Which vintage MB is right for me? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Which vintage MB is right for me?

Good day. I've owned a number of SLs ('88 and older), a CE modified by Porsche, a 560 SEL, ...

I've got an old 911, two large Lexus SUVs, ... It's now time for an older MB sedan for my family.

I have two small children. For them and for me, safety is an issue. I like the safety of airbags. Not sure how far back I can go in the MB line if I want a car with airbags. Other safety features, too, are important, though I can't say for certain which. If it weren't for the children, I might not be so concerned about safety features.

Reliability is very important because of the children.

I live in the northeast, so we'll be in the snow - though not by my choice. [:)]

No diesel. I've never owned a diesel, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to.

What would you recommend? Thank you very much in advance.

P.S. If I weren't so concerned about safety features, what would be a great, old, large, classic, reliable vehicle? Thanks again!!
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-17-2004, 08:46 PM
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RE: Which vintage MB is right for me?


Handsdown for safety plus the fact you're in the snow, I'd investigate a 1993 300E 4MATIC.

With an inline 6 displacing 3.0L, it generates 177 bhp and 188 lb/ft at the wheels, that's enough power to get you out of a lot of trouble. Plus it's a very safe and solid car with AWD.

Keep in mind that 560SEL you had is VERY safe...1990 to 1991 featuring dual airbags plus fortress construction, but no AWD like on the 300E 4MATIC.

Don't be so harsh on the diesels...Mercedes is very different than the domestic american brands that ruined the image and made them into big, loud, smelly, for trucks only. They are not bad in winter and with the current gas fiasco, it's a great way to break free. Do yourself a favour and check out a 1991 350SDL - S-class long wheel base styling and safety with the reliability and economy of a diesel.

W116 S-classes are very, very safe as well. Whilst lacking airbags, you still have over 2 tonnes of armour plating between you and the offending vehicle which is probably made of plastic now-a-days. These have old world styling and craftsmenship combined with modern technology (excellent brakes, precision power steering, excellent crumple zones, climate control, powerful engine options, 3-point seatbelts for 4/5 passengers, fortress on wheels)...a SEL version still gets you a 17.5 ft car! I'd venture to say that these are more safe than a lot of brand new cars evern with the fact that they don't have airbags.

Also keep in mind that if your children are going to be sitting in the back, airbags will not effect them since these vintages had driver and sometimes passenger airbags. If I had kids, I know where I would want them sitting: in the back seat of an older Mercedes long wheel base S-class belted in with their 3-point seat belts...next best place to be during a tornado than the cellar [:D]

If you weren't concerned with airbags etc, look into a 450SEL, a 280SEL 4.5...head turning styling and a pleasure to drive and extremely safe still. If you want to see my 2, e-mail me! tzenkewich@hotmail.com

Good luck in your search, but I think the 300E 4MATIC sounds perfect for your needs! Let me know how it turns out.
http://www.edmunds.com/used/1993/mercedesbenz/300class/2293/prices.html?tid=edmunds.u.mipmake.pricetable.num8. 1.mercedesbenz*

Remember that airbags and electric aids will never replace steel of the cars of yesteryear [:D]

Take care!

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-18-2004, 08:42 AM
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RE: Which vintage MB is right for me?

Too bad you ruled out the Diesels. However, I must agree the 300 E 4-Matic and 300 TE (wagon) would be good choices, mid 'teens for a 90-05.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 01:12 AM
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RE: Which vintage MB is right for me?

If you can find one, how about a 190E Evo II? Other than that I think you already had it, the 560SEL.

http://www.benzworld.org/gallery/showlink.asp?CatID=3880&parentID=36&subname=Merced es_Evolution_II_////AMG_&parentname=W201_190_E,D_Class

Obviously a civilian version though.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-26-2004, 04:16 AM
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I think you're in the wrong forum....

As described, I don't think you want a vintage MB. Vintage is described as at least 20+ years old. Notice that there are other forums for the newer MBs.

Plus the really old ones don't even have the most basic of safety features like seatbelts let alone Airbags or ABS. Check out the other forums for advice.

2009 C63 AMG Silver/Charcoal
1970 280SE Low Grill Coupe 2.8 Silver/Red

1999 SLK230/Sport
2001 SLK32 AMG
2004 E55 AMG
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 05-27-2004, 09:55 AM
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RE: Which vintage MB is right for me?

well another thought....

should you not want to go with AWD.. get a Diesel. They are much nicer to drive on snow than regular gasoline powered cars due to their power curve.

Additionally, since safety is of your concern, get Michelin winter tires, NEVER All season tires during the winter... plus, alsways adjust your headrest properly in height!

Otherwise 108 gave you a very good range of choices.. however, strangely the safest vehicle in 2001 was a Ford Crown Victoria [V][?]

Good luck
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