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Want A Car That Will Last Forever?

Posted in Car Buying, Cool Stuff, Diesel, Featured, Mercedes Benz by Kurt Ernst | March 18th, 2011 | 3 Responses |

A 1983 300D Turbo Diesel. Image: Mercedes Motoring

J.G. Francis is smarter than most of us, since he actually listened to all that “follow your passion” advice from his guidance counselor. Now he owns Mercedes Motoring, a successful Los Angeles restoration shop and used car dealership that specializes in 1974 to 1985 Mercedes-Benz diesels. In Francis’ expert opinion, these cars can be made to run almost indefinitely, given the proper care and feeding. He makes a good case for them on his website, advising that clean examples (like the ones he restores and sells) have already been fully depreciated. In other words, unlike new cars, these restored diesels will either appreciate in value (best case scenario) or maintain their current value. The Mercedes-produced video below gives you a glimpse into Francis’ life, but stops short of promoting his Mercedes Motoring business. After all, he’s not an authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer, and I’m sure their corporate lawyers said “nein” to promoting his shop.

Francis comes across as a guy you want to have a beer with, just to trade stories about old cars. I’ve got to admit he’s on to something, since the cars he’s sold look showroom new and roll out the door at year-old-Hyundai prices. Diesels aren’t for everybody, but there is something perversely appealing about rolling in a vintage turbo-diesel Benz to me. I’m not in the market for a new sedan, but if I was, I’d think about a trip to Los Angeles for a beer and a test drive.

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3 Responses

  1. Lee says:

    very nice, I am all for the concept although I think I would get a old land cruiser instead. They are also un-killable it seems.

  2. Djrosa says:

    i dunno i really like the looks of old mercs but they arent unkillable i live in sweden and the stupid s.o.bs that manages the roads (have no clue what its called in english) ceep putting salt on the roads durring the winter which is half the year so most old cars get turned into piles of rust unless they are cleaned every day and/or are made of aluminium/plastic. otherwise my old Audi 80 ´92 was almost indestructable until a moron drove up infront of me in a roundabout.

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Djrosa, every state in the U.S. that gets snow manages the roads a little differently. In Colorado, they favor grit (crushed stone) over salt. Cars don’t rust, but they do get all the paint removed from their front ends after a few years. Broken windshields are a regular occurrence, too.

      In New England, they use HEAVY amounts of salt. This eats the cars, but it also destroys the roads. Come spring, most roads are filled with car-eating potholes.