Mercedes-Benz spent serious effort in promoting their diesel engines back in the 1980s and 1990s, in fact it is hard to know from searching craigslist that you could get a W123 Benz with a gasoline engine in the USA back in the day. Regardless, the OM-series oil burners were good for basic transportation, but not much of an upgrade for power/speed on most vehicles..however, if you want an upgrade in reliability and fuel economy, it does the trick. This next feature is the cheap and dirty version of the nice Chevrobenz Truck swap we featured the other day. Find this 1990ish Chevrolet S-10 Blazer offered for $2500 in Ford Washington, MD via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
The Mercedes-Benz OM606 inline-6 was the ultimate version of the indirect-injection diesel passenger car engines that pushed oil burning Mercedes-Benz diesel sedans, coupes, and wagons around the world for decades. It isn’t as complicated as later Benz common-rail diesel engines, but the 3.0 liter 175 horsepower turbodiesel came into the world before the ill-fated Daimler-Chrysler alliance and it featured a reliable Bosch electronically controlled diesel injection pump that should last for a million miles. Today we find it installed into a Chevrolet Silverado…which is a strange place to find an OM606. Personally I’d be tempted to run a semi truck style exhaust with a rain flap on top…but I’m probably not the person you should follow when it comes to automotive things. Find this 2002 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 offered for $13,000 in Long Beach, CA via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car is offered at a price that is typically reserved for wrecked or rusted cars…and it appears to be neither. The seller admits that the driver’s seat needs fixin, and the window handle (yes…this means it has manual windows – score!) is broken…but then admits that part of the reason the price is so low is because it won’t turn off when you turn the ignition/key off. You need to dump the clutch and hold your foot on the brake — and I know a thing-or-two about this problem because I had a W123 with the same vacuum related issue that causes the mechanical fuel shut-off valve to stop working. It won’t stop you from getting the car home and it could be as simple as replacing a few dried vacuum hoses…but with new tires/brakes/rotors/steering column/starter…this thing had its value in maintenance in recent times. Seems like a great first car for a kid or 17th car for CFlo. Find this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $2000 in Napa County, CA via craigslist.
The W124 generation Mercedes-Benz E-Class was engineered to a standard of excellence that is almost unmatched when compared to any other car platform from the late 80s/early 90s. These cars might not be the sexiest or the most desirable of cars from the era…but they introduced advanced features (like aerodynamic integration of lights/bumpers/mirrors and plastic undercarriage covering) in a mass market car that have been adopted by competitors. A few decades later and you can still drive one every day if you enjoy a stately driving experience mixed with the knowledge that you are better than everyone else. Find this 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300E W124 offered for $9,500 in West Chester, PA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The basic designation “300” has been used by Mercedes-Benz over the years in a number of vehicles including some humble sedans (like the W115) all the way up to their W198 Gullwing equipped super sports car 300SL…so it might be confusing to people when they see a 300D compared to a 300SD, but make no mistake, this next car is part of the high-end W116 S-Class and should be given proper reverence and distance. Reverence because it is a sweet piece of machinery and distance because you might otherwise get a bad case of the black lung from the diesel exhaust. Find this 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD W116 offered for $6000 in Los Angeles Valley, CA via craigslist. Tip from Mike D.
This next car comes as a tip from Jeff who writes: I love depreciation… especially with Euro vehicles. Another great example with good miles and in awesome shape. Not bad for 500+ hp but the age old question looms… you can afford to buy it, but can you afford to maintain it? (that is the […]
This next car comes from Jim H who writes; You guys love these. Yes, guilty as charged. But who wouldn’t love a cream colored beauty with a manual gearbox, manual roll-up windows and a super MB-tex interior. It would be nice to have the extra cylinder found in the 300D version or a turbocharger…but the non-turbo 240D engine will outlive the AI that will eventually turn us all into soylent green, so I approve of this next car. Find this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D offered for $6000 in Wilbramah, MA.
This next car comes as a friend of the seller submission from Cory who writes; Can you to write this one up? I helped my friend write up the listing for the car. I think it poses an interesting question regarding Merc vs BMW. All things being equal is it worth paying the E30 tax as opposed to something like this? Find this 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E Sportline offered for $10,000 buy-it-now or make-offer located in Bridgewater, CT via eBay.
This next car almost got thrown to the bottom of DT’s email trash bin because it didn’t look like much. The wheels are too flashy, the seats are ripped, and the paint is flaking like a Texas sunburn, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a C43 with an E55 engine swap. The original 1998-2000 C43 AMG was a capable and fun with its 4.3 liter 306 horsepower V8 — but shoving the 5.4 liter V8 from the E55 AMG for 349 horsepower should be a nice upgrade without ruining the car’s character. Find this 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG with 5.4 liter V8 swap offered for $7000 in Mascotte, FL via craigslist. Tip from Cory.
This next car comes to DT as a seller submission from Sean C who writes: I love wagons and I love ’80s/’90s boxy Euro cars (I know you like Saabs). This is my first Mercedes wagon after many Volvos and Toyotas and Fords. To say this vehicle is an upgrade from every other wagon I’ve owned is an understatement. This was THE big step up. I feel like a king whenever I drive it. Problem is with the pandemic, I am not driving it and I want a motorcycle so I’m selling my dream car—my forever wagon—my 1990 300TE: I’m in L.A. and it’s available for a test drive. Find this 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300TE W124 bidding for $5,500 reserve-not-met with 9 days to go, located in Los Angeles, CA.