BenzWorld Senior Member
Date registered: Jun 2004
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
I would say those diesels are as reliable as the newer 240D used in the W123 chassis, though they don't start as well especially in cold weather (below 32F is iffy). Parts for the engine aren't bad to get, but some of the chassis stuff is getting a lot harder, though the Mercedes dealer can get the important mechanical parts and some of the body parts if you are willing to pay $$$$$$. The key problem with most is rust, especially in the rocker panels, rear wheel wells, front fenders, front bumper support, floor boards, door sills, and trunk area. With a lot of miles, spindle bushings in the front end may need replacing. The manual transmission and rear axle are pretty bulletproof, though the rear end has a boot that may need replacing. The hydraulic clutches on the manuals can leak and not release, but replacing the slave cylinder, master cylinder, or both will fix the problem. I would say working on one is not any worse than a 1960's American car. These cars drive surprisingly well for a 1960's model (I'd say better than the American cars of the time), though they are not a nimble sports cars. Expect around 30 to 35 on the highway, a little less in the city. Top speed is 80 mph, so don't expect to drive it regularly on the 70 or 75 mph interstates. Don't even think about an automatic, as, from what I've heard, are extremely slow to accelerate. Expect to do some tinkering now and then.
I would definitely test drive one before buying. They are 40 year old cars, so don't expect the reliability of a new car. The 200 was also a bare bones cars with few options and modern amenities. But they are definitely a unique looking car against today's selection and can be fun to drive. As far as value, depends a lot on the condition and your location. Rust buckets can be had for a few hundred dollars, but excellent examples may range into the mid to upper 1000's. You could take a look at Ebay and see what they go for, then figure in the "real world" they are worth less than that (Ebay is usually no place for bargains).