Every time the Mercedes-Benz W114 and W115 come up, basically the same thing is said over and over again: oft overlooked and somewhat forgotten. Not because these were bad cars or anything, but mostly because they predated one of the most legendary cars of all time in the W123. To me, these cars felt like sort of a dry-run for Mercedes when engineering the W123. Some things worked and were carried over to the W123, while other things were left in the past. One of the biggest things to make the jump to the new generation was the OM616 and OM617 diesel engines. Slight tweaks were needed, but the core of the engine was basically the same. They brought unparalleled reliability and toughness, but that came as a cost of being dreadfully slow. Still, it’s tough to complain about that when even now, some 40 years later, these engines are still kicking as well as the day they left the factory. This 1975 240D up for sale in Ohio painted in the lovely Cayenne Orange looks to be a real winner at first glance. But for as much as I wanted to love this car, some red flags have me thinking again about this one.
I’ve been using my 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D with a 4-speed manual as my primary driver for over year now and really enjoy almost every aspect of it except for one big thing: It is ungodly slow. The North American spec 240Ds were blessed with a conservative 67 horsepower and 97 lb⋅ft of torque when new and after 35 years I’m going to guess it lost a few precious ponies. This results in me using the accelerator pedal as an on-off switch the majority of the time. Don’t get me wrong, around town the car is totally fine. On the highway? I’m traffic’s worst nightmare. If I am at the front of the line at a stoplight and the speed limit on the road is 55 mph, I might as well be hauling a car full of puppies to the pound because that is how people look at me. It takes somewhere in the 15-20 second range to accelerate to 60 mph depending on the grade of the road and Peggy in her minivan on her way to soccer practice has no patience for me. Other than that, everyone loves the car. But what if the 240D was even slower? Say hello to the 240TD.
This German-import 1985 240TD up for bid in Arizona is equipped with everything my 240D has, including the same 4-speed manual gearbox, but with the extra weight of the wagon. You can see where I am going with this. Thankfully, this W123 estate is actually nice enough where you can pick and choose your 0-60 mph battles and not feel bad if you hold someone up for an extra second. Although at the current price, is it worth it?
Last week I checked out a 1982 240D with a mere 1,356 miles and explained that at $18,000, it’s probably going to be snatched up by someone who wants that second chance at a brand new W123. Today’s car, a 1983 240D, will probably offer that same chance at for whoever wants to step up and drop the money for this incredible 240D. Surprisingly (or maybe not), this W123 for sale in California not only has 60,000 more miles than last week’s example, but also is more expensive.
Engine: 2.4 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed maunal
Mileage: 62,866 mi
Price: $22,000 Buy It Now
1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D- ID# WDBAB23A3DB382189 – Single owner Pasadena, CA car
White/Blue MB tex – Power sunroof – 4 spd manual gearbox – Manual windows.
Cruise control – AM/FM Stereo – Power door/trunk/fuel filler locks – Tool roll still in unopened plastic bag.
Original safety kit – Unused original spare tire/wheel – 62k documented miles – Original windshield.
Owner’s handbook – Blue/orange quick reference placards.
VPC inspection sticker still on windshield – PDI sticker still in driver’s door jamb – Last year of US 240D production.
Extraordinary preservation from day one – Fully original paint as per infrared paint depth indicator.
Virtually no paint blemishes – Superb paint depth and gloss – Spotless door jambs and shutfaces.
Unblemished exterior brightwork.
Virtually flawless original interior – Perfect dash pad – Spotless carpets – Perfect headliner and package panel.
Spotless undercarriage – Spotless inner wheel wells – Spotless engine bay aprons.
Perfect grille/chrome bars – Spotless trunk area.
Major service just completed – New tires – All fluids and filters renewed.
New engine mounts/trans mount – Sway bar links – Alignment – Fuel hoses as necessary.
If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen someone advertise the car they were selling as “low mileage”, I’d be a very rich man. I’d guess 99% of the time it’s some sort of crazy formula used to justify an older car with still a bunch of miles on it. Usually it’s the “only averaged 7,100 miles a year!” line or something of that sort. Well, if the car is 29 years old, that’s still over 200,000 miles and the whole low mileage thing goes right out the window. But no one else said you had to be rational (or honest) to sell a used car on the internet, that’s for sure.
But today’s car actually lives up to the term “low mileage”. Heck, that is probably an insult to how few miles this 1983 240D has on it, or at the very least extreme understatement. If you can believe it, which I think I do, this W123 for sale in California has a mere 1,356 miles on it. That’s it – 1,356. It’s the story of the owner bought it, got sick and it sat in a garage buried under a pile of rubbish for the last 35 years. Of course in typical Mercedes diesel fashion, it had a splash of fresh fuel along with a new a battery and it fired right up. Now that I can say I’ve probably found one of the lowest mile (or maybe the lowest period) W123s left out there, I had to take a closer look.
Engine: 2.4 liter inline-4
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 1,356 mi
1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D, The original owner drove the car from San Diego to Vegas and back then parked it in his garage.
Ever hear the old joke “he’ll be late for his own funeral?” That adage refers to the people who were driven in to their funerals in a Mercedes-Benz 240D hearse – because this thing is so slow, they literally were late to their own funeral. The W123 240D produces 67 horsepower which is slow enough in the standard sedan. Add in a hearse body (as well as a real body inside a heavy casket) and a farm tractor is starting to look like a more expedient option. This 1979 that is heading up for auction in New Mexico is a curious car with some odd things and interesting stories, so let’s try to make sense of this funeral coach.
When I consider the slew of new cars for 2016, my mind keeps circling around one question: just how long could you keep one of these machines on the road? My guess is not for long, with the plethora of electronic devices that are bound to go wrong as time marches on. In this era of leasing, it seems that new cars are becoming throwaway items, cast off for those wanting the newest and shiniest thing. This 1979 Mercedes-Benz 240D for sale in California is the exact opposite of the disposable vehicle. These cars were built to last and over three decades on still make for a sensible daily driver.
We feature a lot of low mileage cars here at GCFSB, but one particular car that comes up in the rotation a lot for which mileage doesn’t seem to matter is the venerable W123 Mercedes-Benz. There’s been a few I’ve seen that have over 200,000 miles yet still appear as if they’ve rolled off the showroom floor. A testament, then, to good engineering and quality materials. This 1982 240D won’t get you there fast, but you could have fooled me that it has covered upwards of 150,000 miles. This particular example is from the southern US, has all its service records and has been regularly garaged.
Last week I wrote up a very clean, well-traveled BMW 524td, and commented that its looks and efficiency might help it supplant the Mercedes-Benz W123 diesels as my stinking and smoking cruiser of choice. While I did like that car, I think I’ll keep my E28s loud and fast and leave the highway trundling to the Benzes, especially when they can cover mileage like this one. Having spent its 33 years with a single owner in Florida, it’s covered an incredible 432k miles. Everything about is a testament to why these are some of the most revered automobiles in the history of the machine. Top Gear may have shown the indestructability of the Toyota Hilux, and I’m of that tribe as well, but holy cow these things are incredible. 80s BMW interiors rarely look like this with a quarter of the miles. With no reserve and a great history, it’s a fun idea to think of DDing this intrepid traveler in pursuit of a million miles.
In the realm of German motorcars, it seems within each marque, a favorite has emerged as the standard bearer of each manufacturers’ virtues. The air-cooled Porsche 911s appeal to those hardcore P-car nuts who deem rear-engine sports cars as the only acceptable vehicle to don the Stuttgart crest. The BMW E30 has become a symbol of greatness and what initially drew thousands to the company in the first place: the ultimate driving experience. And for Mercedes, few classics capture the imagination more than the W123. Perhaps the most durable Mercedes-Benz ever, this car combines restrained good looks with over the top engineering that had customers coming back into showrooms for more. Admittedly, this wasn’t very often when you built a car that could easily cover half a million miles at a clip.
The chances are if you read GCFSB, you aren’t a big fan of the preeminent hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius. Still, the car does have its fans. I just get annoyed when I have to ride in one as a taxi. I’ve been known to wait until the next cab arrives because I can’t handle riding in these things. They are uncomfortable, especially when you go crashing about through potholes in an urban environment. The Prius makes me wax poetic for the days I spent in Europe shuffling around in Mercedes-Benz taxis, many of which are similar to the W123 model that we see here for sale in Maryland.
This particular late model 240D is a Euro market model, sure to appeal to those who like the slimmer bumpers and flush headlamps. With a 4-speed manual, you’ll be assured to get the most out of that tank of fuel, as well.