Upon entering Lloyd’s of High Point, a classic Mercedes specialist and dealership, conveniently located in the The Woods, you are immediately greeted with this stunning China Blue 1979 Mercedes 300SD. And that is when you know you will be in for a treat.
You then look to the left of the 300SD to see a moderately sized line of other classic, diesel, Benzes. Starting off the list is a beige 1978 240D with a blue fender, a black 1979 240D with more bondo than actual steel, a different shade of blue 300SD, and the car I was there to see: a black 1991 300D.
Overall, this diesel is in good shape, with its 2.5 liter, 5-cylinder turbo running perfectly. The exterior is in really good shape, as is the interior. The interior did smell a bit weird, and the wood trim was cracking a bit, though.
Next to that 300D, was a very classy 1979 300SD. As you can see, the passenger window is stuck half-way up, and that means the interior has not fared well. Leaves. Sticks. Mildew. Insects. Various other things that are considered, “organic,” and, “earth.” That’s what mostly makes up the interior of this vehicle.
Ah yes, the two 240D’s. These were interesting group. The beige one looked to be in immaculate condition, other than it’s blue fender. I did not get a photo of the fender, because I just looked the car over and did not really pay much attention to it. I was just really bummed to see it that way.
Then there was the black 240D. Like I already said, there is probably more bondo than actual metal on this car, and that is truly a shame. At some point, someone added a blue and white pinstripe down the side, and then smoked approximately 14,000 cigarettes in it per week. Needless to say, it did not have the World’s Most Pleasant Odor attached to it, but what was I expecting for a $1,500 Benz...
You see this white 1986 W124 300E? Looks normal, right? Just your normal, run of the mi-WRONG:
This one has a five speed manual transmission. 1986 was the only year Mercedes imported a manual W124 to the U.S, as it was slated to compete directly with the E28 BMW 535i. Sadly, American buyers thought that Mercedes was too much of a, “luxury,” brand rather than a, “performance,” brand, and the manual 300E was discontinued for the 1987 model year. According to Lloyd, the owner of Lloyd’s of High Point, Mercedes only managed to sell less than 800 of the three pedal cars in that year.
Speaking of extremely rare U.S bound Mercedes, I bring you the final hurrah of the W201 chassis: The 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E Sportline. This particular example is number 499 of 700, making the Sportline the rarest model to ride on the W201 chassis. It was supposed to commemorate the end of 190E production, by featuring things which no other Mercedes has ever had.
It was the first Mercedes to include carbon fiber instead of wood, it was the first non-performance oriented Mercedes with Recaro seats to be sold in the U.S, and some were even sold with the dogleg manual transmission from the Cosworth. This particular example was an automatic. It was really cool to see such a rare version of a (at one time) really common car. They built almost three million of the things.
This 1991 300CE was probably the cleanest car on the entire property. I mean, it only has 39,000 miles on it. The paint still shined in the dim lit garage, the semi-electronic seatbelts worked with zero fault, and this car was simply in really good shape. The pillarless design of the W124 coupe is simply stunning. A pillarless coupe is something that only Mercedes can pull off, and I think the W124 is towards the top of the list.
The W124 Coupe actually cost more than the 300SL back in 1991, which made it a slow seller. But why did it cost more than the two seat roadster of 90's legend? It was handbuilt. That’s right, every single one of these coupes was grafted together by the hands of perfectionist German coachbuilders. These had to be made strong, too, because AMG was turning them into the infamous AMG Hammer Coupe.
Lloyd had some wreck on his property, too. These were used as parts for his, quote, “real projects,” and will definitely never be seeing the road again.
Apparently, this 1998 E300 Diesel ran after it was wrecked, but when Lloyd started removing parts from the car, it stopped working. Obviously.
Lloyd’s of High Point has numerous rare Mercedes, all of which are actually for sale. Like I said towards the beginning of this article, I am seriously interested in that black 1991 300D. There is one car at Lloyd’s that is so rare, it does not officially exist.
Mercedes started manufacture of the W126 chassis in 1979, and in the U.S got the 380SEL until 1983. But Lloyd has a 380SEL that was not built in 1979. Nor was it built 1983. It was built in 1985. Wikipedia will say that Mercedes did, in fact, build the 380SEL in 1985. They’re right, Mercedes did, but from 1984-1985 sales were not intended for the U.S market. Therefore I will make list in attempt to explain it.
- It is a grey market vehicle, which is unlikely because it has that, “This vehicle applies to all federal emissions regulations,” stickers that are only applied for U.S market vehicles. It also has the much loathed five MPH bumpers, which were not found on the Euro model.
- The owner is lying, and this interesting vehicle was in fact built before 1983.
- This was some sort of custom ordered vehicle, that someone spent too much money to get. If that is the case, one could easily get the more powerful 500SEL.
Whatever the case may be, and if this is in fact a one-of-one car that should not exist, then it is a goldmine. A Velvet Goldmine. Actually, that is not really the case.
Best of all, though, Lloyd wants $12,900 for it. $12,900 is not only a good price for a potentially one-of-a-kind luxury sedan, but it is also a really good price for a 46,000 mile W126 chassis Benz.
To reiterate, Lloyd’s of High Point is probably the best place on Earth. If you are an old Mercedes enthusiast, you’ll love it. If you take artsy Instagram pictures, this place will totally appeal to your aesthetics. Even if you know nothing about cars, the iconic shape and style of 1980's Mercedes will interest you for hours on end.
While not every car in Lloyd’s inventory is in concours condition, 99% of them are not, that is okay. I was not expecting it to be. But I walked away happy. I walked away knowing that Lloyd, a passionate Mercedes mechanic who has been working on these cars since 1985, was not selling anything he wasn’t. Lloyd knew what he had, and was completely transparent about that. He shared an anecdote about how he brought home his daughter in that China Blue 300SD, at the top of this article. That same car is up for sale, at a mere sum of $7,900.
I felt like I actually trusted a car salesman, and I honestly don’t know how to feel about that. Because of that, I think that I am going to go back to Lloyd’s of High Point soon, and really check out that black 300D.
(To be continued, maybe)