#TBT – Eddie Alterman’s 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel

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Today we’re uncovering a Youtube gem — back in 2012, Car and Driver posted a “Tested” video for Editor-in-Chief Eddie Alterman’s ‘83 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel.

Alterman just couldn’t stay away from the car, even in his childhood. His uncle owned a 124, the successor to the 300D, and he remembers it fondly: “It just felt way more solid, it smelled differently, it rode differently, it had that great Mercedes float… I certainly recognized it as distinct and different and a high level of quality.”

As it turns out, Alterman found the car by “drunkenly searching eBay for a 123.” He saw footage of the 123 going through its shakedown tests and decided to peruse eBay after a glass of whiskey. 48 hours later, he had a car on his hands.

One of the charms of Alterman’s Mercedes is his refusal to restore it to pristine condition: “It’s really a luxury of never having to fix it,” he says.

The steering is “slow”, the passenger door lock is broken, the heat chooses when to work, and the antenna goes up, but not down. He hasn’t even opened the trunk yet! His rationale is that he could sink up to $30,000 into it, but he made a wise decision to just enjoy the car and not obsess over it.

The car does have its upsides: the brakes are great, the “champagne” paint has held up nicely, and there’s no rust. According to Alterman, this car is all about stability and comfort: “It’s solid, it’s reliable, it’s robust, it’s well made, it’s got a lot of integrity, and I hope I represent those values.”


  • Turbocharged diesel 3.0 liter SOHC inline-5, ~29 mpg
  • 120 hp
  • 170 lb-ft of torque
  • 0-60 mph in 12 seconds
  • Top speed 105 mph

Chime in with your thoughts in the forum! 

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