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Junkyard Gem: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300E with 347,339 miles

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After greater than 15 years of documenting fascinating autos I spy in automobile graveyards, I do know which of these autos are probably to point out astronomical readings on their odometers: Honda Accords and Mercedes-Benzes. In my private junkyard-odometer High Ten, a Volvo 240 leads with 631,999 miles and a automobile must beat 411,794 miles to interrupt into the record in any respect. Nineteen Eighties Mercedes-Benzes have three of these spots, Nineteen Eighties Honda Accords personal three extra, Volvo has two complete, and Ford and Toyota have one apiece. At this time’s Junkyard Gem falls in need of this record, however it’s nonetheless noteworthy for being a gasoline-engined Mercedes-Benz W124 in good situation regardless of the typical of 10,525 miles it traversed throughout every of its 33 years on the highway.

Needless to say most producers held onto five-digit odometers into the Nineteen Eighties and infrequently (within the case of Detroit) into the Nineties, after which nearly everybody went to unreadable-in-the-junkyard digital odometers across the flip of the century. That signifies that I am positive I’ve documented loads of American pickup vehicles, Toyota Coronas, and previous Mercedes-Benz diesels with properly over a half-million miles on five-digit odometers that turned over the ten,000s digit from 9 to zero a half-dozen occasions. Nonetheless, getting previous 300,000 confirmed miles is kind of an accomplishment.

The parents in Stuttgart weren’t utilizing the E-Class designation when this automobile was constructed (that got here later, in 1993), however that is what we have got right here. The “E” on this badge refers to Einspritzmotor, for gas injection.

The W124 sedan changed its legendary W123 predecessor beginning within the 1985 mannequin 12 months, with manufacturing persevering with by way of 1995. The W123 was a tough act to observe, due to its well-known toughness and reliability, however the W124 was well-built has its rabid aficionados immediately.

In 1989, American Mercedes-Benz consumers may get the W124 in coupe, sedan, or wagon kind. The 300E sedan was the second-cheapest of the bunch, with an MSRP of $45,100 (about $110,535 in 2022 {dollars}).

The entry-level 1989 E-Class, the 260E, had a 2.6-liter straight-six rated at 158 horsepower, similar because the 190E that 12 months. The 300E obtained this 3.0-liter six with 177 horses.

When you needed a brand new US-market Mercedes-Benz with a handbook transmission in 1989, your solely alternative was the proto-C-Class 190E. A four-speed computerized was necessary on the ’89 300E right here.

The factory-issue first assist equipment remains to be right here, although junkyard consumers have rummaged round in it.

Mercedes-Benz put in driver’s-side airbags as commonplace gear on U.S.-market W124s starting within the 1986 mannequin 12 months. In 1989, you needed to pay $600 further ($1,470 immediately) for a passenger-side airbag in your new 300E.

The inside appears to be like to be in very good situation, minus some stuff eliminated by junkyard consumers. This MB-Tex faux-leather upholstery is indestructible.

The physique appears to be like good, too, however a close-as-makes-no-difference 350,000-mile automobile is a tricky promote. Right here it sits.

Zero to 55 mph in simply 6.8 seconds!

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