Happy Birthday – My Mercedes-Benz turns thirty.
Thirty years ago this month of February, some workers in West Germany built my car. As I’ve traveled around the world central america, middle east, Europe, I have seen this legendary car in every country, especially Africa and the middle east. These old reliable Mercedes diesels are still rumbling around. (They are still in all kinds of movies.) It’s been called “The Last Real Benz”. (I would never buy a new Mercedes)
When I bought this car in 1997 people laughed at what I paid for a car that was “so old and with so many miles” (15 years old, 150,000 miles). Without exception, all of these nay-sayers are on their second, third or forth car. It’s certainly not invincible nor will it last forever with Utah harsh winters of salted roads. It’s certainly showing signs of aging. I’ve had 1 major repair, and 1 minor one to date. I am convinced, as are other MB diesel owners the car has regenerative healing powers. It also will work in an apocalypse, it can run without a battery and can be started without a starter!
I do laugh out loud when some car reviewing entity says “Fords is at the head of the pack of “long term reliability*” *(Long term meaning at least 3 years). THREE years? Laughable. You want a true test? Go on ebay right now and pick any year 1978-1985. You will see two to four times as many Mercedes as Fords, GMC, or Chrysler, combined. Considering these cars outnumbered Mercedes tens of thousands to one, this is phenomenally significant. It’s back when they were trying to prove something. Quality over profit. Sure it cost $66,872 in 2010 dollars ($30,000 in 1982) but price != cost != value. Parts for my car are about 1/4th what an American car runs.
Oh, and it’s also one of the only cars that can run 100% biodiesel no mods. Sure shuts up the environmentalist hypocrites with their “hybrids” using 3% less gas. I have yet to meet a single self-proclaimed environmentalist who drives an alternative fueled car as of 2012.
It’s a car that launched one of the most popular Mercedes DIY sites, honored by Daimler-Benz themselves, and most other counties Mercedes Franchise’s. (The site is Visited by over 130 countries each month.) Personally, my benz, I’ve taken it all over the Western United States, off roads kayaking, Grand Tetons, Zions, Highway 1, everywhere.
Well, It’s been a great fun car. It’s probably getting close to 1/2 million kilometers (thus I get to win another award from MB). I’m sure I’ll bid it goodbye one day the future. But a 30 year birthday for an inanimate object gets you a blog post. Shout outs go to my Uncle Russ for when I drove in his Mercedes Diesel (with the manual glow plugs) when I was 14, I fell in love, and knew I was going to get one, one day. Also to Dave from across the street whose W123 Mercedes diesel knowledge helped me out countless times.