Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Lovely, lugubrious Louisiana
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I may be wrong in this assumption, but I suspect that most people become members of these on line car forums because they have a problem with the car and like to use the Internet for solutions to problems. That's certainly my case.
If that assumption is accurate, you'll get a horribly skewed and negative perspective on car quality for money-pit car you own and wistful envy for the gem you don't own.
I did the world's stupidest thing when I bought my first M-B: I bought it on reputation rather than research. It was like buying the same car twice, for all the expensive repair and replacement work I had to do or had to pay a competent mechanic to do. I believe I have one more major expense (new alternator) and I will have a sound car for another 100K miles or so. I bought the clunker for $3K (about $2.5K more than I should've paid) and have put about $3.5K into it. That's the 300E. But it's a nice car now, buddy.
Having learned a harsh lesson but fallen in love with the w124, I bought a '95 E320 at a very, very good price ($6K TT&L) and have paid next to nothing in maintenance. The difference was in having researched this forum and others to glean info and tips for evaluating a purchase and then sticking with the plan.
I am very happy with both cars, despite having spent more on repairs for the first than the dang thing cost me to buy. The second one is a driving dream machine and the first one is a great first car for my teenager. I think my long-term goal is to stay about 5-10 years behind the curve on new cars (most likely M-B) and be very, very picky when I buy. I've owned several new vehicles and have not been pleased with them. No more of that for me. But before I get into the newer cars, I want one more bite of the late-eighties apple.
If my luck will hold and I find the perfect 300 SDL....
\'88 300E donated to foreign grad student
\'95 E320 traded for "Mary Poppins", a 2005 Avalon