1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

87% of you said you wanted to see some Malaise Era Mercedes-Benzes in this series (the '72 280SEL we saw a couple weeks back is technically pre-Malaise), and now that time has come! Here's a car that laughs at mere 300,000-mile odometer readings: Get to 500,000 miles on the clock and then we'll talk, I imagine this car saying to today's Japanese claimants to the car-longevity throne.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD


Now that's a freakin' hood ornament! This car listed at $26,265 when new, which is about $75,588 in 2007 bucks. 75 grand! The funny part is that the owner came out while I was photographing his car and offered to sell it to me for $600, which means its value has depreciated about 99.2% since new. Hmmm... knock off $100 and it's 24 Hours of LeMons ready!

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD


This car has the turbocharged version of the unkillable Mercedes 5-cylinder diesel engine... an engine that deserves mention as a Workhorse Engine of the Day, when we continue with that series.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD


This example is on the rough side, with lots of dents and dings, but it still runs well enough to be used on the owner's daily 50-miles-each-way commute.

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300SD


The Malaise bumpers don't look so great, but otherwise this design has held up very well over the decades.



First 100 DOTS Cars