Is This Low Mileage Mercedes-Benz W123 The Last Normal Car You’ll Need?
Photography courtesy of Cool & Vintage
We all love a good sports car, and it’s easy to understand why. The style, the speed, the sounds, the feelings that can transform your daily commute into an exhilarating drive rather than a numb moment of travel between A and B. Sports cars are awesome. They’re the centerpieces for most gearheads: the bread and butter, the steak wrapped in bacon, and potato (smothered in cheese)…er…what was I saying?
Ah, that’s right: sports cars tingle the senses. But as much as I appreciate them, my practicality shines through: I love sedans… and trucks… and even (some) vans! But why?
As history has proven, the W123 Mercedes-Benz may very well be a contender for one of the best-made automobiles ever. It’s not a sports sedan, or a lux-o-barge, or an economy family hauler: it’s just a great, honest car, overall. For example, take this 1982 Mercedes Benz 300D with only ~33k original kilometers.
No, it’s not the fastest, most luxurious, or even the best-looking sedan ever made, but I do think it’s Mercedes’ best saloon—and that might make it the world’s best saloon. W123 production began in 1976 and by the end of its run in 1985, it had surpassed its W114 predecessor as the best-selling Mercedes-Benz of all time—around 2.7 million were made!
Even more impressive than the monumental production tally is the W123’s well-established build quality. When people refer to a car as being, “Built like a tank,” they’re referencing the W123 even if they don’t know it. Considering the era in which it was released, it’s an astonishing vehicle in every sense of the word, even by modern standards if you’re able to find one in good shape.
If you’ve never driven or ridden in one, please do the first opportunity you get—they really are that good. Even a tired, worn out example isn’t so bad, which makes this crisp low-mileage time capsule a really tempting offer.
W123 have been used for racing, rallies, limousines, taxis, and more—they’re sort of the one-glove fits all. Though not known for speed (they are quite slow), these Mercs feature cast-iron engine blocks that have proven to be one of the most robust power plants ever to grace a German automobile. A quick skim through the classifieds will reveal a number of W123 with several hundred thousand miles of punishment—some have pushed past the million-mile mark.
This model is a 300D, as in it has, count it: 1, 2, 4, 5, 3—a five-cylinder diesel engine and a four-speed manual gearbox—did I mention it has blue leather interior? Jackpot. With less than 34,000 kilometers since new, this one-owner cared for cruiser presents exceptionally clean inside and out. The listing notes the car is all-original and in complete unrestored condition; even the undercarriage and engine compartment look squared away.
With it’s minimalistic styling, classic interior design, plush suspension, and surprisingly capable sub 3,600-lb platform, this could very well be the last car you’ll ever need. The low kilometers, preserved condition, and one owner history come at a price, but could you really get more car for the money? It’s classic in white, it’s got a stick, it’s got an odd-cylinder count diesel, and it’s stuffed with rich blue leather interior—what else do you need?
– One owner since new
~87 horsepower 3.0-liter five-cylinder, four-speed manual transmission, independent suspension, and power assisted disc brakes. Wheelbase: 110 inches.
Dealer: Cool & Vintage
Asking Price: £16,500 ($23,500 Usd.)