About six months ago, I started planning a website that I was tentatively calling an ‘automotive photojournalism’ site. I envisioned a place on the mighty interwebs whose sole purpose to be an outlet for car enthusiasts to enjoy lots of large photographs of antique, classic, rare, and unique cars. No OEM photos, no photoshopped camera tricks, just large photographs of cars documented from chin spoiler to tailpipe.
Here we are and we’re starting off with a bang – er – a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel. My grandfather drove the gasoline version of this whip and it’s always been one of my favorite cars. If you go to college in the northeast, the 300D is decent replacement for a late 70′s Volvo 242 DL sedan. I’m looking at you UVM.
This little beauty is owned by a co-worker and it has already been given the name “Smoke Monster”, not for it’s noxious emissions but more for the classic diesel ‘PING-ing’ sounds that leak from under the hood while the engine is on. A nod to ‘Lost’ fans everywhere. But I digress…
Speaking of digression, let’s do a little history recap. As the 1970′s reluctantly gave way to the 1980′s, lots of changes were taking place across the globe:
- Disco was giving way to punk,
- baseball was finally ok with the idea of a DH
- the automotive world was getting ready to say goodbye to the Ford Ranchero
- the world recognized the National Party of Canada
- Mercedes made their last truly pretty cars
I can hear you screaming now, ‘The National Party of Canada’ is not news! But it’s true. After 1984, the Mercedes-Benz design team (like the rest of popular culture/fashion/movies etc.) went like totally 80′s. Like totally.
But in 1984, Mercedes-Benz produced something of a beauty, the 300D Turbo Diesel (W123 for those keeping score at home). So what can be said about the end of a design era that hasn’t already been said? This generation of the 300D was one of the last great sedans Mercedes made. Sure the 2011 E-Class looks great but it’s design legacy has yet to be determined (as the previous generation was completely forgettable). Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr