Home » This 297,000-Mile Mercedes-Benz 240D Proves You Don’t Need Big Money To Buy A Cool Car On Bring A Trailer

This 297,000-Mile Mercedes-Benz 240D Proves You Don’t Need Big Money To Buy A Cool Car On Bring A Trailer

1983 Mercedes Benz 240d Gavel Ts

It’s an uncomfortable truth, but trying to buy a fun car in 2024 can kinda suck. With multiple generations competing for a fixed pool of roughly similarly-aged cars, and the internet opening up cars to more attention than ever before, the bar of entry feels higher than ever. However, every so often, an olive branch is extended. Someone scored this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D, a genuine four-speed car, for just $5,650 on Bring A Trailer. The catch? A whopping 297,000 miles on the clock, although thanks to a combination of a warm climate, good caretaking, and that classic Mercedes-Benz build quality, it wears those miles with the pride of a megawatt smile.

First, let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way — the Mercedes-Benz 240D is a slow car. It’s unlikely to win a drag race against a garbage truck or a hoverboard or the average Brooklynite on a Schwinn, but that’s okay. Not every car needs to go from zero-to-60 mph in less than, um, 17 seconds.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Instead, the appeal of the 240D is that it’s one of the world’s most long-lasting cars. With its under-stressed, naturally-aspirated diesel engine, the build quality of a pyramid, and the durability of the sky, just about the only thing that can kill one of these cars is a case of terminal rot. Happily, this example has lived its life in sunny California, a locale that does a good job of keeping the tinworm at bay.

1983 Mercedes Benz 240d 1

Screenshot 2024 02 13 At 3.17.04 pm


On first glance, this 240D looks pretty great. Sure, there’s some patination on the front valence and the front license plate is attached at a jaunty angle, but the chrome still gleams, the color-matched hubcaps still look terrific, and blue is still an excellent color choice. Sure, it may be rocking amusingly-named off-brand tires dubbed Arizonian Silver Edition III, but name-brand tires in 195/70R14 sizing aren’t exactly everywhere anymore, so we’ll take what we can get. Overall, the exterior of this Mercedes-Benz 240D looks well-loved but not abused, which we totally dig.

1983 Mercedes Benz 240d 3

Even on the inside, the sheer use this car’s seen is disguised well by vintage MB-Tex, which as far as I can work out, is the only textile ever to be made from recycled anvils. It just doesn’t wear. There are no unsightly cracks in the seats, no sag in the bolsters, just yards of pristine blue. Sure, the door cards are a bit saggy and the driver’s door seal’s in the same shape as Elmer Fudd after he accidentally blew himself up, but those aren’t complete deal breakers.

1983 Mercedes-Benz 240d 4

Screenshot 2024 02 13 At 3.18.58 pm Speaking of things inside this 240D, something between the seats immediately grabbed my attention. You never see these cars equipped with manual transmissions, a welcome sight as shifting your own gears in a 240D offers two benefits. Firstly, acceleration times improve dramatically with the manual, and secondly, the manual gearbox is generally more robust than the automatic.


1983 Mercedes Benz 240d 2

Screenshot 2024 02 13 At 3.17.39 pm
Color-matched wheel covers, delightful. Jason has expressed his love for these – PV

While certainly not a flawless example, this is a car someone picked up for sensible money that could genuinely present well at many local shows. It’s nostalgic, intriguing, and dare I say lovely, three things many people look for in classic cars. Sure, Bring A Trailer may have a reputation for upmarket dealings, but you don’t have to be a zillionaire to buy something genuinely awesome from the auction site. Besides, I’d trust this thing over fragile exotica any day of the week.

(Photo credits: Bring A Trailer)

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Bracq P
Bracq P
2 months ago

Attractive color, sun roof and cruise control on a manual. What’s not to like for a rewarding long term ownership?
If you keep an eye on the corrosion, this can be a forever car.

2 months ago
Reply to  Bracq P

I was just discussing this vintage of Merc as a forever car and contrasting it with more recent German car manufacturers who started making engines with plastic timing chain guides…

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