18K Miles: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE

Bidding has already crested $25,000 and the reserve remains unmet for this survivor-grade 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE wagon. I’m not surprised at all, as it has just 18,000 original miles and these classic overbuilt Benz wagons command a following with mileage twice that amount. The seller notes it has just one California family owner since new that perhaps limited travel to vacations and likely didn’t subject the W124 to daily driving duties. Find it here on eBay and now located in New York.

The interior features all the sorts of things you’d expect a wagon to be equipped with: rear dog barrier, third-row seats, and, this being a Mercedes, acres of leather and wood trim. Of course, hailing from the era of overbuilt Mercedes products means the interior looks practically new, and it likely still would if the car had three times the mileage. Mercedes’ seating surfaces are notoriously durable, and the upholstery in this showroom example looks like it has seen barely any use – and certainly, no dogs jumping around in the passenger compartment.

The inline-six in the W124 lineup is one of Mercedes’ typically overbuilt units with nearly indestructible qualities if treated right. Having learned to drive on an old 300E sedan, I can attest this mill will return smooth acceleration and ample torque when called upon, even if it’s not what you’d call sprightly (the reluctance of the automatic to kick down to first is burned in my memory). The engine bay is perfectly detailed with no obvious signs of neglect. Even if it sat for years, dusty and ignored in a suburban garage, you can’t tell with the level of detailing on display here. The seller has done a really nice job with the presentation.

One of the common wear areas in a Mercedes of this vintage is the wood trim, which can fade and peel in the sun. This car has no such issues, with a deep luster and no cracks, and the original Becker radio head unit still in the dash (this is impressive, as most teenagers would demand mom and dad lose the frumpy cassette deck.) Perhaps this was a grandparent’s car, bought for a few road trips with the grandkids but otherwise, hardly used. Whatever the story, a low-mileage W124 estate is somewhat hard to repeat, and this one should go for all the marbles.

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Comments

  1. davew833

    Not to malign this beautiful example, but I bought a 1986 300E on the pretense that the six cylinder engine was essentially indestructible. Shortly after I bought it, the engine began making a terrible noise from under the valve cover. I removed it to find one of the cam bearing caps/towers had cracked in half! I replaced just that cap and it was fine, but I’m still scratching my head over that one. I’ve never before or since had a car with that particular problem.

    Like 5
  2. Andrew Franks

    Jeff, absolutely. They are great cars, elegant and useful at the same time, and I’d buy it if I had the room and it wasn’t so far away.

    Like 2
  3. Pete in PA

    My love affair with the 124 chassis Benz began in 1992 when I bought an off-lease 1988 300E. I was stunned at how solid and tight that car was, how well the brakes worked, etc. Since then I’ve bought a dozen more as drivers, project cars, and parts cars. Sedans, wagons, 4MATICs, non-4MATICs, and even a coupe.
    Time marches on and my love of these cars has faded for a couple of reasons. The injection system is primitive and, while it will work well for 100k miles, it is difficult and expensive to diagnose/repair today. It does not like running ethanol fuel and infrequent use will bring misery. Also, the four speed auto trans does not have an overdrive and, by today’s standards, the fuel economy is just lousy. On a recent trip I took an 88 sedan on the PA turnpike and whizzed along effortlessly at 80 mph but IIRC the tach reading was over 3k.
    I have an 88 TE in the exact color combination of this beautiful 92 and it’s hard for me to believe that my car once looked like this one does. I hope it finds a good home.

    Like 1
  4. Dean Rees

    I love my ’94 E320TE, but I paid $700 for it.

    Like 4
  5. 433jeff

    Great rig, will run good at 250 k miles, i like the darker color, with gray or black interior, im not sure if this is thr most comfortable car ive ever been in, its either this or 73 monte with a bench seat

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