The livery trade can be cut throat, and you really need to find an edge to make a go of it. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe stretched 300D, while not a me-too Town Car, could still go to town. Will its price however, make you tell it to go to hell?
The W123 Mercedes models - limousine or otherwise - have a reputation for going forever. Yesterday's 1970 Ford Torino had a rep for going but a quarter mile - over and over again. That fast Ford may have retired from the strip biz, but it still carried enough of its former glories to also carry home a decent 64% Nice Price win. That of course made it less a Torino and more a Tori-oh-hellz yes.
There have been diesel dragsters, but really the best use for an oil burner is for hauling stuff other than ass. Today's 1983 Grey Market 300D Limousine is a prime example of that. It's also primed to do hauling duty for everything from the Bayerischen Polytechnikum Oberschule prom to a classy date with Nena and her 99 Luftballons.
Presently offered with only 21K on its Euro clock, this blue Benz was briefly put up for grabs a couple of years ago for about the same kind of money and with only 17,000 miles under its Continentals. As noted, the lithe limo is a grey market import, so it benefits not just from its Dachshund-ification, but also from its possession of Euro lamps and an upscale-appearing traditional Mercedes grille. For those of you frightened of your Geico rep, it does have the larger American- spec five mph battering rams in place of the dainty European units. A fresh coat of metallic blue covers the car - the need for which is blamed on an unforgiving Florida Sun - while the car rides on a set of later pizza pan alloys. Around those reside the ubiquitous chrome fender lip snoods which typically are there to hide road rot in the way the judicious application of lipstick covers up a cold sore. In this car's case, the seller claims there is no rust whatsoever, so pucker up.
The extended wheelbase W123 was a factory job, not an aftermarket cut, spread, and fill, and as such it enjoys the W123's rep for durability and longevity. Unfortunately, most were built for taxi service rather than carting Chancellors to clandestine meetings where it's discussed just what should a Greek Urn. This one is just so spartan, featuring fuzzy blue upholstery where you might expect to find MB Tex, as well as plastic on the center console where on American cars there is wood. Perhaps making up for the loss of those accouterments in the back there is a flip-down secretary seat and more leg room than Shaq's collection of hammer pants. Aside from a tear noted in the passenger seat it all looks to be in pretty good condition too.
Another deletion on this W123 is apparent under the hood were a turbo is conspicuous by its absence. Official U.S. 300Ds only came in turbo form, but this one, having made an end run around MB U.S.A., sports the naturally aspirated edition of the OM617 3,005-cc five cylinder which gives the car - get ready for this - 87-bhp. It does also have 125 lb-ft of torque so while you won't be getting anywhere fast, you'll at least be getting there. Plus at just over twenty thousand miles this engine is practically brand new and will go for another ten or twelve million with normal maintenance - or so I've been led to believe. Backing up smokey the bear-with-me is Benz's 722-something, something, something automatic.
Some people won't give the W123 the time of day, while others inexplicably love these cars as though they provide free beer and BJs along with their bank vault-like build quality. And then there's the rest of us who fall somewhere in between. Regardless of your proclivity for Mercedes' vaunted middle child, this long-wheelbase edition is rare in the States and is cooler than a penguin's pecker, making it worthy of our consideration of its price, which is a not so cool $29,900. Alternatively, you could have this one.
That's not to say this non-nightmare-haunting 300 limo isn't worth its asking, but after yesterday's ICBM-caliber Torino at nearly five less, I'm kind of stuck in gear as far as judgement goes. So that means it's up to you to either fete the seller for his pricing acumen, or just chalk up the price to the car living in Florida - home to all things wackadoodle.
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