1984 Mercedes Benz 300D TurboDiesel -- Excellent Condition

For sale: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300-Series 300D TurboDiesel

Technical specifications

Item location:
Oceanside, California, United States
300D TurboDiesel
Number of cylinders:
Power options:
Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows
Drive type:
Interior color:
Palomino (Tan)
CD Player, Sunroof
Vehicle Title:
Contact the seller / ! Report


1984 Mercedes Benz 300D TurboDiesel
If you found this ad, you probably know what you are looking for . . . the famous Mercedes TurboDiesel on the popular w123 chasis with the celebrated OM 617 engine that is known to go for 1,000,000 miles while getting almost 30 mpg! If you don't know about this car, spend some time researching its history. This is Mercedes' most popular model, with millions sold worldwide. Extremely well built and over-engineered. How many other cars from the early 1980s do you see on a daily basis that are still on the road? Not many - the fact that these are still sought after is a testament to their quality.
You will have a difficult time finding a better example than this one, as everything works and it comes with an excellent maintenance history and runs perfectly. It has 267,235 miles, but you'd never guess by looking at it. It is still a baby compared to its heavily-used peers and has a lot of life left.
All pictures taken by me on July 2, 2016. Complete set of 117 photos can be viewed on imgur - but I can't post link - so email me to see them. I have clean title. No smog required for diesels of this age. Currently registered - plates expire October, 2016.
This was a 1-owner California car for its first 30 years until the first owner passed away. Over the last two years, a lot of money and work have gone into the car to bring it up to daily driver condition - no major maintenance was required due to its excellent condition, but all of the wear items have been replaced and updated. (After 30 years, rubber and plastic starts to wear out and parts need replacing, no matter how well the car was cared for. Anyone who owns one of these cars needs to do this work - which is why buying a car that has low mileage and not much use still requires a lot of updating maintenance. With this car - all of that has already been done so you don't have to.) I am the third owner and I've kept everything I received with this car and will pass it on to the next owner. Read on for more details:
1984 to December, 2013:
This car was purchased by UCLA Professor Mitsuru K. on October 2, 1984 at Downtown L.A. Mercedes, 1801 S. Figueroa for $34,500 (almost $90,000 in today's dollars!). I have many of the original documents and manuals that came with the car when it was sold. Most importantly, I have the owner's manual, complete first aid kit, and the Maintenance Booklet, which shows that Prof. K had this car faithfully serviced on schedule at the Mercedes mechanic. (As an example, Prof. K had the 100,000 mile service done on 1/29/91 when the car had only 99,900 miles.)
Though I have no way of knowing for sure, it is my guess that Prof. K. used this as his personal car to drive to and from work and it was not used as a family car. I say this because the MB Tex interior is in excellent shape with no stains or tears. It does not look like a car that was used to transport children and there is almost zero wear in the back seats to speak of. The carpets are also in excellent shape and it comes with Mercedes Benz floormats. From what has been relayed to me by the prior owner (who met Prof. K just before he passed), Prof. K had the car re-painted the same color as original - "Dark Blue" (Mercedes color code 904).
December 2013 to June 2015
Prof. K sold his car to the next owner, James D. in December 2013. Mr. D is a software engineer who also lived in Los Angeles. He is a Mercedes enthusiast who loved the 300D and was happy to find a car in such great condition. Thinking that he would keep this car forever, he put over $8,000 into updating this car and replacing wear items like engine mounts, bushings and all fluids and hoses/clamps. Mr. D married a German woman who unexpectedly decided to move back home to care for her aging family. Mr. D found a job in Germany and needed to sell the car, which is how I found this Benz. I have records of all the work he had done at Beverly Laurel Automotive, a Mercedes shop staffed by Mercedes Factory-trained mechanics using only OEM Mercedes parts. This work includes:
December 2013: Valve adjustment, new filters, Engine AND Transmission mounts, Power steering hoses/clamps, Lower Control Arm bushings, Track Rod & Rod end bushings. New Drive Shaft, Front & Rear Flex Disc & Center Support with new Bearings. New Radiator, Upper & Lower hoses, clamps, coolant and transmission cooling hoses. New Heater Hose Water Pump, Replaced all exterior hangers. Replace Steering Gear Box & Damper. Cost: $4,500.
Full Alignment (all 4) Cost: $215.00
New Michelin Defender Tires at 244,400 miles Cost: $538.85 There are now only 22,800 miles on these tires, which come with a 90,000 mile warranty - so you've got almost 70,000 miles left!
July 2014: Replaced left & right rear Axle Shafts, fix air filter bracket (common item on 300Ds), Adjust Steering box, repair A/C compressor electrical switches. Cost: $1259.03
January 2015: Replaced front brake Calipers, Pads & sensors & harness, Replace oil filter housing gaskets. Cost: $1111.88
Feb. 2015: Replace door vacuum elements Cost: $229.51
April 2015: New Battery $150
Also have records for all regular oil change and service. Total receipts from work done by Mr. D: $8,212.40. Mr. D did all of the work that anyone buying one of these older cars needs to do to get it running smoothly and safely.
June 2015 to Present:
When Mr. D found his job in Germany, he needed to sell the car. I purchased the car from him and I have continued to maintain and upgrade this w123 Mercedes:
August 2015: Installed 4 new Kicker speakers in the original locations because original speakers deteriorated with age: front dash x2 and rear deck x2. I have the original speaker covers if you'd like to return to the original look. $215
December 2015: Valve adjustment. $200
March 2016: Cleaned injectors and fuel system with Diesel Purge. Installed new front brake Rotors and Calipers and New Brake Pads on all 4. Cost: $783.00
April 2016: New Oil Cooler Hoses Cost: $495.00. If you aren't familiar with these hoses, they are essential to the diesel motor and if they fail - it causes catastrophic engine failure. They must be changed as the rubber wears out over 30 years. These hoses are no longer made by Mercedes and I shopped all over until I found quality German replacements.
June 2016: Replaced original sealed-beam headlights with new Hella H4 Halogen lights for a great night view. $110
All together, just over $10,000 has been spent on updating this car in the last 2.5 years. All receipts will be provided to the new owner. If you buy a $4000 300D, this is the money you will need to spend to bring it up to date. Or, you can save yourself the money and hassle by purchasing this Benz that has just had all the work done.
The car runs perfectly. The engine starts up immediately every time and has a nice consistent hum. Come see the car and do any tests you'd like. The oil cap doesn't dance at all when loosened when the engine is running (a common engine health test). The transmission shifts firmly as it should and I've had zero problems with it. Acceleration is great for what can be expected from this car. No black smoke or noise from the turbo. Everything is in order.
I've had zero mechanical problems and even drove it from San Diego to Denver (and back) in the August heat last year and it worked flawlessly.
All interior electronics work: Cruise control (rare for these cars to still work), A/C blows cool (but doesn't cool as well when temp is above 90-95 - may need a re-charge of coolant - but all parts work, such as compressor and fan), heater blows very hot, interior lights work, sunroof works, all electric windows work, all automatic door locks work - a rare feature in 1984.
Original stereo was replaced by Prof. K, who installed an Alpine Tuner/CD player, with I-pod/phone integration, Pandora, and 1/8" Aux input and USB input - you can charge your Android/Iphone by plugging in usb cable - no need for cigarette lighter adapter. Perfect for using your phone for navigation with real-time Google maps.
Comes with all original tools, including the Mercedes jack that fits in the jack holes unique to this era Mercedes. Also have original first-aid kit, manuals and documents.
Comes with original Fuchs "Bundt" Rims that are in excellent shape, along with a full-size brand new Michelin spare on a 5th Fuchs rim in the trunk that has never been used. Dash is in excellent shape - most of these are cracked so bad that owners use a carpet mat to cover the dash. Mine has a few very minor cracks that are not very visible and there is no need to use a mat because it looks so good.
All chrome is in great shape: bumpers, mirrors & trim.
No leaks - all seals on doors work great.
Are you interested in a veggie-oil burner? This is an excellent engine to convert to run on vegetable oil or any other alternative fuel. If it combusts under pressure, this car can run on it. Mine has never been converted and is all original, so you have a clean slate and the perfect platform if you are looking to run on oil. This is one of the most popular cars for conversion and you can find many kits made for this Benz.
So, why am I selling? I don't want to. I love the way the car drives and looks. I love the engineering and having the best engine ever made. It gets looks and people will want to talk about it in parking lots. However, I recently acquired a newish top-of-the-line Lexus LS from family because I need a newer car for work and cross-country travel. Unfortunately, I live at an apartment with no parking. I park on the street in a crowded town and I can't afford to keep a second car for just myself.
Ask me any questions you want or email me to see the car in person and take it for a drive if you are a serious buyer. If you are looking for a junker to restore - this is not your car. I doubt you'll find a better 300D out there. I did a lot of looking before I found this and didn't see anything even close to the condition of this car.
Reasonable offers will be considered from serious buyers.
The Bad Parts:
Face it, no 30 year old car is perfect. I want to be as forthright as possible so that prospective buyers know exactly what I'm selling. First is the A/C. It does not blow cold when outside temp is over 90 degrees. Fortunately, all parts work and it blows cold at lower temps. The compressor engages and turns and all ventillation functions work. It may need a recharge of coolant or maybe a relay switch needs to be replaced - I don't know.
Second, there is a spot on the roof where 1 layer of paint is peeling off. There are 2 circles next to each other about 3 inches each. Fortunately, it is just one layer that is peeling and the same color is underneath. You can see this in one of the photos in the link.
It is a rust-free California car except for the bottom interior corner of the front passenger's door - there is a 1.5 inch strip of rust where the drain hole is. This is where water is intended to drain when the car is washed or rained on - somehow there is a small spot of rust there. It is only visible if you get down on your knees and look for it. It has not grown any bigger in the year I've owned the car.
The glove compartment latch is finicky. It won't stay latched if it is pressed closed. Instead, you need to slide the latch over for it to stay shut.
The front grill took a rock and there is a 1-inch gap. This is visible in the pictures.
The hood is held by brackets that originally had a locking tab that would lock in place. Since this was unusual at the time, most people just tried to close the hood, without releasing the lock latch, which would break the latches. This appears to have happened on this car. The good news is that the brackets hold the hood firmly up when it is opened fully so that you can easily work on it without the need of a stick or other device to prop it up. You can see the open hood in the photos - it opens straight up so you don't need to duck under it.
As you can see, this car is in exceptional shape that is hard to find for its age. This Benz has had caring owners who have kept it in great mechanical and aesthetic condition. Perfect for any Mercedes enthusiast who knows the reputation of the OM617 engine on a w123 chasis. Also a great buy for someone who wants a reliable car that will run forever and will not fail to due to computers or electronics breaking. This is the end of the era of over-engineered Mercedes that brought the manufacturer its great reputation.
Please send an email if you are a serious buyer. Feel free to ask questions. We can arrange a test drive so that you can see everything yourself and experience the drive quality. There are plenty of $4,000 cars out there that have not been cared for and need restoration - this is not one of them. Please don't contact me if that is what you are looking for. No Trades. Cash only - I won't finance for you.
Have a great day!

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