In search of a parts car

Our parts car has a good interior and dashboard. Those things alone are worth the $1400 purchase price.

With our transmission fixed, we had a good running and driving old Mercedes with air conditioning that did not blow cold, a badly cracked dash, and seats that looked like they spent time with Mike Tyson’s tiger from the movie The Hangover.

Parts for these old Mercedes are not as cheap and easy to find as parts for the MGs and Triumphs we usually mess with. We really needed a parts car. After much searching on craigslist and eBay Motors, we found a 1968 230S in nearby Orlando.

The asking price was $1500. We paid $1400 and dragged it home. We paid a bit more than we probably should have on account of the rust. But it had Kuhlmeister factory air that had already been converted to R134a, nearly perfect seats and a really nice dash. Even the carpets looked good. The headliner was fine, and even the wood trim inside was better than ours. Despite the rust, even the trunk floor looked usable. So, we calculated, would we have paid $1400 for all these parts?

The answer is absolutely yes. We had already found out that World Upholstery could reupholster our seats, but we didn’t want to spend the $1600 they quoted. It’s also a lot of work to reupholster seats in a big sedan.

We had found a nice dash pad to replace our badly cracked one, but had been quoted $1200 for it. The one in this parts car is in great shape. Despite the high purchase price, this parts car will provide a quick and inexpensive way to get our restoration underway. When it’s all done, we should be able to recoup at least half of our purchase price at the scrap yard by selling its engine and automatic transmission, which we do not need.

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Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
7/5/12 11:06 a.m.

Take it easy when removing that dash. It could crack on removal because the underlying foam is breaking down.

RHCorley New Reader
7/5/12 2:08 p.m.

Good find!

7/6/12 9:58 p.m.

I too am in the process of restoring a 1967 230S. I do have a parts car that is of the same year and model except that it does not have air and is a manual floor shift. I noticed you got a zenith carburetor kit for a very low price. May I ask the source as I would like to get a set for my zeniths. Ian

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