5k: Blue Plate Special: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SE W116

Imagine, if you will, that you are a well-to-do 60-something with kids out of the house and plenty of money to spend on cars.  You aren’t interested in sporty cars, just need something to drive to the bowling alley once a week and pickup a few friends at the senior center. You may find yourself tempted to head to the nearest Benz dealer and pickup a new E-Class for $70,000…but it would be a mistake.  Save your hard earned cash and pickup a inexpensive used classic, and you’ll be happy as long as you budget for plenty of maintenance costs.  Your ungrateful, worthless children will inherit a few more dollars when you head to the big junkyard in the sky.  A good cheap example is this 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SE for sale in Vista, CA for $2,750 via craigslist.

This  W116 Mercedes won’t thrill you, but it is not supposed to be a thrill ride.  It is an executive cruiser from a simpler time when everyone didn’t have a heads-up-display and touch screen NAV.  All you really need in a simple commuter is a decent sized & smooth engine, a touch of reliability and a smooth ride.  This Mercedes has all that for less than $3k and gives you a touch of old money class that cannot be replicated in the latest E-Class that is being leased by far too many poor people trying desperately to appear rich.  An older classic will certainly give you more headaches in the reliability department, but it should make it up in cool.

See a better classic ride for retirees? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com