Date registered: Oct 2010
Vehicle: 2002 E320 4Matic
Location: Dedham, MA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
When i bought my first MB in 1967, I was a newly minted engineer and the cars were being advertised for their engineering features. I bought a diesel (a 1965 190Dc) because diesel fuel was then half the price of gasoline (about 25 cents versus 50 cents, i kid you not) and you could not then find a large comfortable sedan that got 30 mpg on gas. The safety, durability, economy, and "unusualness" all appealed to me. Somehow I did not mind that the fuel stank and was hard to find, or that the car took close to a minute to reach 60 mph (it only had 65 HP, about the same power-to-weight ratio as a VW Beetle of that era). Somehow we tolerated the manual windows, lack of seat adjustments, lack of power steering, and lack of AC (despite living then in Washinghton DC!). It did not have any radio, either.
i got so excited when our next Benz diesel (the 1971 220D) actually had reclining seats, a radio, and power steering! And a few more horses.
We always felt safe in the Benzes, and enjoyed the idea of driving an economical car. In the beginning, i even believed the company's claims that the diesel polluted less than a gas car (and for some pollutants, that was true, but not for all).
Eventually, of course, we learned that the cars of the 1960s and 1970s rusted easily and early, that Diesel fuel could be a pain to get, and that repairs could be very costly.
Then of course trhe fuel crises of 1973 and 1979 gave us (briefly) a feeling of superiority, because we coud get fuel for our car any day of the week -- no waiting in lines or watching for the correct flag for us.
After that, the diesel cars got better (quieter, more powerful, better equipped) but the price of diesel began to reach or exceed the cost of gas. From then on, i stuck with Benzes out of a mixture of habit, some sort of loyalty to the marque, and because owning one had become a hobby (I was an am active in the Mercedes-Benz Club of America).
1982 300D Turbo
1992 300D 2.5 (best car I ever owned)
2002 E320 4Matic