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I'm looking for my first Mercedes - hopefully an early to mid-eighties 300 turbo deisel. However, I'm getting confused with the different model designations, i.e. 300SD, CD, SDL, TD, W123, W124, or W126. For example, I'm looking at pictures of 2 different cars, both said to be 1984 300SD models. Yet one has 4 round headlights, the other has 2 square and 2 rectangular lights, and there appear to other, subtle differences in the body design and trim. <br>
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I went to the Model Guide and unfortunately, it seems to tell you everything you need to know, but only if you already know the different model types and designations.<br>
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Can anyone explain the differences, or better yet, point me to a site that has front, rear and side views of the different models with a description of the model changes or features?<br>
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Thanks very much<br>
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Gary
 

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Try here . . .

. . . at the site below. It's reasonably up to date and has pictures of the various models. <br> <br> The confusion comes from the nomenclature system that MB used up to 1994, when they changed over to the current one (S 320, E 430, C 280, etc.). Before, 'C' stood for 'coupe,' and 'E' for the German word for fuel injection. 'S' stood for either the top-of-the-line S-class (420SEL, e.g.), or for 'Sport,' as in the SL 2-seaters.<br> <br> If you're looking for an early to mid-80s diesel, you have several choices. You can aim for the W123 300D (the 4-dr. sedan), 300TD (the 4-dr. station wagon -- 'T' stands for the German word for 'estate car,' or station wagon), or 300CD (the 2-dr. coupe). In 1986, Benz replaced this model range with the W124 mid-sized car, and you can find a 300D or 300TD in that. I don't know if they made a 300CD after 1985.<br> <br> Or you can go big with the W126 300SD or 300SDL, the sedan with the same body used in the gas-engined SEs and SELs. (In this case, 'L' stands for 'long wheelbase' -- the SELs and SDLs were 4 inches longer, for more rear-passenger legroom.) An '84 300SD would have been this one -- 2 square headlights & 2 rectangular ones, encased in a grey housing. The '84 300D/TD/CD would have had 4 round headlights in U.S. trim, and were smaller cars (but no less Benzes for all that).<br> <br> There was also a 350SDL, with a bigger, 6-cylinder diesel -- but I've heard that was one of the few MB engines that have given their owners real problems. Be careful on that one. <br> <br> Let us know if you find your dream car!<br> <br> The BenzAdmiral ('86 420SEL, anthracite/lt. grey; 'The Tirpitz')<br>
 
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