Posted by: viewfromtheriva | February 15, 2013

The family celebrates a new arrival


the proud new motherToday we celebrated a milestone–our first car while living here in Split!  After looking at 3,657,000 different cars it finally occurred to us that a 6 year old Fiat was the same price as a perfectly maintained Mercedes.

still has her good looks

Luckily a friend is a Mercedes fanatic and has his own 30 year beauty.  So off we went in search of the perfect under $2000 Mercedes.   Because Croatian weather is so gentle on cars and a lot of people here have a strong connection to Germany there are tons of them on the road–spare parts? No problem!

mercedes-124-230 rear seat

We tested a monster S class, some diesels and then we saw what looked pretty interesting but it was in Vrgorac, 100km away, on the border with Bosnia.

It was the last of what many consider the best made Mercedes ever–the E Class series that ended in the early 1990’s.  This one was a 1992 230.

We called the owner who said he was getting a lot of calls, so in a driving rainstorm that turned to snow, we went to see it on Saturday.  Of course, with no plates, we couldn’t drive it!   So we found some local police, explained the situation and they said, go for it.

I let the Mercedes fanatic drive it and then I took a spin.  “It’s a woman!! ” he shrieked as I jerked it into third. “Gently, GENTLY!”

But I was so nervous and it was pitch black, I was just glad I could steer it.

mercedes-124-230 front seat

We went for a coffee and my friend said, buy it, but offer less because one of the wheels is not original and there may be a small issue with the ABS, but I can fix it.

Twenty minutes later, we had a deal.  With all leather seats, alas no sunroof, and just 165,000 miles in 21 years; a flawless body (check out the front bumpers–hardly a scratch!) it really is a beauty.

I took the bus back to Vrgorac today to pick it up and drove it back VERY carefully.  It was like a baby carriage.  So smooth!  The temporary registration is good for 5 days–enough for my friend to change fluids and filters and for me and Natasha to give it a good wash.

The only real issue is gas.  It took $125  to fill it up and my hunch is that it will drink a lot–but hey–a Mercedes!

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Responses

  1. Welcome to the world of old cars. I almost bought a one owner 600 series that was in perfect shape–even after almost 50 years, but I lost my nerve in the end. Congratulations to you for following through. Happy Motoring!

    Jack

  2. Hi!
    I live in the UK and plan to drive our 1992 Nissan Figaro to Croatia in June this year. Last year we drove it to Madrid and the year before to Venice. Old cars are fun. Do we need a special visa for the car to enter Croatia. Our plan is to drive to Dubrovnik, after entering from Ancona .
    Dave

    • not sure….you need to check, but there are lots of foreign cars here!


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