Amazingly fine 1980 Mercedes 300TD no reserve

Our motto to some degree is finding the finest examples we can and while we do eschew that to post up some oddities that we come across we do try to seek out a mix of attainable drivers to unbelievably fine  and expensive specimens. This 300TD splits the range, a car that you would think could be a daily driver as it is not original, but has been restored to such a fine state you would be nervous having it out on the road.

We have watched the W123 Benz diesels, cars that are perhaps one of the most prevalent in the world, creep into what a few years ago would seem to be stratospheric prices. The car being sold here has just about everything going for it to bring top dollar, not the least of which is the 4 speed manual transmission. When you only have 80 or so horsepower to push you around having the manual can help you eek out the most performance.

The 121,000 miles are a drop in the bucket for the 5 cylinder engine. This car started life as a Euro car that has gone through the federalization process, but the parts were then refitted by the current owner back to Euro spec. The car has the desirable light weight aluminum Mercedes rims, though I probably would not have placed the whitewalls on this car, really the only thing I can knock on this car’s restoration.

The owner has put a lot of money and effort into fixing and replacing parts. The engine bay is super clean, as is the interior. Even little things have been made to right, a beautiful metal and wood roof rack, a working idle control knob, even the brush in the back to sweep out the cargo area, it has all been taken care of. The car also features the factory tow package. The car has a new repaint in the original color, the old paint was stripped before hand. This is a great color for this car and the paint job looks like a quality one.

Just an all around great example from an owner who clearly cares about the car. Bidding is heavy and up to $20,000. With no reserve we’ll see once again the amazing prices these Benz wagons can bring from their cult following.

Fine restored 1980 Mercedes 300TD on eBay

~Evan

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

“They don’t make ’em like they used to” is an overused term in society. However, if it ever applied to one durable good, it would be the Mercedes-Benz W123. These Benzes need no introduction on GCFSB, and here’s a quite desirable estate version and a final model year version at that.

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300D T on eBay

Up for sale is your opportunity to own a very rare European 1985 300TD wagon (VIN# 1231901F054663) with a 4-speed manual transmission. This Classic White (737G) on shadow blue one-owner wagon belonged to a diplomat and was obsessively maintained and cared for all its life. Every component is in good working order, every feature works (door locks, air conditioning, self-leveling suspension), and the car is mechanically sound (engine, transmission and clutch, tires, brakes, suspension, etc.). How cool would it be to own a European spec car that was not marketed and sold in the United States in 1985? This wagon was never federalized (although it comes with a clean and transferable Maryland title). Nothing has been altered or changed on the car and it is original and stock, with the exception of the right fender which was replaced due to a volleyball-sized dent near the front. The repainted fender is an exceptional color match and although not original, is much more attractive than the original, dented fender.
You will be the envy of all your Mercedes Benz friends and enthusiasts as your car has features that were never available on US market cars which include:

– OM617 5-cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engine with no emission controls
– European spec mechanical Bosch injection pump for high output
– European spec gearing and differential for high output
– Manual 4-speed transmission
– Manual climate control
– Manual windows
– Manual antenna and unique European Becker cassette stereo system
– Cloth interior in very good shape for its age and seat springs are in excellent condition
– Factory installed fire extinguisher under driver’s seat
– European spec front and rear bumpers
– European headlights with built in “City Lights” and vacuum height adjusters
– Rear fog light
– Hazard triangle
– Paint coordinated Mercedes Star hubcaps
In addition, you will be the talk of the town because your wagon has additional rare options which include:

– Second row headrests at all 3 positions
– Third row jump seat
– Luggage/roof rack
– Manual sunroof

While you cruise around town shifting gears or testing out the German engineered steering and suspension as you corner into a turn with your newer Michelin MXV 14 inch tires, you will be staying cool with your original R-12 air conditioning. No problem directing air flow to where it needs to be because the manual climate control system is much more reliable (and it has dual zone so driver and passenger can ride in comfort). And when the sun goes down and you want to drive by starlight, open the manual sunroof and continue on your journey. Visibility is great on the darkest of roads with European headlights and fog lights with height adjusters.

Need to haul a large item? Not a problem. Fold down second and third rows and you have a cavernous cargo area that can swallow large loads. Filled up the cargo area? Not a problem. Strap the rest of your load to the roof rack.

The odometer reads 257k kilometers (160k miles) and the speedometer also reads in kilometers. With proper care and maintenance the vehicle will continue to give you enjoyment and fulfill its purpose indefinitely. There are some minor scratches, and some rust (pictured) – all of which are repairable. This car was a driver, not a garage queen (even though when it wasn’t being driven, it was garaged). The scrapes and scratches come with a 26 year old, car but all are repairable. There are three blemishes that will need to be addressed, which are:

– Rust at the right rear door jamb in the seam above the rocker panel
– Rust spot at the rear hatch near the glass
– Bleach stain in the cargo area

None of these blemishes along with normal wear and tear are fatal, and can easily be addressed, treated, and fixed to get the car the way you envision it to be. Without them, and if the car were entirely original, given its condition and model, it would be a very high-dollar car. Because of these minor flaws, I concede that it’s not a $15k-plus car, but still believe it to be well above average. The paint is original (with the exception of the right fender, as noted) and shines. The interior is in very nice shape for its age with no color fade, very nice dashboard, and good seat springs.

Opportunity is knocking. This is your chance to seize it and own a very rare and desirable car. 1985 is also the last year of the W123 chassis and the OM617 5-cylinder diesel and is considered by many to be the best and most desirable year of the production series.

With just a couple days left, I’m surprised this auction hasn’t garnered more interest, given it’s one diplomat owner status. Granted, there are some few flaws and the rust that has eaten through the bottom of the door sill is cause for some concern. However, if this was anything other than a W123 Mercedes-Benz, I think I would be more cautious. For a car that can survive the harshest of environments and which has seen many examples cover hundreds of thousands of miles without breaking a sweat, I doubt a little rust will stand in its way of covering another 160,000 miles.

-Paul

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…

-Paul

1984 Mercedes 300TD No Reserve

We’ve seen several of these wagons pass by and have been impressed at what they have sold for. This one is no exception. The seller puts together a top notch ad for a top notch car and it is being sold at no reserve.
With over 117,000 miles this wagon already has spirited bids passed $14,000.
The car has excellent service history and had an engine overhaul at 96,000 miles. The car wears original paint and is optioned with the 3rd seat, tow hitch, Euro lights, and a rare MB cargo cover.
Just a perfect presentation here. The seller is also selling his low mile all original 300CD, which we are also listing on this blog. Check it out here if you want to buy the pair.
The price of well taken care of early 80s Benz oil burners in the wagon and coupe configuration continues to rise and surprise. This looks to be one of the best on the market. Sellers take note, this is how you make a nice eBay listing.

More photos here.

~Evan

1981 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Estate

Along with many other folks around the world, I’ve always been fond of the W123 chassis Mercedes-Benz. Clean, unmolested T models, or the estate versions seem to be much harder to find these than their sedan and coupe counterparts, though. Here’s a clean 1981 300TD turbodiesel with 142,000 miles on it near Memphis. That kind of mileage would cause alarm for many other vehicles, but for the W123 Benz, it merely scratches the surface when talking about the break in period.

The seller states:

This vehicle is finished in the classic MB color #623H Light Ivory . The H denotes the use of Dr. Herbert paint at the factory (Mercedes at the time used Glasurit paint, and Dr. Herbert paint concurrently). The interior is a very durable MB Tex finished in Light Tan. This is a special vehicle that was purchased new here at Mercedes-Benz of Memphis. This wagon was special ordered by it’s original owner, Mr. Donald McClure of Memphis.

Mr. McClure was such an avid fan of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, that he decided to personally take delivery of the vehicle at the Mercedes-Benz factory August 10,th 1981 at Sindelfingen Germany. Mr. McClure ordered this vehicle through the local dealership via the European Delivery program. This is an officially imported MB and not a grey market car. Mr. McClure selected the options and paid for the vehicle stateside. He then flew to Germany, toured the factory, and watched the car being built on the assembly line. Upon completion, he was presented the keys to the wagon, and went on a European vacation with the car. At the conclusion of the vacation, he returned the car to the Mercedes-Benz factory, where it was then shipped back to Mercedes-Benz of Memphis, and delivered to Mr. McClure.

The car has perfect books and records, when I say this, I mean it quite literally. The vehicle has never missed a scheduled maintenance service. Under hood detail on this car is some of the best that I have ever seen on a 123. There is no visible oxidation on the aluminum, and since the car has been here in Memphis, there is no rust, and the car has never been in salt. Keep this one thing in mind, you cannot duplicate originality at any cost. Notice the Cadmium plating on the lines.

Every aspect of this vehicle points to it being well cared for over time. The body is in excellent condition, and the paint is still excellent. The chrome is still very nice and has no pitting. The tires still have plenty of tread , the air conditioner is VERY COLD. The car has no known fluid leaks , and it has been serviced by my MB certified mechanic in the last 30 days.

While the seller pegs the value of this particular Mercedes at $16,500, the bidding with just over four days left is a tad over $8,000. I would suspect a value of around $12,000 to seem a bit more reasonable. From the bevy of service receipts, documents and history provided, though, this could very well be one of the best W123 estates on the market at the moment.

For a little more background on the W123, here is a period video (in German) from Mercedes-Benz highlighting “die mittelklasse” or the middle class Mercedes:

-Paul

1984 Mercedes 300TD Wagon Looking fresh in blue

Not too much info to give on this one, but it looks super clean. The 300TD isn’t the type of car a general German car enthusiast will pick out of a crowd for ownership, but they do have quite a cult following in the Benz world. Known for their supreme reliability and ruggedness the 5 cylinder Garrett turbocharged diesel provides enough push to get from here to there. So though I don’t know the mileage in this case does it really matter as long as it has been maintained? It looks like the current owner has taken care of this car for instance those look like Cibié lights out front. The car comes with the 3rd row seat, an extra set of alloys with winter tires, and some extra parts. This car also has the load leveling suspension in the rear to keep the front end down with a heavy cargo. This system can be a pain to work with, but shouldn’t be a deal breaker. Parts in general for the W123 and 3.0 liter engine are plentiful.
The seller gives contact info as 607-two-five-seven-5588, the car was seen in Watkins Glen, New York, but that is an Ithaca number. The ask is $8600. There is probably some wiggle room to be had but, it is not an outrageous price by any means for a well maintained rust free version. I didn’t get a chance to really look underneath or inside, but it did look nicely preserved. That baby blue would look great off in a winter wonderland with some skis on the roof. I actually believe that the W123 300TD has held its value better than its successor the W124. Some fan should give this car a good home in the next chapter of its life.

~Evan