[V8] Touring car musings.
rmwoodbury at roadrunner.com
Tue Jul 7 09:58:16 PDT 2009
Well, we aren't having much of a summer here along the coast of Maine.
Yesterday was a bright sunny day for my trip to Portland and back. About
320 miles in total, and the V8 was magnificent as usual. While there is
nothing else like it..nothing that delivers as much "bang for the buck",
anyway, I have been prowling around the usual places on the Internet looking
at what is out there interesting that could make a good summer or fair
weather touring car. I have found a couple of interesting examples and
although none of them will replace nor duplicate the V8, each has a certain
On eBay right now is an absolutely lovely looking Buick Estate Wagon. Now,
I have never been much of a GM car fan, but I could make an exception if I
needed a big station wagon to use as a general utility vehicle and sometimes
long distance cruiser. This particular example has an original (supposedly)
41,000 miles and is so old not even Maine excise taxes would bother the
owner. For less than seven grand, with all the bells and whistles, this
could be a fun car. I showed it to my wife who loved it on sight. Being
sold by a franchised car dealer in Miami.
Then out on the wrong coast a guy is selling two interesting looking
Mercedes Type W123 diesel coupes. I think the nicest one is the Maple
yellow '78 non-turbo coupe with less than 80,000 miles. Then there is the
most interesting one which is a later coupe that has the turbodiesel engine,
leather interior, European headlights and heated seats which are very rare
in these cars. Either one for less than $15,000 which might seem like a
lot, but if these are anywhere as good as they look, they will run forever
and provide really good long distance touring comfort. I have owned two
cars from this series, and although a bit dated, they are comfy, economical
long distance cars.
But the cream of the crop appears to be a late version 300SD, with 40,000
odd miles. This is as nice an SD as I have seen in a long time, and would
be a truly magnificent car to keep and use as a two and one half season
travel car, complimenting the V8 in the next garage stall very nicely. They
are asking the sun, moon, earth and sky for it, and in the end they might
get it, I suppose. Whether I would pay twenty grand or almost all of that
for something like this is debatable even in my own mind, but these were
really nice long distance cars, inexpensive to operate on a daily basis
getting good fuel mileage with decent performance and great comfort. The SD
was much nicer than the SDL, which had more foot room in the back, but was
made a bit more awkward for it. Really low mileage examples are out there
from time to time, but not common. I am pulled by this one in particular.
But happy for my wife, I am NOT shopping for cars at this point.
And for anyone curious, I haven't seen another V8 on the road for almost six
months. And I also haven't seen any really good ones advertised for sale,
either. Sad commentary, as time marches on.
P.S. No, I won't drive a Prius either!
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