When gas prices spiked a few years ago, cars like this 1981 Mercedes-Benz 300D Euro were suddenly very much in demand. Virtually indestructible and capable of pulling down some rather impressive fuel economy, they're always the first go-to vehicles when times get tough. The fact that you can enjoy Mercedes-levels of luxury while you save money is simply icing on the cake.
Yes, I'd call these desirable, if not collectable, because good ones never remain on the market for long. This one is a gray market car, brought stateside from Europe in 1984 and currently shows a barely broken-in 59,528 actual miles. Since Mercedes diesels can go to a million without much hesitation, strap in for the long haul with this Merc. If you think we're joking, it would be a mistake to bet against it eventually running a million miles because these are perhaps the most reliable machines ever devised by man. The W123 series cars were notorious for rusting in northern climates, but this one has been absolutely pampered its whole life, so the sheetmetal is as well-preserved as the mechanicals. The blue paint is original, shines well, and really looks as good as photographed. The chrome and stainless trim remains very good as well, including the familiar Mercedes-Benz grille, which is still one of the most recognized symbols of wealth and quality on the road. Lastly, who doesn't love those Euro bumpers? This Merc looks just like the German engineers designed it to look, without those gaudy safety bumpers we Yanks had to suffer with.
Looking for MB-Tex? Remember, it's a gray market Euro-spec, and cloth was very common across the pond in the 80s for Mercedes. The interior is in excellent shape, which shouldn't be a surprise because the stuff wears like iron. The bucket seats show no notable signs of wear (another point in favor of the low mileage) and there aren't many cars that are better long-distance cruisers than this, as long as your bladder can withstand the miserly fuel economy and range. It is still a Mercedes, after all, so you get a beautiful instrument panel and console, a giant steering wheel, and big, round gauges that should look familiar to anyone who has driven one of these in the past few decades. There's also a Becker AM/FM/Cassette radio that's in fantastic condition and still works! There's also automatic climate control and power windows, so this Benz is hardly stripped down. Plenty of room in back and the trunk will handle all the luggage you can carry.
The 300D nomenclature suggests a diesel 3.0 liter inline-5 (yes, five cylinders), which was a mainstay of Mercedes-Benz production for many years. If you see a Mercedes in Morocco pulling taxi duty, this is what's powering it. Indestructible, easy to maintain, and with fuel economy that will rival the best of today's cars, it's all about having your cake and eating it too. They're legendary for their durability and should run practically forever with basic maintenance. This one has been very well maintained along the way, but you'll probably find that oil changes and an occasional wash and wax are all it asks. It starts easily and idles with a familiar diesel clatter, and while the horsepower and torque figures are modest, this car will cruise all day at 75 MPH with the engine just purring away up front. You can also thank the 4-speed automatic transmission and tall rear gears, which certainly help in the economy department, and the suspension and brakes make it feel lively yet comfortable on the road. Like I said, there aren't many better road trip vehicles. Standard steel wheels with color-matched hubcaps look great and carry 195/70/14 Michelin Defender radials.
A Mercedes is always a Mercedes, but when it's such a clean, low mileage example that will also pay you back with astounding fuel economy and reliability, you can count it as a double win. Call today!