I have only had my 300D for 6.5 years, but can remember back to the late 70's and early 80's living in Germany to a time when these cars were everywhere. I was too young to buy being only 5-6 at the time, but I always wanted one and finally I bought one in 2000. 6.5 years later the car is 27 years old and needs some major repairs and sadly it will be dismantled by me for parts as I will buy another one, but it will be hard to give and pull apart, it is like part of the family. I paid AUD$4500.00 and only had 2 repairs costing about $3000 in that time. Not a bad investment for a car pushing 600,000km.
I owned a 1978 240D Merc' (W123 body) between 1995 and 1998. I paid 1000 Deutsch Marks (DM) for it from a place in Berlin. It had automatic transmission with column-shift. I paid another DM1000 getting a bunch of minor repairs done. This car was incredible. Slow on the uptake, but a beauty once rolling. The ONLY nagging problem I had was that it would refuse to start if the temperature fell below freezing. I tried everything! Ended up not using it during winter...
You could start a little fire underneath or use a heater in winter if its in the garage.
Anyway I finally deregistered my beautiful car in May this year. Motor made a bad knocking sound, but I already have a new one. it's a 1980 300TD wagon. I have a motor partially rebuilt, it just needs a head and the sump bolted on and away I go. I might even add a small turbo for a slight power increase, but nothing too much.
Too bad I can't post any pics. It would be good if there is an MB diesel website or forum to share the passion with everyone like minded.
I am from Egypt. We have many of the 240D cars (Limousine type), somehow they were left over after the wars with Israel in 1973, and now they are used as taxi running between North Sinai and Cairo (distance is 500KM) every day since 1970`s. I am sure these cars are beating the record for mileage cut.
I remember once when my bus broke down, I took one of these taxi`s and I remember the driver was going 150-160km and I felt that this is the best car I have ever been into, so comfortable, stable and pleasure to be in on a highway.
Since then I wish to have one of these, but I am afraid that an old diesel may not be suitable for everyday use inside the town.