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Used car report: luxury class youngtimers for little money

Frank Herzog
Used vehicle report
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D he purchasing power of the euro is stronger than ever. At least in the used car gray area between old cars that are barely exportable and future classic cars for enthusiasts, there is a lot for a budget between 2,000 and 5,000 euros. At Auto Scout24 or mobile.de you can scroll up and down for evenings under the type designations of common German medium and luxury class cars - an entertaining occupation in winter between Dreik├Ânig and the melting of last year's vacation.

The only exception to this Sides is the Mercedes 107. It starts as a halfway usable SLC, for example as a false color 350 in colorado beige with checked fabric, manual transmission and without colored glass at 5,000 euros. The more popular open-top SL starts at around 10,000 euros, heavily loaded with compromises - for example as the 450 in the US version after 1973, when the bumpers grew into splendid chrome antlers.

We still have both models with us as an appetizer for next spring This selection was included because they play the second-largest role in the youngtimer scene after the W 123 in terms of their large numbers and heavy club membership - and because the open one is very special and the closed seventies SL is more than ever the desire of the more mature boy .

Baby Benz 190 for 2,000 euros

If you really only pay a maximum of 2,000 euros for a nice ticket in the youngtimer adventure world has left, can fall back on a lot of usable Mercedes material without SL aristocracy. Starting with the Baby-Benz 190, which you should look for as a rare original model up to 1985 in a contemporary color combination, such as silver thistle with dark olive or petrol with cream upholstery, or as a rare 190 E 2.6 with beautiful, almost complete equipment.

The world of the still uncounted W 124, on the other hand, is open for up to 2,000 euros, provided it is a less popular sedan. Recommended as a second car for enthusiaststhe six-cylinder, preferably with automatic transmission and nice optional equipment. The range of 124 sedans is so large that interested parties can choose their dream model almost as individually as when buying a new car.

BMW youngtimers cheaper, but not worse

Even the big BMWs from the design era by Claus Luthe are still available in large numbers. The prices are at least well below Mercedes level for the 7 Series, but the cars are by no means worse. They impress with their superior engine and great driving pleasure, especially with the large six-cylinder engines as the 535i and 530i or the 730i and 735i. The later V8s are more economical, but because of their complicated valve control, they are more maintenance-intensive and more prone to repair. The small six-cylinder timing belts in the 520i and 525i do their job surprisingly well. First-hand retirees' cars are often called 525i, are bronze-beige metallic and have an automatic mechanism. Even such 20-year-old cars are astonishingly modern.

Anyone who would like to add a more exotic accent to the faithful German everyday car with their youngtimers could reflect on the brilliant six-cylinder and the beautiful lines of the Jaguar XJ 40. There are often cars up to 2,000 euros, but they require a small maintenance deposit in the backhand. The 222 hp four-liter DOHC with G-Kat is the most harmonious engine, the second series with additional analog instruments already shows the maturity in body construction and electrics, which is important at Jaguar.

Another appealing world of cars is also signaled by the Elegantly styled by Pininfarina Alfa Romeo 164. Thanks to the generous galvanization, rust is a far less problematic problem than with Mercedes, but the constructive and acoustically beguiling four-valve V6 engine with 210 hp is maintenance-intensive. The proven DOHC four-cylinder 2.0 Twin Spark is easy on the tight budget.

You are more likely to play it safe with Volvo - a 740 is the spacious and robust station wagon par excellence. A more charismatic long-term car for less money is simply inconceivable. Unless you choose the Volvo 760 GLE with a European V6 engine and the seductive flair of a luxury limousine.

Cheap often means risky

No matter how tempting the photos on the Internet, you should never buy a classic car blindly. In view of the age and mileage, a thorough inspection of the car on the lift is recommended. Rust, chassis and electronics problems are considered budget killers after the purchase.

A thorough test drive including a motorway section at higher speeds should be compulsory, but never drive at full throttle after a long period of idle time. Close the window, turn off the radio, with thatsuspicious noises are not lost. The engine should start and run smoothly, otherwise there is a risk of electronic problems. A spongy steering feel in fast corners indicates a front axle in need of an overhaul.

From a purchase price of 3,000 euros, you should insist on an HU /AU; this also shows whether the catalytic converter and lambda probe are working exactly. In youngtimers, rust forms mainly on the jack mounts, on the rear wheel arches and on the standing plates in the engine compartment around the struts.

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