Well, after the jump, of course…
Ah my fellow hoonigans, discussion like yesterday’s makes this moron feel honored to be a contributor. As I surmised, there’s no stumping the lot of you. What I didn’t expect was how quickly it happened, as a team effort. And while I had the rare presence of mind to blank out the dead-giveaway motor option from the bluebook form, who ever suspected the color of all things would be the key to illumination? Zounds! Ya’ll *sniff* make me proud.
So everyone give a hearty handshake and buy a round for LTDScott, who got the platform… BGW, who identified the trademark baby-doo pigment that passed for “yellow” in the 80’s… and BadlyPM, who nailed the dubious value equation if a certain motor was to be involved. (Remind me to think twice if Baldy ever posts a car for sale on Craigslist or ebay…)
Yes indeed, the car in question – languishing on the backlot of a downtown Allentown, PA “import/classic specialty” dealership – is a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300SD!
Which, when you think about the warranty clue, is not surprising at all. The 300SD found motivation through the legendary Mercedes “OM617” 3.0L I-5 turbo diesel; legendary not for its now-laughable 123HP, but for its nein-kill-ze-juggernaut reliability. Nothing says “bulletproof” like a slow-and-steady 170 pound-feet of Merc Diesel willpower. Warranty this 210K-mile, quarter-century-old plant? Why not? With parts readily available worldwide and a reputation for easily doubling the current mileage, a paltry 3K in-warranty should be a cakewalk. Or as a wise man once said, “Know when hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to lumber off in your M-B oil-burner”. Wait a minute, that’s stupid, nobody ever said that. Except me just now. Drat.
Well, as Age of Aerostar pointed out, the warranty fine print still works in the dealer’s favor. Remind me never to have AoA bid on any jobs for me. (I jest of course. Or do I?)
Now nothing says “Timeless” like coke-chokin’ yellow. Especially when the single re-coated door and faded bumpers gives lends the visage of a 3rd-world Taxi. So is the car worth $4000? That’s still debatable, but one thing’s for certain: those price stickers have been there long enough to acquire a fade that matches the paint, so haggling may require just enough finesse to give you pause. And you might want to inspect the other cars lying nearby as well, as they’re probably going to be the parts shop for your “warranty” repairs.
Thanks to everyone who commented. I especially enjoyed some of the other suggestions: Lincoln Town Car could be plausible, but I remember when those things were *everywhere*, not so much today; a Big Cheddar Eldorado would certainly fit the profile; BMW 7-series would have been interesting (considering the M6 on the same lot, no kidding!); Ford LTD with an aftermarket sunroof? Why not? It’s clear you guys are the men on the street, the experts in your field. Together we shall rule the world! Wait, we already had a team finish a LeMons race. Hmm. What now?
As a footnote, this lot was an absolute treasure trove! Lots more to come from there, including the amorphous blob blued out in one of the photos above, which, as what could probably be one of the most hoonalicious vehicles ever built, deserves a proper reveal of its own, still to come…