My Local Energy Journey 2

Part Two

I had a lot of specific requirements for my choice of diesel vehicle. I’m sure most people will too.

Affordable
As I mentioned earlier we don’t have a bunch money right now. So I had to find a way to sell my truck and use the money for another vehicle. It was pretty hard. I didn’t expect to get much for the Chevy S10. Blue Book value was rather low. The asking price for most old Mercedes I saw where $3,000 and up. But some how I bought a car for exactly how much I sold the Chevy. I got a deal. But I think the prices people ask for old Mercedes are several thousand more than most will sell for. So the lesson is, ALWAYS HAGGLE.

Four doors
The truck had two doors and a bench seat. Any new car had to have four doors. Mainly because we need another vehicle to transport our son. You can put a child car seat in a two door… but its rough. Most safety experts suggest children ride in the back seat.

Safe
Obviously when you transport children you want a safe car. Lots of different options can fulfill this goal. But all that I’ve seen and read about Mercedes is that they’re some of the safest cars around. Older vehicles are made with much more steel and are heavier. A big plus in my book. Wish I could afford a newer car with better safety ratings but… you make due with what you have.

Easy to Work On
I’m mechanically inclined. It’s been awhile since I’ve worked on a car with passion. But I have a pile of tools. Mostly given to me by famliy members.

Recently I’ve done basic maintenance on vehicles out of necessity. So I wanted a car that would be fun to work on. This way I don’t get super frustrated right away trying to figure stuff out. From what I’ve read and heard the ’80s Mercedes are mostly easy and fun. Though some smart folks remind me how hard transmition and suspension work is. Something I may leave to the pros.

Will Run Biodiesel
This requirement was a big one. It narrowed the list down significantly. Here in the US there are only a small percentage of diesel cars with four doors. Mainly VWs and Mercedes with lots of two door trucks and a few other foreign cars. Because there are lots of these vehicles running there are tons of after market parts. I chose the Mercedes because of all the positive talk about them. We’ve owned several VWs, and love them, but just couldn’t find one we could afford.

Other Issues
We had to work a bit to get over the image of wealth and excess that the Mercedes-Benz brand exudes. But in the end I see this car as a tool. One that was built extremely well. Plus most people who want to flaunt their wealth these days don’t drive old diesels. It’ll be pretty obvious to most we’re “hippies trying to save the environment and stuff” with our biodiesel car. 🙂

(Part One of this series can be found here.)

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