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Lockdown defying Saturday evening kollekshion - HAPPY ENDING!

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I found a 1990 Mercedes W124 230E in 5 speed manual flavour, with 86k miles, FSH including 26 stamps and receipts, 1 owner from new, 11 months MoT, in a dubious shade of burgundy with a cream cloth interior. 


The car was advertised in good condition, with slight lacquer peel to the tops of the doors and a small blow from the exhaust. It certainly looked great in the photographs. The asking price of £2,200 ono was keen and the car was located near Enfield, approx 45 minutes from me.

The car was advertised on a Facebook page, by a seller with an Italian sounding name who, according to his Facebook profile, which did not feature a single photograph of him, was apparently born in Bialystok, Poland. Fair enough. We agreed to meet at 5pm. 

I arrived at the landmark referred to in the seller's instructions just before 5pm and called him. Rather than guiding me towards his address, he told me to meet him outside the local Londis shop in 2 minutes. Ten minutes later, the W124 stutters around the corner, headlights switched off (it was dark by 5pm). The seller and his mate looked very young Asian / Pakistani, not the mature Italian / Polish face that I was expecting. The seller apologised for being late, he said that the W124 wouldn't start and he had to jump it from another car. A brief inspection revealed that the car had horrendous lacquer peel across all four doors right down to the badly overpainted cladding panels, the exhaust was blowing quite badly, the engine wasn't running evenly (perhaps due to the blowing exhaust), the aerial was snapped off and the allegedly mint interior was minging. I didn't need to see more. I thanked the seller for his time and left with no deal.

On route I explained to my long suffering wife that my expectations were not sky high considering the fair asking price and that I was optimistic that I would buy the car based on what I saw in the photographs. Shame really, as another W124 would have been perfect for daily duties.

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2 hours ago, Peter C said:


I arrived at the landmark referred to in the seller's instructions just before 5pm and called him. Rather than guiding me towards his address, he told me to meet him outside the local Londis shop in 2 minutes

Years ago it was “i’ll meet you in the car park of the Rose n Crown and the Logbook was with the DVLA for change of address.

That Photo was probs old or they threw a bucket of water over it round the corner before driving it to its photo location, give it the wet t’shirt look.


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They are really handsome looking Mercs and I’d love to own one one day. It’s a shame the selling world is full of chancers like that. They probably bought it cheap because it needs a “headgasket” and once they drained the oil out of the coolant they’d put in on road test, used and abused it then tried flog it on for 200% profit. That’s all it seams to be now. Good luck finding another if that’s what you’re after! 

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54 minutes ago, w00dy said:

That sounds very disappointing, it looks a nice car in that photo. I had a similar experience with an E39 before I found mine.

Interesting that it had lacquer peel since it looks similar to my old 230E in Barolo red, which was a flat paint with no lacquer and looked lovely polished up.


Now that’s what I’m talking about.

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18 minutes ago, cort16 said:

We've put all the information collected from your profile into our later computer technology and after 3.7 weeks of processing and 700 punched paper cards it produced this answer.




Lexus GS300.

Like a Mercedes E320 petrol or BMW 530i but built properly.



Everything that you've said is 100% correct. There is no denying that a Lexus of that vintage would be infinitely better built and more reliable than a Merc or BMW. Trouble is, I don't like the brand, however if I treat it as a posh Toyota then perhaps it might just work.

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The W124 looks stunning in the picture, must of been a huge disappointment. I once drove all the way to Slough to look a supposedly mint 2.3 Ghia Cortina before it was easy to send pictures on the internet. It was nothing like the description and full of filler, a 5 hour round trip waste of time.

This looks very nice as a daily about 2 million times better than an Audi but not quite a W124.


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Plot twist.

I found an interesting 1998 reg (Asian import) W124 on eBay this afternoon, I placed a bid, which was the highest bid until 5 seconds before the end of the auction, at which point I was all set to increase my offer but due to my iPad’s slow response I missed out by £50 and didn’t win. Bugger.



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  • Peter C changed the title to Lockdown defying Saturday evening kollekshion - HAPPY ENDING!

My quest to find a nice W124 continued when I found a lovely looking 320E advertised via Facebook Marketplace. The car was local to me and the advert sounded promising. 


I sent a message to the seller expressing my interest and spoke with him the following day. Nice chap, sounded honest. Too honest perhaps because he told me that the engine has an issue, which hitherto he has failed to diagnose, which causes the engine revs to fluctuate at idle, between 1,000-1,500 rev/min. A little research on the web and some advice from guys on a W124 Facebook page later, which suggested that the issue could be caused by a myriad of defects, I decided not to even view the car.

I decided that I'm not going to buy another W124 for daily duties. I have copped out and ordered a new lease car, which I will hopefully get in a couple of weeks. And what exciting car am I getting? A Kia Exceed, no less.


I'll see myself out.


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