Overbuilt Oilburner: 1974 Mercedes-Benz W115 240D – SOLD!

by | Apr 2022 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Malaise Monday

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April 10, 2022, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now able to call this one “SOLD!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

Blame high technology, but the modern-day quality of Mercedes-Benz products is simply not what it used to be. Proof can be found in the brand’s highly-revered and over-engineered W115 diesel-powered line of the mid-1970s. This 289,000 mile, Phantom Gray over Black MBTex, 1974 Mercedes-Benz 240D currently originally listed in April 2022 on Craiglist in Charlotte, North Carolina is out our latest example. With only 65 horsepower on tap, the leisurely acceleration this car provides gets aided somewhat by the more desirable manual transmission.  Additionally, the third owner reports that this well-maintained example comes with 48 years of service records.

Currently offered for $10,000, comparing that price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool confirms the private seller has their 240D priced between this guide’s #4 “Fair” (Daily Driver) estimate of $5,700 and its #3 “Good” appraisal of $11,400.  As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #2 “Very Good” estimate of $7,400 and its #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $11,700.

Mercedes-Benz introduced the 240D in the U.S. in 1974, one model year after the launch in Europe, as the new diesel-powered W115 chassis offering.  The 240D featured many available luxuries, such as heated seats, cruise control, leather seats, and a manual or power-operated sunroof. It was at the time the fastest diesel engine available, though its 4-cylinder, 2.4-liter engine only produced 65 horsepower. Combined with a vault-like weight of 3,300 pounds, performance today is considered extremely poor.

Both the W115 and the W123 versions of the 240D are still considered some of Mercedes-Benz’s most reliable models due to their low-tech, easy-maintenance design, relatively thick metal sheets, and sturdy, robust parts. The engine’s low power output compared to its volume is another contributing factor in the car’s exceptional lifespan.  The 240D is renowned for often traveling several hundred thousand miles or more in its life.

Mercedes-Benz expert Pierre Hedary takes you through the current market of buying a W115 240D in today’s market on his Classic Mercedes YouTube Channel:

With the price of fuel at record levels, this is a classic that will be a bit easier to keep filled up with its 35 mpg capability. The 240D is one of the few cars that can command a ten-large asking price with nearly 300K miles traveled, but the combination of meticulous maintenance and a reported rust-free body makes this a comfortable if not fast, classic that will likely hold its value as long as you continue to maintain it.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Fantastic condition! ZERO RUST!

Rare paint color – Phantom Grey. Black interior.

Starts right up and will run forever. This car has been meticulously taken care of. Comes with 48 years of service records including the original invoice. We are the third owners of this vehicle. It was with the original owner until 2014 and we purchased it in 2016. Manual transmission makes this faster than the average 240D. Great fuel efficiency 35 mpg.

Since we have owned it the following has been fixed/replaced:

New Battery 2/9/22
2 New Tires 2/3/22
New Brake Pads 2/3/22
Coolant Temp. Sensor 6/25/21
Steering Coupling 2/7/20
New Glug Plug Indicator 1/14/19
Motor mounts 2016
Ignition Tumbler and Master Key 2018
Tie Rod Assembly 2016
Drive Shaft Flex Joints 2016
Rebuilt Original Becker Stereo Unit 2017
New Glow Plugs 2018
Repaired/Cleaned/lubed Odometer

All other regular maintenance (oil changes, brakes, valves, etc) is up to date.”

Do you have a Mercedes-Benz W115 240D story to share?  If so, comment below and let us know!


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