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Project Cars--You Get to Vote on "Hold 'em or Fold 'em"



  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 16,916
    I really like the 2002 and the brown b210.

    '13 Stang GT; '86 Benz 300E; '98 Volvo S70; '12 Leaf; '08 Town&Country

  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,275
    I don't know if Tri-Cities had one yet (back in the 80s anyway).

    In fact, it was in the late '70s and I will guarantee you there was no MB dealer in the Tri-Cities.

    At the time, driving the 300D was a revelation to this small-town boy. I thought the Volvo handled well, which it did relative to the domestic offerings of the time. But one of my coworkers had come with me (just to get out of the Tri-Cities for a day) and at one point during the test drive I was doing about 60 down a semi-paved road and she wasn't even aware anything unusual was going on. I fell in love with that car and if I had known about the independent mechanic in Richland I would have kissed my Volvo goodbye and left in the 300D without a backward glance.

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • texasestexases Posts: 5,424
    "I really like the 2002 and the brown b210. "

    Couldn't pick two more different vehicles...that 2002 caught my attention, too, but I'd sure prefer a small bumper one. And the later wheels just don't do it for me.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    edited January 2013
    I remember being in the Tri-Cities and noticing a MB dealer maybe i the early 90s, but not before. That area has really grown in the past 20-25 years, different from when I was a little kid. Yakima and ML are very different now too.

    If you had bought that car, you very well might still own it - they last forever, and are immune from racing-created crashes.
  • I sometimes miss my 300D, but you know, nostalgia is nature's way of allowing us to few the best parts of our past lives without falling into despair.

    Once diesel fuel skyrocketed in California, it didn't seem worth it to keep up with the 300D---despite all the mythologies, if you want to drive this car on modern freeways you have to have your foot into it all the time, and that means on a good day you'll get 21 mpg. Not bad for a big car actually, if you aren't in a hurry.

    I think the day I decided to get rid of it was up in Lake Tahoe, at high altitude. I was parked on a hill, and even in low gear, the car simply would not move. There was not enough power to overcome the uphill inertia. I had to back down to level ground and charge the hill.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    edited January 2013
    Those 300Ds looked good back in the day, and they still look good. However, from what you've written in the past, their reputation for durability may be somewhat overblown. From your past comments one gets the impression that a Honda Accord may last just as long, if properly maintained (my comparison). That's a big "if", though, because those old 300Ds generally tend to be treated to better maintenance than old Accords. The 300Ds sure age better than the Accords, though.
  • Exactly---their durability myth is tied to their excellent build quality...they look good for a long, long time, and consequently people are encouraged to pour money into them.

    If you shop for a 300D, I'd bet you any amount of money you'll have to drive 25 of them to find one that is even in halfway decent mechanical condition.

    They have the ability to be "walking wounded"--being fairly simply machines, they can stagger along for decades, smoking, ailing, with half their systems inoperative, and the driver bragging "yeah, they run forever".

    And they do, sort of.

    But to find one in acceptable running and cosmetic order? Well, lotsa luck with that.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I wonder whether two of the reasons they seem to age better, visually, than their high volume counterparts are because of their luxury image, and that you see them less often. Would they age better than Accords if their prices and volumes were reversed?
  • that's hard to say---some of them haven't aged well at all, and others, that look great, have had substantial amounts of money poured into them.

    I guess it really depends on who owned them, and for how long. if a 300D falls into the hands of someone cooking up peanut oil in their garage, you know the car is probably not going to get the best of care.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    edited January 2013
    If the Accord also had the same build/material quality, maybe. But many of them didn't, especially the pre-82 models. IMO, the Accord wasn't really overdone until the 1990+ model.
  • not even close in build quality.

    I don't mind automotive mythology---I even like it. I just won't spend money based on it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    edited January 2013
    I guess it depends on the car. I'd spend 6K on a pristine 76 300D before I'd spend it on a pristine 76 Accord, even if both have a rep for being very solid.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    I'm in full agreement with you on this. I've never heard of anyone who restored an Accord, or even put more than a modest amount more than the market value in one. The latter could happen for a transmission repair, if the owner liked his Accord and wanted to keep it, but it's far more likely to happen with a 300D.
  • I don't think an old Accord has any particular mythology attached to it.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    Well, they have a huge rep for being reliable and durable (in the right climate anyway), especially for the era. Does any car have the mythology of an old MB diesel?
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    There might be some nuts out there preserving or restoring 1st gen cars, and certainly someone somewhere will end up spending more than they should. But I think most would spend elsewhere. A cosmetically nice old MB will generate a little irrational loyalty, I know this firsthand :shades:
  • It's the SD you really want, not the D.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    My preferred diesel would be a W126 300SD turbo, with a W123 300 TD (turbo/wagon) second.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,120
    Well, yeah, there's always the exception, but as well designed and executed as those old Accords are (and the newer and new ones too), they're to be used up and scrapped when they get miled up. Most MBs, BMWs, muscle cars and some others retain their cache' much longer, so spending money on them is easier to justify. Well preserved late '70s-early '80s Accords have cache' by virtue of their memory and scarcity value.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,943
    That's true. It seems many MBs also languish for longer in parts car condition, as they tend to be broken up and stripped rather than crushed as a whole. The cachet and mythology at work.

    Certainly a mint 76 Accord is rarer than a mint 76 MB. First gen cars are pretty rare as a whole, anymore.
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