Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 300D has over 200K on the clock, and its present owner says it’ll do that one and a half times over without blinking an eye. Let’s see if that praise translates into its price.
Do you know how a mousetrap works? Of course you do; there’s a tasty treat on the catch to lure the unwitting victim in, and that triggers a swift dispatch by the spring-loaded hammer. It’s deceptively simple and generally effective.
A similar gambit was represented by Friday’s 2010 Audi R8 4.2. No, it wouldn’t suddenly snap your neck should you errantly push the wrong button or anything. As pointed out by a number of you however, the R8’s alluring beauty and promise of performance can mask a number of substantial engineering flaws that, while not life-threatening, could prove injurious to one’s wallet.
Too many of us didn’t follow Mrs. Frisby’s caution however, as at its $66,000 asking—less than half it’s original drive-off—the R8 earned a solid 66 percent Nice Price win.
I think a general feeling among car enthusiasts exists these days that cars over all, and German cars in particular are getting too complicated. That’s at least as far as the average driveway mechanic is concerned. Too many seemingly require engine-out access to certain consumables, while others demand special tools or computer programs just to change things like the brake pads.
It wasn’t always like this. Not only were German cars less complicated back in the day, they also seemed to have been better built. In fact, certain models, like this 1992 Mercedes Benz 300D seemed like they were hand-built, and constructed out of what was likely Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstoppers.
As proof of this, have a look at this classic and still classy Benz. Pretty nice, huh? Now take a gander at the odometer. Yep, that’s 203,000 miles on the clock. If this were any average ’92 car those miles would mean it was a good 25K past its expiration date. This however is a W124 E-class and these things maintain a reputation for lasting like a desert donkey’s dried dingleberries. Well, as long but more desirable, I’d say.
The 300D is rare among U.S. W124s. Its 2.5-litre five-cylinder diesel managed 121 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque once its turbo pitched in. Even with its pressurized intake and high-compression combustion, the OM602 became known for never giving up, and for not doing much complaining along the way.
This one looks immaculate. I think the folded-up rag in the corner of the engine bay vestibule may have something to do with that. This is also a good time to point out the fact that the rag isn’t actually in the engine compartment. The W124’s design encapsulates the engine in its own little space, separate from the other components like the air box, coolant tank and battery. This allowed for greater sound deadening, an important focus on a car in the E-class category, especially one that’s rocking the can-of-rocks diesel.
The bodywork is also super clean here, and the car sports both the smoother Euro headlamps and a front valance that’s said to be sourced from an AMG car. This edition has the cool diesel-only fender grille on the right, which is both a cool model totem and a functional element. Fashionable looking later model MB alloys underpin are wrapped in tires with a decent amount of tread.
On the downside, there are some LED driving lights in that front valance that look a little out of place. Out back the tail lamp lenses have been frosted like a mallrat’s eyelashes which is also somewhat unfortunate. The whole car looks like it’s been resprayed at some time, but the ad makes no mention of that. The last visual issue here is a body-color grille that may not be to everyone’s liking. It should be pointed out that other than the paint, all of these complaints have easy fixes.
The windows feature a heavy tint, the fronts included. That may not be legal in your neck of the woods, but is probably why the interior is in such nice shape. All four door cards look brand new, as do the MBTex seats and dash. And who doesn’t love that wonderful blue color?
The center console has been covered in what looks like faux carbon fiber, which is out of place, but not too terrible a job to rectify. Entire W124 interior wood kits can still be sourced and for not too much moolah. All of the interior lights have been replaced with blue LEDs, which again, is an out of character choice for the car, but potentially not too hard to change should that not be your bag.
The seller says that the car is in excellent shape with no leaks nor issues. He says it’s clean enough that you could even take it to shows. I don’t know about that, but I do know that I’d like to take it for a spin. The title is clean and the only reason for the sale is apparently the Benz’s inappropriateness as an RV tow buddy.
To take over management of this super clean but super high mileage 300D you’ll need $4,500, and it’s now time for you to decide whether it’s worth that kind of cash. What do you think, could this classic Benz amount to that sort of asking? Or, is that price as high as the miles?
H/T to Kyle Brown for the hookup!
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