1978 Mercedes? OK?

It’s super pretty… near perfect outside?.. The college student has worked on it for at least one year… but it needs a new starter? Grandpa strongly advises against anything that he can not hear the motor. I guess he’s correct.

Worst case, what would it cost to rebuild some transmission on any vitage car? what would it cost to replace a motor on any vintage car?

What kind of vintage car should I look to purchase? 1950-1964 range, I’m guessing. I’d like to purchase next summer, really. I just purchased a house I need to fix up that first. I guess. Sighs. I was way more excited about the possibility of owning my neighbor’s car. Shall I put a link on here? maybe someone here will buy it? It’s very pretty… he has put a ton of work into it… I see him working on it always… but … then… why sell it…? NOW? or EVER??? I’m suspicious. Anyone wish to learn some 1978 mechanics stuff for me? to pay you? In Kzoo, MI. : )

Since a reman starter may run only about $100 for this car I found one for $89.99), your fears may be founded. There are probably other issues to be dealt with besides the starter. This is a bad purchase if this is to be your daily driver. I tend to side with Grandpa. Do a search on 1978 Mercedes and you will see a priced range from $7K to 11K or so (for 450 Sl’s), and they are all running and in “great condition”. Do a lot of research and get a qualified mechanic to examine this car before you commit.

Awesome! Yeah, I checked the prices online! I think it’s a steal of a deal!

I’m only looking for a car to take to festivals once per month on beautiful lake Michigan in the summer. A “project” car would be acceptable, as I have nothing else to do or spend money on… (I’m a stay at home Mommy… whose child will attend school this year or the next. - optional pre- Preschool “head start”.) So, I need a project or two! : )

I’m not sure If I am allowed to post links, but this will show all the work the college kid has put into the car:

Number one, I’ve never really, personally seen it drive down the road! Number two, He could totally offer this car to the other people who probably offer more money than me! (He agreed to $600 now, and lil more later : )

HIS words from the CL ad:
“I’ve owned this car I’ve put over $2500 into maintenance but it could still use some but not much TLC. The Good: The valves were done last weekend and really improved idle smoothness. Oil was changed less than 50 miles ago along with the primary and secondary fuel filters. Transmission filter and fluid were changed 2 summers and about 10,000 miles ago. New air filter. All 4 shocks were replaced less than 5,000 miles ago. Exterior condition of the car makes everyone stare. 4 brand new tires ($600) on 17” Konig wheels with proper spacers (no rubbing even at full lock). Ready for WVO/SVO if you want to add a tank heater. What makes this car unique is the factory option to omit the sunroof, and the injection pump has been replaced with a Euro model without the altitude compensator. The original is included but is getting weak (why I swapped them). The Euro pump itself is easily worth over $500. Comes with extra shutoff valve, lift pump, 2 ball joint kits, blower motor repair kit with brushes and manual, and several troubleshooting guides from Mercedes Source. UPDATE- The car now has a brand new battery from Interstate, as well as a new primer and lift pump. I also found new front inner and outer wheel bearings I had laying around (doesn’t need them at the moment but it’s one less thing to buy when they wear out). I recently replaced the ground cable as well, the old one was looking a little corroded."
Why bother with all that work and money only to sell it NOW? so low price?

Yeah, the starter needs “special” tools and “LIFT” (obviously, I have neither) but seek a gentleman or Mechanic students who wish to learn on this car?

Thanks a million, everyone…

Worst case, what would it cost to rebuild some transmission on any vintage car? what would it cost to replace a motor on any vintage car?

I just want a pretty car! : )

: )

was selling for $2,000, now only $1,200 (no starter)…
not sure what else is wrong with it. I don’t understand the words he wrote on his CL ad:
"The block heater needs a cord if you wish to use it, but I’ve started it up in subzero temps without trouble even before I adjusted the valves. STARTER IS TOAST. The vacuum pump could use a rebuild but still works (roller bearing is worn and makes a tapping sound, that comes and goes). I’d replace the glow plugs before next winter as well though they still start the car pretty well if cycled twice when it’s especially cold. They have been upgraded to “pencil style” fast-glow plugs and the relay was replaced in the past as well. Power locks have been disabled due to a vacuum leak, as has climate control because at the moment because I’m currently trying to find the source. They work just fine as manual locks as is., it’s a 1978 Mercedes 300D with the legendary OM617 diesel engine. Being a 78, this model is of course a non-turbo (yes, it’s really really slow). The odometer currently reads 224,000 but has worked intermittently for a while now so it’s probably around the 250k mark. Compression is still excellent and this engine should run another 250k with normal maintenance. The exterior is about an 8, there are a couple small rust areas on the rear filler panel under the taillights and another quarter sized spot on the cowl, other than that it has very few small dings but for a 32 year old car it looks damn good. Original paint is still very glossy. The interior is a little faded from age but is all there, the door panels still look EXCELLENT but the seats could stand to be re-dyed. The dash has a few cracks but is still very presentable."
It’s very very VERY pretty::: yes, People do stare… LOL I want something shiny and pretty. I do Not care for the big “mercedes” brand… (In fact, I may try to get my mechanic to remove the symbols, … for I fear of vandalism some day…) I seek an older vintage car, but this guy’s price is right. I don’t understand what is wrong with it, in what he just posted here… (Other than the stuff about the starter not working, the rest is in a foreign language. Is any of that stuff easy to replace? or reasonable prices? to fix? I’m clueless!) Thank you for all your help!!!
I need it!!!
: )

I can’t afford the $10,600 fairliner (fairlane?) today, but I can afford the 1978 mercedes… ; P
so tempting… I’m very naughty. like a rebellious teenager,if I buy the mercedes, I would be going AMA (against Mechanic’s advice)?

OK, I’ll try to listen to Uncle Turbo and both Grandfathers, but I will pout!

thanks a million! I’m just a dimwit lady girl person! argh!

Unless you have unlimited funds you don’t want a Mercedes Benz, of any vintage. Parts and maintenance are very expensive on these cars. My girlfriend owned a Mercedes convertible for a while. She bought it because she wanted a pretty car, which it was, but she couldn’t drive it across town without something breaking. It was in the shop about once a month, and cost a fortune every time.

She got tired of having an unreliable car and paying for constant repairs, and she got rid of it.

Cost varies widely, Mercedes would be on the expensive side, several thousand dollars…

If you do not know a lot about cars, do not consider a ‘non-running’ car, regardless of the owners claims that ‘it was running yesterday, it’s just a $100 starter, etc, etc.’ If it was that easy, why would he accept an $800 drop in value?

Buy a single issue of Hemmings Motor News. Find something that’s “Shiny & Pretty” and make the best deal you can…When you find something you like, see if any are for sale on e-bay. That’s where they get listed after they can’t sell them in Hemmings…

The Benz Diesel is a parts car worth $400…


Do you have about $2,000 a year to spend on this car to take to a few “festivals” on nice Michigan weekends? There is a desiel motor in the car. The good is it is a good motor and lasts a long time. The bad is that at 30+ years old this motor (and the rest of the car) is going to need constant repairs and old parts replaced.

If you can’t do this work yourself you’ll have to find a mechanic who is familiar with a MB desiel and not all mechanics can work on these cars. This will be a very expensive “project” that will not return much of your money as an investment when you go to sell the car.

Look at all the work and money the “college kid” has put into the car and the low price that he will have to sell it for. Let this go.

Tough call, how much money are you willing to throw in in case the starter failed because of over cranking for some other symptom? It is possible the more work he has done on it the bigger the problem. Seriously I would look at a corvair. We will try to support you here for free!

hmmm. … well. I do not specifically care for a “mercedes” label car, I just wanted something pretty. I happen to know the neighbor guy a little bit. I have a limited money supply (so they say) , however, I have a really awesome brand new repo house from the housing crash… it’s paid off. I don’t need to sink money into the house or pay a mortgage! so, yeah, Yippee!!! Old vintage cars, here I come seeking, thee… : )
I don’t mind paying a mechanic! I’m here to stimulate what’s left of the MI economy! : )

I live in Mexico and I’m getting stimulated…

How about this sled?


I think Uncle Turbo is correct on this one!
above poster, your galaxie is very cute… the Fairliner (I hope I wrote that correctly) was also very cute. I think I like all cars that are vintage, lol , any one will do, something shiny. I don’t need to get out much. Just groceries once per week or month would be fine. I have no other car, house, or car insurance payments at the moment. A friend helps us with groceries. I live like a shut in. LOL a car would be super fun! Probably not this mercedes though, I guess. $600 down, and $200 next month and the following month,. it’s such a great deal, darn it, you guys. I know nothing about cars. I probably don’t deserve one. I will read /and or/ subscribe to the magazine suggested above. I do wish to learn car stuff. That’s why I’m here. I also remember very fondly the days before computers in cars… a guy could fix anything with duct tape and pantyhose… LOL Or so I’ve been told… ; P
I’ll lay low, read, learn a few things. buy car later… next year… sounds like a good solid reasonable plan. thanks guys…

LOL I’m not looking for a “return” on my “investment” LOL. I just want a shiny pretty car or TRUCK… "ooOoOoOh… " and “ahhhh”… : )
I don’t want a boring car… Trucks… now THOSE seem very USEFUL for like, hauling stuff… out in a rural area (where I wish to ultimately retire, where I was born, up north, country, in the forest somewhere… ; )
I wish to keep the vintage car forever… Not sell it… no !!! I’m aghast! The horror! I’m going to love it, and cherish it, and plant flowers in it (OK, If it’s a VW Beetle)… oooh, wax it… and rub it… and… um…? what else do people do to cars? Sing to it? I will give my car happy happy memories at the drive in movie theatre??? : )
They only have like, a few hundred of those left in all the US, and there are at least three Drive in movie theatres within driving distance of ME! : )
Fun times! (with the kids! Get your mind out of the gutters! )

My suggestion is this; on some nice MI summer evenings go to local car shows. Not big ones, but small shows such as at the local '50’s - '60’s burger joint. Many of these folks offer their cars for sale and then pick up another one to fix up.

What you want is a nice decent looking car that is in good running condition. Not the “best in show” winner which will cost more as it meets specific criteria. You just want a car that has some “character”. Some of these cars can be bought for a few thousand dollars and will be more reliable and less of a “project”. You should really look for a car that has been someone else’s project and is fixed up to the point of looking nice and running well.

You refer to a pretty car or truck. Better question: What are your DIY maintenance skills and will you have a cash reserve of $1k for inevitable parts costs on vintage cars?

Aw, Thanks for finding my post…

I have zero DIY skills (Besides art)… I do have unlimited spare time when my child starts school. I will be lonely. I will need some projects!!! and , Yes! I do realise, I DO have $1k for labor costs… I have no home mortgage (and a new roof, and new furnace, new .wow…) …
Grandpa was a one of the first certified mechanics! He can help diagnose any issues, however, I really think he wishes to stay retired (he worked on Computers most recently). I find cars without computers to be fascinating… so much potential … to just be mechanical and motor,… wow… something interesting. I’m somewhat interested in learning… but not sure how far I will delve into this new field. Can’t I just marry a mechanic??? please??? I’d love to observe his talents… : ) I can do all the female sewing of curtains and … choosing of the colors in and on the car??? ; )

I have no desire or need for a non vintage car. I can order anything (including groceries! ) online these days… LOL I am not sure if I should mention it, but. er, ah, there is this unpopular thing called “public transportation” … that I have been known to use infrequently in the past… It’s not fun… So, I really don’t use it that much. I just stay home a lot, or walk… I do enjoy walking, and riding a bike… (it’s a lost art!). I just “want” a car. I don’t “Need” a car… I’m a Stay at home Mommy.


Here’s a few thoughts:

Old cars with pollution controls but no computer are generally mechanical nightmares.
European luxury cars like Mercedes, Volvo, Audi etc. are moneypits.
The older the car the harder to find a competent, experienced mechanic.
A car is not an appliance like a toaster.

Never never ever buy a car that you cannot test drive. Ever. It’s impossible to even guess what might be wrong with a vehicle until you get it out on the road. And some problems, like brake and chassis problems, can render a car totally unsafe. The only exception to this rule is a car whose life has been spent in your family and you know its history first hand. That does not apply here.

And a Mercedes should not even be considered on a budget.

What kind of vintage car should you consider? There’s a wide choice, but don’t think of a 1950 to 1964 car as a daily driver. Its brakes, handling, and safety systems will be virtually nonexistant and it’ll probably be well worn. You may even have trouble getting parts for it. And cars of that vintage required a lot of care (trust me, I was there).