Thanks for the replies. I'm going to respond to any questions or comments posted so far.
"I trust you have done (or are planning to do) a full pre-purchase inspection, as would be advisable on any car that age."
Yes, I was planning to do a pre-purchase inspection and appraisal through Steve Linden. These alone would probably cost $300.
"$14,995 is a tad high, but if the vehicle is well-documented and well-sorted, it may be worth it."
I was going to start at about $10K with a ceiling at $12K.
"4. I haven't seen a kill switch outside of racing ever. I don't see why it's necessary."
"1. Shelf speakers should be no problem, if not actual originals, at least ones that look like it."
So, it looks like adding shelf speakers would devalue the car since it wasn't originally offered in this vehicle. I'm going to pass on this one. Same for the killswitch.
"2. Carpeting should be way less than $2-3K, a competent upholstery shop should be able to do that for you for way less than a grand."
Same for this this one as well. I would just pass and leave the original rubber mat.
"3. Becker nowadays offers a radio that looks just like the original, but is already equipped for all kinds of auxiliary stuff. However, it's VERY expensive. See it here:
Limited Edition Becker Mexico Retro 7948 7942 | eBay
No, they're not kidding."
This looks awesome! But way too expensive for me.
"my opinion is that the value of the car will end up dropping to the general w108 price range, around $3000 after you make these mods and start beating on it like a daily driver.
These sedans aren't investments at this point, and may never be. I am honestly torn between encouraging people like you to drive these cars until the wheels fall off, or preserving them. If it was a rusty beater, I would say drive it until the wheels fall off.
In my opinion, if you don't do nearly all the work on old cars and spend a LOT of your free time working on them, the costs at the mechanic will eat you alive."
1. Although this car will be driven as a daily driver, I would never neglect it and beat it up. I'm not some hipster that is only buying this car to appease others (as I really don't care what they have to say about it).
2. At this point, I wouldn't buy a car as an investment. In my opinion, cars are made to be driven and taken care of.
3. I agree with your last point. If the appraisal value is too low (the max I would finance is car is $20K with at least $8-$10K going into future maintenance, repairs, gas, etc.
"All the young hipsters want to daily drive a 40 year old Mercedes. It's a cool ass idea but, a stupid idea at the same time. I'm not trying to knock you at all. I'm 26 and I daily drive a 79 240D.While it's reliable (in a way) it always need work. Sometimes I don't have time to replace the simple things it needs because I have a career, kid, wife, house, school, life. And paying a shop to do the work for me is NOT going to happen, I do all my own work (besides machining). So the car may go a week or two sitting until I fix it. Luckily I have a few cars and one very modern reliable car (2013)."
Don't worry about it. I'm not offended.
I was looking at a '73 240D, but I read that it can't hold itself well in the highway because it is "slow" as a slug.
"No matter how well taken cared of a 50 year old Mercedes is, it'll need roitine and random work. Especially daily driving it. It seems like you want this to be your only car, which is another bad idea. You're a college student, with an internship, and only making $8 an hour. Are you financing the car? How could you have the time and resources to fix this car or have it fixed for you? Will your parents be helping? Do you have a garage with tools? If it breaks when you need to make it to work what will you do? What if you have to take it to a shop and they'll need xxxx amount of money to fix it and your funds are tight?"
1. I'm planning on getting a second job just so I can enjoy driving this car. Actually, I'm going to have to do it anyways if I want to have my own car anyways.
2. My local credit union is financing this car.
3. I don't have the time or resources to fix this car myself. Can't I just take the car to a MB dealership and use one of their vehicles as a loaner while it is in the shop? If I can't do this, can't I just rent a car?
"I understand how badass it would be to drive a nice old Mercedes to work and school especially when your other peers are driving bland corollas and honda civics. But, you have to think about how much it will take to keep this car on the road everyday. They're well built and simple cars but they require some Knowledge and skill and money to keep on the road.
As far as insurance, you'll probably going to need full coverage if it's being financed through a bank. I'm almost sure of that. Do you really want to pay insurance for a 50 year old car, with no safety devices, daily driver usage, and 20 year old male driver? The likelihood of you or a passenger being seriously injured or killed in that car is high compared to anything newer than that car. The car may be built like a tank but it's no where near considered safe compared to modern cars. That's reality and that's going to be a high premium."
I don't think there's anything wrong with anyone my age driving these cars as long as they are financially stable. Don't worry, once I consult with the local credit union and go through the details (such as APR, insurance, etc.) I'll have my decision. I really don't have any idea on a modern car honestly.
Tomorrow, I'm going to talk to Steve Linden about the prices for the pre-purchase inspection.