1979 Mercedes Benz 300D – Grover mudd

Introducing… Grover Mudd

(aka, “brown car”, “deer slayer”, “the 300D”,”Five Banger”)

The Ultimate Jalopy

A 1979 Mercedes Benz 300D

Why name a car?

I always said, more jokingly than anything else, that if I ever owned a brown car, I’d name it Grover Mudd. The idea came from reading a Steve Thayer novel featuring a 1930s reporter by the same name… I’m not one to name cars… I think its pretty foolish, actually. But when this 300D came around, I just had to do it. And so, Grover Mudd was born.

I didn’t actually buy Grover. I like to think he was free, but I actually traded my 1982 300SD for him along with enough cash to cover some of what I had in the SD at that point. I like the smaller car, the non turbo engine, and needed a change. They both had some rust and some jalopy features… didn’t really gain or loose much here. Overall, a great deal for both parties involved.

Why is Grover the “Ultimate Jalopy”?

Well, Grover’s engine is like new. It was replaced at some point with a fresh one direct from Mercedes Benz. In the last 10,000 miles, Grover had a complete front end rebuild, four new Bilstein shocks, new tires, and fresh brakes all around. Handling is outstanding. Engine sounds beautiful. Cruise control, heat and AC work. Four new door seals came with the car, now installed. Oh yes, and he was nearly free!

Ok, so why is he Jalopy at all?

Ah, the jalopy features of course! Grover’s driver’s door was smashed in by a fork lift at the junkyard he was rescued from. Yes, he was rescued from a junk yard after being donated to the Kidney foundation. Grover needs motor mounts and tends to shake quite a bit. Grover has been in more than a few accidents in his life, but has been put back together reasonably well. His automatic transmission is sloppy, slow, and burns up fluid. And a bit of rust here and there, but still solid where it counts. The horsehair in
his seats is kinda missing in some places. This is no problem if you don’t mind the feeling of springs in your back and ass.

What are the plans for Grover?

Grover needs a manual transmission. Sometime this spring or summer (2002) parts from a donor 240D will be installed. Then, Grover will be ready to compete in the 2002 Pine Barrons Express rally, and other local driving events in the fall. After that, Grover becomes the ultimate winter
beater car!

Grover, up close:

Click on any image on this page for a larger view

Grover’s Engine is a Mercedes Benz crate motor with about 120,000 miles it. It runs excellent. This is perhaps the best running old diesel engine I’ve ever seen! Starts perfectly (with 30 sec series glow plugs), doesn’t smoke or burn any oil at all, and sounds excellent!


Grover’s body is fairly rust free, and has nice paint. He’s sporting a freshly rebuilt correct Hirschmann power antenna and personal plates to show off his OM617.

Grover’s Interior is pretty clean, and has very nice wood. The Automatic Climate control works, as do all the other accessories. This is the perfect example of how a Mercedes can gracefully age… a 23 year old car with probably around 400,000 miles… still looks great! The original Becker Mexico cassette has been replaced with a modern Becker Mexico 2340 SW head unit with fresh speakers all around.

Grover amazes his passengers (and scares the hell out of them sometimes) by topping speeds the car shouldn’t be able to go. Shown here at about 96mph on level ground, while top speed should be about 90. Grover really likes the flex the muscles of all 80 horsepower! On a downhill, getting Grover over 100 is no problem. This makes one wonder just how inaccurate the speedometer actually is!

Grover’s better side… with only a minor scar from a fight with a deer, Grover is lookin’ good.

Grover gets VanGoghed… because no vintage Mercedes should wear a passenger side mirror if he doesn’t want to! Grover came from the factory that way, and will stay that way.


This stupid page was created on May 11, 2002.

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