which mercedes "good years" for conversion?

hi!

i am shopping for an older mercedes diesel turbo that could be converted.

so far, the early to mid-80's seem to be the most attractive, aesthetically and practically.

i understand that models between certain years are best and others should be avoided.

what are the better years to look for and why?
what characteristics do i look/ask for when browsing listings?

BIG thanks for any counsel and guidance!

all the best.

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