Originally Posted by Mercedes Lover
I am sure this is a great series. Kent says something I learned early on in my MB ownership/enthusiasm. Listen to what he says at 1:45-1:52.
If you are paying a mechanic, you will lose your ass on an old Mercedes, and you will quickly dump your $5000 MB for $300 scrap and go buy a 2003 Kia.
So... Do you have tools? Do you mind investing in tools for working on cars? And have a place to store them? Do you have a place to work on the car? Do you like working on cars?
The people I see that seem to have the hardest time with this hobby are apartment dwellers that need to lug all their tools down to an apartment parking lot to work on their car. Then they can't leave their car on jack stands without complaints or things getting stolen. Personally, I feel a locked personal garage is a requirement, even if it's just for your tools.
I really like the style of the w115 cars, and believe that you can swap the big ass bumpers for the smaller early/European ones. I feel that the style is similar to that of the most desirable w108/109/111/112 and even the 600, and I bought a w114 sedan for $500 just because I liked the style so much. (Thread on that car, my fourth old MB: http://www.benzworld.org/forums/vint...orumsite/20548
So I understand and respect your desire to check out that w115. It's just that $5000 is a pretty high number for any w115, even the more rare w114. And for the car to not even run in that asking price? Just by you going to look at the car, you are somewhat justifying/condoning the seller's ridiculous asking price.
Now I will say one thing that might help possibly boost the seller's credibility. If the car is 100% rust free, the $5000 may be worth it. If there is no bondo under that paint and no rot on the body, you would be saving money over buying a rotted one and doing that work yourself.
On the other hand, where you live, and what you are planning to do with this car (driving it), even if it is rust free, you will probably end up rotting out that car in a few years anyway. So why not just start out with one that runs really well for a much lower price.
Bring a magnet and a screwdriver and remember that Mercedes Benz used an undercoating that can make it look like there is still metal where there in fact is absolutely no metal. The floors can be totally rotted out but still look totally complete and intact. You should be able to use your screwdriver like a drumstick and hit the floors all over and here a high pitch ding of metal. Any "thud" means rot and there's nothing but undercoating there.
Please don't buy that car if there is any rust or rot.
My personal opinion is that mechanical items like getting the car running at far less expensive than body work, a paint job, or even interior work. So maybe this car isn't a terrible buy IF it is 100% rust free. The problem is that I don't think any of us have seen a rust free w114/115 on the east coast. So I think we are all expecting some hidden rust on that 150/250k mile car that may have been painted.
So you're looking for an old MB driver and apparently have an affinity towards a diesel, and probably a stock shift too, right?
I think that the best MPG to be had is in the w201 190d 5-speed manual. W201 are dirt cheap, and whole parts cars can be had every day on CL for $500. They just don't have the same old classic look.
And as Kent says, the w123 is a great platform with some awesome bargains.
I mention the two above because they have lots of more modern advantages that make them better daily drivers, but more importantly, they are far more common than the w115, giving you a much greater pool of possible cars to purchase.
Now I think it's time for forum members to give you a bunch of cars to go check out in your area.
You SHOULD go check out the w114, but don't buy it (yet). That car isn't going anywhere fast at that asking price, even if the seller makes it run.