Date registered: Sep 2013
Vehicle: 1993 300E, 1995 E320
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 126 Post(s)
1985 Nautical Blue 300CD Introduction
How did I come to be the owner of this 1985 300CD? Having owned a W201, 2 W124s and a W126 300SD I had read and heard so much about the W123 cars that I knew this would be the next Benz for me. I knew right from the start that it would have to be the coupe body style. I wanted something a bit more unique I guess and I really liked the lines of the coupe over the sedan, but I hadn't exclude the 280CE. My preference would be the turbo diesel variant, but condition would be the ultimate deciding factor. I searched Craigslist, Ebay, Bring a Trailer, Auto Trader Classic, Car Gurus, and everything in between. I am in New England and was concentrating on cars from the Southwest, California, the Northwest and anywhere rust would be less of an issue.
I soon learned the coupes weren't nearly as plentiful as the sedans and settled in for a long wait for just the right car. My budget wouldn't allow for a 20k plus car nor would I have to settle for a few thousand dollar car with lots of needs. I searched at least once a day for W123, 300CD, 280CE, etc and then one day I randomly searched Mercedes Diesel and up popped this car on Craigslist in Colorado Springs. It was in Colorado, so not as big of a rust issue, advertised as a two owner with 177,000 miles in Nautical Blue Metallic. The pictures did a horrible job of presenting the car, but my forensic eye spotted the telltale signs of a well cared for car that had lead an easy life. The Zebrano wood didn't show a single crack nor did the dash, the taillights weren't all faded and discolored, the switches inside showed little signs of the white markings being worn off from lots of use, the red hazard switch was still bright red, the leather seats weren't torn (except the top of the back seat), the chrome was pristine and shiny, and the engine bits still showed off their cadmium/anodized coating without corrosion. Even the decals on the front clip were present. I had a feeling this may be a hidden gem.
I Emailed the seller looking for more information on the condition of the car and things didn't get any easier. He didn't respond to Emails and then went out of town for a week not leaving me with a sense that he really cared if he sold the car. Finally we made contact via phone and I learned the car was originally purchased in Colorado Springs by a LTC in the Air Force. The seller, Barry, bought it on 08/01/1994 when it had just 31,817 miles on the odometer. Barry told me that the LTC stored the car when he was assigned overseas. Barry also told me it was always a third car for he and his wife and that it had always been garaged when not in use. I had a good feeling about the car and offered to pay his full asking price site unseen. I wired him the money and a deal was struck. He sent me the title and all the original owners manuals and to my surprise, even the original window sticker. I arraigned to have the car shipped from Colorado to Massachusetts. The car arrived on 7/3/2019 and was everything I expected and more.
The car will get a very thorough detailing inside, the paint will be hand washed, clay barred and a good coat of carnuba wax put on. All the fluids changed if nothing more than to establish a base-line and probably a new water pump, the hoses and belts look new. The suspension bits will get a good looking over and anything perished replaced. I'd also like to swap in an original Becker radio, but that is low on the priorities for now. The passenger's window doesn't like to go all the way down and I suspect the regulator piece that bends on these car is the culprit. I'll more than likely replace it with the OEM MB upgraded/reinforced ones if I can't reinforce it myself. While not inexpensive, what point is owning a pillar-less coupe if those rear windows don't function properly? And so begins my preservation of this great piece of automotive history.