eBay Find: 1983 Mercedes 300SD – Is it Worth it?


Oh baby that’s what I like, a little minter of a W126 Mercedes. Of course I’d prefer a 560 SEL/SEC for the pure Mercedes “Learjet on the road” experience. However there’s no avoiding the fact that this particular model is a gem in the metal. And sadly, priced like a gem in the metal.


In your author’s opinion, the W126 is the single best series that Mercedes has ever produced. Of course I adore the 600 Grosser; but its hideously complicated hydraulics mean that when something goes wrong you’re in for massive amounts of trouble. Not to mention the massive amounts of bills. Meanwhile the W126’s over engineered but mostly conventional mechanicals mean that it’ll easily do half a million miles and go “Nice, can we do half a million more?”


‘Immaculate’ is a very good description of the vehicle which is gracing your screen now. It’s a 1983 model with little over 64,000 miles on the clock. Once again I’m assuming that its only previous owner was an elderly man to explain the fact that it has averaged around 2000 miles a year since new. The Blau/Silber two-tone is as deep and shiny as the day it left the factory at Stuttgart and doesn’t seem to have any bumps or scrapes. If I nitpick it seems the lower molding in the driver’s door is the tiniest bit out of alignment but can you really fault it after 32 years if it is?


Inside the Crème Beige leather has survived in that way only old Mercedes interiors do, not that it has been particularly taxed you understand. And under the hood that timeless OM617 five-cylinder turbocharged diesel, ready to get you anywhere you want always. It won’t get you there very fast or sound particularly dignified along the way, but it’ll always get you there. I’m sure that if you went shopping today there wouldn’t be a nicer W126 this side of a museum. Which brings me neatly into the only downside of this car. The price.

There’s no tap dancing around the issue here, this Mercedes has a price tag of $18,950.00. It could be the little latino bean counter inside me but there’s simply no way I’d be able to justify spending that amount of money for an old Merc at what should be rock bottom of the depreciation curve. For $10k this would really be a no brainer. In fact, the same dealership has a newer 300SDL in similar condition with 153,XXX miles at $11k. It’s not like the engine is anywhere near the end of its operative life or in need of serious repairs at that point. It’d be the rational choice. What about you, would you be able to justify the price for what is a practically new old Mercedes?