Is an older Benz a good "investment"? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 06:11 PM
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Vehicle: 1987 Mercedes 260E-2001 Chrysler 300M
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The Mercedes $$$$ PIT

I bought a 1987 260E in 2004. One owner, 72,500 miles. The owner wanted $4k for it, I talked him down to $3500. It was my 1st MB. I was so proud. See, I figured even though it wasn't perfect, I could throw a few $$$$ at it and make it as good as new!
Wrong, after seven years and $25k, it wasn't perfect, it would never be perfect. I had such HIGH hopes for this car. I picked this car apart with a fine tooth comb. I always found something it needed. Every now & then it told me what it needed. Sometimes it wouldn't start, stop, or cool down. It was always something. I had to tell my wife at least I wasn't wasting my money on drugs anymore. She said I was addicted to MB now!!!! I tried to sell it a few times, but would have only been able to get about $3K. I couldn't let it go for that. I probably could have driven to California and back in this car!!!
So I found a lady at church that needed a car REAL bad, and she had a husband who was very handy with cars. So I just gave it to her, FREE!!! I hope it works out for her, I call her Ms Benz at church, and she is now the proud owner of her 1st Mercedes Benz.
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post #12 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 07:05 PM
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Date registered: Jul 2006
Vehicle: European 1974 350SLC ,'78 300CD& '80 300CD sold , '81 240D SWMBO's Car '84 300CD & Euro
Location: Sunny So. Cal.
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Post " Investment "

No , of course it isn't .

On the other hand , it can easily be your last Motor Vehicle ever and a safe & economical daily driver to boot , I'm now down to three old Mercedes' , al Diesels and all W-123's .

They're good drivers , I like to do Road Ralley's in the Diesel Coupe as no one expects me to be able to keep up much less pass them .

People who buy cars as monetary investments are foolish or predators of the foolish .

Old German cars & motos
vintage car mechanic
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post #13 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-19-2012, 08:49 PM
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Vehicle: 1989 560 SEC,1991 300 SEL, 1985 380 SL-Sold, 1982 300 Turbo Diesel-Parts Car
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Cars are like whores. They will F*#K you and take all of your money! But the nice thing with an older Benz, if you learn how to do the majority of work yourself is you won't constantly be making monthly payments on a car that has little to no value before you are done paying for it.
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post #14 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 03:59 AM
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Vehicle: '01Ford Focus,'79 Citroen CX diesel, & many more
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I am an car nut & like old as well as new cars which at age 79, I can no longer afford a new car, especially a Mercedes. If you are young & can now predict what will appreciate like a 1957 Chevy convertible some 50 years from now that is affordable now, buy it IF you like the car. That '57 Chev convertible sold new for around $2300 new & now in #1 condition might bring $100,000. However, I suspect if you had put that $2300 in the stock market back in 1957 & added the the license fees, insurance, storage fees, maintenance fees to your original stock investment, you would be money ahead. So buy a car you enjoy. Also, buy a good clean original or a well restored car as opposed to a car that needs a lot of work that sells at a bargain price. Also, be prepared to buy to buy that real bargain that shows up when you really don't need another car. That real clean low mileage well cared for car that the current owner is selling on his own because the new car dealer low balled him for far less than the car was worth. I just recently bought an extreemly clean 1997 MB E300 diesel for a bargain price that I won't tell you. I love diesels but the State of Calif. hates them so newer diesels are quite scarce out here. I hate the Calif. smog check program & 1998 & newer diesels which were previously exempt from the smog test have now been brought into the program. I have an older 1983 MB 300SD that still looks like a new car so it will now be religated to collector car status since the 1997 E300 gets about 10 MPG better than the '83 300SD. The E300 has a few issues to be sorted out but the maintenance costs will be far less than payments on a new VW TDI or Prius & gets almost as good MPG.
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post #15 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 05:10 AM
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My advice would be to look at values of the cars you are interested in. has some good calculators. Look around for a low mileage car or one that is already restored. Lots of good value out there for $25k. That is my sweet spot around 25k. I have a 70 280se cabriolet, 69 280sl and a 60 190sl.
I just found the 280sl by accident just looking at craiglist and searching different web sites. It was a one family owner with 41,000 miles. The 190 was a complete restoration and Very expensive. The others are fun drivers that are solid and run well. I won't spend a lot on them. Had the 280se since 2000 and had the front of the car resprayed and added an A/C kit. Great family fun car with the top down.
Find a club that has the type of cars you like they will give advice. The cars above should go up in value a sedan type benz could be a great driver but, probally will not go up much in value.
I like cars from 1960's to early 1970's so that's where I look.
Good picky.....have someone check it out before buying......

David Preston
07 ML350 Blk Blk
70 280SE Cabriolet Blk Blk
60 190SL
67 Corvette
69 280SL
68 Porsche 912

Last edited by David Preston; 06-20-2012 at 05:18 AM.
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post #16 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 05:29 AM
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Don't forget about a 1987 300D

Don't Forget about a 1987 300D. Great cars with good engines
Originally Posted by ccc1971 View Post
Not for monetary gain but for something I can refurbish and enjoy. I have experience with Euro cars and know how much of a pain in the wallet they can be; DIY maintenance doensn't scare me. My last major money pit was an E38 BMW with a lot miles on it; control arms, steering hoses, radiator and water pump, seats, etc, I did it all. Wound up costing me more to make it road worthy than what I paid for it; a definite learning experience.

I've always liked the 123 and 124; pre DC old school cars that had a certain feel the new ones are missing. As such they seemed to built to last, and miles don't affect them as severely as many other brands. Which can also be a pitfall.

It's always better to buy a well loved car but, being honest, how many are left? I've seen lots of these on "buy here, pay here" type lots and most are bought by someone who wants the image but can't afford proper maintenance.

It will be a commuter and weekend getaway vehicle, most likely a 300 D.
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post #17 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 08:45 AM
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Old cars can be very affordable when parts are easy and cheap. That happens when the car was high-volume over many years, and is still popular. Most 60's Chevy's are easy, but can't beat a VW Bug or AMC Jeep. U.S. pickups are easy too. My older fleet is three 60's Mopar's and an 84 & 85 Mercedes 300D. My smaller A-body Mopars (Dart, Valiant) are much easier than my C-body (Newport), but nothing like a Chevy. The most expensive parts are for new cars. It takes ~15 yrs before after-market and rebuilt parts show up, and the cars hit the junkyards. I sometimes find new parts for my old cars on ebay at amazing prices - say $15 for a full engine gasket set. It takes time to search, but I buy ahead so I have critical parts ready to go. Much better than sometimes waiting >1 wk and paying $$$ for parts for my newer cars. When a new car has a widespread problem, like a factory recall, parts may be on back-order for a year or more.

Why do I have two 300D's? First, don't believe the "million mile engine" fluff. I bought my 85 300D ($2500) because Mercedes-owning co-workers claimed few problems and affordable repairs. The prior owner had a folder w/ regular dealer visits. She took it in for every rattle and radio knob issue, most bills $600 min. 278K miles when I bought it, the engine failed at 330K miles with #1 piston missing chunks, which sounds typical for turbo-diesels. I bought the 84 300D for $400 for its 120K mi engine, but ended up fixing the broken frame (stolen, crashed into curb). Other than fixing a few typical problems, it has served fine for one son, and looks nice after I fixed a few dents. Still haven't rebuilt the 85 engine, due to very expensive pistons, and I found a used 84 engine for $300 (just installed it, no blow-by and cam appears new). One mechanic told me they installed Chevy SB engines in 300D's years ago, since the engine is too expensive to replace and the V-8 is cheap and triples HP.

Re 300D turbo parts. Some are amazingly cheap, like engine mounts, bushings, steering parts, timing chain guides. Look at Uro parts on rockauto or ebay. Other parts hurt like a new car - fuel shut-off valve $50, heater solenoid rebuild $70. Some parts must be gold-plated - pistons were $550 ea, now $135 ea. (compare Chevy SB pistons $90/set of 8), heater core - $400 new. Millions of 300D's were sold around the world, so you would think parts would be like for a VW Bug. As time goes on, they seem to be getting cheaper and more available, so don't give up on a 300D yet. They may become an iconic car.

Last edited by BillGrissom; 06-20-2012 at 08:54 AM.
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post #18 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 10:36 AM
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It's like someone said earlier. It's all in the maintenance.

I have a 1965 "finback" I restored 18 years ago. It's great to drive and has been very reliable. It has about 130K on it.

I also have a 1998 E320 Wagon with 200K. It's the most reliable car since my 300TD wagon.

I finally found a 300D in decent shape. An acquaintance this 300D automatic in fair shape he's going to sell very cheap. Sad thing is, I can't justify purchasing it.
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post #19 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 11:00 AM
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I have three MB sedans: 94 E320 (W124), 06 C230 and 08 E320 Bluetec diesel. The 94 was an experiment for me, since I had always loved MB cars but had never owned one. I bought it in 2008: 14 yrs old, 77k miles, $8900 (great shape). Since I now own three, you can see I thought the experiment was a success. I've put as much into the car for repairs as I paid for it, but I think it was worth it. I put 110,000 miles on it in three years (I have a long commute) before I loaned it to my sister. She's still driving it every day and still loving it.

Moral of the story: buy a good one, expect to pay a lot for repairs, and you'll probably be very happy.

Last edited by davisjcd; 06-20-2012 at 11:04 AM.
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post #20 of 38 (permalink) Old 06-20-2012, 11:07 AM
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To me, It is not the status or the allure of a Mercedes Benz. i was looking for a good, long lasting fixer and found my 1984 190E in need of a whole lot of work. I just finished paying for my Toyota Camry and put more into that cat than I paid for it. Much like my Chevy Cavalier. Another money pit. I purchased my Baby Benz for $700.00 and put in about $1,500.00. in new parts (Doing all repairs myself using the knowledge I learned from this very forum). This car has been working fantastic and the total cost so far is far less than a new vehicle and I don't see me purchasing another car again. Ever! To me, my investment was well worth it, And the learning curve has brought me new insight and admiration for the Mercedes Family of cars. If I ever win the lottery, I will strip my Baby Benz and do a complete restore. Well worth the purchase if you do your own repairs. Go Benz.
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