Tag Archives: Grey-market

Change is in the Air…..


There’s change afoot here at TTS. No, neither of us has gone transgender, and yes, it will include some more frequent posting.  This once-a-quarter pattern isn’t really working for us, although traffic has remained remarkably substantial. The internet is a fascinating place. First off, if you’re not following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, please do! You’ll find more frequent tidbits through those outlets than on the official blog, although this remains our home of homes. But all that’s not what I’m really here to talk about, either.  This is first and foremost a car blog, and as such the interesting content is about cars. So brace yourselves, folks, as there are changes coming to the TTS fleet!

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SE: Dirt Cheap Grey Market Goodness


I’m pretty sure that there is an unspoken cap of four vehicles on my fleet. Well, we’ve had five before, but only when there was a decisive exit strategy for one of them. Beyond that, my W140 S600 has been at the shop for about four weeks now for a new rear main seal, valve cover gaskets, and to trace a mystery battery drain that only happens when I lock the doors (!), so my automotive cash situation is tentative to say the least. Otherwise, I would have bought this grey market beauty already for the paltry $3,000 that the seller is asking. Show me another car that exudes presence the way that the W126 does, has working windows, sunroof, aircon, and a rebuilt motor and transmission, and rare perfect velour upholstery that has been covered since new. You can’t, can you? Find this one here on BenzWorld in Phoenix, Arizona.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 280SE: Just because it’s tubby doesn’t mean it’s not FUN!

Regular visitors to TotallyThatStupid – and yes, there are some – have surely figured out that we are fans of big German cars. Well, we’re fans of the small ones too, but we definitely have a soft spot for Bahn-storming panzerwagens. All the more so if they come from the 1970s or 1980s, when you could easily spot the differences among German cars, Japanese cars, and American cars. Apart from a few cars that trickled-in from the U.K., those were the only places cars came from in those days, and they all had their own nationalistic character. Nowadays you can hardly tell a Kia from an Audi (ask me how I know), which is really a shame, unless of course you bought one of the former like I did. But I digress.

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1984 Mercedes-Benz 230E: How Low Can You Go?

It’s no secret that we really like Euro market oddities for sale on U.S. shores. The problem is that the owners usually think very highly of them due to their uniqueness, or they are rusty. Really rusty. So when a reasonably-priced Euro-market car comes along, we pay attention. When a really cheap one comes along, we keep going back to the listing, send multiple questions to the seller, and try to figure out why. This 1984 Mercedes-Benz 230E available on eBay with a buy-it-now price of only $1,400 is just such a car. If not for a lack of space and not wanting to explain myself at home, I’d have bought it already.

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 280TE AMG: The Original Euro Sport Wagon?

My introduction to Mercedes-Benz cars came in the form of a 1982 280TE wagon – bought new by my folks when we lived overseas. It was the early 1980s, and as the regional manager for his company my dad had to get something that displayed an air of the successes of his company. In Hong Kong, nothing said “success” like a Mercedes-Benz. Well, you could get a Rolls, but those were more the domain of hotels and real estate barons. I recall that we looked at the BMW 7-series and the Mercedes wagon. It always stuck with me that one of the reasons the Mercedes won out was because the seats in the bimmer “pinched” my dad’s butt. Probably more importantly, our family of five fit very nicely in the wagon, which had the optional third row seating.

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL: Grey Market Goodness

To anyone who has visited our blog more than, well, once, it probably goes without saying that we like big stupid cars. I like them with big, gas guzzling V8 motors, all the creature comforts, and I am particularly fond of the big German ones that look like they belong to a master villain from some cheesey 1980s movie. Cars like this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL.

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