Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Vehicles: Mercedes 240 D

According to my mother and my grandmother I said at the age of 4yrs. that “I SHALL DRIVE A MERCEDES when I am grown up”. WOW… that blew me away. They told me this after I had actually purchased my first Mercedes in 1980. Can a childhood’s wish really become reality? 
mercedes240 This was exactly “my” car
It was very yellow and yellow cars are always standing out in the crowd as most people seem to go for either white or very dark colours. At least that was the common tune in Europe during those early eighties. The reason I bought it was that I could import it into Norway and, after keeping it for 2 years, I could sell it for more than I paid for it. Still makes a lot of sense to me. The car wasn’t quite new, but it wasn’t quite old either. It had been owned by an employee of the Mercedes plant in Germany. At the time they could buy cars from their employer at “employee pricing” (it is not a new scheme, except they actually were employees!) then sell it at marked value, which often was what they initially paid for it. I got a great deal and the car was even delivered to my parent’s house, where I got to pick it up. It had a sunroof and was a great car to drive. But again, it was an underpowered car. The 72hp Diesel (not a turbo) wasn’t right quick, but it would get you there….in time.
Of course me driving a Mercedes in Norway caused some raised eyebrows (how did he do it?) but I couldn’t care less. At the time a new 240 was selling in Norway at $40.000 after today’s currency exchange. You could buy a house for that in 1980. I got it for around $6000. So it was an investment and I remember I sold it again for around $17000.

Naturally, I was back to tenting with this car and I missed the RV-approach. The Benz and I stayed together for the required 2 years, until it was time to buy something bigger again.
Vehicle #5 was bigger and much, much boxier. Oh boy….that story had a really bad ending...yet I was lucky.


  1. The 123 series Benz was built like a Sherman tank. The 240D was underpowered, but when they came out with the 5 cyl. 300D with a turbo it was the perfect car. One you could service yourself with a solid diesel engine. I had 3 and routinely took out the injectors and glow plugs for cleaning and maintenance. Can't do that with a modern diesel.

    1. The 123-series was the last real Mercedes. What came after that was a combination of high-tech plastic cars. The design of the newest ones can be mistaken for being some asian imports. Not after my taste.

  2. Sounds like you made a good investment back then. Never had a Mercedes but many other great cars that served me well.

  3. I passed up a chance to buy a 240D back in the late seventies when I was living in the Netherlands. My friend did buy one an still has it! I still regret not getting it.


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