Date registered: Oct 2012
Vehicle: 1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D
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Quoted: 228 Post(s)
You can score any number of very good condition W124 diesel for under $10k. The best and more expensive, would be the E300D. '94 or '95 will be the most decked out and face lift. That is the sort that will make insurance and parent groups happiest. These are rare and hard to find.
The earlier W124 diesels can be had for under $5k all day long. Biggest pain is the AC dies and costs around $4k to fix. The 86-87 models may need upgraded heads, since the early editions may have bad heads.
The W123 and W126 are apples and oranges. Same engine, but W126 were all turbo, as they needed to move more iron. Slowly. Both are tanks, but the w123 is more bare bones in fit and finish. If you like big tanks, get the W126, with leather, bells and whistles compared to the W123. This applies to the diesels. The petrol cars are another beast, and tend to be clapped out at this age. Engines need rebuilds around 200k, where the diesel is just getting broken in. Maybe if you can snag Grandpa's babied sedan, you could win the lottery. Either way, you will want new rubber seals all around.
A 1970's W116 is a beast, but very rust prone and are now vintage/classic with the really high cost of finding parts. These are real tanks with hand built quality and simple enough repairability if you do the work. The diesels are non turbo until 1980.
A W123 from 1977-1981 are non turbo in the 300D OM617 engine. I would not go after a 240D unless it was manual transmission and bare options. Any AC, Power steering, or other HP hogs will slow it way down. They are known to have bugs splat the rear window at speed.
Petrol examples of the W116/123/126 are mostly used for parts to keep the diesels on the road. Body parts and interior are the same, so tend to be used for rust repair or fix it. The MPG for a petrol is really bad, the engines need lots of fiddling to keep running, and most of the higher end cars survived, but have lots of whistle and bell failures.
74 450SL - Froggy
'02 s320 - Victor
'86 300SDL - Polei
'76 300D - Voldemort
'95 E300D - Cleo
'72 220D - Gump
'87 300SDL - POS SDL
92 300SE - #1 boys ride