Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!  

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercedes is a car I’ll bet few of you ever even knew existed, rare as they are. This one has what the seller describes as ‘Northeast patina’ but will it be its price that really gnaws at you?

With the apocalypse possibly imminent, a go (almost) anywhere van like yesterday’s 2001 Chevy Astro 4WD sure holds a lot of appeal. It may not be capable of tackling the Rubicon Trail, but it’s certainly got a leg up on its FWD Van-based competitors in its zombie-squashing capabilities.

That security in the face of the unknown didn’t sway enough of you to appreciate it at its $5,000 asking however, and that Astro when down in an annoyingly narrow 50.64 percent Crack Pipe loss. What did I tell you people about votes that close?

They say that when you’re near the end, your life flashes before your eyes. Man, I hope when that happens to me it’s at least R rated as there’s some sexy times I wouldn’t mind reliving. Oops, that was probably too much sharing.

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One things’s for certain, if you’re revisiting the past, whether at close of business, or just because you’re unfathomably bored at work, your memories are unlikely to include a Mercedes C240 wagon. This is a car that doesn’t seem to exist in any significant numbers today, and likely never ever did.

The W203 C-class ran from the 2001 to 2007 model years here in the States, however the wagon variant only lasted from ’01 to ’05. That latter year also saw the death of the ungainly SportCoupé model leaving no hatches in the W203 lineup for its last two years.

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When it was a thing, the C240 was somewhat overshadowed by its larger engined C320 sibling. That car came with a sizable horsepower advantage—215 vs. 168—at little if any cost in mileage. That being said, contemporary tests of both models gave the edge to the 240 with its 2.6-litre engine, at least in feel off the line. Both engines demand premium fuel, and both where backed by Mercedes’ 5-speed automatic.

Today, the C320 4Matics can still command a premium, while the lesser, almost forgotten C240 editions tend to come in far lower.

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That’s just the case with this 2004 C240 4Matic, which presents in Pewter over Oyster, and with just 121K on the clock. If you’re looking for a small AWD German wagon and find Audi’s overplayed and BMWs too pretentious, then maybe a C class is your Teutonic ticket to ride.

This one is dealer-offered and like most W203s out there, shows its age and miles in both design and wear. These were never built with the kind of quality for which Mercedes built its reputation, and you’ll find the interior to be a few rungs below a contemporary Audi in terms of materials and quality. It’s still pretty feature laden and should be reasonably comfy, however.

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The 4Matic drivetrain owes a great deal to the system in the M-class, being fully automatic and no fuss, no muss. The selling dealer says that the car comes with new Uniroyal tires and will have new brakes installed before delivery.

The car has had three owners over the course of its life, and that life has taken it all over the northeast, with registrations in Maine, Pennsylvania, and New York. Being a Yankee, it does exhibit some road rot, as does pretty much everything up there. It’s most noticeable on the driver-side door sills and the rear fender just ahead of the arch. It’s not like it’s Swiss Cheese or anything, but if you want to make this your forever car then you’d want to get that addressed posthaste.

Honestly, no one’s going to make this their forever car. It could however, make for a nice ride for a couple of seasons or more. The 4Matic system is a solid alternative to Audi’s Quattro offerings and the body, while dated in style, is quirkily attractive.

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That wagon body seems to be more rare than the sedan, and hence does seem to command a bit of a premium. You can find C 230 and C 240 sedans all day for mere pittance, while the wagons still seem to ask bank. This one asks $3,995, and that’s on the low end for these models. The question is, with the rot, and the Men in Black mind wipe these cars tend to provoke, could that be a deal?

You decide!

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Watertown, NY Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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