Date registered: Oct 2012
Vehicle: 1972 220 D, 1974 450SL, 1995 E300D 2002 S430, 1976 300D
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 242 Post(s)
Your described needs in a W115 and level of mechanical involvement result in investing a significant amount of cash up front to deliver the quality of vehicle you desire.
Most of us will happily scrounge a salvageable example and wrench the fuck out of it (saving excessive labor fee) to improve the car to a point we can live with it. Your example would effectively be a new car that is 40 years old. These models have a host of issues that are expensive to rectify if one does not swing his own wrenches and religiously visit Pull a Part yards. The bulk of owners on list enjoy dicking around with less than perfect cars and garner a ridiculous amount of pleasure in improving them. We buy them cheap and learn what makes them tick and how to fix what is busted. If we get good enough, we may move up to a more complex or refined example that allows us to not have to repair the thing for more hours than we spend on the road. BUT, we already know and are comfortable in getting under the hood to fix as needed.
Generally, the stuff on the market nationwide is of the jalopy variety. The things have noxious amounts of rust, no matter where they lived. There are multiple system failures that need attention, from electronics to mechanical and anything in between. A car in Cherry condition (#5/#6 in valuation charts) will not need anything other than thorough detailing and fresh fluids/filters/bulbs/plugs/pads/fuses and wires to drive.
I snagged a running 220D off fleaBay for $117. I spent eight years wrenching the crap out of it and about $5k in parts until she ate her pistons. The question at that point was do I spend $3k on a rebuilt engine … and continue hemorrhaging cash to bring her along on a path to restoration, or part ways. I still needed a full repaint, fresh body/glass seals, minor panel welding, and a few expensive parts only available on the european secondary market. As she sat, she was a $300 scrap metal car, even with all the fresh rubber and parts.
For the complete investment I had done, I could have purchased a very fine example that did not have deep rust, a fresh interior, good paint, and may still have some issues that would turn out expensive to remedy. If you have the large sum of cash burning a hole in your pocket, go for the best example you can find. Inspect the car extensively prior to arranging a PPI ($300) then use the list of flaws the mechanic finds to dicker with the seller over price. You can probably find something that meets your needs for $5-10K. You could also find an R107 for the same cash. Walk away from any car that has an issue that you, yourself, can not remedy. Paying somebody to fix it for you is a waste of cash and devalues the car twice what it would cost to fix.
just my $0.02
74 450SL - Froggy
'02 s320 - Victor
'76 300D - Voldemort
'95 E300D - Cleo
'72 220D - Gump
'87 300SDL - POS SDL
92 300SE - #1 boys ride