Date registered: Sep 2016
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Soon to be former TDI owner coming back to MB!
I'm the (sort of) proud owner of a VW Golf TDI that is going to be bought back in about November. Though I expect to get a nice amount back, I do not want to invest it all in a newer car. Instead, I'd like to get back into an older Mercedes.
My very first car was my father's 1997 W210 E420, which we all loved, except for the body rust which doomed it to the junkyard after only 200k miles. Then I got a 1985 W126 300SD as a project car. I ran out of time to work on it and unfortunately had to sell it.
Anyway, I understand the build quality of the early 1990s MBs and think I want something "different" that "you just can't buy anymore". It will be my daily driver, so reliability is a must. I think the C class is too small, the S class too big, and the E class the ideal blend of sport and luxury for me. The W210 had too many small quality issues go wrong with it (spring perch suddenly blowing out at speed, body rust, window regulators, the gas gauge broke, and the power seat switches started to fail), so I think I'm in the market for a W124.
Though the 300E seems like a great car, I would love to have the bulletproof M119 engine that was in my father's car. That plus the upgraded interior....I think I want a 400E or E420. 500E would be nice, but I'll never find anything under $10k.
I've been reading the buyer's guides and know about the A/C evaporator nightmare. Of course, I insist on a service history supported by documentation. But is there anything else I should be looking for with these cars? Am I smart to be looking only at cars that are under 100k miles? I should note that I am capable of doing most maintenance and work myself. Though I probably can't replace a transmission or suspension components.
I'd appreciate any input you all have. Looking forward to joining the family again.