Tips For Buying A Classic Mercedes
Mercedes are famous for their extremely high level of build quality and longevity. In fact, when it comes to classic cars, you would be hard pressed to find something with more comfort, style, and class. Whether a daily driver or a weekend cruiser they’re a great choice for a first classic car – or just another one to add to your collection!
Older Mercedes were hand-made with care and attention, using nothing but the best parts. Even a car with 300,000 miles or more still has a lot of driving to do. Especially if Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) Mercedes-Benz parts are used when doing maintenance. In fact, these cars can last for decades.
For years, the world record-holder was a 1976 Mercedes-Benz with more than 2.8 million miles.
The plush seats, the solid “thud” of the doors, and suspension that’s like riding on a cloud mean you’ll turn heads and cruise in comfort.
Thanks to their longevity, and the sheer amount made, there are still plenty on the road today. This means you’re unlikely to run into a lot of “no longer available” parts and you can get good quality, OEM Mercedes-Benz parts fairly easily.
Parts availability is good, but they’ll have to almost always be ordered online. This means your car could be down for a few days whilst waiting for the parts to arrive.
Parts can be a little more expensive but the value for money is incredible. If you’re replacing with an OEM part you’re likely to only have to replace them once.
As with any classic car, there are some parts that are not made any more (or as car enthusiasts say… “unobtanium”). It’s a good idea to check the online forums and owners clubs to find out what those parts are and confirm the car you’re buying doesn’t need them.
Which model is right for you?
A classic Mercedes-Benz can be a joy to own and is a good investment. Models from the 70s and 80s are reliable, easy to maintain and have an excellent build quality. This makes them incredibly popular still to this day.
1970s Mercedes-Benz 280.
Easy to find, and normally cheap to buy – this is the car that will turn heads when you take it out for a weekend cruise. It’s a good idea to replace the worn out parts to eek out some extra longevity from the car and this will be a solid, reliable car for weekend road trips.
As with all classic cars, you should pay special attention, and look out for rust all over – but especially in hard to reach areas such as wheel arches etc… Check over the engine to look for any hoses, wiring and belts that could be dry or cracked. Finally, make sure it changes gears smoothly and runs well when you take it for a test drive.
As comfortable as sitting on your sofa at home , with the durability and protection of a tank, these models set the Mercedes reputation for well-built workhorses that could do 300,000 miles like it was nothing. There are a lot of these models still in existence that are running (almost) like a dream. As always, the good ones are a little more expensive, but they are the ones we would recommend. In our experience, the cheap ‘project’ cars can be a nightmare.
To maintain reliability and resale value you should aim to replace any worn out parts with high quality OEM parts and, if possible, get a diesel!
Again, beware of rust and look for a car with an extensive maintenance history. High mileage isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as the maintenance is documented and the car appears to be looked after. There are also some waste vegetable oil conversions (WVO). They’re easy and popular to do with these cars plus great for the environment.