Buying a C124

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Marineboy

New Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2023
Messages
8
Location
Middlesex
Car
W124 320 CE
Hello everyone, please treat me gently as this is my first post.
I have history of restoring a few classics, including Landys, Alfas, Caterham and had my eye out recently for a 124 Coupe for a while. I’m not looking for a flip, rather something I can use as a weekend cruiser and keep for a while.
I found a really nice looking black 1994 124C 320 which has the usual rust issues under the sill covers. I haven’t fully looked under those fully but suspect the worst. See attached photo.
I think the reason the guy is selling it is partly is because it’s been badly keyed which is a shame as the rest of the car is near perfect.
So two jobs need doing, firstly the paint and secondly the sills and before the car falls in half, neither of which I’m that great at, but at a push will do the welding.
It also has a hole in the rear floor which I didn’t poke as much as I would have liked.
The mileage is high at 150k but mechanically it’s sweet.

Firstly I was going to ask if anyone out there knows the value (He wants £4.5K) Classic Car says £1,850 for good condition.

Also anyone know roughly what the sills cost to repair on a 124? I’ve already tried contacting Nick at 124 for an idea, he was really helpful and said £80 a corner if its just the plate over the Jack hole, but his guy has long retired, so maybe a bit optimistic.

Ultimately if the paint is going to cost over a £1k for the side that’s been keyed and £750 for the welding, so is it worth it, what should I offer?

Sorry for the long post, I’m based north Surrey/ West London if anyone can recommend a welder!

Cheers Andrew
 

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Hello everyone, please treat me gently as this is my first post.
I have history of restoring a few classics, including Landys, Alfas, Caterham and had my eye out recently for a 124 Coupe for a while. I’m not looking for a flip, rather something I can use as a weekend cruiser and keep for a while.
I found a really nice looking black 1994 124C 320 which has the usual rust issues under the sill covers. I haven’t fully looked under those fully but suspect the worst. See attached photo.
I think the reason the guy is selling it is partly is because it’s been badly keyed which is a shame as the rest of the car is near perfect.
So two jobs need doing, firstly the paint and secondly the sills and before the car falls in half, neither of which I’m that great at, but at a push will do the welding.
It also has a hole in the rear floor which I didn’t poke as much as I would have liked.
The mileage is high at 150k but mechanically it’s sweet.

Firstly I was going to ask if anyone out there knows the value (He wants £4.5K) Classic Car says £1,850 for good condition.

Also anyone know roughly what the sills cost to repair on a 124? I’ve already tried contacting Nick at 124 for an idea, he was really helpful and said £80 a corner if its just the plate over the Jack hole, but his guy has long retired, so maybe a bit optimistic.

Ultimately if the paint is going to cost over a £1k for the side that’s been keyed and £750 for the welding, so is it worth it, what should I offer?

Sorry for the long post, I’m based north Surrey/ West London if anyone can recommend a welder!

Cheers Andrew

PLease don't take this as advice, just my opinion following 26 years with a 300CE and a chat with someone who wants one. He was looking at a 300CE-24 Sportline with a manual Getrag 5 speed. Nice car.

But it's 30 years old. But 90% rust-free. With nearly 300K Kms on the clock. I think the asking price was just over 10K €. Can't remember. Not a lot if well looked after. Mine now approaches 1/2 million.

I don't know whether he's bought it but we did agree that, with an old, expensive car, he should have 5K+€ in reserve for eventualities. Especially if he intends to keep it.

I'm a bit fanatical so I'd be tempted to double that 5K. But you may be wielding the spanners yourself so those figures may be way too high.

Good luck with whatever you do.

RayH
 
All 124s rust there but the original metal is not thin in that location so that is pretty bad. Are all four in a similar state?
If it is rusty in that location then you can expect it to be rusty all the way along the sill and elsewhere.
Rear subframe mounts, rear wheel arches, door bottoms, front wings, inner wings, leading edge of the bonnet.....there is quite a lot that was starting to rust when the cars were 10 years ago.
It could be a massive welding project so needs a proper inspection before deciding if it is worth doing.
 
All 124s rust there but the original metal is not thin in that location so that is pretty bad. Are all four in a similar state?
If it is rusty in that location then you can expect it to be rusty all the way along the sill and elsewhere.
Rear subframe mounts, rear wheel arches, door bottoms, front wings, inner wings, leading edge of the bonnet.....there is quite a lot that was starting to rust when the cars were 10 years ago.
It could be a massive welding project so needs a proper inspection before deciding if it is worth doing.
OP - if you return - have a look at my C124 restoration thread.

As a consideration for those with a nervous disposition, I did not post all my photos of the corrosion.

However, take particular note of the second photo in post #1. The car looked great with virtually no signs of hidden horrors!

I've had the car for 22 years and as there was some emotional attachment, was mad enough to lavish £000s and £000s (and then some) on the remedial work.

Be aware all 124s hide problems very well indeed!
 
Disappointed........not at all what I expected from the someone "Buying a C124" title.

1703073482354.png
 
Hello everyone, please treat me gently as this is my first post.
I have history of restoring a few classics, including Landys, Alfas, Caterham and had my eye out recently for a 124 Coupe for a while. I’m not looking for a flip, rather something I can use as a weekend cruiser and keep for a while.
I found a really nice looking black 1994 124C 320 which has the usual rust issues under the sill covers. I haven’t fully looked under those fully but suspect the worst. See attached photo.
I think the reason the guy is selling it is partly is because it’s been badly keyed which is a shame as the rest of the car is near perfect.
So two jobs need doing, firstly the paint and secondly the sills and before the car falls in half, neither of which I’m that great at, but at a push will do the welding.
It also has a hole in the rear floor which I didn’t poke as much as I would have liked.
The mileage is high at 150k but mechanically it’s sweet.

Firstly I was going to ask if anyone out there knows the value (He wants £4.5K) Classic Car says £1,850 for good condition.

Also anyone know roughly what the sills cost to repair on a 124? I’ve already tried contacting Nick at 124 for an idea, he was really helpful and said £80 a corner if its just the plate over the Jack hole, but his guy has long retired, so maybe a bit optimistic.

Ultimately if the paint is going to cost over a £1k for the side that’s been keyed and £750 for the welding, so is it worth it, what should I offer?

Sorry for the long post, I’m based north Surrey/ West London if anyone can recommend a welder!

Cheers Andrew
Echoing what others have already said the picture of the jacking point shows the jacking tube, made of much thicker guage steel than the surrounding sill, has some serious corrosion. Unusual to see the jacking tube that rotten, often it is just the surrounding thin guage metal that makes up the sill / floorpan area.

My advice would be to find another c124 that has solid jacking point structures on all 4 corners. Remove the big rubber floor bungs under the jacking point and you will be able to see more of the jacking points inner structure. Cost wise i would assume any fabricator would pretty much require an open chequebook as most of the rot is hidden thanks to Herr Sacco.
 
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Be very careful. If its rusty in a few places, it will be rusty in lots of places that you cant see.

We are finding the 124's are getting very tired especially if they have not been looked after. We have one we are going through periodically and its had about £10K spent so far. The suspension is the pricey bit as every arm rubber bush is falling to bits so needs the sub frame has to be removed etc etc....
 
Replacing head gasket is another expensive culprit on the old I6 engine with possible cracked wireloom?
It's an expesive job to fix the old car, all OE parts might not be available anymore from dealer?
 
Replacing head gasket is another expensive culprit on the old I6 engine with possible cracked wireloom?
It's an expesive job to fix the old car, all OE parts might not be available anymore from dealer?
We can get looms still. I got one the other day.

Head gaskets are back order for the 104 and 103. We have been using the Elring make instead. They look and feel the same as OE.

Most of the head gasket failures are due to the gasket corroding due to lack of coolant changes (every 4 years on the 104 engine)
 
We can get looms still. I got one the other day.

Head gaskets are back order for the 104 and 103. We have been using the Elring make instead. They look and feel the same as OE.

Most of the head gasket failures are due to the gasket corroding due to lack of coolant changes (every 4 years on the 104 engine)

Wirelooms are they custom made to order only or do MB in Germany still stock them?
Won't be cheap buying new wires I believe?

The lack of coolant change causing head gasket to corrode, this is a problem for any car eventually?

Is the M113 engine also sensitive not changing coolant on time?
I don't drive my car very much don't put many miles on it every year, I had the coolant replaced last year I believe?
If I don't replace coolant within 4 years intervall would this cause problems with head gasket if I replace coolant say maybe 6-7 years later?
Coolant and it's additives getting worse with time.
 
We have one we are going through periodically and its had about £10K spent so far.
I can echo what Black55 says. Mine has consumed much more than 10K and it was not very corroded. It's been in France all its life, albeit living outside. Much of my expenditure has been on buying up NOS parts that I've sourced from all over the place. Sadly, most vendors are now aware of the rarity and list price of many parts and their prices reflect that. No more NOS duovalves for 35€ or complete radiator grilles for 90€.

One things I regret buying was 4 immaculate AMG 17" wheels, exactly as often put on 124s and just round the corner on Paris for 1000€.

As an aside, we've now set up a relationship with MB in Angouleme, France and get "garage rates" plus, on the last transaction, another 18% discount. Our prices may now be better than the website in Munich that I used to use. The MB discount is variable according to where the parts are from: MB France, ordered from Germany, wherever.

R
 
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Items of value over £135 imported from the EU to the UK may be subject to import duty and VAT increasing cost considerably
 
Thank you everyone that responded and sorry for the delay in me replying.
I agree with everyone, im
Sure the rust is a lot worse than I ever can imagine. I love the car and we view them with rose tinted speckles.
There is only so much you can do when buying a car and I was lucky enough to get access underneath, I can post a video if anyone’s interested.
But I’m sure you’re all right, if the thick jacking tube is bad then the whole sill is going to be junk. The photo I posted is really the corner that is really bad, the others look 50% better.
I’ve seen that most of these the inner wings are bad and having seen Des’s pictures I now know to expect a lot more issues
I had done some my homework before I saw the first 2 cars and hoped this one was a good one. I’m going to go back to view the car in NY to hopefully give it a more thorough poke and pull back the sill panel if allowed. Del is there anyway of looking at the inner wing without removing the outer wing other than the door falling off?

I’ve sent out lots of quote request for the paint and welding. But little response this far, I think everyone is scared of taking on 124 basket case.
Think I’m going on a welding course if I want to own a classic Mercedes Benz.
 

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Thank you everyone that responded and sorry for the delay in me replying.

Del is there anyway of looking at the inner wing without removing the outer wing other than the door falling off?
That's why I drew attention to the second photo. I had no idea - and was shocked that the corrosion had taken such a hold. Only by taking off the wings - a relatively easy job - can you be sure it is OK. Again, outer cills are easy to remove so generally, most corrosion will be visible.
 
That's why I drew attention to the second photo. I had no idea - and was shocked that the corrosion had taken such a hold. Only by taking off the wings - a relatively easy job - can you be sure it is OK. Again, outer cills are easy to remove so generally, most corrosion will be visible.
I can probably pull the sill covers back from the top to have a peek before I buy, but will have to take a chance on the wings Del.
Although there’s small bubble of rust on both wings, so guessing it’s rusty from the inside? Not the end of the world if it needs new wings. I’m guessing you can’t ever fully cure the old wings.
 
The serious rust on those is not on the wings themselves....but the area forward of the A pillar...which can only be seen with the wings removed.
 
I can probably pull the sill covers back from the top to have a peek before I buy, but will have to take a chance on the wings Del.
Although there’s small bubble of rust on both wings, so guessing it’s rusty from the inside? Not the end of the world if it needs new wings. I’m guessing you can’t ever fully cure the old wings.
Eh No! You have to take off the Sacco panels, then the decorative interior cill covers first to reveal the outer cill fixings. Also a bunch of bolts right underneath the car. Not hard but a faff which requires a leap of faith and some force cracking the parts off! (See post#18 from 2009)

The wings are easy enough once you locate a couple of hidden bolts. One is only visible on the A-pillar when the door is fully open - preferably with the door check removed. The other is located by groveling around the wing behind the bumper. I can't be more precise as it was 13 years ago when I did this. :rolleyes:

More info here from the refurbish of 2009.

You have to be committed - or should be...
 
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The serious rust on those is not on the wings themselves....but the area forward of the A pillar...which can only be seen with the wings removed.
Thank you, I need to check but thought it was on the front, they need spraying anyway so probably have them off first and take a deep breath!
 
The inner wing inside the engine bay also rusts away behind the headlights and on the n/s under the washer bottle - you can inspect this with the outer wings in place
 
There is no guide price for cars that are around 30 years old because they're pretty much fully depreciated by the time they're 20 years old, and the majority are already in the junk yards. The price comes down to what a buyer is willing to pay and what a seller is willing to take. That usually boils down to some sentimental value and the condition of the car.

The rust you see is not the extent of all the rust. There will be much more that you will not see. 94 MY cars will have the M104 which is a beautiful engine, but be weary of the EFI wiring harness biodegrades by design and can cause electrical issues.
 
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