Nov. 21, 2014 7:08 p.m.

OK, I lied. HERE. I lied right HERE. I said I was going to focus on getting this big ole 'Murican beast roadworthy, and combat my automotive ADD.

And I have been doing a fine job on that wagon. Really. It's tagged, runs, and drives. It's a few small things away from taking the wife, baby, and dog to the farmer's market on Sunday.

But, well....this happened today:



"This" is a 1984 Mercedes, a W123 wagon. Turbo, even. It was too cheap to pass up, and I've always wanted one. Heck, it's even (by my standards) driveable as-is. It obtained the wifely blessing surprisingly easily (I love Mrs. VCH) with the caveat that sometime this spring it might go up for sale.

In the meantime....I love the Euro headlights on the W123s.

mndsm MegaDork
Nov. 21, 2014 7:14 p.m.

Those are some Craigslist worthy pics. Is it really rust free?

Nov. 21, 2014 7:20 p.m.

You know, in retrospect I really was channeling my inner Craig with those pics. I'd just rolled into the driveway after work when I took them. I'll try to take some better ones tomorrow.

It's not rust free, but pretty close. The rear floors are pretty soft, but nothing structural. P/O took out the rear seats with the intention of fixing the floors, and that's as far as he got.

280,000 miles, give or take a trip around the Earth, and it starts right up even when cold.

The_Jed UltraDork
Nov. 21, 2014 7:40 p.m.


mndsm MegaDork
Nov. 21, 2014 7:48 p.m.


m4ff3w UltraDork
Nov. 21, 2014 8:52 p.m.

Euro lights make all the difference on those, I miss our W123.

Streetwiseguy PowerDork
Nov. 21, 2014 9:25 p.m.

That looks like an excellent reason to get your big American beast running. You will need something for the parts runs, and to tow it home, and to carry repair panels for the rust that will be much, much more pervasive than you thought...

Its really hard being an shiny happy person, but I'm just so darn good at it.

bgkast SuperDork
Nov. 21, 2014 11:15 p.m.

I love me some w123. I miss mine (all 7 of them )

mndsm MegaDork
Nov. 21, 2014 11:48 p.m.

Please to lower it and stick amg hammers or some other coke head benz wheels.on it. It will rule.

Nov. 22, 2014 6:34 a.m.
m4ff3w wrote: Euro lights make all the difference on those, I miss our W123.

Totally agree. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have even looked at it if it has US-spec lights. Now, if it only had Euro bumpers...

Is it just me, or do these W123 wagons have an uncanny resemblance to the wagon in Mad Max? I think it was a Holden somethingorother.

mndsm MegaDork
Nov. 22, 2014 7:14 a.m.

That looks like a ute with a cap to me.

ClemSparks PowerDork
Nov. 22, 2014 7:18 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Is it just me, or do these W123 wagons have an uncanny resemblance to the wagon in Mad Max?

I think it's just you...

patgizz PowerDork
Nov. 22, 2014 7:27 a.m.

now you know what needs done. you need to sell the chrysler to me.

Nov. 22, 2014 7:44 a.m.
ClemSparks wrote:
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Is it just me, or do these W123 wagons have an uncanny resemblance to the wagon in Mad Max?

I think it's just you...

I gotta quit drinkin' so early in the morning.

Nov. 22, 2014 7:48 a.m.

My intention is to not dump a metric berkeleyton of cash into the Krautbeaterwagen. If something major in the drivetrain breaks, it'll get sold, or have some big stupid American V8 shoved between the front fenders. I think a 460 and a C6 would fit nicely. I just happen to have one of each...

If something else that makes it undriveable malfunctions, it'll get sold. Or junked.

Ian F MegaDork
Nov. 22, 2014 8:11 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote:
ClemSparks wrote:
volvoclearinghouse wrote: Is it just me, or do these W123 wagons have an uncanny resemblance to the wagon in Mad Max?

I think it's just you...

I gotta quit drinkin' so early in the morning.


I liked these cars until I spent time with one (the ex's parents have a diesel sedan version). On the plus side, anything you need to fix one is available and online resources are pretty good. On the negative, those parts are rarely cheap, the cars are fairly complex and if neglected repair costs can mount exponentially.

Good luck. It can take a dedicated soul (with deep pockets) to keep one of these on the road in good working order. Upkeep costs can vary depending on how much you can tolerate little things being broken.

Nov. 22, 2014 6:51 p.m.

Non "Worst of Craigslist" quality photos:




Despite the freezing temps, the snail-enhanced oil burner under the hood came to life surprisingly willingly this morning, when I decided to take a test drive. Made 3 laps of the backyard rally circuit before the upper radiator hose popped off, ending the fun.

mndsm MegaDork
Nov. 22, 2014 6:52 p.m.

I always want the worst cars after I read threads like this. I gotta stick to the ones with Toyotas in them.

petegossett PowerDork
Nov. 22, 2014 8:49 p.m.

If you removed the 80's-tatstic bumpers, grill, and lights, that patina makes it look like a hold-out from WWII!

Nov. 24, 2014 7:29 a.m.

Took off the air cleaner housing yesterday and made an assessment of the exhaust situation. The turbo output goes into a pipe which nineties downward, and then ends. It looks like there was some sort of flex connection there which is now disintegrated. The rest of the exhaust is gone as well. Since a new downpipe is $150, I'll just remove this one, weld on some new piping, put it back on, and run a straight pipe back to just before the rear wheels. There's a nice rustout hole on the driver's side rocker that will be perfect for the exhaust dump.

Comically, 2 of the 3 bolts holding the pipe were already loosened at the snail, and the one remaining still had a socket on it. I guess that's where the previous owner gave up.

I also have been tire shopping. My original plan was to get a set of $55 Firestone snow tires from tire rack, but then I found some Douglas tires at Wal-mart that seem to be a truck-type tread, for $58- and I won't have to pay shipping on those. 195/75R14 is the size I'm going for. Anything will be better than what's on there, some dry-rotted, bald, mismatched 205/70R14s.

gearheadE30 New Reader
Nov. 24, 2014 7:33 a.m.

Make sure you put a flexpipe in that downpipe somewhere, or you'll probably end up with a cracked CHRA on the turbo. Looks like an awesome project!

Nov. 24, 2014 7:44 a.m.

That's the plan. I'll probably pick up one of those $20 stainless cat flexi pipes from the parts store.

Dec. 8, 2014 8:58 a.m.

Wal-Mart had a Black Friday sale on tires; free installation for anything ordered online. So I snagged four new rollers for the wife's Jimmy (which miraculously just passed its emissions test) and the Krautbeaterwagen.

Old tires off, going to the Walmart this week to get the new ones installed. Also fixing some lighting issues...


bgkast SuperDork
Dec. 8, 2014 9:32 a.m.

Can't you find a new downpipe at the local pick n pull?

Looks like it came with European headlights....nice

failboat UltraDork
Dec. 8, 2014 9:33 a.m.
mndsm wrote: That looks like a ute with a cap to me.

The model name you are looking for is "Holden Sandman". Considered a van although it is more wagon like. Silly Australians.

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