1985 BMW 524td

With the introduction of the 335d, X5 xDrive35d, we should look back to where the BMW diesel engine began, with the E28 5 series and the M21 2.4 liter turbo diesel. Here is a well preserved example with 100,000 miles for sale in Ohio.

1985 BMW 524td on eBay

This is my beautiful 1985 BMW 524td Turbo Diesel sedan with only 100,545 original miles. This is rare, beautifully made and high-performance BMW Turbo Diesel sedan. This is probably one of the nicest 524td models for sale anywhere in the country, if you can even FIND another one. There are probably only a few hundred of these cars still in existance.

At the time, this was the quickest-accelerating, fastest and QUIETEST diesel vehicle made in the world. Not to mention the superb fuel economy, outstanding reliablity and sports-car handling. This car would run circles around the contemporary diesels, the trucklike coffee-grinder Mercedes, pipsqueak slowpoke VW diesels and the ridiculously bad GM diesel 350s.

I am a specialty/classic car dealer and I have been searching for one of these elusive BMW diesels for years. I have put quite a few miles on the car and I really love this car. This was the best diesel vehicle in the world when it was made, and I have been very impressed with how this car compares to modern diesel cars. This 524td is downright QUICK- it accelerates very powerfully and runs along on the freeway at 80-90 mph without breaking a sweat. The handling is outstanding- my everyday car is a 2002 BMW 525i (gas), and this 26-year old BMW diesel will keep up with it in acceleration, easily out-handles the modern car and beats the pants off it in fuel economy. People’s experience with fuel economy ranges from about 33 mpg to into the 40’s. A lady I met who owns one of these claims to get 45 mpg.

This car is BETTER than the reputation it carries, which is already pretty darn good. This diesel engine is the smoothest, most free-revving diesel engine I have ever experienced. It has almost none of the traditional diesel clatter at idle, and once you’re driving you would never know that there’s an oil-burner under the hood. The torque is excellent, and the responsiveness is amazing. You put your foot down, and this old gal really hustles. When I wonder why they didn’t sell more of these when they were new, I’m reminded that they were incredibly expensive at time when most people’s experience with diesel cars involved smoky Oldmobiles and clattery Rabbits…

This car has the following equipment-

2.4L Turbo Diesel Inline-6 engine
4-speed automatic transmission
A/C- it blows ice-cold!
dual power seats
huge power moonroof
anti-lock brakes
cruise control
original BMW radio with tape player
block heater for winter
power windows and locks

This car was previously owned by the owner of a BMW repair shop, whose adult daughter drove the car every day. He has serviced the car for the past 10+ years- he acquired it from a customer of his who moved out of state and sold him the car. This car has been used and driven EVERY DAY. It is 100% reliable and dependable and it has no known mechanical problems. All of the service has been kept up, and I have most all the service records for the entire life of the vehicle- pages and pages of recent records plus records stamped in the owner’s manual going up to 1999. I would trust this car to drive cross-country with no trouble.

The engine is smooth and powerful, and the turbo boosts well. The tranmission shifts perfectly, and the brakes are great. The suspension is tight and stable, with absolutely no rattles or sloppiness. The steering is tight and there are handling is outstanding- this car handles like a sports car, no joke.

The paint and body are gorgeous. There are no exterior flaws of any significance- this car looks beautiful. The paint is glossy and in superb condition, and there aren’t any dings or dents. The aluminum wheels are in great shape and the tires are nearly new. The car has not been in any known accidents.

The interior is amazing- the seats and carpets are beautifully clean and in great shape. There is one tiny rip in the driver’s seat. As mentioned, the air conditioning works great and blows ice-cold.

This is a 26 year old car, and of course there are few problems to mention. One of the foglights is cracked. The power antenna is broken, but the radio still tunes in stations fine. The power locks work, but only from the passenger side and trunk. The glow plugs work fine, though it occasionally take a few seconds of cranks to start the car- in the owner’s manual it states that it can take up to 40 seconds, though it has never taken this long for me. It also has two leaks, the first is the fuel tank which has a small leak at the seam. It only leaks when there is more than 2/3 of a tank of fuel. The second leak is at a seal in the injection pump. It has had this same leak for 6 years and it has never gotten any worse, and the car still drives perfectly. If the BMW shop owner wasn’t worried enough to fix it, then neither am I. However he said it is a pretty straightforward fix and I could probably have him fix both leaks for the new owner for a couple hundred bucks. However that couple hundred bucks buys a lot of diesel fuel!

This is a clean, outstanding, beautiful BMW diesel. I can bet that you will not find a better one for sale anywhere. I love this car, and so will the new owner.

I was impressed by the seller’s thorough description and good pictures. This is an example of how to do an eBay auction right. It’s rather rare to see any E28 diesel for sale, and this one is quite possibly the best one would come across in a while, as there were very few of these models sold in the US. Interestingly enough, Lincoln used this very engine in 1984 and 1985 in a handful of Continental and MkVII to counter Cadillac and their diesel offerings.

I think it’s rather amusing, and somewhat sad, that about 25 years on, most cars this size struggle to get the kind of fuel economy this 524td returned. While I’ve never driven one of these, from what I’ve read, they seem to be a more sporty alternative to the more common Mercedes-Benz diesels of the day. I’d surely take this 5er over a hybrid any day, even considering the repairs one would be looking at over the course of ownership.

-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

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300SD with 50k Miles

With the fluctuations in gas prices over the past few years, fuel economy has been at the forefront of public debate and to a degree has dictated consumers’ buying habits. I’ve always had a sweet spot for the W126 S Class Mercedes-Benzes, and in an era of boring hybrids and overweight vehicles that get less miles per gallon than they could, a good old diesel is a pleasant remedy. Especially one with an eye towards luxury, engineering and durability.

The seller states:

Classic 1983 Mercedes Benz 300 SD Turbo Diesel, only 50,209 Miles, in Show Room condition, always garaged, never in snow or rain. All leather in mint condition, no wear or cracks. Power Door locks, seats and sun roof all in working condition, only thing that does not work is the clock and have not investigated the problem. Never opened first-aid kit. Car has AM/FM radio with CD, but original radio comes with car.

This car is fabulous!!! Beautiful black exterior, with tan interior. This is a show car, not another one like it!!!! Ready to cruise to any car show and win each time. Reason for selling; have too many cars, something has to go. This is the actual miles on this car and has a clean title with no liens.

These diesel S classes are usually high mileage propositions on the used market, but high mileage doesn’t mean the end of the road for these engines. $21,500 is quite a chunk of change for an almost 30 year old Mercedes-Benz, even if it was an SL or coupe model. I doubt the seller will achieve such a high price, but nevertheless, this is a stunning example of a car that could last you a lifetime.

-Paul

1977 Mercedes-Benz 240D with 52,000 original miles

If there was a top ten list of legendary Mercedes-Benz models, you would most certainly find the W123 series sedans, wagons and coupes on this list. Introduced as a replacement for the W114/W115 “strict acht” or “stroke eight” series, the W123 lived on until 1985 and the introduction of the new E class series. The W123 series is renowned for its relative simplicity, reliability and as a result, is a popular means of transport in developing nations to this day. Purchasing one of these cars with triple digit mileage is something that should not be shied away from, however, clean, lower mileage examples are becoming more and more scarce. There are still some out there, though, like this very original first year example in a rare shade of green.

The seller states:

1977 Mercedes Benz 240D with under 52,000 original miles. I just got this from the original owners’ daughter. I have service records for the past 7 years to verify mileage and maintenance. Everything works (yes, even the air conditioning). Car is in great condition. Runs, shifts, stops great. No abnormal diesel tailpipe smoking. Color is Kaledonien Grun, or Caledonia Green, DB867 color code. You will not find a cleaner, more solid, lower mileage 240D period. Tires are new.

The 122 pictures speak for themselves at http://s306.photobucket.com/albums/nn263/kuhlmeister/1977%20240d/?start=all

I’m a sucker for rare colors and can’t remember the last time I saw any Mercedes in this hue. I think it fits the car well. There is about five days left and the car has not met a reserve. I would assume the seller is looking to get closer to the $10,000 mark, but he might be trying to hold out for more than that. In this era of ever increasing fuel costs, the 240D enables its owner to conserve resources while being classy. And with low mileage like this, the 240D stands ready and willing to motor on for decades to come.

-Paul

1984 Mercedes 300CD No Reserve

I just listed this seller’s 300TD and what I said in that post goes the same for this one so check out this post.

Buy this coupe and get yourself a matching pair of Mercedes diesels.

35,000 miles and bidding up over $18,000 on the no reserve auction. Really can you believe the prices of these? At the end of last year we had this car up and it ended at $22,800 with the reserve not met.

Just a fabulous car originally purchased through Mercedes European Delivery Program.

Great service history, as original as they come, this is like buying a new car.

More pictures here.

~Evan

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

1980 Volkswagen Rabbit diesel

There’s restorations, and then there are restorations. This Mk1 Rabbit (Golf) falls into the latter category. A labor of love by its owner, this German built Rabbit is about as close to buying a new Mk1 as you could get.

The seller states:

A weekend project that turned into an obsession, here is the result of three years of work on a car I intended to keep forever and built accordingly.

This is a German built car which was purchased and imported from Canada. I purchased the car from a couple in Palatka Florida who had brought it from Washington State where I suppose it originally made its way into the US.

No expense was spared in this restoration which involved over $9,000 in new German parts. Absolutely no re-built or used components were used for the assembly. For example, the CV axles are OEM Lobro units running about $400 per side. The brake calipers and master cylinder are new (not rebuilt) Ate units. There are over $300 in new nuts and bolts each matching the original hardness grade and yellow zinc plating other than the addition of stainless wherever strength isn’t required. Below is a list of some of the major parts that have been replaced though there are many more.

The paint is a single stage PPG Urethane in the original color. To be honest I feel that the paint is the weakest point of the car when compared to the thorough mechanical restoration. There are a few minor dents that the shop didn’t get completely out as well as a few places that could use more polishing. The most noticeable area is probably along the bottom of the rear hatch where you can see some waviness. There is also a small dent on the left side of the front skirt which occurred during the restoration on a lift that I never got around to addressing. In short, the paint is not concourse but still quite good by most collectors standards.

As you can see in the pictures I have not yet found an original Becker radio to install. The dash panel for it is in place and has the hole plugged with a vanity panel. The antenna mounting hole on the left front wing is plugged with the NOS VW rubber plug used on cars sold without the radio option.

The second item I never found was a new sun roof seal. The sunroof operates perfectly but I’ve sealed off the gap with polyurethane flashing adhesive until a new seal is found. As you can see in the pictures I did this very neatly so that you cannot tell by looking at it. If you are fortunate enough to find a new seal you would only need to pull away the adhesive and install it.

The mileage (or kilometerage) on the Odometer is accurate. Since the restoration I have driven it about 200 miles to ensure everything is operating correctly. Since every consumable component on the car is new down to the little light bulbs behind the dash you will not find any problems to speak of. The car runs and drives as flawlessly as the day it left Wolfsburg.

This car is bio-diesel ready meaning that all fuel hoses are J30R9 grade and the injector pump has been updated with new Viton seals.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call me at 352-562-2412 as there is too much to write without this becoming an essay.

New major components (I’ve noted the brand wherever I could remember):

Rear Suspension:
Spindles
Wheel bearings (Timken)
Brake drums (German Ate)
Brake Cylinders (German Ate)
All drum brake hardware
Parking Brake cables (GEMO)
Rear axle beam bushings (polyurethane upgrade)
Brake hoses
shocks and springs (sachs)
All hardware (original spec hardness and coatings)

Front Suspension:
Control arms (OEM)
Control arm bushings (OEM)
McPherson struts (OEM Sachs)
Strut bearings (FEBI)
Wheel bearings (Beck Arnley)
CV axles (OEM German Lobro)
Brake calipers (NEW OEM German Ate zinc plated)
Brake pads (OEM)
Brake hoses (German Febi)
Ball Joints (Beck Arnley)
Tie rod ends (Beck Arnley)
All hardware (original hardness and plating)

Engine and Trans:
All engine oil seals
All engine mounts
Injection pump resealed with viton gaskets (bio-diesel approved)
Glow Plugs/ relay
All fuel hoses replaced with Goodyear J30R9 (bio-diesel approved)
Metal fuel pipes
Clutch
Clutch cable
Transmission end cover
Transmission fluid (redline synthetic)
All Transmission mounts
All gear shift bushings/linkage
Throttle cable
Metal reinforced rubber valve cover gasket
valve cover studs with stainless nuts
Camshaft oil baffle insert update
Oil pan
All coolant hoses including NOS expansion tank hose
Hose clamps (Swedish ABA)
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner
Water pump German Ate
accessory belt (NAPA lifetime)
Alternator (BOSCH)
Brake Master cylinder (German Ate)
Coolant expansion tank
heater core
heater valve
Vacuum pump diaphragm and check valves
Vacuum hose with check valve (NOS a rare find)
Rain tray (NOS VW )
New horn (German HELLA)
Exhaust system after down pipe (OEM)
Exhaust pipe hangars (OEM)
hood bumpers (NOS)
new MANN air Filter
new Mobil 1 oil filter
new Bosch fuel filter

Electrical:
Head lights Halogen bulbs
All light bulbs including dash

General:
Tires (Firestone FR380)

At the time of writing this, there’s a little less than four days left and no bids, with a starting bid of $8,000. There are much worse cars you could purchase for $8,000, and probably none are in such good shape as this diesel Rabbit. This car would garner more attention, of course, if it was a GTI, but then again, that’s part of the charm of this particular ride.

-Paul

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300CD with 35,000 original miles

Another week goes by and amazingly, another clean W123 Mercedes-Benz appears. In contrast to the clean 1981 Estate featured last week, here is an amazingly low mileage turbodiesel coupe from the second to last production year for the W123.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

The seller states:

Up for bids is this super low mile Mercedes, a 1984 300CD. This car was bought new at Rasmussen Mercedes here in Portland as part of their European Delivery Program. The car was delivered new in Sindelfingen on May 21st, 1984 where the new owners enjoyed a driving tour of Europe. The car has had 3 local owners since new, and with its low miles remains an exceptional example of the acclaimed W123 series.

Finished in Silver Blue Metallic, code DB930, the car presents very well. The paint finish appears to be all original and in impressive condition – glass smooth, with excellent depth and gloss. The body is free of dings or dents, and of course no rust problems anywhere on the car. Tires are nearly new Toyo radials. All 4 wheels are in excellent condition with no scuffs or curb rash.

All switches and controls are in like new condition, and all of them operate correctly. The climate control functions as it should, the AC has been converted to R-134 and blows cold. Its auto function works correctly, including the stepped fan feature. The car retains its original Becker Grand Prix cassette radio, a very advanced unit for its time. It works in tandem with the power antenna just as it should.

The car comes with a full assortment of original manuals and paperwork, as well as all of the service records from new. Also included is a folio full of all the documents pertaining to the car’s European delivery. There is interesting information here, such as instructions for picking the car up at the factory, a bill of lading for the trip back to the US, customs forms, even an advisory letter stating that a strike by the Metal Workers Union of Germany may “have the effect of delaying sailing dates for automobile carrying vessels!”

There’s a little under a week left for this auction and bidding has almost reached $20,000, and the reserve STILL hasn’t been met. While Mercedes-Benz coupes and convertibles always command a higher resale value, we are talking about the more pedestrian mid range model for the era. I have never seen a W123 with an asking price this high, at least in recent memory. I could see maybe paying around $15k for an example like this, and maybe even $20,000 at the maximum. But, as with any auction, time will tell to see if the reserve will be met and what it’s worth to someone.

-Paul

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

The W123 is quite possibly the most ubiquitous Mercedes-Benz of all time. Revered for it’s build quality and rock solid reliability, both clean and clapped out examples are still a regular site on roads all over the world to this day. Slightly more rare than its sedan counterpart, the coupe, or CD/CE brought the classic MB pillarless coupe style to the workhorse chassis. This particular example, a later turbodiesel variant, has seen just over 90,000 miles. One could consider this slightly broken in.

The seller states:

This is a rare 1983 Mercedes 300CD Turbo coupe. It runs and drives awesome. This is a rust free car. It has 91,371 miles on it. The car is in very nice shape. The A/C blows cold. This car will go a million miles.

After scanning other ads online and pricing guides, it seems as if the value of W123 CDs are topping out around $10,000. If this car had about 50,000 less miles on it, it might be worth it, but unless this car has impeccable service history, it’s a bit overpriced. Nevertheless, a fine example of the W123 coupe in a pleasant color combination.

-Paul

Low-mile White/Black Diesel/Gas Caddies for sale

As I’ve mentioned before, my first car was a white caddy.  It was an awesome little car, light enough to be fun, plenty weird, and irrefutably German.  Mine had a later 2.0, but these two options on eBay right now have very different motors but are each uniquely desirable.

The first is a very clean white diesel LX.  Mechanically, if you’re looking for an efficient and utilitarian car with personality, this is the one.  A Euro-market 1.6l diesel with just 60k miles and Jetta 5-speed gearbox highlight the restoration, along with a clean paint job.  I could do without the wheels, but this is a great (if plain) Caddy.

Next up we have something a little more fancy.  This black 1981 Sportruck is a little more Dubby, blacked out with quad rounds, lowered on some prettier 5-spokes, and supplemented with just about 16v-Scirocco everything.  It’s been thoroughly gone through top to bottom and is more show car than econo-commuter, but would still be a great little driver. Would have been nice if he provided more than thumbnails, though.

The diesels definitely command a premium these days, and this restored white LX is reserve-not-met at $5,600 with less than a day left.  The black one is just r-n-m at just over $2k, but should go up a bit in the 3 days it has left.  If it could be had for $5k or less, it would be a great purchase, and is probably the one I’d rather have.

-NR