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Northern Irish classics v Irish v English ones

  • 09-04-2017 1:28am
    #1
    Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    I recently bought a W124 from the North, after giving up looking in Ireland and England for one.
    I don't know if the UK MOT is tougher or softer than the NCT, but it's been correctly serviced, and every MOT test had serious monetary repairs done.
    So I am wondering is this typically the case with UK cars?
    I always thought the salted roads would mean more corrosion than Irish cars.
    But looking at the suspension bush replacement history, shock absorbers etc; it looks like the smoother UK roads have been better to it than our Irish potholed ones.
    Now I did pay more for it in the North than I would have done in England; but I thought at least I saved on the flight/ferry/petrol costs driving it from Holyhead to Dublin etc.
    Maybe its the UK mentality, but I find Northern Irish car owners seem to adhere to a cars service intervals more than in Ireland.
    Has anyone else found that to be the case?
    I mean all the W124's I looked at in England and the North had service history, and plenty of it. MOT certs to back up the mileages etc.
    But the Irish ones had little or nothing in comparison. Maybe its a cultural thing? Lack of maintenance. Or maybe just no money to service them in the late 80's and early '90's?
    The funny thing was, the seller was a blatant Loyalist but was an absolute gentleman to deal with. No problem haggling with me on the price at all.
    I was expecting him to be more hostile.
    Anyway, I would be interested to hear other thoughts or experiences as it's the first time I bought a classic in the North.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,169 ✭✭✭ easygoing39


    Slightly off-topic,
    I've been doing trackdays up the north since 1995 and have never had any "attitude" from anyone regarding the fact I'm from the "Free State". From doing the days you get to know people from meeting them over and over.I could'nt tell you what their religon was,it did'nt bother me,and I was always made feel welcome by everyone.
    I think it's because we're all petrol-heads,so we have a common love and interest.I'd guess the gentleman selling you the classic car was in the same boat.And while I would'nt like to be in certain area's of the North around July 12th,I'd guess most Loyalist are gentlemen anytime of the year.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    The car servicing in the UK and lack of it here is down to the technical culture. Here the majority of people don't care about it and as long as the engine turns the wheels that is all that matters, and the NCT is a "money making scam".

    Regarding the MOT, my personal experience is a bit shocking in comparison to our NCT. I found the MOT to be a complete joke.
    I bought a classic car not long ago from the UK which had a clean MOT history and passed the last 10 MOT tests. However, the windscreen washer has not been working for years, exhaust had holes here and there, the reverse light wasn't working and after carefully inspecting the brakes, I believe they were not without faults (imbalance at the rear axle at least).
    So, it clearly shows the MOT over there is just a matter of person's opinion rather that complex test where some test results must go through a computerised system and the car will only pass if all data is within the level of tolerance...


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    That is interesting. I have found the same thing with sports events. The common interest, whether it's cars or rugby etc, seems to get over the religious/political divide. I have been to a few classic car shows in the North are they were very well run, with reasonable entrance fee too. It makes a nice weekend away in a classic, as some of the driving up there is very scenic.
    I don't know if its the done thing to haggle more on the price. I find in England the prices are less open to negotiation, but in Ireland no one expects to get the asking price so they ramp it up to allow for that.
    Personally I prefer the no-nonsense approach of saying, £5K strictly no offers etc. At least one knows that is that before going.
    I used to enjoy haggling a couple of hundred off the asking price of a car, but as I have got older I can't be bothered with the hassle of it to be honest. I would prefer just to pay a fair asking price with no luck penny nonsense.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Interesting point about the UK MOT system.
    The seller in the North mentioned it actually. That in the North its tougher than England, reason being its done by a national testing body like our NCT. Whereas in England it's done by independent garages; and therefore more open to tester discretion, and I suppose in some cases corruption.
    My car passed the MOT in the North with some advisories, and the same advisories were picked up with the NCT. But I do think the suspension slip test on the NCT is harder than a visual MOT inspection from a tester.
    Any thoughts on the salted UK roads and corrosion?
    One thing I have found to be true in all cases, is never buy a car from a seaside town. The salt and sand definitely rusts the cars more.
    But ironically the ones I viewed in England had much less rust underneath than the Irish ones. Maybe the roads are gritted more, but then again, maybe the cars go through car washes more? Or are Waxoiled or undersealed more?
    I suppose it depends on the owners the car has had too really. I found most W124 sellers were affluent and had the means to service their cars correctly during the '90's and 2000's. Certainly seems to be a well healed set in England that love the TE models, and their condition reflects this both in the W123 and W124's. Harder to find a well looked after Irish one though.
    Another factor one needs to consider is the Sterling/Euro exchange rate. Often cars near the border seem to be dearer in Sterling than ones farther away.
    Maybe the border classics attract more interest as they are closer for an Irish buyer to view?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,129 ✭✭✭✭ BorneTobyWilde


    What type of w124 is it.
    Have you a picture


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Nothing exciting to be honest. An '87 300D with 250K miles on the clock. It's in a bodyshop having some paintwork done at the moment so apologies I can't put up a picture. I just liked it as it was automatic, leather, and had FSH really. My father had the same car albeit a '90 one, so it's some nostalgia for me too. I prefer the W123 300D but gave up looking for one without rust problems. I found the W124's to suffer with it less (well apart from the front arches). So as soon as '87 qualified for 56 Euro tax I was hungry for one.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    Service history on a W124 is not really that important. Whats important is overall condition. There are loads of really good W124's available in the UK at the moment and I'm surprised you couldn't find a good one. All W124s from the UK will have rot issues but ones from the London area tend to have fewer issues. If any parts have been changed they need to be genuine MB ones and suspension bushes, dampers and springs rarely need to be changed. I have 5 W124's here at the moment and over the last 15 years have had quite a few and have only ever changed one damper, never changed any bushes or springs.


    Service history is not as important as people would have you think. Does it really matter that the car was serviced regularly for the first 5 years of its life? No its doesn't particularly if it runs as sweep as a nut now and its now you are buying not when it was 5 years old


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    Any thoughts on the salted UK roads and corrosion?
    My first car that was a UK import was a lovely M-B S124 with the self levelling rear axle (standard in the T-model). The left side rear hydraulic lifter had a play at the bottom bushing fixing point, so I bought another 124T for spares to replace the complete unit. Good I did, because during the operation the hydraulic supply pipe snapped due to corrosion damage. Then I discovered that all the pipes under the car (SLS, brake and fuel lines) were in a very bad state. As a result I had to patch all of them. The corrosion issues were all hidden away and most likely cased by the salt on the roads.

    I believe other S124s I had years ago were UK imports, but were not as bad, so the one must have been driven in particularly bad conditions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    w124man wrote: »
    Service history is not as important as people would have you think. Does it really matter that the car was serviced regularly for the first 5 years of its life? No its doesn't particularly if it runs as sweep as a nut now and its now you are buying not when it was 5 years old
    True, all you need to know when buying is when all the fluids were changed last time (power steering fluid, transmission oil, differential oil, brake fluid, coolant, hydraulic fluid, engine oil, etc.), the filters (engine oil filter, transmission oil filter, air filter, PS filter, fuel filter), and when the timing belt with accessories was replaced (not applicable in the W124 series).

    Service histories showing tons or receipts for light bulbs and wiper blades replaced in 1998 are quite often distract you from the important pieces of information you need to know about the car.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    I disagree with you W124man. FSH is important on any car; Mercedes, W124, included.
    Even in the first 5 years, regular annual/10K oil changes (whichever comes sooner); are vital.
    300D's often did high mileages in the first 5 years as company cars. 20K per annum was nothing unusual.
    So I am surprised you would think 100K without FSH in the first 5 years would be OK.
    My cousin is a Master Technician at Hughes of Beaconsfield; and he concurs with my opinion.
    W124's need clean oil every 10K. From day one.
    The ones that are on 500K plus miles and are still running as new have FSH. It's a moot point.
    I paid 2-3K more for a 300D with FSH for this reason.
    FMBSH in the first 10 years on a 300D is worth every penny of it in my opinion.
    Gearbox oil, rear diff oil changes, make all the difference to a 250K car at 30 years old.
    Honestly I cannot believe anyone would believe otherwise.
    Each to their own though, no offence implied. When it came to buying mine, I just took my cousins expert advice.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    I disagree with you W124man. FSH is important on any car; Mercedes, W124, included.
    Even in the first 5 years, regular annual/10K oil changes (whichever comes sooner); are vital.
    300D's often did high mileages in the first 5 years as company cars. 20K per annum was nothing unusual.
    So I am surprised you would think 100K without FSH in the first 5 years would be OK.
    My cousin is a Master Technician at Hughes of Beaconsfield; and he concurs with my opinion.
    W124's need clean oil every 10K. From day one.
    The ones that are on 500K plus miles and are still running as new have FSH. It's a moot point.
    I paid 2-3K more for a 300D with FSH for this reason.
    FMBSH in the first 10 years on a 300D is worth every penny of it in my opinion.
    Gearbox oil, rear diff oil changes, make all the difference to a 250K car at 30 years old.
    Honestly I cannot believe anyone would believe otherwise.
    Each to their own though, no offence implied. When it came to buying mine, I just took my cousins expert advice.
    The point is, you do not need the service history paperwork from 20 years ago. It is easy to spot if the oils were changed regularly. Just check the engine condition truly, check how clean the engine head is by looking through the oil cap, if the hydraulic valve lifters are noisy, etc.

    The 124 series cars are very durable and can cover massive mileages if serviced regularly. So, if you are looking at a half a million km example looking rather good and driving well, it means it was serviced ;).


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,129 ✭✭✭✭ BorneTobyWilde


    Nothing exciting to be honest. An '87 300D with 250K miles on the clock. It's in a bodyshop having some paintwork done at the moment so apologies I can't put up a picture. I just liked it as it was automatic, leather, and had FSH really. My father had the same car albeit a '90 one, so it's some nostalgia for me too. I prefer the W123 300D but gave up looking for one without rust problems. I found the W124's to suffer with it less (well apart from the front arches). So as soon as '87 qualified for 56 Euro tax I was hungry for one.

    I like those cars too. Is it really that hard to find one. Leather is rare in early cars I guess. Air con? Not likely, hard to get Air- Con on those cars in UK AND IRELAND.
    https://www.donedeal.ie/vintagecars-for-sale/mercedes-300d/15142915

    Here is one on DD recently.

    https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C855974 Fully restored

    https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C813141

    https://www.carandclassic.co.uk/car/C810456


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,129 ✭✭✭✭ BorneTobyWilde




  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Nice examples, thank you for that.
    I don't want to turn this into a merits of the W124 series thread though! I think it's accepted both the W123 and W124 300D were some of the best Mercedes cars ever made. Along with the W126 500SEL. It comes down to how much one wants to spend to buy one at the end of the day. Some people don't care about FSH, and for some its very important. Every man has his own preferences.
    I found many early ones had MBTex or velour, but I wanted leather and auto; so that narrowed my search down really.
    That 3.5K one in Galway looks value if the mileage is correct. Nice to get a 3 litre on the 56 Euro tax.
    Personally I am looking forward to the latter part of this year when some of the '87 CE's come into the 200 Euro VRT bracket.
    I fancy a 300CE 24V. Often they were fully loaded spec, and well looked after too.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    15 Mercedes Benz Main dealer stamps on that last one.
    I have to confess, I find that very alluring.
    Now contrast that with no SH in the first 5, 10, 15 years.
    Overall I think cars are better maintained in England than Ireland.
    I can't see one of these with 15 MBSH stamps selling here for that kind of money; even adding 2K VRT and another 500 ferry etc.
    The more I think about it, that Galway one at 3.5K on ZV's seems too good to be true.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    I warn you, this video is highly erotic.
    I PM'd MrKaljapullo and he has confirmed my suspicions, oil changes every 10K and FSH.
    Over to you W124man..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWBGdJtL40


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    I disagree with you W124man. FSH is important on any car; Mercedes, W124, included.
    Even in the first 5 years, regular annual/10K oil changes (whichever comes sooner); are vital.
    300D's often did high mileages in the first 5 years as company cars. 20K per annum was nothing unusual.
    So I am surprised you would think 100K without FSH in the first 5 years would be OK.
    My cousin is a Master Technician at Hughes of Beaconsfield; and he concurs with my opinion.
    W124's need clean oil every 10K. From day one.
    The ones that are on 500K plus miles and are still running as new have FSH. It's a moot point.
    I paid 2-3K more for a 300D with FSH for this reason.
    FMBSH in the first 10 years on a 300D is worth every penny of it in my opinion.
    Gearbox oil, rear diff oil changes, make all the difference to a 250K car at 30 years old.
    Honestly I cannot believe anyone would believe otherwise.
    Each to their own though, no offence implied. When it came to buying mine, I just took my cousins expert advice.




    I have a 190D with over 300,000 on the clock and not a single piece of paper came with it other than a receipt and the old brown logbook. The engine is as strong as the day it left the factory and flew the emissions when I did the NCT. The manual gearbox has had an oil change some time in its life because I can see the marks left when trying to open the drain plug. The rear diff leaks, the steering idler needed to be replaced along with the steering damper and half the rod ends. Service history or not, they needed to be replaced.


    Now, back to the full history ...... How do you know the history is complete? W124's need fresh oil every 6000 miles by the way! Spending 2 - 3k more for some paper is madness when the cars value at an absolute max is €6000. There are plenty running around with battleship miles with no service history so you need to get real on that point, moot or not. Service history cannot and will not guarantee you are buying a good car, its only paper after all and paper never refused a bit of ink!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    I warn you, this video is highly erotic.
    I PM'd MrKaljapullo and he has confirmed my suspicions, oil changes every 10K and FSH.
    Every 10k km or miles? 10k km is max, if miles then it means the car was technically neglected.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    I warn you, this video is highly erotic.
    I PM'd MrKaljapullo and he has confirmed my suspicions, oil changes every 10K and FSH.
    Over to you W124man..
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsWBGdJtL40


    What has oil changes got to do with FSH?


    How has FSH got this car to 1,000,000?


    FSH is only a record on paper of work carried out (or not).


    If you cant suss out a pup when you are buying a car by looking at it and driving it and a piece of paper makes you happy then fine!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,472 ✭✭✭ Seweryn


    Not unusual to see 1 million km on one of these. My friend has one with over 1.1 million. No service history, but serviced regularly. Never needed anything major.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    The official MB figure is 9,000 miles. But even I think that is excessive. 10K or annually (whichever comes sooner); is good enough.
    A lot depends on how a car is driven of course, lots of cold short town trips mean the oil gets dirty quicker etc.
    However a motorway mileage car cruising all day at 90 degrees will have cleaner oil with the same mileage on the clock etc.
    But anyway, an annual MB stamp is what I like to see in the book.
    Fair play to you, 300K on a 190 with no SH is good going. I wish you the best of luck with it, really.
    Like I said before, FSH is important to some people like myself, and not at all to others like yourself. Every man has his preferences.
    But no offence implied or taken either way. My father was a taxi driver and bought a 300D brand new in 1990. He sold it with 370K miles on the clock driving as new. That was with 10K oil changes, and an annual service.
    I think we all agree, clean engine oil is better than dirty, and the more frequent one changes it the better really.
    It's not worth getting heated arguing over. You are happy with your 300K 190, and I am happy with my 300D with 250K.
    So that's that at the end of the day, FSH or none; one can still be a happy man.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Seweryn wrote: »
    Every 10k km or miles? 10k km is max, if miles then it means the car was technically neglected.


    Obviously my joke went over your head.
    Not everyone shares my sense of humour..


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    If you have a W124 300D from '87 with 250K up then you could have a good car. Pre '92 cars are better that post '92. With 250k up have the engine mounts been changed? Have the ball joints been changed? In the 42 stamps in the service book and all the receipts, you should be able to answer that one!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Seweryn wrote: »
    Not unusual to see 1 million km on one of these. My friend has one with over 1.1 million. No service history, but serviced regularly. Never needed anything major.

    Agreed, it's testament to their build quality. I was in a W123 taxi in Turkey once with 500K miles on the clock. Original engine and gearbox apparently, but it was on second rear diff. Smokey, but still driving well.
    Its amazing what mileages BMW/VW/Volvo/Audi/Mercedes etc will do with clean engine oil regularly.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    w124man wrote: »
    What has oil changes got to do with FSH?


    How has FSH got this car to 1,000,000?


    FSH is only a record on paper of work carried out (or not).


    If you cant suss out a pup when you are buying a car by looking at it and driving it and a piece of paper makes you happy then fine!

    It was a joke lad, lighten up! Obviously you missed that.
    I haven't a clue what service history or oil changes that car had!
    I don't care either to be honest.
    I am the first to admit I am not expert on buying cars, and that is one reason why I like to see FSH.
    Anyway, I think we have all got your point and views about the matter; so many thanks for it.
    Any thoughts on Northern v English v Irish classic cars?
    I would like to keep the thread loosely on topic..


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    The official MB figure is 9,000 miles. But even I think that is excessive. 10K or annually (whichever comes sooner); is good enough.
    A lot depends on how a car is driven of course, lots of cold short town trips mean the oil gets dirty quicker etc.
    However a motorway mileage car cruising all day at 90 degrees will have cleaner oil with the same mileage on the clock etc.
    But anyway, an annual MB stamp is what I like to see in the book.
    Fair play to you, 300K on a 190 with no SH is good going. I wish you the best of luck with it, really.
    Like I said before, FSH is important to some people like myself, and not at all to others like yourself. Every man has his preferences.
    But no offence implied or taken either way. My father was a taxi driver and bought a 300D brand new in 1990. He sold it with 370K miles on the clock driving as new. That was with 10K oil changes, and an annual service.
    I think we all agree, clean engine oil is better than dirty, and the more frequent one changes it the better really.
    It's not worth getting heated arguing over. You are happy with your 300K 190, and I am happy with my 300D with 250K.
    So that's that at the end of the day, FSH or none; one can still be a happy man.


    The official oil change figure for a 300D is 6,000 miles - I have the MB workshop manual here and, ironically a service book. The annual service you mention is every 12 months ONLY if you do less than 6000 miles in that year.


    Incidentally I have an E220 with a fabulous service history up to 90,000, a blown head gasket and an NCT fail for being rotten to the core. The car has 91,000 on the clock !! FSH ...... yeah right!!


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    OK I don't want to get into an argument on FSH. I like it, you don't. We get it.
    Rather than derail the thread more, can we all agree to keep it on topic.
    Do you think (generally speaking) Northern cars or Irish cars are better buys?
    Or does it depend on the make of car and owner more?
    For example I see that there are many E30 and MK2 Golf enthusiasts in the North, and they really look after their cars; so I would think they would be a good buy as a result.
    Exchange rates aside, I wonder if buying a car from the North, and not paying for flight/ferry costs to get one from England is the better way of finding a good classic?
    I suppose in England there is more choice though. So it probably depends if what one is looking for is a common model or not.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Another thought is this..
    is it really worth paying more for an original Irish plate car?
    Compared to the same car on a ZV plate?
    Personally I don't care either way, '87 ZV or Irish plate don't matter.
    I am more interested in the car itself, rather than the plate its on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    Generally speaking an Irish car is a better bet because of the rust issue then its down to specific condition. NI cars can have lower overall mileage sometimes but tend to be a little pricier than UK cars. UK and NI cars are usually better spec'd


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ MotherTeresa


    Yes, that was my thinking when looking for one myself.
    I was limited by wanting an early '87 one though to avail of the 200 VRT, and 56 motor tax rates.
    Having said that, there are plenty in Ireland on UK plates for months/years; such as that '87 260E in Cork. I cannot believe the owner still hasn't VRTd it yet!
    But you are right the Northern cars are generally dearer than in England. Also the Irish ones tend to be base spec as you say.
    There seemed to be a lot more automatic cars in England, compared to manual ones here.
    I am really looking forward until some of the 300CE's from '87 are 30 later on this year. Lovely cars to run on 56 motor tax!
    Do they grit the roads in the North the same as England? I am just wondering if classics up there would be less rusty underneath?


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