Mega Miles: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300D

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”Those old Mercedes diesels will run forever!” That’s what I constantly hear when someone who is a ”car person” sees or hears I drive an old Mercedes diesel. Usually I just smile and nod in agreement because they don’t want to hear about valve adjustments, multiple filter changes, purges, diesel fuel additives and everything else that goes into keeping an old Mercedes diesel running forever. ”Nope, you’re right, just pour whatever liquid you want into the tank, it’ll run. Sure.” That brings me to today’s car. An OM617 diesel that is half way to running forever with only a tick over 585,000 miles. Now since you’ve heard about these cars that are capable of doing a crazy amount of miles, let’s take a look at this 1980 300D in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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

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1980 Audi 5000 Diesel – REVISIT

When I saw this 5000, it looked familiar to me even though we rarely cover C2s. But when I read the ad, I was sure I’d seen it before. While we try to produce fresh material with every post, once in a while a truly special or unique alumnus of our pages resurfaces. In this case, it’s a quite rare Type 43 Audi 5000 Diesel. Originally, this car was written up at the end of 2013; now, nearly 3 years later, it’s back from a seller in Tennessee, have traveled only apparently 200 more miles and with a $1,000 price drop to $8,995. What’s perhaps even more spectacular is that they stole my words for the advertisement copy, only replacing “New England” as seen below with “Tennessee”. While it was good for a laugh and I’ll choose to chalk the plagiarism up to a backhanded compliment, this remains a very impressive and rarely seen specimen:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Audi 5000 Diesel on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 14, 2013:

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1980 Volkswagen Scirocco

Period modifications can be pretty hit or miss, and when you’re talking 1980s cars, it seems most weren’t on target. Sure, the AMG widebody and Ruf cars are spectacular, but many more suffered the ignominious fate of having tacky tacked-on plastic bits, wild and poor paint jobs, and “performance enhancements” that more often than not led to a protracted period of non-running conditions. But once in a while a period piece pops up that looks special, and this 1980 Scirocco spotted by our reader Wojciech is just that:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280E

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The enthusiast website Petrolicious posed the question if the venerable Mercedes-Benz W123 would be the last “normal” car you would ever need. I think the word normal sums up this car quite perfectly. But in a good way. That’s in contrast to a car like the Toyota Camry, which is a good example of “normal” in a bad way. The Camry is the perfect car for the non-car enthusiast. It doesn’t do anything exceptionally well, but it will be, for the most part, reliable. Many have asked for my opinion on this Toyota over the years and I always say the same thing: over 400,000 people a year can be wrong.

If it’s reliability we’re talking about, that long-standing trait of the Camry pales in comparison to what the W123 Mercedes-Benz is capable of. This 1981 280E we see here for sale near Düsseldorf, Germany will indeed last you a lifetime with proper care. Witness the number of examples that are still pressed into service on a daily basis. However, in our quest to find the best and lowest mileage examples of your favorite classics on the market, have a look at this W123 that has just over 14,000 miles on the odometer from new.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280E on Mobile.de

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1980 Porsche 911SC Coupe

Ah, here we are back with a long time favorite. This Oak Green Metallic over Tan 1980 Porsche 911SC Coupe, located in New Hampshire, sits with 141,338 miles on it and looks in nice driver condition. While there are certainly examples of the 911SC that attract collector interest, generally speaking these are the models to seek out when your desire is for a good driver that you can get into for reasonable cost and spend plenty of time enjoying. Its successor, the 3.2 Carrera, tends to attract higher values – not unexpectedly – but the similarities between the two models are such that anyone looking for the classic 911 experience can be just as well served with the earlier SC.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 911SC Coupe on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280E

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Following on to the clean 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300D from last week, here’s that car’s petrol powered cousin, a 1980 280E. While they sold the W123 with the M110 inline-6 in the US market, this 280E was a German market spec vehicle imported to the US in the 1990s. It shows just under 50,000 miles on the odometer and it shows, which makes this car barely a baby in terms of W123 speak. While this might be a target for collectors, this is a Benz that could serve as a practical classic and probably still run until you take your last breath.

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

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1980 Porsche 924 Turbo

It’s easy to overlook the importance to Porsche of the 924 model, but it was a significant and successful model – purists be damned. Not only did it make Porsche a viable company so that those precious air-cooled dinosaurs could be produced, but it laid the platform for many enthusiast favorites down the road both inside and outside of Germany. Of course, the most tangible benefit was the later 944 and 944 Turbo spawned from the bones of the 924, but highly prized models from other manufacturers were also influenced; the Mazda RX-7 was a blatant copy for example, but you can also see aspects of the 924 seep in to the Toyota Supra and Nissan 300ZX designs later in the 1980s.

Like its similarly revolutionary big brother 928, for some time the market did not recognize the importance or the significance of these designs. But while the 928’s needle has begun to head up the tach, the lowly 924 remains an absolute budget bargain for classic Porsche fans. One model that has gained some appreciation of late is the 924 Turbo. Though the technology was relatively primitive compared to more recent turbocharged mills, the 931 packed a potent punch in the early 1980s. Even in detuned American-market form, the 924 Turbo had nearly 150 horsepower from the pedestrian but heavily revised Volkswagen 2.0 liter at the same time that a 5.0 liter Corvette hit the market with 180 lazy horses. The Turbo was upgraded over its relatively short life span too, and models like this 1980 came equipped with a sport package that included 16″ forged wheels, upgraded 4-wheel disc brakes and a sport suspension:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

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The sight of a W123 wagon on the road never fails to bring a smile 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, 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 nicer ones have been snapped up by rich hipsters (it’s not for nothing that many of them have ended up in Brooklyn). That’s a shame because 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 to us by our reader Don, all the more refreshing. While the mileage is low, the car is certainly not mint, and the somewhat tired but perfectly usable condition will help to keep the price of this one on the affordable side.

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

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Viper Green Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa

There are always a few cars that I come across that immediately I know I will have to feature. As long as the basics of the car check out there’s typically enough to make it worthwhile and I begin to shift schedules and see where we can slot it in. This is just such a car: a Viper Green Metallic 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa, located in Massachusetts, with around 93K miles on it. As should be apparent, the allure here lies almost entirely in the color. I love a 911SC Targa in good shape and feature many of them, but I also pass by many of them. Viper Green does not get passed by. It’s such a rarely seen color on any 911 and a desirable color. Those familiar with the color will notice that this metallic variant differs quite a bit from the slightly darker, non-metallic, Viper Green that was available in the early ’70s. Both variants have points in their favor, but I prefer a metallic green so tend to lean toward this shade. I have commented before how I think green 911s tend to be under-appreciated. There is a caveat to that statement: it is typically the darker metallic greens that drift along unnoticed by many. Viper Green, and most any other pastel green Porsche has offered, rarely suffers such a fate and I don’t expect this 911SC to be any different. As the seller notes, this is by no means a conservative color, but what better way to have your classic 911 anyway?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 911SC Targa on eBay

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1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup

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Longtime reader Sam was selling his “Blue Colonel” Rabbit Pickup in Portland but saw another extremely clean Caddy for sale at the same time. It looks like the Blue Colonel has sold, but this beautiful little LX – leatherette and wood dash included – is still looking for a new home. It’s covered 134k gentle miles and spent most of last 15 years in a temperature controlled garage. Everything looks original in the best of ways, including the clean engine compartment. $6k is a pretty common number for diesel Caddys, but we’ll see if this excellent gas pickup can swing that much too.

Click for details: 1980 Volkswagen Rabbit Pickup on Craigslist Portland

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