Wednesday, July 20, 2016

1976 Mercedes-Benz 300D

As American luxury cars were adding gimmicks and trying to chase fads (opera lights...really?  OPERA LIGHTS!!) the Germans were busy building cars that drove nice year, after year, after year.  If you live in California and you are looking for a cool '70s vintage car to enjoy without much work and you enjoy the stink and noise of a diesel, this 1976 Mercedes-Benz 300D in San Diego for $7900 is the hot ticket. This post is part of DT's 2016 Birthday Celebration of 100 cars; enjoy the ride!

Right off the bat the owner tells you the car is a salvage title. I would look for body damage, but wouldn’t worry about it too much on such an old vehicle. The owner claims the salvage title is from being donated….hmmm. The car is done up in a very interesting paint scheme of Beige over red. It looks like a taxi from some faraway South American city. The paint is deep and glossy, and looks new. The trim is all in nice shape, even the black plastic bits.

The engine bay looks just as impressive as the exterior. Everything looks neat and orderly and clean. An AC compressor is visible but no mention is made of functional AC.

As with the exterior, and underhood, the interior does not disappoint, Beautiful oyster beige vinyl is in good shape everywhere. This car is a definite candidate for those looking for a cool 70s cruiser without worrying about smog.

See another oil burning classic for sale?

Al is an accomplished life long auto enthusiast. This affliction landed him in Detroit for several years working as an engineer in the auto industry. When he is not busy scanning Daily Turismo, Craigslist or one of the other fine car sites for great finds he works as an engineer on baggage tractors, or hones his tolerance for BS by landlording.


  1. Gripe, whinge, bitch: there's only one car that's iconic of 1976, and that's the E21 BMW 320i. There has to be one on the market somewhere.

    They filled the roads like the Prius does today, and to just about as much derision.

    1. At the other end of the iconic spectrum is the '76 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. It was expected to be the last US built convertible. How many years does it take for the hood of one of those to completely decay?

  2. ...but this Benz comes with a steering wheel spinner.

  3. Hmmmm. Donated cars here are NOT salvaged. New series Cali plates and paint and this car could easily be from ANY state.

    1. Donated cars can get a "junk" title via the following scenario:

      -Owner donates car to charity
      -Charity sells car to salvage yard, directly or indirectly (i.e. via auction)
      -Salvage yard receives car in preparation for parting/scrapping
      -Customer sees complete car in salvage yard and buys it
      -New owner goes to DMV to obtain a new title, which will be branded because of the ownership history, even if nothing is physically wrong with the car

      Further reading:


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