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280 TE Wagon
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Discussion Starter #1
I just bought a 1985 280te wagon on e-bay. She looks great in the photos, the old owner says she's a peach,... what have a gotten myself into?
 

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84 230CE & 84 300DT
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324 Posts
One of two things, either a jewel or a dog. It's tempting to just go off the pictures, but...

One of two things, either a jewel or a dog. It's tempting to just go off the pictures, but you absolutely must see and drive the car in person. I've seen some cars on ebay that looked great, the owners said there was nothing wrong, but in person they turned out to be real dogs. Many sellers who list on ebay don't expect that someone will actually come down and look. I looked at one example that had 20 bids on it before I looked at it and I was the first one to look at it person.
My car is a daily driver with faded paint and peeling clear coat but I can make it look like its in mint condition with my digital camera and a photo editing program.
I hope I'm wrong in your case.
Good Luck!
 

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84 230CE & 84 300DT
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I found your car on ebay. Looks nice but the photos are too small and dark to get an accur...

I found your car on ebay. Looks nice but the photos are too small and dark to get an accurate opinion. No interior photos, no close ups. How is the interior? Is there any rust? I'm worried about the fact they mentioned about beaches and that the car is from the east coast. They're including snow tires so it means they used it the winter. They use salt there on the roads during winter....
I hope I'm wrong about my assumptions.
 

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90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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D.O.T.

Did you know that this wagon does NOT meet D.O.T. regulations? Maybe you can get it registered in your state. This is considered a "Gray market" vehicle and was not built to conform to U.S. specifications.
 

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1983 300D Turbo
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not all cars at the auction are bad, but all bad cars are at the auction.

I just bought a missrepresented car on the ebay. The seller swears up and down he did'nt know the car had been hit. When I saw it in person I knew I'd been had. The car will work out as a driver/beater. Its had some morons working on it in the past. The seller is one of those power seller guys who live by thier ebay ratings. I beat him up some and got him to refund some of my money. Depending on who you buy from there can be some recourse.
 

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280 TE Wagon
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
hmmm

I put in a pretty low bid and didn't really expect to win her. I had a friend go and look at her and he thinks it is pretty cool.

I'll find out
 

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280 TE Wagon
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Discussion Starter #7
ouch

Great quote, do you mind it I use it? I'm sorry you bought a dud, and good for you for fighting to get some of your dough back, time will tell what kind of experience I'm in for.
 

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280 TE Wagon
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Discussion Starter #8
New info

I did not know it was a grey market car. I was told it was a european car and that not many were here in the US. How do I determine if this 280 TE is in fact, a grey market car?
 

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90 300 SE ,85 300 GD
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Check the Bumpers

European 123 Models have a very short small bumper, both front and rear. The US version has a large bulky bumper front and rear. Do you have "cloth" seats or MB-tex? Most of the older European models have cloth rather than MB-tex. Most of the items that would indicate a gray market car have to do with your safety. The speedometer will be in Kilometers instead of MPH. Since this is an older model, you may not have any problems with your registration. Do you have to pass an emisssins test there? If so, they may require a catalytic converter muffler. I had to find out all of this the hard way! Diesels are not a problem, just the gasoline engine models.
 

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280 TE Wagon
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Discussion Starter #10
The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the speedo...

The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the speedometer is mph,and I know it has a catalytic converter.

A friend is driving her to me in Detroit right now. When it gets here I guess I'll find out a bunch of stuff. Thanx for the support.

Is a "grey market" car all that bad?

bill
 

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84 230CE & 84 300DT
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Not at all. The early rumors about grey market cars were spread around by the US new car d...

Not at all. The early rumors about grey market cars were spread around by the US new car dealers since they were worried about losing money to the grey market dealers. Yes, some cars were poorly converted to DOT specs. It would be safe to assume that if your car had been here in the US for quite some time any substandard work done on your car would have shown up long ago.
 

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Mercedes Diesels
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145 Posts
Re: The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the speedo

The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the speedometer is mph,and I know it has a catalytic converter.

A friend is driving her to me in Detroit right now. When it gets here I guess I'll find out a bunch of stuff. Thanx for the support.

Is a "grey market" car all that bad?

bill
I like grey market better. Usually more simple then North American versions. Mine has manual windows, manual sunroof, manual air and heater, less wood, no glove compartment lock, different head lights (better H4 bulbs, different bumpers, darker turn signals in the front, a reflective triangle in the trunk, hubcaps instead of alloys (easy to clean), you can have any color dash so long as it is black, usually cloth upholstery rather then leather or vinyl.

Gas Euros usually have much more power due to less emission controls. Even my 300D Euro has no EGR.
John Gregg
83 300D Euro daily driver
 

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280 TE Wagon
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Re: Re: The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the spee

The pictures make the bumpers look pretty boxy, the seats appear to be cloth, the speedometer is mph,and I know it has a catalytic converter.

A friend is driving her to me in Detroit right now. When it gets here I guess I'll find out a bunch of stuff. Thanx for the support.

Is a "grey market" car all that bad?

bill
I like grey market better. Usually more simple then North American versions. Mine has manual windows, manual sunroof, manual air and heater, less wood, no glove compartment lock, different head lights (better H4 bulbs, different bumpers, darker turn signals in the front, a reflective triangle in the trunk, hubcaps instead of alloys (easy to clean), you can have any color dash so long as it is black, usually cloth upholstery rather then leather or vinyl.

Gas Euros usually have much more power due to less emission controls. Even my 300D Euro has no EGR.
John Gregg
83 300D Euro daily driver
The car arrived two days ago and I've been removing the carpets and armour-alling the interior. The interior popped back nicely, she looks show new. Their are a few things about her that will require some major attention: the Paint is shot. It is so shot that I'm sure it flakes off at higway speeds. Guess I'll have to get out the rustoleum and the roller before snow flies.

The engins was a little dirty but I sateamed her and now I'm checking the hoses. This will be a bit of work but the body is rust free and she shifts smoothly and runs fine.

bill.
 

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1994 SL320, '76 240D
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Hey,
Sounds like you did pretty well - lets see some photos!! What color is it?
...


Hey,
Sounds like you did pretty well - lets see some photos!! What color is it?
 
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