On Super Bowl Sunday, a TD can bring the crowds to their feet. Today, Nice Price or Crack Pipe has a 300TD from the year of Super Bowl XX that just might make you cheer.
Yesterday, 61% of you went bat shit despite the rat shit, and found the Scorpion's $1,500 price to hold no sting. That car's quirky nature and the endearing quality of the Lancia brand (Stratos, anyone? Fulvia HF?) meant that it could have possibly have been scooped up by an eager NPOCP reader. Of course that scoop may be reminiscent of cleaning Fluffy's cat box due to the scads of scat present in the long-dormant Italian villa de vermin.
On the gridiron, a turnover changes direction and brings out a new team. That's the kind of one-eighty that today's candidate represents in relation to yesterday's Lancia. Before the eras of Minivan and SUV, the antithesis of sports car was station wagon. Discounting the shooting brake or sport wagon, the utilitarian nature of the family truckster obsfucated any implied sporting pretensions, regardless of size of engine or alloy make up of wheel. Additionally, while the Lancia has earned a reputation for unreliability and a transient existence on this planet owing to its proclivity for oxidization, today's car will join the cockroaches and Ted Williams' head in celebrating our inevitable extinction. Yes, a W123 Benz diesel wagon is not the most exciting method of keeping your ass off the pavement and the bugs out of your teeth, but they're damn-near indestructible and while no longer hand-built, represent some of the most amazing quality of any MB product from the latter half of the twentieth century.
This 1985 300TD is remarkably unmarked, and with only 176K on the clock is like the place-kicker of Mercedes Benz choices in its apparent lack of game time. The wagon is arguably the most attractive of the W123 body styles, and brings useful utility as well. This one even has the compact third-row seat for kids who are more interested in where they have been than are going. The 300TD is going, however, and is claimed to come with a clean bill of health. The color-matched blue interior, with mar-free MB-Tex upholstery looks as inviting as a skybox and is about as roomy. One concession to modernity is a tiny-buttoned CD-Radio in place of the original Becker cassette unit.
Under the hood beats the inextinguishable heart of the 2998-cc OM617 five cylinder diesel, which brings 125-bhp and 170 lb-ft of torque to the table. Bolted to the SOHC engine's exhaust manifold is a Garret turbocharger- which is typically the bane of engine longevity. But the Mercedes five is so freaking durable you could probably slap a turbo on each cylinder, light the whole thing on fire, and it would still run for another 200K.
Durability notwithstanding, this is still a nearly quarter-century old car. That means it lacks some of the accouterments of modern luxury, safety and performance to which we have grown accustomed. That being said, it's still a Benz and is at least advanced enough to be considered a daily driver. And you would be able to drive it - unlike many well-preserved blasts from the past, where driving would degrade condition and lower value - this car begs to be on the road.
That utility makes its $11,995 asking price palatable. But is it reasonable? Does Yaris cash put this TD in your end zone? Or, does that price make it third and long with 4 seconds on the clock and no time outs left?
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.