C107's 300TE

c107

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As I recently posted in the news projects thread, I have recently become the custodian of a 1990 300TE S124.
This car replaces the W126 300SE that went to Anthony.

Both these cars have been the primary car I use for getting the kids around to their various activities. The 300SE was originally purchased because it could fit 3 fitted child seats across the back - something that models like the 124 can't do. Now my kids are older and no longer require fitted car seats. Their needs have also changed, so the main thing is taking them to various weekend activities. The station wagon will be useful for things like their bikes, and with the towbar I can easily get a bike rack on it. Obviously as its on club rego, its not the only car I use with them - if its a basic school pickup or drop off I can use most of the cars I own. The W124 is also a more nimble car for 'daily' use, its a fair big shorter and narrower than even a short wheelbase S class. Plus, I already own two other W126s, so you can have too much of a good thing. If my work changes and I requite a commute that is not on public transport, then this is the car I would put on full rego.

In any case, I think these Mercedes-Benz wagons are great - much better than an SUV (of which I can't stand).

A bit more about this car.
The colour is called 888 Beryll and it was a cream MB Tex interior. I really like the colour, but it wasn't very popular as you rarely see it on the road. It has 375,000km on the clock, but an almost complete service history and its in what I would call good driver condition. Interior and mechanicals are very good, a bit of paint fade on the roof probably its worst attribute.

It was produced 8/90 but not complianced until 1/91. Quite a long delay. First owner was actually Mercedes-Benz Australia out at Milperra. Was delivered through MB Sydney. Six months later it was sold as a used car with warranty to Sulo MGB australia, who are only up the road from where I live now. That first ownership is kind of interesting. Australia was in the grip of a recession and it would not be until 1995 when Mercedes benz would catch back up to their 1989 sales numbers. I wonder if it was a car that the first sale fell through, or was used by a manager at MB Australia who was let go. Just seems odd they would keep a car for six months then sell it as a used car.

In any case, it was traded back in because it was sold again as a used car with Warranty by MB Sydney to a guy in Wharonga who kept it about 12 years. There is then a gap of about 3.5 years where I don't have history but was sold by a guy called Peter to a long term owner in Queensland I was able to chat to who kept the car about 10-12 years. he sold it to a guy in Sydney. that guy planned to keep it long term so did a lot of work including a full transmission rebuild, replaced all dash wood and various other repairs.

2023-01-26 14-38-05.jpeg2023-01-26 14-37-47.jpeg2023-01-26 14-38-46.jpeg2023-01-26 14-38-53.jpeg2023-01-26 14-38-20.jpeg2023-01-26 14-39-12.jpeg2023-01-26 14-39-22.jpeg2023-01-26 14-39-36.jpeg2023-01-26 14-41-30.jpeg2023-01-26 14-42-30.jpeg2023-01-26 14-43-07.jpeg
 
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c107

c107

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What I have I already done to the car:

1) First oil change under my care (at 375,000)
2) Replaced the cracked inside mirror with the one on my 420SEL parts car. The W126 unit is ever so different to the W124 unit, but you have to put them side by side to notice it.

2023-01-10 19-05-30.jpeg

3) Changed the incorrect plastic steering wheel with the proper leather one. The leather one I got was only in average condition, but it wasn't expensive and fits better with the car than the plastic one. Old wheel below

7377253.jpg

4) Thrown the horrible generic mats (also in the above picture) in a skip and put in the dealer fitted rubber mats that I had my 560SEL. The 560SEL will be getting some of the reproduction ribbed mats that were commonly fitted by dealers on the S-Class etc.

5) found the proper first aid kit and warning triangle for the car (seen in the first post)

6) Sourced another armrest to replace the cracked one. Its from a S1 W126 280SE, but I think I can probably make it fit.

7) found the previous to last owner on facebook and got more info and service history on the car.

8) used a clay bar to see if I could improve the roof, wasn't able to make much different

9) researched how to get a key to remove the roof racks.
 
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c107

c107

and 111/116/124/126
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What is left to do short term:

1) The tailgate struts are tired and the tailgate doesn't stay up. Replace those.
2) try and fit the armrest
3) replace the radio. its got an entry level Sony Xplod which is not a good radio. I want to find a becker 1402 for it, but in the meantime I have an alpine unit I took out of the 560SEC sitting on the shelf that is car better that might go in. Also to fix the passengers front speaker that is not working.
4) Since the car was in QLD for 15 years, it has the white spot on the instrument cluster. I would like to find a local housing and put my gauges into it. At the same time, I would repair the outside temperature display (not hard) and lubricate the speedo cable (as the needle bounces).
5) try and find the factory roofracks
6) decide what to do about this small area on the floor where a rock chip has caused some localized rust. The photo is highly zoomed in, the area is about the size of a deck of playing cards.

2023-01-26 11-32-45.jpeg.jpeg

7) change front corners back to orange
8) look at B pillar trim and how to repair it.
 
Last edited:

Patrick_R

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A great introduction to your terrific new car.
Very little to do that’s for sure.
Looking forward to seeing these jobs completed, and turning this car into another family favourite.

I have an answer for you regarding the early part of your car’s life.
I have a lot of mates that have worked, and still work for Mercedes Benz in their truck division.

What MB did when all dealerships were company owned, was to offer pretty much all customer facing staff (including service advisors) a subsidised MB company car.
For a small fee which was roughly $250 a month, they could have a brand new MB to drive, and it would be replaced every 3-6 months depending on the k’s travelled.
No modifications were allowed EG tow bar etc.
These would usually be a C class 4 cylinder sedan of an entry level spec.
Then as the job description went up, so did the car level.
Salesmen would be given a higher grade of car, (usually and E Class) which they didn’t have to pay for, so was a typical fully supplied, and paid for car from MB. However this was also replaced every 3-6 months depending on k’s.
Your car may have fallen into the Sales Managers level, as they could pick what type of car that was supplied to them, however was also replaced every 3-6 months depending on k’s and then another was given to them.

Why did they do this you may ask.
All cars were registered as “demonstrators” which could in fact go towards their monthly sales numbers thus adding to their market share and sales results for that month.

One MB Manager told me that some months, this could be in the hundreds, so to artificially increase the official sales numbers and market share recorded by MB.

This all stopped a few years ago when most of all the MB dealers changed to “Daimler Group” and nearly all are now privately owned, and not company owned.
 

abl567

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I can vouch for Patricks remarks.
Ruby's W202 1999 C240 was bought by my Dad from Marshalls in 2000 as one of these cars, 1st owner Mercedes-Benz Milperra. It was 7 months old with about 7k on it. They had a range of ex management cars from C200 Classic through to Dads C240 Elegance. Apparently the C280 was imported in such low numbers none were supplied to staff. The salesman told us that so it MUST be true 😛
 
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c107

c107

and 111/116/124/126
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A great introduction to your terrific new car.
Very little to do that’s for sure.
Looking forward to seeing these jobs completed, and turning this car into another family favourite.

I have an answer for you regarding the early part of your car’s life.
I have a lot of mates that have worked, and still work for Mercedes Benz in their truck division.

What MB did when all dealerships were company owned, was to offer pretty much all customer facing staff (including service advisors) a subsidised MB company car.
For a small fee which was roughly $250 a month, they could have a brand new MB to drive, and it would be replaced every 3-6 months depending on the k’s travelled.
No modifications were allowed EG tow bar etc.
These would usually be a C class 4 cylinder sedan of an entry level spec.
Then as the job description went up, so did the car level.
Salesmen would be given a higher grade of car, (usually and E Class) which they didn’t have to pay for, so was a typical fully supplied, and paid for car from MB. However this was also replaced every 3-6 months depending on k’s.
Your car may have fallen into the Sales Managers level, as they could pick what type of car that was supplied to them, however was also replaced every 3-6 months depending on k’s and then another was given to them.

Why did they do this you may ask.
All cars were registered as “demonstrators” which could in fact go towards their monthly sales numbers thus adding to their market share and sales results for that month.

One MB Manager told me that some months, this could be in the hundreds, so to artificially increase the official sales numbers and market share recorded by MB.

This all stopped a few years ago when most of all the MB dealers changed to “Daimler Group” and nearly all are now privately owned, and not company owned.
Thanks Patrick & Anthony, good info.
I an only imagine it must have been some kind of manager given the initial asking price of the 300TE, which was not far from S class money.

In 1990, you could have the 230TE for $96,200 or the 300TE for $133,966. To put that eye watering price into perspective, the 2007 E350 Wagon that my wife owns was actually cheaper 17 years later at $132,500. That would be equivalent to $205,030 adjusted for inflation to 2007, or $296,847 in 2022 dollars.
 
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c107

c107

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Also finally got around to adding some stuff to my own website:

Overview of the car:

About buying it:

Info about first work i did will go live in a couple of days
 

Patrick_R

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I can vouch for Patricks remarks.
Ruby's W202 1999 C240 was bought by my Dad from Marshalls in 2000 as one of these cars, 1st owner Mercedes-Benz Milperra. It was 7 months old with about 7k on it. They had a range of ex management cars from C200 Classic through to Dads C240 Elegance. Apparently the C280 was imported in such low numbers none were supplied to staff. The salesman told us that so it MUST be true 😛
Funny, that every time I went to a MB dealer, there seemed to be a new fleet of MB in the service and sales car park 😱

Also, quite sly of them to do what they used to do to inflate their statistics.
But that’s nothing.
A LONG time ago, a now very popular car hire company called Thrifty, was started by Mitsubishi to sell itself a vast fleet of Mitsubishi cars and Fuso trucks for the same reason MB did with giving nearly everyone a company funded Mercedes Benz 🙄
 

Patrick_R

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I can vouch for Patricks remarks.
Ruby's W202 1999 C240 was bought by my Dad from Marshalls in 2000 as one of these cars, 1st owner Mercedes-Benz Milperra. It was 7 months old with about 7k on it. They had a range of ex management cars from C200 Classic through to Dads C240 Elegance. Apparently the C280 was imported in such low numbers none were supplied to staff. The salesman told us that so it MUST be true 😛
Of course, if a salesman told you, it has to be true 🤣
 

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