I’m always on the lookout for golden era Mercedes in rare colors to add to my small collection (more on that soon!). We’ve reached the point where despite millions of these cars being built and nearly all standing the test of time well, any nice one is starting to creep up in value — even more so if it’s in a color that isn’t earth tone. Today’s car that is up for sale in New York is the ultra-rare Inca Red paint that I’ve only seen on a handful of Mercedes over the years – let alone a W123 coupe.
”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.
Another day, another old diesel Benz. I know, I know. But when I saw this one I couldn’t resist. Yesterday I wrote up an ‘87 300SDL. While that car presented very nicely, in truth the better W126 diesels are either the early, short wheelbase models (’81-’85), like today’s car, or the very late ones (’90-’91), during which time the short and long wheelbase diesels shared the same engines. As noted yesterday, the diesel motors in the cars in the period in between had a few design faults that could potentially affect their longevity (quite unusual for a Mercedes product). This particular car is an ’85, the last year in which you’d find the legendary OM617 engine under the hood.
Update 1/24/2018 – nearly a year and a half later, this car is still for sale at a slightly reduced price of $6,999 – getting closer to our valuation.
Another week, another diesel Mercedes-Benz. This one has a little more rarity thanks to fewer features than what we normally see. Manual transmission, manual windows, non-turbo diesel engine, cloth seat inserts but what you do get is European lights and bumpers finished over the wonderfully period-correct Thistle Green. So if you are looking for a bare-bones W123 diesel with a little bit of European flare, then this 300D north of Philadelphia might fit the bill.
A W126 diesel provides all the comfort, style and luxury of the legendary S-class while giving your wallet less of a pounding at the pump. There were three diesel engines available for this platform: one five cylinder unit (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SD between 1980 and 1985) and two six cylinder units (a 3.0 liter offered in the 300SDL between 1986 and 1987, and a 3.5 liter offered in the 350SD/SDL between 1990 and 1991). These later engines were afflicted by a number of reliability problems, quite out of character for a Mercedes diesel product. So if you really want an oil-burning W126, the safest bet is to stick with one of the earlier cars, like this one. Not only does this ’82 300SD have the more reliable five cylinder engine, it’s presented in a particularly fetching and suitably classy shade of green.
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.
I’ve dreamt about the Mercedes-Benz O309D as an RV before, and today’s underwent a full conversion from a postal van to camper van in the ’70s. It has some distinct pros and cons: On the plus side, it looks amazing in baby blue, is way cooler than a normal RV, and has the venerable Benz OM617 diesel found in the 300D, so parts are aplenty. On the other hand, it’s almost 50 years old with a 40 year-old RV conversion – meaning there’s plenty of work ahead – and the non-turbo diesel inline-5 has to use its ~80hp to haul a massive van up to its 50mph common-sense limit. My calculus adds it up to an overall positive because it runs, has a ton of potential, and putting in a fraction of what some people spend on RVs would make this a killer home away from home.
I’ve posted a couple of these unique wagons in the past both of them were 1977 450SEL versions. You can see them here and here. This one that has popped up is a similar W116, but based on the 300SD instead.
Model: 300SD Crayford Estate
Engine: 3.0 liter turbo inline five
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 62,000 mi
I find it interesting that all three of the Crayford cars we’ve posted all share the same paint color. They all have had slightly different outside appearances though with one showing Euro lights and U.S. bumpers, one with U.S. lights and U.S. bumpers and this one with U.S. lights and Euro bumpers.
As any custom coachwork car would be, Crayford cars are scarce and they appeal to those fanatical Benz estate fans so they don’t come cheap. With Benz not offering the W116 as a wagon it does seem logical for someone to make an attempt at doing so as future success of Benz factory wagons have indicated.
With the indestructable 3 liter turbo five diesel under the hood this car was made for long haul travels for family vacations. For the economical minded this car would be better suited than the V8 cars listed above. I’ve seen in person one W116 estate conversion that was done on the mighty 450SEL 6.9, but it wasn’t a Crayford conversion, but rather one done by a firm called Brinkman.
This car is located in Austria it has covered a solid 62,000 miles, enough to no its been enjoyed, but that is nothing for a 300SD. The ask price is $54,000. That is a lot of money so a new owner would be buying this for the rarity not the functionality. The car has been restored and the interior is super clean for a station wagon. The seller says the car is highly optioned and it is notable that it has ABS. It would provide the owner with quite a nice niche in Mercedes history. What is baffling with this dealer listing is that they didn’t bother to include a photo of the customized rear boot as the Crayford conversions could be had with the rear modified to the customer’s liking.