I haven't done one of these in a while, because I didn't have any new material for one. Then I started seeing these various 1980s vintage Mercedes-Benz E-Class models around. Most of them were diesels, and they were built to last, so it's not surprising they're still running around.
These cars weren't status symbols like Mercedes-Benz cars are today; in fact, the diesel E-Class was sort of an anti-status symbol. It's true that they were more expensive than many comparable cars, but people bought them willingly at those higher prices, because they understood that they were making an investment in a car that would run for decades. These pictures are proof of their wisdom.
(I can't say with certainty that the second and third cars were in fact diesels, but they were more common than their gasoline-powered siblings.) Update, 8/23: I saw the black wagon again two days ago, parked in the same spot, and it's a turbodiesel!