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I am in Florida, Tampa to be exact, and I am looking for a good reliable 300td. I came across an ad with a 1983 300td for $3,400. When I called the guy he said he had removed the rear third seat but he has a 1980 300td stick shift that he could sell me for the same price. He said the miles are just over 100k. He said it is in mint condition with no rust at all. He said everything works and the inside is also in mint condition.

He's going to call me tonight with the exact mileage and I'll get the VIN number from him then. He works on his own cars. He said this '80 td had belonged to a very wealthy man that only lived in the area (Ft. Lauderdale) for two months out of the year and the car was garaged it's entire life.

From what I have read, I have no hope of this being a turbo. What should I look for when I go see it? Does anyone know of any good mechanics in Fort Lauderdale?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!

I'm wanting to buy one that I can learn to work on myself (with my boyfriend). We want to learn together and use biodiesel on it.

I have spent probably 40-50 hours researching these cars. My heart is set on a wagon. We have three dogs and my boyfriend is a drummer after his 9-5 job.

PLEASE HELP US!!!
8O
 

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Sound like a great deal, and you can check out this thread for a starter:
http://www.benzforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4688

But also do a search on the 617 or OM617 engine (which this car has). As well as 123 or W123 chassis. That should pretty well sum up the car, which I believe is an excellent choice.

As for no hope of it being a turbo, I don't think that is correct. I remember a couple of years ago seeing the first 300TD in the country being sold on ebay, whick I believe was a '79 owned by John Lennon. If I recall correctly, it was a turbo. I know that for the '82 thru '85 model years turbo was standard, but I think prior to that it was an option.

If this wagon is a stick, that is a rare benefit but also a little odd. All the 300's imported by MBUSA were auto's, so this may be a grey market car. Look for glass headlamps, cloth interior, and smaller bumpers as easy clues that it is a euro-spec car. I happen to like the euro-spec, but it could mean parts compatability problems, particularly with the A/C. Also unknown true mileage, since the speedometers typically get switched out when they are imported.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What does grey market mean? Is that bad?

I will get the VIN number tonight. The guy agreed to have it looked at tomorrow. There was a shop recommended to me in the area. When I called it there is a guy named Tony at the shop that was born in Spain but raised in Germany and specializes in the older MB (and other german cars).

They said they would charge $75 to test drive and check things out. To get a more detailed inspection would be another $115.

The owner of the car said he gets parts at the shop sometimes and it has a great reputation. I am crossing my fingers big time that everything is as he says!!!
 

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Grey market refers to a european car that has been driven for some time in europe (or canada) and then brought over to the united states. This often requires some conversion work to be done on the car to meet US safety and emission requirements among other things. This almost always involves changing out the speedometer and its recorded mileage with it.

There are many desireable features in european cars, but sometimes the european specifications do not match the US specs, and some US spec parts might not fit the euro car. I don't think this is really so much of a problem with the diesels, as it is with gasoline cars. I would think that the parts compatability would not be much of an issue in your case, but worth mentioning.

This might not even be a grey market car, but regardless your description makes it sound worth pursuing. Personally, I would see european features as a bonus.

Good luck with the inspection!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I really appreciate your help. I have enjoyed reading the many posts in which you have offered your knowledge to others in.

Do you know where I might find a picture of the euro-spec wagons? I haven't seen pictures yet but have been told it is white with dark blue interior. The owner had a different car advertised for sale and has not listed the 1980 anywhere. He said he had just taken some 35mm pictures and when he developed them he would go to Kinko's and email them to me. I guess the mechanic will be my eyes for now.

Apparently the shop that was recommended to me is owned by Tony, the guy that grew up in Germany and is very knowledgable about those cars. He had two 300td at his shop today. I feel confident they will give me an honest assessment.

The owner of the car was more than willing to take it in for the inspection. He's going tomorrow. I am crossing my fingers and toes that it checks out. $3,400 is a great price if it does.

There is NO way I would even consider buying a car before a third party mechanic checked it out.

It's about a four hour drive so I wanted to be sure it was worth the 8 hour round trip before I go look at it.

I'm excited that finding a mechanic and getting it in so soon to look at worked out (so far).

If all goes well well pick it up next Friday (not tomorrow). My boyfriend works M-Thurs. during the week so that is the soonest we could make the trip. I will be sure to post pictures ASAP.
 

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No call tonight!!! I'm getting worried! I guess I'll see if he goes to the mechanic tomorrow. I sure wanted to get the VIN and check it out.

I'll keep you posted!!

If anyone knows of a good 300td for sale near or in Florida let me know, PLEASE!!!

[email protected]
813-254-0759
 

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I finally got the VIN from the mechanic and the news is not good!!!

The car has a junk title and has been in two accidents. It's a 1982 with atleast $1,500 worth of work needed. The engine and transmission is good but that's about it.

The tires are shot and the front suspension is horrible (one of the accidents was a head on). The back door is dented in as well as the driver's door. The mechanic said there is bondo on another one that is cracking. The only thing he told the truth about is that it's interior was in mint condition. I guess I just learned a $75 lesson not to have a mechanic look at a car until the VIN is provided and I run a check!


I may give up on getting a wagon. The wagon would have just been a third car but I think now a decent old van will work better. I do need to find a 300D (turbo) sedan for my main car.

Thanks for all of your help. If you run across a 300D (turbo) sedan please send me info on it (if it's near or in Florida).


Thanks again!!!
 

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I'm sorry. I know how disappointing that can be, but at least you took some good precautions. Better luck next time.
 
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