The South Carolina Pittinaro Motor Pool has recently seen the number of roadworthy cars increase by one. The 1978 Mercedes Benz 300D was picked up from the fellow who repaired the transmisison and driveshaft for me and brought back home. It was an interesting deal; I’d bought a rusty ’85 300TD as a parts car up in Asheville, and this fellow agreed to take the parts car in trade to repair the much nicer 300D. I think I ended up giving him an extra $100 to cover an oil change, new springs in the front seats, and a fuel tank cleaning, too. Pretty reasonable for Mercedes service.
I’ve been so happy to have the 300D back that I’ve put about 250 miles on it since picking it up last Thursday. I had to work this weekend both days, and I used it as my commuter. The 80 horsepower 5 cylinder 3 litre diesel isn’t exactly a sprinter, but once up to speed, it stays there, and the ride and handling is very…German. In my opinion, its one of the best cars to come out of the 1970’s. I know that’s not saying much, but the W123 body Mercedes (240 and 300) are considered some of the most durable cars ever made.
One small thing I still have to fix on the 300D is the radio antenna; specifically, it has none. Luckily, the radio does sport a rectangular-shaped slot into which one may insert plastic cartridges containing recorded music. For those of you too young to remember them when they were common, these were called “cassette tapes”. And I just happen to have a Snoopy suitcase full of them, most of which I hadn’t listened to in years- some, many, MANY years. Cake, the sound track from The Repo Man, Big Band from the 40’s, and Johnny Cash were some of the motley tunes I enjoyed. I even discovered some mix tapes I’d cut off of mp3.com, which used to (and may still, I haven’t visited the site in probably 8 years) have free music from new artists to download. Ska, Punk, Psychobilly, and even some country and Americana, from artists probably long forgotten.
One particular favorite of mine: Thalidomide Redneck. (Google “Hick’ry Hawkins”)