I purchased this car very recently because I wanted the wheels from it (don’t ask why). I discovered much to my surprise that the car was a one-family car since new, spent at least 9 years in storage, and was a garage queen always.
When I bought the car I was told that the car leaked some oil. I wasn't told that the oil leak was on the driver’s feet! It was the oil pressure gauge leaking.
The true mileage of the car is estimated to be 170,000 which seems higher than I would expect given the overall condition of the car. The odometer stopped at 140,000 and I replaced it with a rebuilt odometer that says 111,000 miles. So the current odometer has the wrong numbers but is working. I have no way of proving the true mileage, I’m going on what I was told from the family who sold me the car.
I have replaced the speedometer, instrument cluster oil gauge, speedometer cable, wheels, tires, cleaned the fuel sender so the fuel gauge works now, detoxified the fuel so that the fuel sender doesn’t get gummed up again.
The good: interior is as good as you will find (Palomino), the exterior is excellent (dark blue), engine starts and runs very well and has good acceleration, transmission shifts perfectly and doesn’t slip, handling is pretty good, seats have great support, no rust, no evidence of any accidents, probably original paint, newer tires and refreshed Bundt alloy wheels (period correct), brakes are great, instruments all work correctly. Original documentation, tools, manuals, 3 keys including a valet key. Blue plate car. Extremely original including radio, never run on wvo or biodiesel, nothing ever converted. Dash is excellent but not perfect. Wood is perfect. Carpets are very good except for one spot that has oil stains that I have not tried to clean. Clean title in my name registered through December 2015.
The less-good: AC doesn't blow cold. Heat works and temp selector works (if you set it for cold you don’t get hot air, if you set it for hot you do get hot air). I bought car with instruction to “not use the sunroof” so I have not opened the sunroof – I assume it needs to be lubricated or that the felt feet need to be replaced. The vacuum system is pretty good – doors all lock correctly and engine shuts off correctly but loses vacuum when locked so when you unlock it, only driver’s door unlocks until you start the car. I have been told that the gas cap actuator and trunk lock actuator leak which would explain this. Limited service history but records dating from 1992 plus the dealer booklet that is stamped. Power antenna only partially works. Neutral safety switch should be replaced because backup light switch doesn't work (part of neutral safety switch) but safety part (only start in P or N) does work. Cruise control doesn’t work and I haven’t investigated it.
If I were going to keep this car (or recommend to buyer) I would do the following: Flush cooling system because I don’t know when it was last done, replace auto trans fluid and filter because I don’t know when it was last done, flush brake fluid (although it looks clean), replace neutral safety switch, fix vacuum leaks and then look at AC – does it need a recharge or is there a more serious problem. Investigate the sunroof – lots of stuff on youtube about fixing the sunroof, I just don’t want to put the work into these things. I have scrounged some replacement parts – better sun visors and additional front carpets, but haven’t installed them.
I'm thinking $3000 obo, but if you think I'm wrong feel free to chime in.
20 photos located at:
1981 Mercedes 300D Photos by srallen | Photobucket