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Hello

Please bear with me as this post is sort of long. I know others have posted topics along the same lines, and yes I have read back in this forum, but I would like to get some opinions regarding this matter. Any and all replies are welcome.

I am considering buying an '83 240D for my teenage son. We were not really thinking about buying him a car until we saw it on a walk. I want to get some opinions so I can decide whether the vehicle is right for us.

Condition
-Oil changes every 3,000
-Excellent body/paint condition (CA car, garaged)
-155,000k owned by an older school teacher who drove it to work and back
-some rips and tears in the interior; a few loose trim pieces
-AC needs recharging
-Antenna does not go down
-Cruise control does not work

The seller is asking ~$3,000 for the car. I actually took it on a good test drive. It seemed to have enough power, but the steering was quite loose. I was also not very impressed with the immense quantities of body roll and the squishy seats. Are there any practical ways to rectify these things or is just the nature of the car? I am especially concerned about the steering. From what I have heard, front end work on the W123 is quite expensive and common. Other than that, it was a very nice car. My son liked it too, especially for the promise of cheap insurance rates. Do you think that we should go for it?
 

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2005 w203, 2013 Town & Country
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2,181 Posts
I like mine

when i was 15 i bought my w123, it was a 1980 230 grey market. besides needing a new engine...the suspension was easy and not that expensive to replace i thought. i bought most of my parts through performance products, some on line and with ebay. i lowered if with springs from eurocarparts.com and used hd shocks that got rid of some roll. i also built an upper shock tower bar to tie the engine bay together. the steering has always been "motorboatish"... never failed but dad and i are working on a front mount rack and pinion. my insurance is low also as i am 23.
 

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1991 300 SE
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18,534 Posts
May want to keep looking...

IMHO $3000 (US?) is too much considering what may need to be done. Someone may have installed the wrong tail lamp/brake light bulbs and fried the cc amp, very common; non-working antennas are also very common. An adjustment screw in the steering box, not a difficult job, can tighten the loose steering. But I think you can find better for less.
 

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s500- 300td
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92 Posts
keep looking

I agree $3000 is way too much money for that car. You can find other alot cheaper, do not let the miles worry you, try to get the turbo, you'll be very impressed with the power. I have an 82 300td and I stopped counting the miles at 270,000. I enjoy driving my 82 to my 00 s500. I love the piece of mind. Your son will pass this car to his kids.


diesel mercedes is the longest lasting cars on the roads if you pay attention, and they are inexpensive to maintain

by the way I bought my 82 five yrs ago for $1200.00
 

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Administratoris Emeritus
2024 SL770
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46,633 Posts
I like where you're coming from -- a 240D for a teenager makes a lot of sense to me, but the price seems pretty high to me as well, especially considering the interior issues. Also, the AC could wind up costing more than you might think. Cruise control, antenna -- who cares, but I think you can do better if you look around.
 

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1989 560SEL
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2,110 Posts
Two great things the car you describe has going for it are 1) lack of rust and 2) low miles. Considering how long-lived these cars' engines are, a car with around 150k on it that has always been garaged and is from CA has a lot of life left, not only on the engine but also on the body.

I agree that the A/C can be potentially expensive (though it may be a simple leak that'll cost you around $200 to repair), but the other things you mention (antenna, cruise control) are unimportant and probably not too expensive to fix, if you are so inclined.

All in all, I don't think this is such a bad buy (unless the interior is completely thrashed, which would be bad -- I wasn't sure if this was the case from your post). I've been looking for a clean, well-cared-for w123 in the NY area for around $2000 and have been unsuccesful so far. There have been a couple that came and went within a day or two, before I could see them; the ones that stay on market longer cost $3000 to $5000. If you can negotiate the price down to $2000-$2500, it's not a bad buy, in my opinion.
 
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