best search technique

Hi All,
I live in Florida and am hunting for an old 123 or related body style. Looking for a straight, rustfree car that has been meticulously maintained
(mileage in the range of 150-200K).
If you folks were in this position, what search technique would you use to find your car? I can travel pretty much anywhere in the SE US to pick up a good specimen.
Any insights really appreciated......
Andrew
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Autotrader.com Local newspaper - must be a lot of Florida retirees who give up their cars. Try a "car wanted" ad in a local paper.
You want to FIND the right car, not be SOLD a car.
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Check eBay. There'a a good 123 on there right now I'd like to have myself if it weren't in Florida.
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If I were you I would look in Atlanta. Florida is dicey IMO.
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Hello Andrew,
If I were you I'd go to cars.com and start entering your car criteria and a few Florida zip codes. Many of the cars there are actually newspaper classified ads so there's actually a pretty good selection of "local" cars. I'm thinking you'll have to keep checking regularly and for a while and need to move quickly if you see something you like but in time I think you could find what you want.
I live in North Florida so if I happen so see something I think you'd be interested in I'll post a message to you here.
Mike

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On Wed, 02 Mar 2005 00:12:10 -0400, mharness wrote:

Thanks. I'd really appreciate it.
So far, I've been combing ads and talking to a few dealers. Some of the doubletalk and misrepresentations I've seen make me shudder. I hope I can find a decent unit - maybe a 79-85 240D with manual 4 speed or perhaps a 79-85 300SD......
Andrew
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I agree on a 240D, manual. Hard to believe but I bought an '81 for $50 with 111k on it! Yea, I know. The skeptics will load up on this one but, let me explain. It was bought in Germany by a fellow in the San Francisco area. He brought it back and took amazing care of it. Finally sold it to a young couple in San Diego. The wife (probably putting on makeup in the rear view mirror) hit the back of a big truck with one of those "drop" frames. Came in over the bumper, shoved the grille back, pushed the electric fan into the A/C condenser, which moved the radiator back into the plastic fan, all of which buckled the hood and bent the hood hinges. Didn't even bust any of the headlights or fog lights but broke both headlight windows. They hadn't put collision insurance on the car and naturally got an amazing estimate from the body shop. They simply wanted to dispose of the car and I bought it for $50. Took my car hauler to the shop (about 30 miles away) and drove the car onto the trailer. Bought a hood (same color as car) with grille at a wrecking yard for $150. Rubbed it out with compound and it matches perfectly. Went to one of those "pick a part" yards in Oceanside and got a radiator for $30, plastic water pump fan for $8, electric fan for $12, new headlight windows for $55 each, and two new hood hinges for something like $18 each. I now have 124k on it and it starts as quickly as a gas engine if I heat the glow plugs for five seconds or so. Burns absolutely no oil and drives like a dream. Although the A/C condenser was bowed inward the system was still intact. Straightened the condenser out while replacing the radiator and the R12 system blows cold, cold, cold! I'm looking for a late '80s 300SEL under the same circumstances but it doesn't look to good at this point.
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