It's almost hard to believe today in the United States, but decades ago a significant percentage of Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold here ran on diesel fuel. With diesel currently more expensive than premium gasoline in many places now, and Mercedes diesels having helped ruin their own reputation as time progressed, diesel has a long way to go. Even today, in many people's minds there's still a negative stigma of slow, clattering, stinking diesel W123s with the rear end blackened with soot. In today's era of modern clean-running diesels, that's not as much of a problem. They're also inherently more fuel-efficient than many gas-powered engines, so in many cases a diesel can be a smart buy if its fuel economy offsets the increased fuel cost per gallon.
www.smarks.org by a previous owner, who donated it in 1996 to the Volunteers of America in Oakland following extensive (and expensive) repairs. Sometime after that, the old Merc found its way to Alameda where it lives with the 1976 Mustang II I featured a couple months ago. Its condition has deteriorated since then, as it's almost twenty years older and was parked under trees when I found it. The rim of the 3-pointed star on the trunk is gone, the hood ornament is gone, and the left front turn signal has been jerry-rigged with a mismatched replacement. The rear bumper damage and missing hood ornament have been that way since at least the 1990s. There's also a large round hole in the passenger side of the windshield that appears to have been plugged sloppily with some kind of resin.