Date registered: Nov 2008
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For Sale: 1972 Mercedes-Benz O 309 D Bus
Extremely well loved and rare collector's item. The 0 309 D was produced for a brief period in the early 70's for distribution in the United States. Today these remarkable vehicles have virtually vanished into our all too short collective memory. Of the few that remain, most have been converted into campers and the rest seem to have suffered from both neglect and excessive wear over the years. I have never seen one in as good of condition as ours. This bus has been very, very well cared for by all three of its owners.
The bus was originally owned by E/J Gallo Winery in California, where it was used to take visitors on tours of the winery and vineyards. In 1998, it was purchased by the owner of a historical bed-and-breakfast in the beautiful Victorian seaport of Port Townsend, located on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. It has remained in the care of the same owner since. We purchased the bus from that owner when they closed the bed-and-breakfast last year. When we bought it, we had it inspected by a local mechanic and have since had it looked at by two other local mechanics, one of which specialized in Mercedes vehicles. All have agreed that the bus is in excellant condition.
We bought the bus because we loved it, but didn't know what we were going to do with it. We initially considered running history tours, but we simply don't have the time. We are unwilling to convert this bus and destroy one of the last ones remaining in original condition. It is almost a year since we have had the bus and we are at a stand still about what to do with it. I don't even know how to drive a stick shift, and won't let my husband use it for any purposes that might ruin the pristine interior... so it seems it's time to let it go to another collector. This bus would be a great candidate for museum quality restoration. As far as I can tell, almost all of its original parts are there. The only two details that appear to be missing are (1) one small light below the bus on the back, (2) the little golf ball sized Mercedes emblem is missing from the middle of one hubcap, and (3) the mercedes emblem in the middle of the steering wheel IS there, but is not the original one.
The bus has 83,000 original miles. It has new tires, brakes and a new (or recently repaired) clutch. It drives wonderfully. We've had it checked out by three mechanics since we bought it- all agree that's it's in excellant condition mechanically.
Some of the interesting features of the bus include:
-seats for 13, plus the driver (in Washington State, you don't need a commercial license to drive this bus, a regular driver's license is fine- I don't know if that is the case in all states),
-interior lights along entire length of ceiling,
-original silver ashtrays along wall for each seat (if the bus was smoked in at some point, it has probably been 30 years since, and there is no smell of smoke at all, nor is there any smoke damage anywhere in the interior)
-massive air conditioning unit on top of the bus with vents along the interior ceiling
-a speaker system with a microphone in the front of the bus (we have not figured out how to work this, nor have we tried to do so)
-swing open door with steps into the bus on the passenger side
-huge storage compartment in the back of the bus
-additional storage space in the rear interior of the bus
-fabulous woody paneling throughout the interior
-seats are in excellant condition, very clean no tears, stains, snags, scratches, etc.
-carpet is in excellant condition throughout
-all windows are original from Germany
I am not a mechanic, nor am I mechanically inclined in any way, so I don't know what kind of mechanical details would be relevant. Interested parties are welcome to ask any questions, though I may not be able to answer them.
I highly recommend that any interested buyers have an inspection done of the bus prior to making an offer. We would be happy to transport the bus to a mechanic locally if you'd like to have someone local conduct an inspection at your expense. Otherwise, we welcome potential buyers and their mechanics to come and conduct an inspection. We can provide local travel and lodging information.
Lots of pictures available.
Asking $30,000 OBO