I would like to find an 85 123 300 turbo wagon in pristine condition. What is the best way to go about doing this and where?
Talk about a difficult search. 1. Place an add in Hemmings Classic website 2. Email every collector sales shop you can find on the web 3. Email every collector vehicle auction site you can find. 4. Join every Mercedes based forum on the web you can find.
You need to contact a 123 club . . . there’s certainly going to be a few members with wagons in excellent condition. Perhaps one of them will be willing to let it go to the right person, and for the right price. You’re probably going to have to convince them that you will cherish the car.
Be aware that such a car will not go cheap . . . easily several thousand dollars, if it looks great and is in excellent mechanical condition.
Depending on the exact age, there are certain modifications and/or upgrades that may have already taken place, and if not, you should consider having them done
Considering you’re thinking of buying a very specific vehicle, I’m guessing you’ve already done some homework and know some of the quirks and shortcomings of the 123
In my opinion, you want to buy a car that was initially sold in California, and NEVER was registered anywhere else, its entire life. Lack of rust is what I’m talking about.
No gray market cars of any kind . . . no Canadian cars, no european cars. There were too many hack jobs getting them compliant back in the days
I also suggest NOT buying a car slammed on fat rims and tires
No chromed rims . . . there have been plenty of chrome jobs that don’t hold up, get dull, pitted, flake off, etc.
Benz didn’t have chrome rims as an option back in 1985 . . . don’t let anybody tell you otherwise
If the car still has the original Becker radio . . . that’s a major plus. They’re expensive to replace
You planning on using this car as a daily driver . . . ?
I’d STRONGLY advise against it . . . the handling is terrible by modern standards, and it’s lacking safety features that ANY plain jane new Corolla or Civic would have.
This would be the ideal candidate for weekend driving or the occasional trip, but not regular use
Thank you so much for your time and response. I think I will take your advise and look for a better handling MB with better safety features. Thanks. Jerry Byles
Thank you so much for your reply. Jerry Byles
Check upcoming classic car auctions my RM, Barrett-Jackson, and Mecum. There are others, too. A web search for “classic car auctions” will give you several URLs to check. Your idea about buying a fully restored 300TD estate car is the way to go.
Were you inspired by the latest episode of Wheeler Dealers? They just restored an '85 300TD, sold it for $11,500, I think. Is that in your budget?
Oh, I just saw your reply to @db4690 - he knows of what he speaks.
The fully restored 300TD on W-D did 0-60 in 17 seconds. Slooooooooow…
Hey, I didn’t say NOT to buy a 123 wagon
I just advised against using it as a daily driver
I and others are curious . What prompted the desire for a 1985 Mercedes TD wagon in the first place. Also what did you plan to do with it ?
I did see a 1984 on the Hemmings site.
That’s the first thing that jumped to mind. The OP mentioned the exact year.
the c10 truck was nice. hydro boost brakes. fuel injection, OD trans, new AC? suspension? didnt see all the show. and the buyer was from texas?
But not as slow as the non-turbo estate car. I believe Brewer described acceleration from 0 to 60 as glacial in that version. Great episode. I really enjoyed it.
I think any Southwest 300TD would be most likely to be rust free, but LA would be the best place to find one. In the early 1990s I talked to a guy with a cherry 1967 Mustang. I was on a business trip in Cali, and remarked that California cars were the way to go. He said he got his in West Texas, and that desert cars from the Southwest were better than Cali cars because most people lived near the coast, and sea air was corrosive.
Several years ago I got on the freeway behind a 240D. It had reached maybe 30 mph by the end of the entrance ramp, so I passed it. 10 minutes later it came smoking (with smoke, not speed) by, doing maybe 70 mph (I had gotten to 65 mph right after I passed him).