230, not 280se - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-20-2005, 08:04 AM Thread Starter
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230, not 280se

Well, the mechanic laughed at me when I asked whether it would cost more than $1000 to get the 1970 280SE on the road, though he did agree with me that it is a beautiful car.

So I did a rash thing. Instead, I bought a 1979 230, and although I am yet to touch and see and smell it, I'm already happy!

I bought it on ebay (see - rash!) for $1500.... it even has working aircond, yay! My dilemma now is whether to spend the $1200 odd shipping it to where I live (darwin, very north/middle of australia), or cash in my frequent flyers for a trip to Melbourne and drive it all the way (3000kms+) back.

I want to drive it... but I want it to arrive here in one piece as well.

What say you of the travelling capacity of an old 230? To cross the Australian desert in summer, having just had a major service - would this be totally foolhardly?

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2005, 12:14 AM
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RE: 230, not 280se

Cathryn,I'm in OZ too!,where is your new car,In Melbourne?.A W123 (thats what you have) is a fantastic car,I bought one off a mate ,spent NO money on it and did 75,000 kms in 18 months .It's a 4 cylinder 2.3 liter car and will last for ever!.Does it have Air con?,pretty important now that the Wet is approaching.
A good buy and yes,In Darwin a 280SE would be hard to keep running because the mechanic is a long way from parts. a 3000 k drive up the middle is NO SWEAT for a 230 and will be a nice drive....boring ,but nice.
I'm in Brisneyland ,it's hot so I'm off to the pool for the rest of the day!.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2005, 01:16 AM
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RE: 230, not 280se

I would be reluctant to drive a car of this age, especially one you are not yet familiar with, through such remote country without any backup. To suffer a breakdown out there would be more than just inconvenient. Spare parts will not be available at the next roadhouse and the cost to have the car towed and then wait probably days for parts and then have them fitted may not only exceed the cost to have the car freighted, but possibly also exceed its value as well.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that it will break down. Assuming it has been well maintained it will probably do the trip without a problem. It's just that the remote possibility of having a problem is not something worth risking. Even in my well maintained 1990 models, the inconvenience of a problem is often in the back of my mind whenever travelling in the more remote parts of Australia. This is despite the fact that I do all my own mechanical work, know the cars well, and carry a fairly comprehensive set of tools with me on longer trips. It's just that things eventually wear out on older cars and even if it has been recently inspected or serviced, no one can guarantee that something may not fail.

You may like to get other Aussies' opinions at http://www.mbcnsw.org.au/forum/

107.023: 350SLC, 3-speed auto, icon gold, parchment MBtex, (sold 2012 after 29 years ownership).
107.026: 500SLC, 4-speed auto, thistle green, green velour.
124.090: 300TE, 4-speed auto, arctic white, cream-beige MBtex.
201.028: 190E 2.3 Sportline, 5-speed manual, arctic white, blue leather.
201.028: 190E 2.3, 4-speed auto, blue-black, grey MBtex.
201.034: 190E 2.3-16, 5-speed manual, blue-black, black leather.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-21-2005, 05:48 AM
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RE: 230, not 280se

I wouldnt call the central higway remote,it hasn't been remote for ten years ,it's chockablok full of grey nomads!,and why wouldn't a 230 make it?,it's only 3000 ks and I drove it in 1996 in a 280SE with 600,000kms on the clock with out missing a beat.As I said they are great cars,far more reliable than you give them credit for greg.
But where ever you drive Cathryn,beware of Roo's!![:D][:D]
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 10-31-2005, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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230 rocks!

I made it! Picked up the car in Melbourne and drove to Brisbane arriving tonight. It is indeed an amazing car, beautiful, comfortable, smooth... i like to think of it as a fit old aunty with attitude!

Some problems... (ebay seller - grrr) including a cracked sump and no front brake pads, but hoorah for mate "Toppo" in Canberra who saved the day, and the sump.

Still, the trip from Canberra used about 10 litres of oil, maybe more (though it sips petrol like a teetotaller, what a beauty that engine is!). Thank heavens for the oil pressure gauge - what a great invention.

I think the problem may be the seal between the engine and the transmission - the main seal, I think it's called?

So, if anyone knows of a great merc mechanic in Brissie, please let me know, cause although she's a fit old aunt, she'd be a bloody cantankerous one if I drove her to Darwin without fixing the leak.

cheers, thanks for ALL your advice so far.

PS Mercmad, I'll be in Brissie for a few days, if you happen to read this give me a call? 0437 24 3579.
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