124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire

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Reluctant kilometer millionaire

124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire-Mercedes-Benz (until October 31

Originally, Michael Nickl wanted to sell the 124 Mercedes again very quickly. 25 years later he’s still driving it

Source: Thomas Geiger

It wasn’t love that brought Michael Nickl and his 124 Mercedes together. Actually, he just wanted to do a small business. Now he’s been driving it for more than a million kilometers.

58,248.36 euros for fuel, 53,786.28 euros for maintenance and an average life consumption of 6.15 liters – when it comes to numbers, Michael Nickl is very careful. After all, the 57-year-old is a conscientious engineer and can’t get out of his skin even in his free time. That is why the native of Upper Franconia, who ended up in Swabia, wrote down in pennies and pennies what his mobility has cost him over the past 25 years.

The fact that a driver keeps a record of his expenses is something special in and of itself. But that he put all this money in a single car is rather a rarity. Because Nickl is one of the very few mileage millionaires and looks in his 124 Mercedes at a speedometer whose distance counter has now run completely through.

“It wasn’t planned that way, of course,” admits Nickl. He actually wanted to do a little "business" with the car. Like all his colleagues, he ordered a company car when he started at Daimler in 1992 as a graduate student. Too bad that he traded his rickety Golf for a 200 D..

124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire-1998 DaimlerChrysler)

There is hardly enough space for all the digits, because Michael Nickl’s Benz has now cracked the million

Source: Thomas Geiger

"Because when the usual stopping time was up and I wanted to offer my 124 as a year-old car, first of all the withholding tax had just been introduced, and secondly, diesel soot was suddenly pilloried as a carcinogen," remembers Nickl and had to tick off his planned little rubbish. "A profitable sale was out of the question."

So the engineer made a virtue out of necessity and simply drove the car on – every day 25 kilometers to work and back and on vacation all over Europe. First because there was no alternative and then out of sporting ambition.

At some point, my colleagues started to stink against his old Daimler and bet on its durability. First to the half a million and then to every other hundred thousand meter, Nickl remembers and suddenly has a mischievous grin on his face when he talks about the celebrations at the respective stage win.

“Technically, the car is in excellent shape"

The almost 25 years since the first registration on July 16, 1992 have of course not left the 124er without a trace, even if Nickel is now even parking its blue Baron in the garage: The dark blue paint with the color code 904 has become a bit dull, the star on the hood has lost its shine, and the shells behind the door handles look as if Nickl had polished them with steel wool.

Under the bonnet with its tattered insulation it looks like the boiler room of a rental block from the fifties. In addition, the steering wheel is worn, and the upholstery is slowly breaking open on the driver’s seat, which has been dyed dark with generations of jeans. The lettering on many switches has long since ceased to be read, which after almost 25 years in the same car is no longer a problem for Nickl.

“But technically the car is in excellent shape,” says the kilometer millionaire, who broke down only once in all of the years: at 445,000 kilometers, a damaged clutch forced him onto the hard shoulder.

124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire-Mercedes SLK

Michael Nickl logs everything. He even calculated the average life consumption of his car: 6.15 liters

Source: Thomas Geiger

In Nickl’s eyes, the fact that nothing more happened is mainly due to the thorough care that he has given his 124er over the years. The engineer means less paintwork and leather than the drive train and axles. Nickl isn’t one who brushes the rims with a toothbrush every Saturday and blows the last crumbs of pollen from the sheet metal.

But the engineer has meticulously adhered to all maintenance intervals over the years, bravely lubricated, regularly changed all operating materials and repeatedly topped up oil – meanwhile around one liter per 1000 kilometers. And if you don’t believe him, he’ll hold his tables under his nose, in which every oil change is of course meticulously logged.

Nickl sees the second reason for the long durability in the simple technology of his car. At the time, it bothered him a bit that when he was just starting out he couldn’t afford much more than the basic equipment. But today he would even cancel the sunroof, which was his only expensive extra back then.

Nickl bought his wife a Mercedes SLK

“Because what is not there cannot break”, the engineer has learned and points annoyed at the thick silicone sausages with which he finally got the incontinence of the roof under control a few years ago.

For the same reason, Nickl also believes that new cars can hardly achieve the same mileage as his almost 25-year-old classic – even if they are from Mercedes are. Of course, he doesn’t let his employer come up with anything. "But the motors are too sophisticated, the circuits too confused and the equipment too complex for everything to work forever."

Nickl has won all the bets with his colleagues and instead of receiving presents in the department, it is now the millionaire himself who gives one for every round number, as if it were a service anniversary or a big birthday. And his wife made her peace with the “blue baron” after Nickl bought her an SLK for the summer.

124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire-youngtimers

No Mercedes is so robust and durable these days, the engines are too sophisticated

Source: Thomas Geiger

But after almost 25 years and more than a million kilometers, the Mercedes man is currently not thinking about changing the car – even if with a 75 hp 2.0-liter diesel one is already a traffic obstacle when threading on the autobahn and needs a lot of patience on long journeys at a top speed of 160 km / h.

At least until he retires, he wants to keep driving it and not let anyone or anything talk him into it. Not even from the TÜV inspector. "So far I’ve still got the car through the general inspection," says Nickl proudly and talks about his favorite defect: In addition to the occasional loss of oil, the inspectors particularly criticize the license plate, which has faded so fading over the years that Nickl does it on everyone Must trace the main inspection with a black felt-tip pen.

There is also a new company car before retirement

If he has to do a little tweaking on his Benz before the next check-up, he won’t worry. The time in the workshop is relaxing for him, and there is still room for a few spare parts in his long Excel spreadsheet.

But no matter how long the millionaire’s car actually runs and how often the TÜV gives it the stamp: In seven years at the latest it will probably be over for the 124. Then Nickl will retire, and before that he wants to order a works car again – just like when he started at Daimler.

124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire-diesel engines

Michael Nickl’s Benz actually only has one flaw: the license plate is getting paler. Well, if that’s all …

Source: Thomas Geiger

12 thoughts on “124er Mercedes: This man is a reluctant kilometer millionaire”

  1. For me, a car is a means to an end …. I want to drive and not walk and do it as cheaply as possible …. The whole thing "Klimbim" I don’t need it and I don’t care what the neighbors say either…..

    Reply
  2. For whom it suits. I myself would find it boring to drive the same car for half my life. I think of it this way now: After every new purchase, I put the old one in a hall. When I look at our collection, I am always amazed at what can be achieved with care. Some cars are more than 10 years old and look like new.

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  3. Somewhere some time ago I read the story of the taxi driver who, after reaching the 1,000,000 kilometers, turned to Daimler with the question of whether this could not be acknowledged with a certificate or something similar.
    The succinct answer from Stuttgart was supposedly: No, that is normal and nothing special with a Mercedes.

    Reply
  4. Somewhere some time ago I read the story of the taxi driver who, after reaching the 1,000,000 kilometers, turned to Daimler with the question of whether this could not be acknowledged with a certificate or something similar.
    The succinct answer from Stuttgart was supposedly: No, that is normal and nothing special with a Mercedes.

    Reply
  5. Somewhere some time ago I read the story of the taxi driver who, after reaching the 1,000,000 kilometers, turned to Daimler with the question of whether this could not be acknowledged with a certificate or something similar.
    The succinct answer from Stuttgart was supposedly: No, that is normal and nothing special with a Mercedes.

    Reply
  6. In November of this year my W124 260 E will be thirty years old. I currently have 310,000 real km on the speedometer. And the six cylinder still runs reliably. Regular maintenance and care guarantee a long life. No, selling is out of the question for me. I can still do a lot of things myself on the car, although a lot of electronics have already been installed. You can only repair certain electronic parts yourself, as no thick-film electronics were built in. Even parts are still available from the friendly Mercedes dealer. And you are also served courteously.

    Reply
  7. Will he really pull it off with the pension company car? Cold, sterile, confused. New Mercedes are great cars, but they just lack the feel-good factor and comfort of a 124. Mr. Nickl, why not prefer a 126 for retirement? Condition 1, full hut, and then there is still money for a trip around the world.

    Reply
  8. I have been driving a W124 / 230 E myself for years and can highly recommend the series. One of the most impressive things about the car is the low insurance premium: from 90 euros / year. (Youngtimer insurance with a few conditions) A moped license plate is more expensive. The young men who pay more than 90 euros for their 50 hp small car won’t believe you. 90 euros a month, mind you.

    Reply
  9. I drive an old Benz with a 300D, 88 hp engine. At 340,000 km it still has hardly measurable oil consumption over 1000 km. Similar to the engine described above, it still has a lot of room for improvement. I just wonder whether the old diesel In the future, there will probably be no more diesels to buy … in the past 20-30 years, the old naturally aspirated diesels from Mercedes also run very well with salad oil !

    Reply
  10. There would certainly be a clientele in Europe who would buy a spacious, very solid car without electronics so that it would be worthwhile to produce 20 – 50 thousand copies a year. The models 124 and the small model 201 (190) are perfectly balanced in terms of design, there is hardly anything to improve on the design. Simplicity and practicality is the leitmotif for these cars. I had driven the 190, which had the same engines as the 124. Its driving behavior was perfectly balanced, the car also discreetly dealt with gross driving errors without being a hard chair in terms of comfort. Consumption at the level of today’s Spar cars, and that for 25 years. Mercedes probably feared bankruptcy if their cars were always built so solidly, so massive repairs had to be made from 100,000 km "built-in" will. Or the shareholders put pressure for higher profits – a sad decadence in car history, probably thanks to capitalism.

    Reply

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