Mercedes-Benz W123 / C123. Another desirable Mercedes – again, one the classic market is only just waking up to. The...
Mercedes-Benz W123 / C123.

Another desirable Mercedes – again, one the classic market is only just waking up to. These are famous for their longevity, and as a sensible and fairly cheap to run four-door saloon, they’re a much more practical alternative to a sports car. One for the prudent investor!
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  •   Richard Truesdell reacted to this post about 4 years ago
    The #1976 #Mercedes-Benz-280E-W123 #Mercedes-Benz-280E #Mercedes-Benz-W123 #Mercedes-Benz

    We love the colour – and the fact that this very early #W123 saloon has what is regarded as the best engine in the range.

    As far as we can tell, this classic Mercedes-Benz is totally rust-free. The panelwork’s straight, with no obvious dents or ripples and good panel gaps all round. The yellowy-green colour is unusual, but it suits the car – especially when paired with the cream trim. We can’t see any mismatched panels, either. All the hubcaps are in good order, with no kerbing. There’s a small dent to the front bumper beneath the nearside headlamp, though this doesn’t detract much from the overall condition, which, as you can see, is excellent!

    The seats are beige vinyl, with creamy coloured tweed inserts. They’re in great condition, with no tears or stains that we could see. The rear bench is in equally good order, with no marks at all. Mercedes seats of this era are always well sprung and comfortable, and these are no exception. The cream carpets are lovely too; no holes and no overly worn patches despite its 103,000 miles. The headlining is utterly unmarked, and the door cards look as if they’ve just left the factory.

    The car sits on Firestone F540s all round, and there’s plenty of tread left on them. A new exhaust was fitted in 2005, though there’s little else in the history file to confirm any work carried out by the six previous owners. As it stands it seems to be in good mechanical condition. The autobox changes smoothly and responds well to kickdown, the handbrake works as do the foot brakes, and there are no expensive sounds of imminent doom emanating from the differential.

    This example feels like a sorted W123 should – comfortable, competent, and efficient. It’s maybe not as quick as the 2.8-litre six would have you believe – but it’s comfortable, brisk, and has a lovely aura of being unhurried. The gearbox is well-matched to the engine, too, and the nice soft suspension and comfy seats make this a relaxing car in which to cover long journeys. This one feels good – like all Mercedes of this era do – and at just over 100,000 miles it barely feels worn in. This is by no stretch of the imagination a sports car, but this can build up a respectable head of steam if required and it corners well enough by classic Mercedes standards. The brakes are sharp, and everything under the bonnet sounds as it ought to.

    Unusual colour? Check. Usable family classic? Check. Bound to appreciate? Check. This is too nice a car to pass up if you want.


    Odd colour, but it’s original
    Good chrome, no rust

    Carpet excellent, headlining

    Recent exhaust, all feels good
    PROS Nice, original, early W123
    CONS Colour might divide opinion

    ENGINE 2746cc/6-cyl/DOHC
    POWER [email protected]
    TORQUE 173lb [email protected]
    MAXIMUM SPEED 124mph
    0-60MPH 9.9sec
    TRANSMISSION RWD, three-spd auto
    MoT 12mths from sale

    Kim Cairns Classics, Common Road, Snettisham, Norfolk PE31 7PF.
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