When I bought my 260E, I had to have an inspection done so it could be registered in my state (ACT). Due to a combination of my ignorance and a sly dealer, I had to pay $1600 AUD to fix a leaking transmission and diff, replacement of all rear bushes and to fix too much play in the steering.
It also has a very slow spot, if cold, when taking off. I know the W124 takes off in 2nd (1st if given some wellie) but if the car is cold, it is REALLY slow. I'll get this seen to in the near future. When I get my next W124, I'll be a lot more careful!!
Since then, all that's gone wrong is a bit of trim fell off the door, and a light bulb has gone out on the console.
My adventure with the W124 began with an online classified from a dealer, which hooked me; a metallic grey 1988 260E. I flew from Canberra to Melbourne to buy it, and then drove it 12 hours almost non stop home.
I really enjoy my Merc. Considering it's 22 years old, and has almost a third of a million kms on the clock, its smooth drivetrain never ceases to amaze me, and it still looks modern and solid compared to some of today’s cars. It’s not a sports car and doesn’t get driven like one, however, on the highway, once it’s hit 100km/h, it’s in cruise mode and will sit on three figures all day. It also has just about the right amount of gadgets.
Forget the later models, the W124 is the way to go.