I have the same 1986 300E, and reading through the comment, I felt as if I am the one who wrote it. I adore my car. I believe it is it beautiful. With little mechanical knowledge, it is the cheapest and most smooth and safe on the road.
Yes, I do have a 1986 Mercedes 300e, which I restored, and these cars, if they are mint condition, they do have a value of 7200 US, but it is loaded with nice amenities such as AMG 19 rims and gun metal paint, and I also changed the grill to a custom on, added titanium lights and I am not selling because this is an investment already, :) I received many offers, and not selling, IT'S WELL WORTH KEEPING.
Great review, thank you. I am just about to dive into a 1986 Mercedes Benz 300E, switching away from the W126, had several of those, the last one being a 300SEL with the same engine and transmission as the 300E.
I want to add a recent update, related to the M103 engine, fuel distributor failures are a recent phenomenon in the Golden State. Attributed to a recent change in the fuel being sold here, no bull.
Forget attempting to look for a good used fuel distributor in the junkyard, it is the first part that is gone. On the brighter side of things, the rebuilds have come down in price, perhaps due to demand.
In regards to the original review and the statement of being unable to find a glue that sticks the foam backed vinyl back on. Just like headlining material failures, you either have to remove the foam or switch the material altogether. Several companies make vinyl that is a dead match for the Mercedes vinyl.
The glue to use is a professional adhesive only sold in 5 gallon pails to upholstery shops!
You need an automotive type paint spray gun, re-calibrated to spray the heavy glue. Add to that, the Air-Nazi’s in the Golden state have outlawed the really good glue in all populated area’s. Although most upholstery shops still keep a hidden stash of the good fossil based adhesive, rather then using the water based adhesive, which you guessed it, comes apart when backing in the sun.
SOLUTION; find your friendly neighborhood upholster, have them re-laminate the original Mercedes vinyl or reorder the vinyl out of their professional vinyl sample book!
You will save a big bundle of money by removing the offending interior pieces yourself, and walking into the shop.
I'm in Hawaii, and there's a 86 300E for only $850. Shes selling it because she's moving off the isle. 4 new tires, recent tune up is music to my ears. I recently sold a M-B '88 560 SEC, loved the car, but at 5 bucks a gallon here in Hawaii, I was lucky to sell it.
Great review from an obviously clued up fella, which readers are fortunate to have access to.
I could afford a far later car, but have owned an older Merc (1977 SLE350) and loved it. My younger brother owns two mint compacts from the 60's and 70's, and they are flawless cars and just never miss a beat! He's convinced me to buy another one, and I'm dithering after just selling a 1996 BMW 740i, which was very scary to own! I was worried the climate air could clagg out and cost me more than the car was worth! I got 5k for it, and it was mint. It cost 20k 8 years ago, so there's 15k down the gurgler.
Thanks for a very informative review. I'm thinking even more seriously about owning an E series now.
Cheers, Paul J.