Will my dream car be a tank or a money pit?

This will sound weird… but my dream car is an early 80s Mercedes Turbo Diesel wagon.

I’ve wanted once since I was little and I still want one today.

I’m currently leasing a 2012 VW GTI and once thats up I plan on investing in my dream car.

I just wanted to get everyones opinion on exactly what I should expect.

Also to clarify not really interested in bio-diesel, in fact I want to make it as stock as possible…

any guidance in this matter will be greatly appreciated.

Well, everyone’s got to dream…but yeah, your dream is a money pit. Any 80’s TD wagon you can find will have 200k+ miles on it and need frequent, expensive repairs. But, hey, if you can afford it, knock yourself out.

Just be sure to have a backup car, a reliable daily driver for the many times the TD is in the shop.

I would not consider your choice a winner when it comes to economy, but if you really like it and you are realistic about your expectations, then go for it.

my dream car is an early 80s Mercedes Turbo Diesel wagon.

I’ve wanted once since I was little and I still want one today.

I’m currently leasing a 2012 VW GTI and once thats up I plan on investing in my dream car.

Don't confuse your dream car and an investment.   No car is an investment.  <b>Cars are a cost not an investment.</b>

Be careful what you wish for, and do not expect to use a 30-year old car for everyday reliable transportation. This is a hobby car only. (I hope?)

Your dream car is both a Tank and a Money Pit. But if you must have it. At that age you’ll be fixing things like power windows, power seats, and AC components in addition to keeping the motor running.

Just know that folks following in the black cloud given off by your ‘dream car’ as you enter the freeway will NOT be thinking it much of a ‘dream’…

Go ahead and buy your deram car but as the others have stated, have your tool box and wallet open and ready.
It should make a nice project/collector car if you realize that fact going in.

I have a 79 Chevy pickup in my driveway now but it’s NOT the daily driver.
One of my mechanics , right now today, has a $4000.00 bill on a 1974 F100 4x4 he’s still assembling. Cranked it up saturday for the first time since rebuilding and boring the 360.

Your Mercedes will be BOTH; it’s a tank from a solidity point of view (very good body) and also a money pit with respect to upkeep. I worked with a guy who was on the road selling machine analysis services. He loved his turbodiesel, but the transmission went and it cost him $3500 in the mid 80s. He did put about 300,000 miles on it and the car was reasonably reliable (in the 80s).

Your car will have suffered natural detrioration and all those parts are very expensive.

I assume it will be a slow, poor-handling car by today’s standards. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me.

Search craigslist and eBay for one, test drive it and see if the dream is still alive.

If you’re lucky enough to find a stock restored car, it’ll be expensive to buy(if you think a Gulf is expensive enough to lease, you’ll be in for a shock). If you find a cheap one, you’ll find out quickly WHY it’s cheap.

I would advise a thorough inspection, including a compression check, before even attempting this dream car purchase and go from there if that’s your desire.

Many years ago I had to take a road trip with 4 others in a new diesel Benz from this era (forget the model) and I cursed that car the entire way.
A 100 degrees outside and the A/C quit followed by the auto transmission getting balky and not wanting to shift. Riding in the rear seat brought up thoughts of the Spanish Inquisition, sans the care and concern shown back then to those being put into the Iron Maiden.
The only plus on the entire trip was that I didn’t have to make the return trip in it.

To add insult to injury, the window sticker showed a 20 something dollars set of Coco floor mats, installed, listed at 400 bucks. At least my feet felt privileged. :wink:

All 3, tank, money pit and car of your dreams.

I’m with Texases. These are environmentally unsound cars. If you don’t mind polluting more than a thousand newer cars, go right ahead (and I’m not exagerrating.) My friend Mario was just like you. Growing up in Guatemala it was his dream car, so it was all he would drive when he came here. Terrible driver. At least I never worried about him driving too fast.

There are two for sale at Hemmings. One is a 1982 240TD for $14,000; reported to be in top shape. IMO this is probably less than if someone restored a similar car themselves.