When my best friend that makes $10/hr tells me he just bought a Mercedes.

IT'S AN OLDER MODEL, SIR BUT IT CHECKS OUT | image tagged in star wars older code piett,AdviceAnimals | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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383,741 views, 57 upvotes, Made by a Redditor 38 months ago star wars older code piett
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and I'm....ummmmm...jealous? I guess.
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Matrix Morpheus Meme | What if i told you the upkeep on that old Benz will eat him alive. | image tagged in memes,matrix morpheus | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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The Most Interesting Man In The World Meme | I DON'T ALWAYS NEED PARTS FOR MY 78' 240D BUT WHEN I DO, THEY COST A FORTUNE | image tagged in memes,the most interesting man in the world | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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this fellow, Kent, has a great channel for Benz;

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7Kz01PM-xoDnqsiuwTn5og

if i owned an old Benz, I'd be looking at an engine and tranny swap at the first sign of trouble. newer Benz motor if diesel; Ford Coyote or Lexus 1UZ if a gasser.

nice to have the internet to see what has been done and the pain involved.

Of course, that wouldn't take care of parts needs for the rest of the car. Seems each Benz floorpan has it's own peculiar achilles heel. Heater core on the W114/5, Rust on the W123 and W116, wiring on the W124, etc.
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SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY! | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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As far as Mercedes-Benz's go, your absolutely correct! Even if you can do the work yourself, the parts are just outrageous! I can buy a 10 year old 500S in perfect shape for $5k-$7k but if it breaks the parts could be half of the purchase price!! I like Mercedes-Benz too!
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German spare parts aren't cheap across the board VW (my last car) and BMW included. I don't own a car now. I've owned Benz, but wouldn't want to do it again for the exact reasons you gave. Leaning towards Lexus, they've a good track record.
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Yes, a Lexus is a Toyota, which of course are notorious for lasting forever and reasonably price parts and they're available just about anywhere!! I was looking at them too! Here In Atlanta they're so many that come off lease, or are even sold second or third hand in such good shape and they are cheap, too! I'd go with a Lexus, you also get that nice touch of luxury! :)
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Lexus has one of the most interesting histories of any automotive marque. In contrast to Detroit for the last 40 years, Toyota pretty much did everything right.

http://ateupwithmotor.com/model-histories/lexus-ls400/

Lexus entry into the U.S. market resembles one of the most well planned and executed military campaigns of all time. Benz was one of the prime casualties.
For me here in Korea, one of the most hilarious and ironic things about Lexus is their prestige among well-heeled Koreans. The Koreans have nursed a long grudge against Japan, and though they compete against Japan well in many markets, they don't really produce anything quiet as good as the Lexus. So, well-off Koreans buy them, but will never admit they are MADE IN JAPAN! It's a collective national denial.

one caution, if you're any kind of gearhead at all, ateupwithmotor will become addictive!
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Ha ha! Yes, Japan's neighbors still hold a grudge against her do to the war, I've heard stories about it. Lexus sure did come into the U.S. like a military campaign alright! They are Mercedes-Benz lunch and dinner, if not their breakfast, too!! My dad in the early 90's leased a Infinity Q45T, four wheel steering and more, it was badass!!
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XD
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IT'S AN OLDER MODEL, SIR BUT IT CHECKS OUT
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