Author Topic: Buying Online...dealers to trust or avoid?  (Read 572 times)

To Hell With Poverty

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  • Location: Arkansas, US
Buying Online...dealers to trust or avoid?
« on: 16 April 2021, 09:46 AM »
Hi there everyone. I'm looking to buy my first w116, specifically a 300SD. It won't be my first Benz, I've had an '86 560SL and a '93 420SEL and currently drive a beautiful '13 ML350 that just had the emissions modification done to it (haven't noticed any impact on performance), which will soon be going bye-bye.  :'(

Anyway, there are a number of organizations or individuals I keep running into online and wonder if any of you have had any experience buying from them, good bad or neutral. I live in NW Arkansas so inventory around me is next to nil. There's one 79 300SD about to go on the market in St Louis which is a five hour drive and may be my only chance to test one out in the flesh if they ever get it ready (I asked for pics over a week ago). That one's at MotoeXotica. So I'm resigned to the fact that I may have to take a big chance on something sight-unseen. Been binging mercedessource videos on YouTube hoping to edumacate myself for this reason.

First off, Just Donated in Orange, CA. I'm assuming they're buyer beware as they seem to want to unload stuff asap without wasting too much time inspecting. But hopefully the bargain factor makes up for this.

Second, Gateway Classic Cars. They have a few different regional showrooms. A nice looking 450SEL of theirs is in KC now, but I want diesel. If I can't find a suitable SD I might settle for a D and there's a super cool Formosa Yellow 115 in Orlando I might make a low-ish offer on. My husband will be in Florida next week so he could drive it home or arrange delivery.

Third, Classic Car Deals of Cadillac, MI. They apparently list for people all over the country, so there's a chance something might spring up in Texas or Florida which would be within reach.

Fourth (or was it first?) MotoeXotica of St Louis

All of these dealers, the scarcity of w116 300SDs, the abundance of w123 300Ds but the different options (like if I'm not getting the S class w116 why not go with manual everything apocalypse mobile and have less to worry about, but could I find a base manual w/turbo?), etc etc etc has lead me to a bad case of analysis paralysis, so any advice on dealers would be greatly appreciated. Granted I can't buy directly from Kent Bergsma, at least maybe I could rule some sources out and that would make the process easier.

Thanks for any direction!


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Re: Buying Online...dealers to trust or avoid?
« Reply #1 on: 09 May 2021, 01:56 PM »
If you aren't in a rush to buy, and willing to travel/ship, look for cars in the PNW. They might have mild rust issues, since it is wet here, but until recently we never salted our roads, so it isn't like they're dissolving. There's also a LOT of old diesel Benzes running around, as they, along with old diesel Volvo's, have a bit of a cult following here. You can also find gorgeous examples at dealerships, like the one linked below.*

While life is keeping me busy until mid-June, if you're still shopping after that, and see a car in the PNW that's for sale (private party) and want someone to look at it for you, send me a message. I'm happy to help out, if I can.

*as ever: no association to this dealership/business. I literally just found it on CL.
1976 450SE 6.9 FrankenBenz (#2288?)
1977 450SEL 6.9 #2333