I just purchased a 1980 300sd and I love it. It was a super clean, one owner, garage kept, well maintained car. The drive train, the paint and the interior is nearly perfect. The owner gave me a three ring binder with every warranty and maintenance receipt since the car was new in 1980. Very interesting reading. Even though this car has received excellent maintenance, I still found a few quirks common to the S-Class. The cruise control won't "set", the tachometer works intermittently (mostly not) and I noticed the left engine mount rubber is cracked. Driving in our first Florida rain, I discovered the front windshield rubber seal leaking on the floor and the rear windshield rubber leaking in the trunk. These are all common problems and remedial replacement parts are available. Parts are a bit pricey from the local Mercedes dealer. I found better prices "on-line" for the same OEM parts. I'm no virgin at restoring and maintaining a "classic car". I've restored several "antique cars" and built a couple "hot rods". This is a great touring class automobile, capable of high speed cruising (90mph+) all day. It is worth the time, effort and investment to restore and maintain it, so hang in there ya'll.
The 300sd is a turbo... and does have lots of power, and does get 38 mpg. The turbo makes the fuel burn twice, increasing power, decreasing emissions, and increasing fuel mileage. (not bad for 1980)! And yes, I have recently read that they will run on a mix of 90% waste veggie oil, and 10% unleaded gas. Someone recently told me 10% diesel will work better. Without any "conversion". We shall see soon! Chaya has been amazing the last few years! Gorgeous, powerful, solid, and very reliable after got a new (rebuilt) transmission and new struts. Oh, the windows needed new mechanicals (not motors) -- that will be a repair every 25 years or so!! Enjoy!! - FantasyFreddy.
I bought a 1980 300SD back in 1999 for $2000. It had around 200K on it, but I couldn't verify as the odometer was broken. I was kind of desperate for a car, and had car reliability issues so I followed a friend's advice to buy a diesel M-B. Like so many, the A/C didn't work, but it did drive nicely. Had no trouble getting parts as I found a good place for that. Engine gave me lots of problems.. had to get it replaced even. Had it 6 months until a deer finished it off. I liked the looks I got with it, and the prestige of owning a Mercedes, but I don't think I'd buy another. It was a sweet-looking car, but I prefer the low-maintenance reliability of a Honda or similar car.
The reliability of a Honda?
Sold mine for about $50. Was glad to see the Honda go.
No one can afford a cheap Mercedes.
Check them out fully before buying.
A well maintained and serviced MB is never cheap, but they do cost less than a low-priced MB.
I'm on my fourth MB and I'm now looking at a 1980 W116. Superbe car! The W123 (83 240D) stays. May never sell that car.
Buying an MB is not for the unknowledgeable or uninitiated. Too easy to get bitten by the big repairs.
I have a 1980 300SD Turbo and am in love with it. I put the European head lights in and added nice 5 spoke after market wheels. It was purchased in Arizona but, now resides in northern part of Minnesota and is driven only in the summer. The car is a head turner. My favorite question to answer is "what year is it?" I love working on it and driving it. The gold color is very classy and is car you don't see everyday. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Today I paid 200 bucks for a 1980 SD.
It says turbo, it's white, it's the 5 cylinder thing. It has 324000 miles on it - had been rebuilt. It has a little freakiness on the 2-3rd gear shift, but I was told that it would go a good year and they keep on running!
The body is in good shape. I was just desperate to have a running car!! My 1998 Dodge Dakota started stalling and the check engine light came on - it has 187,000 miles on it.
My lover just died last Thursday - I'm a 43 year old woman, who only knows how to boil water. The nice mechanic that owns a benz car repair shop was a friend and said the person came in due to hitting the oil pan, it was leaking. The mechanic repaired it, and then the owner decided to just give him the pink and said "adios" to the car.
I don't know if I got lucky or what; I'm just glad it's white, as I live in the desert.
It runs, looks OK, no A/C works, windows go up and down, one side has a missing molding.
I thank you all for your comments, it's helped me a lot.
Thank you - death grip at the wheel.
Like any of the old turbo diesels Mercedes, the 1980 300SD can be an awesome car! (note the 'can be'!) Like others have said you MUST, MUST... M-U-S-T do some research before buying one. Check out the online Mercedes forums and make a checklist of things to checkout on the car before purchasing. There are very specific things to look for with the turbo diesel. Some are minor and some will break the bank. Mercedes can be VERY expensive to maintain in certain circumstances.
That said I love 'em! I wouldn't have any other car. When well maintained or restored they ride like no other car. They are not the quickest off the line, but have no trouble going 85mph for hours on end. Remember though we are talking about literally a 2 TON CAR! (4001 pounds if I remember correctly) These would give a semi a run for their money in an accident!
I just bought a 1980 300SD, currently own a 300CD and my family owns 3 others. I do most if not all of the work on the cars myself, and if you like working on cars these are nice and roomy. I bought it for under $3,000 with just over 100k miles. It needs work, but I enjoy working on them so I worked all of the repairs into a total cost for the car before I bought it. That being said, about $3,000 is needed total to bring the car up to daily driving standards for me, given they are very high standards! But even at $6,000 total for a car that will most likely only need small repairs here and there for the next 200k-500k miles I'm all over that! Throw in the fact I run carbon neutral B99 Biodiesel, get mid-20's mpg and I'm all set for the next 20 years!
I've had a 300SD turbo-diesel mercedes for about 5 years or so now. This car has around 450,000 miles on it. IT still runs real good, gear shifts are a little funky sometimes, im not sure if the turbo is still working good or at all. Brings me to a question, how long do the turbos last on these cars? I've been pretty happy driving this awesome car, and when I tell people what I drive they just stare. Its fun.