1984 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel from North America
After all these 28 years, I still enjoy this beautiful luxury tank
After 3 months in storage and transport from LA to VA in 2006, the following became inoperable and needed work:
A/C converted, replaced condenser and compressor.
Odometer intermittently slipping since the move to LA at 106,000 miles, to now 109,000 in 2012, and still needs to be repaired.
Instrument panel cluster lights and rheostat dimmer switch still need to be replaced.
Automatic antenna replaced mast and broken motor rubber belt.
Front left disc brake bites, but have now replaced the entire front brake system.
Front dome courtesy light assembly needs replacement.
The car runs excellent, gears shift smoothly like butter, interior is in great shape without tears.
All automatic locks, sun roof, and windows are in excellent working condition.
Paint and body without is in great shine and shape.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 6th April, 2012
7th Apr 2012, 18:11
How're parts and insurance for these?
20th May 2012, 22:05
With USAA and no coverage on damage to the car, I pay USAA $500 a year (Middlesex County, MA).
Parts from the dealer are HORRIBLY expensive, but they can be found much cheaper aftermarket (aftermarket may be a lower quality, though), and cheaper still used.
If you are considering buying one, CHECK FOR RUST! I live in the NE, and a lot of the W123s here are in good mechanical shape, but poor structural condition. Lift up all the floor mats (if you see rust through the insulation, that is not a good sign), and peel back the carpeting between the bottom door sill and floor to check for rust in the lockers.
Also, as in on any 30+ year old car, some rubber (assuming it is original) will need to be replaced. So, check the seals and rear axle boots, front steering components, etc.
Also, have a thorough mechanical inspection performed by a competent mechanic. An engine rebuild on one of these cars is in the $4000 - $8000 range. Make sure that the mechanic checks (or, if the car is too cheap to pay a mechanic, that you check) the engine for good compression (350 -435 PSI).
All that said, I don't want to discourage you from buying a diesel 'Benz. A W123 'Benz in good shape is a thing of beauty. A poorly-looked-after one is a total $$$$ pit.
Q: "What has four wheels and $ucks?"
A: "A rusty 'Benz"