Hello there! I grew up with really nice German cars and never thought I would have one living out here away from my hometown in the mountains of Montana. I moved here 13 years ago with a LandCruiser I had since new in '95. I still have her but the roads and mountains (drinking) has really taken it's toll on the body of the old FJ80. Mechanically, it's as sound and safe as the day it drove off the lot. I gave up on the body work about 7 years ago after hitting a deer square at 50mph. She drives me to work every day down the mountain and back up at night.
Well, my drinking days are done. I have a wife that puts up with me and a beautiful little girl and a boy on the way in December.
I did tons of research on cars since I knew that the soccer mom car was inevitable. Safety was my number one concern. The old Swedish Volvo was on my list of possible vehicles. They just didn't seem so dependable and I wanted AWD after growing up with midwest ice and now climbing logging roads in a chained up landcruiser. AWD killed the volvo idea for me and I'm not buying a Volvo made in Detroit or China... Wherever they are now.
One of my best friends grew up in Jersey and earned his Mercedes Master Tech degree. He has been working at an independent shop at a very high level for over ten years in NW Montana. They're the only guys that can even touch stuff like AMG, M and RUFF. I asked him what he thought would be a cool car. He knew of my dad's trophy / trailer queen stock y2k e55 and told me about the 4matic wagon. HOW PERFECT! I instantly fell in love with the car when I first looked at it online. It was beautiful! He assured me that the w210 body was the last best that mercedes made and would last us till the kids hit college. He also offered his help with anything I needed on the car.
I became completely obsessed with the E320 W210 wagons. I searched high and low. Found some sketchy dealers around the country. Did three pre- purchase inspections and my dang wife actually found one locally that my friend was able to do a PPI on. He came back with "bad cats, rear struts will need to be replaced when you get new tires this winter and trans and oil flush. The pluses were good. Virgin spare tire, jack, sealed tools and medical with uninstalled matching front plate bracket near spare. 80K with the original black cap on the fluid. Unmolested, unharmed, original paint.
He basically said this is the best you will find and you can use the cats and struts as major chips in the deal. It worked and we purchased our first Mercedes. A 2000 Desert Silver E320 Wagon with 4matic drive!
I want to thank each and every one of you in this community. This site has been so helpful to me! I have learned all sorts of tips and tricks with the car and continue to learn. I haven't been so obsessed with a car since I was a kid and was running around in my straight 6 supra!
Stuff I have done since the obsession started...
6 carfax reports 00-03
3 PPI from independent merc techs
1 interstate battery
Transmission filter, electronics plug thing, fluid with assistance from MMT.
Had friend do Mobil 1 and Mann oil in his garage.
Dr Color Chip for the road rash near the headlights (forum suggestion)
3m headlight restore (forum suggestion)
full clean, polish, wax inside out and mechanical
fix the G-d forsaken cup holder (forum advice)
new h1 fog lights, she told me they were out! (forum advice)
lubricated squeaky breaks using mercedes copper paste with help from MMT
fixed cd player (forum advice)
reset windows (forum advice)
Things I plan to do:
Steal my dad's motor from the E55 and stuff it in the hood of the e320
Silver ribbon repair kit. Temp, time and gear is garbled but bright. ordered
Yellow H1 fog lamps ordered
All season Lows and Hyper offroad High driving lights
New all season tires, maybe more oem rims and studded tires/ summer on originals?
Cat converters... BOSAL total 800 shipped from partsgeeks sitting in my garage for this week end at my friends personal garage.
New struts in the rear, accumulators and springs are still perfect. Will do tires at the same time.
Find a Desert Silver roof top box like a thule for skis and snowboards... Maybe mercedes made one? Maybe just a nice body bag in the back seat with the chair folded down!
You guys rock. Thanks for feeding my addiction.