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Quonset Hut Find: Mercedes-Benz 300TD Wagon

I love cars hidden in quonset huts. The cozy confines, the durable structure, the hidden nature of it all – a rural property with one of these situated on it is on my list of top ten things to own before I die. The seller, sadly, has not provided more photos than what you see here, so you’ll have to use some imagination – or, perhaps, be the potential buyer who doesn’t let a bad listing deter them from finding out more. Check out the listing here on craigslist where this rare 300TD wagon is offered for $5,500.

Image courtesy of Car & Driver

I’d show you the other picture in the ad but it’s essentially the same. The Mercedes is located in Iona, Florida, a town I had never heard of but is apparently near Cape Coral. The 300TE with a turbo diesel engine is definitely a rare spec, with most W124 wagons coming with the bread-and-butter gas-fed inline six. The wagon model has long been part of the well-off grandma culture, and likely a fairly common conveyance driven by snowbirds for their seasonal housing swap. When new, you had the option to order both a factory roof rack and luggage, which could be quite an achievement if you tracked either item down.

Image courtesy of Flickr

The 300TE (and the sedan) have always been popular with both Mercedes die-hards and general fans of 1980s automobiles. In addition to its timeless style, it’s a fairly bulletproof design – especially with the venerable turbodiesel under the hood. If one company knows how to make a diesel engine that will perform admirably after the energy grid is fried, it’s Mercedes-Benz. On a lighter note, a 300TE like this one locked away in a Florida hut sporting some period-correct upgrades from the likes of Lorinser would get some tongues wagging at the next Radwood show, so make the call if you want to beat the rush once the rest of the photos are posted.

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    Might be a good deal. The W124 was a great car for Mercedes one of the last models where engineering and build quality took precedence over being stylish and mainstream. I prefer the early W124 cars without the lower cladding. The lines are more crisp. Just sold my 126 SEL and bought a 86 W124 as my new daily. Really like these cars and figure I might as well own one before they are discovered and get ridiculous. Wagons are cool but I can live with the sedan. You could get a 5-speed on 86 and 87 gassers but not in the diesel but finding one is a needle in a haystack.

    Like 3
  2. Pete Phillips

    Doesn’t even say whether it runs. Ad provides virtually no information at all on the car. What a waste of everyone’s time!

    Like 1
  3. Troy

    Just scrap it, 200+ k miles its going to cost a lot of coin to get it road worthy again if wiring isn’t critter chewed

    Like 1
    • SubGothius

      200k miles on a diesel Benz of this vintage is just nicely broken-in, plenty of usable life left in it, if it hasn’t been utterly trashed or rusted-through.

      Speaking of diesel, 300 TE would have been the gas-engined model designation (T for touring, meaning wagon, and E for einspritzung, German for fuel injection), whereas the diesel would have been 300 TD (D for diesel).

      No model year mentioned in the ad, but if it’s an ’87, that would be highly sought-after as the sole US model year for a 3-liter inline-6 turbodiesel in this body style (later 300 TDs were actually 2.5-liter inline-5 turbodiesels).

      Like 1
  4. George Birth

    I’d make sure if it is a TD or a TE before traveling to examine it in person. The lack of photo’s is also discouraging.

    Like 1
  5. Richard Greene

    The 6 cylinder diesel that followed the 5 cylinder turbo diesel is considered by most to be an inferior engine in comparison. MB STOPPED making the 6 cylinder engine in 1987 (only 2 years) because of “problems”. They came back in 1990 with another 6 cylinder that was WORST in reliability than the 86/87 engines. Therefore, the last great fantastic diesel engines that made the claims of a “million mile engine” was the 1983 4 cylinder in the 240D and the 5 cylinder in the 300D and 300SD.

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