For $2,400, Could This 1986 Mercedes 300SDL Put You Back In Black?

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

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that includes today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercedes 300SDL. Let’s see if its price tag might make buying it a pretty big deal.

When it came down to yesterday’s 1989 BMW 735i it ultimately ended up being head versus heart. Many of the comments called into question the car’s value quotient while still more complained that a far-newer model could be had for that car’s asking price. The hearts on the other hand, gave the car a 57-percent Nice Price win. Hearts gonna’ heart.


What if you were on the other side of that vote, however? What if you seriously wanted an old German luxury car but couldn’t swing that kind of dick? Further, what if your desires for said German luxury car swung toward something a whole lot darker and diesel-ier?

Well, in that case, have a gander at this 1986 Mercedes Benz 300SDL, and tell me if it doesn’t push at least a few of the right buttons. It’s big, it’s black, and its a smoker. Not only that, but with its long wheelbase and OM603 straight six diesel this is one of the more rare W126 models on the road.

Now that 3-litre six my be a cylinder up on its older OM617 sibling, but it does not share that engine’s venerable reputation for durability and longevity. One of the biggest issues was the heat caused by the Trap Oxidizer on the U.S. cars. That would cause head failures and the output from the old-school smog device would severely shorten the turbocharger’s life. Mercedes replaced them under warranty with a simple pipe, and this car seems to have had that done. There are some other issues with the 110-bhp OM603, so do some research before diving into one.


The seller of this particular one says it RUNS PERFECT. Oh but ignore that trailer seen in most of the pics. He also claims that it’s in great shape, but isn’t really all that interested in acknowledging just exactly what year or model it is so, let’s take that with a grain of salt.


The car is in Austin, a city that, for liberals at least, is the rich, creamy and delicious (but lo-cal and vegan) center of the red meat, red state that is Texas. Yee-haw, peace-niks!


It has a BIODIESEL badge on its ass, and if that’s perhaps not your cup of organic tea then you’ll probably also not like the big five-spoke alloy wheels that are presently keeping the car off the asphalt. A little air in those tires wouldn’t hurt their looks either.

The paint looks to be a little dull, and the plastic on the bumpers is mottled with age and scraped clean in places. Overall, the exterior looks like it needs some attention, but it’s not a bad place to start something.


Moving inside you’ll find things are in similar shape. The seats (MBTex?) are in decent shape, but the headliner is gross. Additionally, there are cracks in the dash, the center console looks like a frat house shitter, and the radio is missing. More work will be needed in here, along with maybe a Hazmat team.


The ad says that the odo reads 110,000 miles, which may be accurate, or may mean it broke some time ago. It’s hard to say with the car in the condition it’s presently in. Regardless, the ad also says it starts up in the cold. It doesn’t say if the AC or heater work, nor if there are any mechanical boogers at all. Leave that to the buyer to uncover.


That buyer will need to come up with $2,400 to take ownership of the car, and let’s just point out that this is A LOT of car. That long wheelbase makes for a back seat big enough to convene a Weight Watchers meeting in, and over all, in black with tinted glass, it does have a presence.

It’s now up to you to decide if that presence is worth the $2,400 asking. What do you think, is this 300SDL worth that kind of scratch? Or, does the ad for this Benz scare you off enough say you’d only take it if it were free?


You decide!


Austin TX Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Rob Emslie

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