Go, Do, Be.


Mercedes 300td love

By: Chris Greacen - 10/14/2023
I've been working on getting my 1984 300td back onto the road after a long hibernation during the pandemic. I got this thing in the early 2010s and it's been a joy to drive. If you're familiar with these things, you know exactly what I mean. For the uninitiated, I'll break it down for you.

A beige w123 mercedes wagon is   parked at the beach with a beige surfboard on the roof

These w123 cars were designed and built by Mercedes during a time when the company gave incredible amount of power and permission to its engineers. It was an engineering-led effort to design and build these vehicles. This resulted in a ridiculously expensive and long-lived vehicle.

In 1984 dollars this vehicle cost around $36k, which would be about $100k in 2023 dollars. I bought it for about $2500.

It's steel. It leaks a little oil. I've replaced the engine during the time I've owned it (long story). It needs a little bit of work pretty often at this point, but it's still on track to reach a million miles.

I run this thing on biodiesel thanks to the availability of B20 at the nearby Biofuel Oasis. But I know that this isn't exactly an eco-conscious car when you look at the particulate, COx, and NOx emissions.

There's a great video that I came across that's really a love-letter to these w123 and w115 cars. Worth watching if you're interested/curious. If you scroll up to 14:13 on the video, the host addresses the environmental trade-offs and impact of driving this kind of car. Take a peek:

It was surprising to see the mention of tire particulate pollution. I have a hunch we'll near more and more about this as more people convert to electric vehicles. We live near many highways and I'm pretty sure that we're bathing in these particles. More on this in another post.

If you see me driving around, honk and wave!

category = FUN
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