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I'd like a classic Mercedes-Benz - but not a convertible - what do you recommend?

I have recently retired and would like to own a classic car which I would run only in the summer months. I live in Scotland and salt on the roads is the enemy in the winter. I fancy an old Mercedes and have heard that those built in the eighties were the best. I get confused about labels like W124 etc and would like to know what your advice would be about the the best, strongest engines and those bodies most resistant to rust. I would like to think that, given my low mileage, running costs should not be an issue. I don't want a convertible. An estate would be preferable but a "sedan" would be okay as I have seen some generous boot space in these early cars.

Asked on 25 June 2018 by Sinky

Answered by Keith Moody
Well, it's certainly a slightly more unusual request. Normally, people ask for something reliable with a soft-top that they can use for summer months. Perhaps the first thing to be aware of is that an old car - no matter how good - will require a maintenance budget. Rust can hide everywhere and a car that's laid up for six months is always going take a certain amount of fettling to keep it ticking over ready for summer. As for your choice of cars, many old Mercs lay claim to being their last over-engineered model to leave the factory, but if you look which models are still in use around the world then there's really only one that takes the prize - the Mercedes W123. In total, 2.7m were sold so there's plenty about. They're also gaining popularity in classic circles so you'll be able to find one being sold by a loving owner in good condition. But equally, they still are in everyday use because... well, they just keep going. Make sure you spend time getting to know the range, though - choosing a classic is one of the most enjoyable parts of the process, so get to know those numbers. There is an important point to note, however - by spending money on a workhorse (i.e a non-convertible) you may not see much return from your investment. While two-seater soft-top Mercs like the SL (R107) have seen values soar recently, W123s and other hard-working models are a long way behind.
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