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Well, I've always wanted a W124.......not because I really NEED another car, or another project, for that matter, but I drove one once when I was younger and really liked them.........super quality built car, timeless design, and reasonable price make them appealing at this point. I've thought to myself, perhaps pick one up on Craigslist that needs a bit of work, repair it, drive it for awhile, and sell it....maybe make a few bucks in the process if everything goes well.

I found one on Craigs last week........sounded really appealing. White on grey leather, 93 300e 3.2L. Southern car (I'm in Michigan), 180k miles, clean carfax, new exhaust, radiator, tires, plugs/wires. Runs rough, seller doesn't know why, $1100 takes it. (I'm assuming it needs a wiring harness). RF brake sticking and headliner is starting to sag, otherwise nothing else mentioned. I'm on the phone immediately, set up a time that night and go up to drive it, cash in hand and ready to buy. Figuring, I can put an engine harness and RF caliper on it, maybe some small stuff, and the car will be good to go with $2500 invested.........Wow, was I mistaken.....

Pull up to the guy's house.........well, actually in a super-seedy trailer-park subdivision out in the boonies. My wife is with me, and she doesn't even want to stop, LOL. She had planned on dropping me and then heading back to get the kids from daycare. I ask her to stick around for a bit, as I'm not sure I'm going to buy this car after all, and I'm really not digging the neighborhood too much.

Get out and look at the car. Physically, not too bad, although the RF has sustained a very low speed impact, headlight is pushed awol slightly, temp sensor is zip tied to the front bumper (wtf?). One fender has clear coat issues. Interior is rougher than described, headliner is sagging 8-10 inches down behind the sunroof, 2 small tears in seat, center console trim is destroyed, seat adjustment knobs broken off, rear windows INOP, steering wheel trashed. Start it up for test drive, Low Coolant light is on. Car is running on 4, maybe 5 cylinders, and the exhaust is definitely NOT complete........huge leak underneath somewhere. Fuel light on (guy has a couple gallons in a gas can he'll give me!! LOL!) Going down the road, the speedo needle has some huge quiver to it, definitely a stretched cable. Brakes lousy. Half the stereo speakers don't work. Get back to the guy's house, check the coolant, and it's all the way at the bottom of the reservoir, almost too low to see. Why is it low? Blown HG? Who knows, guy has no idea, he bought it from a "friend" who was in need of some $$$ as a potential project, then realized he was in over his head...........I tell the guy that I'm just not feeling it, and walk away from the deal. He's a nice enough guy, he didn't intentionally deceive me (though the car is really rougher than I was led to believe) but this car/situation just doesn't give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, ya know? The situation/surroundings is half the battle.............this was literally only one step better than buying it out of a corn-field.

I want a W124 project, but knowing that I can buy a NICE, well-loved example for $3500-4500 that doesn't need anything, why spend $1100 on a basket-case of a car that has unknown amount of problems?

So, back to Craigs we go...... Hey, if you're in MI and know of a nice 300E for sale cheap that needs some minor work, LMK:)
 

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2012 E350 CGI Avant Garde Sport
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Some people...........

Some people see it as a challenge, others see it as rescuing what was a fine automobile that has been mistreated.

I had a friend, who has since died, that would go and look at the most beat up W123 diesels and come home with a piece of junk under a tarp. Rust, accidents, etc.....nothing would phase him! BUT, a year or two later I would see the most beautiful 240D or 300D, and when I would ask he would tell me that it was the old piece of crap that I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole!

Now granted, Bill was more of a mechanic than I will EVER be, but he saw each car as a challenge and treated them like his family.
 

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Black on Black S124 Estate and White A124 Cabriolet
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In today's world, when you shop a car, ALWAYS Google Earth the owner's house.

Good 124s come from nice neighborhoods, very nice neighborhoods is a plus.

I drove 3 hours to an inner city location a few years ago scoping out a 400e. Learned my lesson, I always look where car is now. (seller literally threatened me as I was critiquing the difference between what his ad said and the actual car)
 

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Cruise Control
'87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon TDI/'01 EV Weekender VR6
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In today's world, when you shop a car, ALWAYS Google Earth the owner's house.
On a lark, I did that once prior to completing a parts deal, using the seller's shipping address. Sure enough, parked in front of a very nice house were two beautiful 124s. I knew it was the real deal and proceeded with confidence.
 

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91 500SL 37k,90 300SE sold, 91 300E sold , 92 300E137k ,02 Kia Sedona ,I know..... its a Mini van.
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I'm guilty of Google maps street view and driving around neighborhoods on my PC looking for cars , funny some of the crap people have laying around!
 

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Well, I bought my 300D from a ghetto neighborhood--heart of Denver, near Colfax which ghetto central. That's where college instructors live! Exterior of car is fair to good. Interior is good. Came with $32,000 of service records since new. Car was cheap. Trade-offs.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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That reminds me how I was shopping for ca $20,000 ML55 AMG few years back.
1 hr away from my place the guy was advertising,
-clean car, almost new tires, performs well.
We drove there and the car was on the driveway, while the seller was late for the appointment. There was no body panel without a scratch on it. Even via darkened glass I could see bubble gum on the seats. Rear tires were bold on inner side.
I didn't wait for the seller, just email him later that he mis-presented the car. He was offended.
 

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1987 300 TDT (1979 240D - Gone)
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That reminds me how I was shopping for ca $20,000 ML55 AMG few years back.
1 hr away from my place the guy was advertising,
-clean car, almost new tires, performs well.
We drove there and the car was on the driveway, while the seller was late for the appointment. There was no body panel without a scratch on it. Even via darkened glass I could see bubble gum on the seats. Rear tires were bold on inner side.
I didn't wait for the seller, just email him later that he mis-presented the car. He was offended.
HE WAS OFFENDED? WHAT ABOUT YOU?
 

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W124 E300 12v 1992 and a 2009 Crown Victoria
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When I first read $1100 way before the disastrous forth paragraph I was like WOW! Where I live, there is absolutely no way I could find a similar w124 for this price and being even properly drivable.

I dunno how people see their cars and advertise accordingly and how these cars actually are. We have a saying here that roughly translates to "a monkey is a deer in his mother's eyes". Having said the translation of that proverb, I'm certain my w124 in not a monkey :)

I had similar experiences and I, being the nice guy that I am, had hard times pulling pack and excusing my self.
 

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1990 W124 300CE-24
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Good 124s come from nice neighborhoods, very nice neighborhoods is a plus.
Correct! My wife's was purchased from a very salubrious suburb (in a capitol city) and had always been well looked after. And they practically gave it away too.
 

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1990 300TE
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Word of the day!

"a very salubrious suburb"

sa·lu·bri·ous/səˈlo͞obrēəs/Adjective: 1.Health-giving; healthy: "salubrious weather".
2.(of a place) Pleasant; not run-down.
 

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'92 300TE 4matic 280,000miles, '92 300TE 4Matic 'Ice Blue Metalic' 101,000miles
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As we've said many times in here....try to buy from an enthusiast who has done a lot of the work already. You're miles ahead that way and most forum members here don't want to be slandered. Especially if they are regulars.

Kevin
 
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