I saw this 1979 300D and wept ...

A coworker told me he saw a Mercedes "just like mine" near the place of our work. "It looks nice", I was told, "you could maybe even fix it up and flip it". It was a little out of the way, but I couldn't resist checking out this "identical twin". There are very few old German diesels in the area, so every newcomer is immediately noticed and discussed. It turned out to be a car lot slash salvage yard. As I was driving through the rows of beaten up, decaled, rusted, neglected, and dented Chevys and Fords, I was growing impatient and excited. Finally, I cought a glimpse of a distinct silver tail end. To my great dismay, the car was severely neglected and damaged. See for yourself. The radio is torn out. Buttons don't work. The chrome trim is missing on the front doors. The driver's door barely opens. The handle doesn't work. The grille comes apart. It could be pulled away from the hood. The clear plastic is missing. The dealer does not know whether those are real miles. The underdash is a complete mess. Headlamps work, but the ribbed assembly and clear plastic are both torn to hell. The car was driven by an unappreciative pig. What an asshole. Practically everything in the rear is torn out. The paint is oxidized and dull. No rust. The fuel door and the vicinity are damaged by diesel fuel. The rear door does not close properly. I couldn't believe how much neglect and abuse this car took. I can't imagine an owner who would do something like this to a beautiful, dependable, and classy vehicle. I inquired about the car's mechanical condition even though my own rule states that the mechanical condition of an old Benz diesel can be estimated by its looks. The dealer swore all this car needed was some work "on the injection, maybe pump". I suddenly became very sad. I got into my car and drove away without saying a word.


Blogger Gunnar Heinrich said...

Be not sad Max.

Rejoice instead in that you maintain your 300SD as it should be maintained (though you really should replace the star).

In any case, there are lots of neglected and/or abused 300Ds out there. They are the third world's workhorses as a quick trip to Northern Africa will atest.

Still, I empathize in that it is a sorrowful sight to see a Benz in ruin.

2/13/2006 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't save them all, Max.


2/14/2006 02:13:00 AM  
Blogger reckless rogue said...

Ditto the above comments, Max. I, too, have seen my fair share of neglected MB diesels. Sad sights for sure, but it is just the reality of the times in which we live. Many people just don't take the time to care.

Anyway, your Benz is one of the cleanest I've seen.

As for me, I have just recently detected a little surface rust creeping into my rear wheel wells (damn Maryland climate). Normal location for rust, but now I have to take action with some miracle paint and sealer before a real problem develops.

I guess the moral of the story is constant inspection and maintenance is absolutely necessary to keep our 300SD's looking and running great.

2/14/2006 09:06:00 AM  
Anonymous 300SD said...

Agreed with you all.

It's not the natural wear and tear that bothers me, but neglect. If this guy's 300D was busted up, but clean, I'd feel better.

As far as all this pressure to replace the hood star ... Well, maybe I will.


2/14/2006 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Heinrich said...

Now there's a sensible chap.

2/14/2006 10:11:00 AM  

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