I'd been half looking out for automatics under a grand on ebay for a while with the intention of convinving my OH to get rid of our very reliable but very dull 06 Corolla auto and get something cheaper (as these inexpicably still seem to bring a daft amount of money compared to maunal ones) and hopefully still reliable. The usual candidates were watched - accords, civics, avensis etc when my eye was turned by an immaculate looking W202 C Class. Just 2 owners from new, sport spec and juicy V6 engine. It really did look the biz in resale silver. Just 80k miles and not too far away! I placed my bid and went to bed to await my fate.
I woke up the next morning and within about 10 secs had that forboding rememberance of my bidding activity and with some trepidation, checked my phone. Guess what, I'd only bloody won it!!! Fantastic, thought I....oh wait....hang on...that's not....oh shit. You see dear readers, I had also placed a bid on this one...
This advert did not speak at length about its wonderful condition. Infact it did not speak at length at all, giving a mileage, MOT expiry and something like 'good cond for age'. I also only had one picture to go off, it was in Droitwich 100 miles from me and it needed collecting by Sunday (this was Saturday). The lovely silver one I had also bid on went for £1275, whereas this one was mine for a rather more bargainous £680 on a 3 day auction. A quick phonecall to fatha J-T meant collection on Sunday was possible and a check of the MOT history revealed only a couple of fails in its lifetime on minor issues. Another phonecall to the seller proved that he sounded sane, so a plan was hatched to pick it up the following day.
The journey went without a hitch and the postcode took us to a very leafy area of Droitwich. The seller only gave me a postcode and told me to ring him 'when you get to the old people's home'. This I duly did (it really was in the middle of nowhere) from where he directed me to the START of his drive. We ended up parked outside a 9 bedroom house with its own 80 acre estate overlooking a private lake. At which point this thing came clattering out of a barn looking rather folorn with its wing mirror hanging off. First impressions were...omg this thing is hanging. But look past the grime and there is a nice car under there. I asked if I could have a quick drive & was handed the keys whilst my dad chewed his ear off about what fish he had in his lake. Well it drove bloody ace so I was definitely having it.
So what had I bought? Well, it turned out, a 1998 C250 Turbo Diesel in elegance spec (the posh one) with 122k miles that had only done around 3k over the last 3 years. Apparently our guy bought it when it was about 2 years old and kept it mint for a good 10 years or so. He then lent it to his friend for a few years "and he is not a small chap" which is where all the filth came from and the reason the driver's door card is mullered and the seat bolster is ripped. Must be where he leant on it getting in/out. Great I thought. "Does it have any paperwork with it?" I ask. "oh yes, the book pack is just in the glovebox I think, it's been very well serviced". Very well serviced turned out to be a full MB service history, stamped every 10k up to 112k (albeit 5 years ago!). Previous owner on the V5 is Lord something or other. At which point I threw the money at him - £20 of which he insisted on giving back so I could put some diesel in, told my dad to shutup about fish and got in the car before he changed his mind. It drove all the way back without a beat. Here it is in all its glory.
That last picture doesn't really convey how filthy it is inside. I have asked a man with a shampoo thing to come and clean it. I shall post the results in due course.
All this was last weekend. Since then I just haven't had chance to have a proper look at it. What I have found is: everything on it seems to work, it has 4 khumo tyres all with good tread, it needs a service, it looks like some/all of the leak off pipes are leaking, it needs a driver's wing mirror, the all important bonnet badge is missing, there's a small rust bleb on one front arch but other than that it seems to have escaped the rust rash most of these tend to have, it pulls to the left, the fuel gauge reads 1/4 full when it's empty.
I shall work through these issues in due course (wing mirror & bonnet badge have been ordered). If approval is not forthcoming, it may come to a raffle near you.
Anyone know if these will run on veg?