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Michael Chigwidden ASKED THE GUIDE

Beware of imports

I AM thinking of buying a second-hand Mercedes-Benz. I want to spend $10,000 to $20,000. I'm particularly interested in the 300E/300CE series. I've taken your comments on board about imports. Are there any other aspects I should address?

IT'S crucial to be careful about imports, because you can't be sure about their history, but you shouldn't completely dismiss them. Some that are in good condition, and imported by reputable dealers, can be worth a second look. Get them thoroughly checked by someone you trust, who has an intimate knowledge of the make and model you want to buy. The 300E/300CE Benz is a good choice. They're very reliable, though they are known for valve guide wear as the kilometres climb. You're buying an old car, and it doesn't matter which badge is on the bonnet, it will break down at some time so be prepared.

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