At $4,500, Will Buying This 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic Be A Foregone Conclusion?

Nice Price or No Dice: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

It seems that while we weren’t looking, old Mercedes wagons have gotten expensive. Today’s Nice Price or No Dice 300TE isn’t all that pricey, which makes it stand out. Let’s see if that not-too-pricey price makes it an outstanding bargain.

Advertisement

Well, you all did it. You voted down every single candidate I threw at you last week. I didn’t think it would have been possible, given that I tossed in what I thought were some ringers. Those included Friday’s natty Lotus Seven replica at an asking price of just $4,750. Amazingly, even that couldn’t make the grade, eventually falling in an excruciatingly narrow 51 percent No Dice loss.

Let’s see if, as a group, we can have some happier outcomes this week. Notice I didn’t say “happy endings,” because that’s not how I roll. Don’t even bother asking.

undefined
Photo: Craigslist

Now that it’s spring and people are getting vaccinated with the 5G, it’s more and more likely that those folks will want to get out of the house and blow off the stink. That means going places, maybe taking the kids to resurgent softball practice or perhaps just driving around and rifling through people’s trash barrels. I don’t know what’s on anyone’s to-do list. You just do you.

If you’re going to go out and do such stuff, you might want to do so in a car like this 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 4Matic. It does, after all, look to have the goods. Those include a third-row seat in the way-back, Mercedes’ solid 4Matic AWD system and the company’s stout 178-horsepower 2962cc inline-six to make it move. According to the incredibly brief description in the ad, the car “Runs Great.” It also has a “Clean Title” and just 113,000 miles on the clock.

undefined
Photo: Craigslist
Advertisement

On the downside, it does appear to be missing its headlamp wipers. More important, though, the champagne paint behind those un-wiped lights has seen better days. Like, really better days. The wear pattern on the hood is fascinating as both clear and under-coat have eroded away in two huge swathes that reach nearly to the windscreen. The area between those still seems to have some paint left, seemingly as though it was protected by the three-pointed star that rides majestically just ahead. Who knew that the Mercedes emblem had such magical powers?

undefined
Photo: Craigslist
Advertisement

We do know about the legendary properties of the company’s MB-Tex leatherette upholstery, and there’s nothing obvious here to dispel the mythos. Admittedly, there is some wear and dirt noticeable on a few other surfaces. Also, one of the rear-door speaker grilles has gone AWOL. Otherwise, however, it all looks perfectly serviceable.

undefined
Photo: Craigslist
Advertisement

One thing that could stand a change is the floor mats. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of the whole black mats in a beige interior look. Also, that tissue on the mat in the one shot is really gross. Here’s a helpful tip for anyone selling a car: keep the implication of bodily fluids out of the picture. If it ever becomes a trend to inspect used cars with a blacklight I think the entire pre-owned market will collapse. The third-row seat also shows some tell-tale signs of mold on the cushion, so maybe a good detailing should be in this Benz’s future. Magic 8-Ball says yes.

Would you say yes to this 300TE at its $4,500 asking price? The W124 wagons have been creeping up in value, following their W123 predecessors as they skyrocket in the same direction. If you want to get in on the ground floor of classic Mercedes estate ownership, this might be the time, and perhaps, this may be the car.

Advertisement
undefined
Photo: Craigslist

What do you think, is this relatively low-mileage 300TE worth that $4,500 price even with the visual blight? Or, would you wait to find one that’s less ratty outside even if it’s harder on the inside of your wallet?

Advertisement

You decide!

Advertisement

Los Angeles Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to Daniel C. for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOND. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

DISCUSSION

Let me just add that the ad situation in Jalopnia is getting out of hand. As I was typing for my other comment, suddenly a popup thrust itself onto my screen, front and center, like an unsolicited dick pic. And I couldn’t comment on hardly anything last week because ads wouldn’t scroll or shrink out of the way to uncover the Reply or Submit buttons.

Part of what’s fun about Jalopnik is being able to participate but if the fun is going to be stymied by relentless panhandling, I’m leaving again.  I don’t bother going downtown in person for this reason, and I can stay away from Jalopnik too.