300CE reliability and longevity?

I'm contemplating an '88 300CE in the $9k range. It appears to be mechanically sound, other than a few electronic doodads not working (front end is tight, and there are no obvious mechanical deficiencies). It also
has repair and service records (which I have yet to look at in detail) and is an old lady's one-owner car. My problem is, the odometer is at 145,000 miles.
Now, I know the big deal about a Benz is it is supposed to have practically infinite drivetrain reliability, but, like, I don't believe in such nonsense. Trannies break. Engines eventually need valve jobs, even if the bottom end is rock solid.
Can anyone give me a clue as to how much longer before I have to pitch the tranny? I mean, $5k wouldn't be bad if it lasts another 50kilomiles, but it would suck if I had to do it right away.
I have no objections to spending rather more than $9k for a newer car, but Benz had the poor taste to abandon the straight-6. And I really dig straight-6's. Particularly the one in the '88 (the damned 4-valve-per one doesn't make the car go any faster, so, like, what is the point? -just more stuff to break). Plus, I don't much care for the "granny eyes" styling of the later vehicles.
thanks for any advice,
-Lupo "Nothing shocks me. I'm a scientist." - Harrison Ford, as Indiana Jones
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The straight six was sold through the '97 model year. The 3.0L 12 valve 177HP six was enlarged to the 3.2L 24 valve 217 HP six, I believe about '92 or so.
Given good maintenance and no abuse a transmission should be good for 175K miles, perhaps 200K miles, IMHO.
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That's rediculous. A properly maintained Mercedes automatic should last the lifetime of the car.
In my 30 years as a specialist, I have never seen one ware out!
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Head Gasket, AC compressor-evaporator-dryer; Throttle Body; Plastic coupling between the radiator and water pump are the main weak points of the design.
Check in the service records whether or not any of the above was attended to. If all of the above need attention, expect ~$2500-$3000 bill.
That said, the basic drive train is good for 250k miles.
Best,
Ross
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