Buying a classic car can be risky. And with the slogan ‘The best or nothing’ you have to ask, has Mercedes really provided us with the best? Or would we be better off with nothing? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of owning one of these old cars.
They look great, they’re different, and they’ll help you stand out from the crowd. They’re fun to drive, and they can be a comfortable ride. Restoring them can be fun and mass-produced models are easy to get parts for.
Many ’70s and ’80s diesels and V8s were overbuilt, so they’ll cover high mileages (300,000 plus) and stand the test of time, if they’re looked after properly. Merc has always targeted the high-end buyer, so you’ll find quality interiors.
They don’t depreciate like modern cars and in most cases they’re a good investment. But the nostalgic value of these cars is priceless, and they always make people smile.
They’re notoriously slow, they can be noisy, they have heavy steering and clutches. They’re expensive to run, restore, repair and maintain. They’re not eco-friendly, they’re heavy, and they burn a lot of fuel.
They lack the latest gadgets, safety features and driver comforts compared to today’s cars. And on some of the more obscure, rarer models, getting hold of parts can be challenging and expensive.
Things To Consider First Before Buying One
Check for rust in all the usual places. Inspect the engine closely, looks for cracks in hoses, belts, and wiring. Do your homework before you go and see the car. Mercedes offered multiple different engine and transmission types for each model, and unfortunately there are some that you should avoid.
Look for weak points that could lead to difficult and expensive repair work. If you’re not handy with cars, take a mechanic along with you or get an auto-inspection done. If its in need of major work, get quotes from a garage to avoid any nasty surprises.
30 years ago: Mercedes-Benz w124 introduced
Don’t be afraid of high-milers, but beware of cars that don’t have a service history record, which lack maintenance paper-work. Get a history report to see if it’s been in an accident, and check the car’s mileage history to get a feel for what kind of lifestyle its had so far.
When you test drive it make sure it shifts and runs well. The big diesels are notoriously slow so consider choosing one of the larger engines or one with a turbo, if you want a bit more pickup. And lastly check that the VIN number on the title paperwork matches what’s on the car.
Old Mercs, like all old classic cars, have personality. They’re special. And if you’re thinking of forming a relationship with one, take your time and choose carefully. You could well be selecting a life partner.
So pick one that suits your personality, one that you can cherish and take care of. And it’ll take care of you. How do you tell which one is for you? Well that’s down to pure chemistry!