after I wrote up the post. Our reader Daniel spotted it, and not only was it cheaper than the one I featured, it was in much better condition. But it’s not the only offbeat VW Van to appear at that time.

I also noticed what seems to look like a more traditional American-style mini-camper, and I was curious. What it is is a T3 conversion by Jrgens in South Africa. Called the “Mighty Mini Motorised Home” in period literature, starting in the 1970s the company basically strapped what looked like a tow-behind caravan onto the chassis and cab of a T2. Although I couldn’t find much information outside of the brochure, there are a few fan groups devoted to the T2 model. According to that site, Jrgens began production in 1973 and when the T2 was phased out, production moved to the T3. The new T3 chassis offered more space in the back, so the AutoVilla grew to accommodate a double bed over the cab and a bathroom. All this space meant weight, and the already underpowered 2.0 inline-4 apparently struggled to meet the company’s definition of “motorised”, never mind “mighty”. But these South African campers inspired Wilhelm Karmann (yes, THAT Karmann), who liscenced the design and began building the equally ungainly Volkswagen Karmann Gipsy. Karmann even built a few syncro models of the Gipsy. Needless to say, neither the Karmann Gipsy nor the original Jrgens AutoVilla made it to the U.S., but there’s one for sale now in North Carolina:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Jrgens AutoVilla on eBay

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