Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500CE AMG

Pre-merger Mercedes-Benz AMG cars always seem to have a bit of mystery to them. Lots of times they pop up and don’t have any kind of documentation other than what you can actually see on the car and an overzealous seller shouting how it is an AMG car. The majority of the time the car just had some à la carte body parts and maybe some wheels, but was missing the big things like the AMG-modified engine and the actual AMG workshop building the car. Today’s car has none of that guessing. This is a car so unique and important to AMG that it had magazine features written about it and was even used in the brochures for AMG at the time. This is the 1983 500CE AMG.

This W123 Coupe started life as a standard 280CE before it was sent to AMG to be totally transformer into the best they had to offer in 1983. Everything was modified from the engine, the suspension, the bodywork and even the entire interior was changed to make this car a true one-of-one example. A M117 5.0 liter V8 was borrowed from the 500SEC and dropped into this car but not before being tweaked by AMG. The power number was raised from 230 horsepower to a little over 280 horsepower that propelled this car to 60 mph in just 6.5 seconds. At the time, that was enough to hang with almost every exotic on the market. Inside, nearly everything was changed including installing a crazy Pioneer stereo system and wrapping everything that was normally plastic or vinyl with leather. There is so much more to highlight with this car, but the photos can do all the talking.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500CE AMG on eBay

Continue reading

1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD

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?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD on eBay

Continue reading

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

It is amazing what a color can do to a car. You could have identical cars, one with a really desirable color and another with a not-so popular color, and have their values be dramatically different. Today’s car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD for sale in California, is a perfect example of that. Regardless of color, the W123 300TD is no slouch in terms of desirability and people willing to do anything to keep them on the road. But paint it in a color that everyone loves and suddenly you’ll be a little shocked to see what kind of money these can bring on the open market. This 1983 painted in Labrador Blue isn’t a perfect example by any means but that is the appeal of an example like this. You can enjoy it without obsessing over every single thing that might happen to it. But seeing as this is a 300TD and it is in Labrador Blue, how high could the price be?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Continue reading

Feature Listing: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280E

I give a lot of love to the Mecedes-Benz W123 and rightfully so, some think it is the best car ever produced. A few even claim that in these Benz models will be the only survivors of in a post-apocalyptic world. I’m not one to argue as I own a 1983 240D and drive it on a regular basis. It is far from perfect and has it flaws, but when I’m driving down the road in it I can’t help but think how satisfied I am in it. When I really think about it, my most my complaints are from the powerplant in the 240D. Sure, it is as dead simple and reliable as the day is long. But on the other hand it is loud, not that smooth, is dangerously under powered at times and leaves a film of diesel residue from the exhaust on the interior when I drive with the windows down. (I’m sure that isn’t great for my lungs either.) The 5-cylinder OM617 solves some of the problems, but it is still unrefined at times. So what are the other options then? How about a silky smooth inline-6? Luckily, Mercedes-Benz offered that option in the W123 and while not nearly as common as the diesel cars, they are still out there.

This 1981 280E for sale in Maryland offers up that inline-6 option. It has everything great about the W123 but also a 2.8 liter that makes a very respectable 185 horsepower! This is a far cry from the 84 horsepower in the 240D and the 125 horsepower in the 300D. The M110 engine uses a Bosch K-Jetronic injection system that is reliable, not overly complicated and though it won’t return diesel-level gas mileage, it won’t break your wallet either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 280E on Hemmings

Continue reading

1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D

It has been a little while since I’ve featured a W123 so today is as good a day as ever. Today we have a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D up for sale in Seattle, Washington. It sports the great color combo of Pastel Blue (with the matching hubcaps) and blue MB-Tex interior. I’m partial to all things W123 (I own one) and I love to see them when they’ve been cared for extensively. Luckily for everyone, this nice W123 looks to be so.   

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D on eBay

Continue reading

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

Now that I’ve looked at some cool and not so cool Mercedes from across the pond, I’m back to our regular left-hand drive cars. Fear not for our international readers as I’m not back to the United States just yet. This 1985 300CD from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada gives us the best of what the W123 coupe has to offer. Much like the other prime W123s for sale, this one isn’t coming cheap, but I’d argue that it’s not exactly the worst deal in the world for what you get.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on Vancouver Craigslist

Year: 1985
Model: 300CD
Engine: 3.0 liter 5-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 91,034 km (56,565 mi)
Price: $14,500 CDN ($11,319 USD)

1985 Mercedes 300CD Turbo Diesel – 91000 KM All Original – Rare Color Combination Dark Grey on Mahogany Leather – Never winter driven – Garage kept – Never rust – Impeccable Kept – Records kept since new – Everything works as new – Nicest one I’ve ever seen – $14,500. Obo

Taking a broad look at this car, this one looks like a real winner. Extremely clean without any issues I can see on the outside, the interior looks even better. The Sienna MB-Tex is relatively rare for any W123 let alone a coupe and I’m glad to see it’s held up great for 56,000 miles. Under the hood, the OM617 looks prime with lots of cadmium plating still fresh. Being a 1985 W123, the last year of the chassis, it benefits greatly from a 2.88 rear differential as opposed to a 3.07. This translates to much better highway miles per gallon figures to the point where owners of prior year W123s seek out 1985 cars to swap in the differential.

At $14,500 CDN ($11,319 USD), it is probably priced on the higher end of the market in general. But being in a snowy Canadian city where these cars are pretty rare in this condition, I don’t blame the seller for asking this price. If you want close to the best, you are going to have to pay for it and that is the case with this one. I doubt this one will sell quickly, but I’d imagine if the buyer softened the price up a little, it will make a new owner very happy.

Thanks to reader Chris for sending this in! 

– Andrew

 

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD Cabriolet

Back in the 1980s when the world was running rampant with small tuning and coach building companies, we were subject to creations like today’s car. This a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD … cabriolet. Yes, someone took a perfectly fine 300CD and chopped the roof off to fully expose you to the wonderful feel and aroma of diesel exhaust. But it was the 1980s and the money was never-ending, so doing things like this made sense at the time. Now that reality has hit us square in the face in 2017 and keeps on punching, we are still left to live with creations like this. Of course with something like this oddity, I have so many questions I can only try my best to explain – poorly.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD Cabriolet on Hemmings

Year: 1982
Model: 300CD Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-5
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 80,235 mi
Price: $80,000

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Cabrio, RARE RARE (One of Five produced) I am 2nd owner / all Books/Records / Boca/Palm Beach (35 year History), Full Navy Leather w/Power top & COLD A/C / 35 mpg / $80k obo/trade. John, 561-818-1900, FL; biondo-palmbeach.com

The condition of the 300CD is actually pretty nice. Looks to be well looked after with no major visible flaws. Sure, it maybe or maybe not has a Nardi steering wheel and maybe that shift knob is a quality piece and not an eBay special. But I’ve seen stuff like this many times over. The white wall tires look odd even with the matching white paint as I’m a firm believer that white walls only belong on the W100 600 and even then I’m iffy on them. I just can’t get over the canvas top and what went into making this happen. A bunch of coachwork houses have done these conversions but none have really stood the test of time or functioned all that well and I’d bet this one is another one of those examples.

In case you haven’t noticed, the seller is asking $80,000 for this creation. Doing this quick math here, if this car was just the standard 300CD with 80,000 miles on it, I would probably value it around $7,500. Now we subtract $7,500 from the $80,000 asking price which gives us an increased value of $72,500 — for cutting the roof off and adding a canvas top. You can see how this probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. Checking out this sellers website you can see he also has a taste for other fine automobiles such as the Cadillac Allante, Chrysler LeBaron Convertible and of course the legendary Chrysler TC by Maserati. This hacked up W123 must feel right at home with all those other convertibles with poorly fitting canvas tops. I understand this asking price, the seller sees terms like “rare Mercedes”, “one of (whatever)” and “cabriolet” then a bunch of crazy things happen in his brain and out pops the number $80,000. I actually feel kind of bad for the guy in a way because he clearly has no idea what he is doing. Then again, he is living out his golden years in Florida with a picture of him and Jay Leno from 1999 on his website so things probably aren’t all that bad. I just hope the rest of his retirement isn’t tied up in this car.

– Andrew

1980 Mercedes-Benz 230TE

For many, the W123 remains the definitive Mercedes-Benz. With an iconic silhouette, invincible build quality and well-deserved reputation for durability, these cars can still be spotted on the road today, serving as daily drivers and usable classics. In fact, there’s a mint condition 300D in smoke silver that I see driven around my neighborhood on a regular basis. Looking like it just rolled out of a showroom, the owner is a young professional who I would guess is in his mid-thirties. Now that is a man with good taste. The estate bodyshape adds a useful amount of cargo space in the rear, making it the perfect choice for a stylish trip to the beach (or the lumber yard). To the uninitiated, they might just look like old wagons, but prices for mint examples can quickly reach into the high teens.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 230TE on North Jersey Craigslist

Continue reading

1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

Another week, another crazy low mileage Mercedes-Benz. Today’s example is a 1982 300CD in Light Ivory with the wonderful Sienna MB-Tex interior. This C123 for sale in New Jersey checks in with a little over 18,000 miles and while the seller explains this is basically a showroom car, but a lot of times I don’t always agree with those claims. This car is an example why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

Year: 1982
Model: 300CD
Engine: 3.0 liter 5-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 18,488 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

What is presented before you is the grail of all Turbo-Diesels – a 100% all original, 18,000 mile, two owner , Concourse level Mercedes-Benz 300CD !!! This is an unbelievable, unmolested, pristine, like NEW in the wrapper and very rare W123 Coupe !!!
This car is essentially priceless. This is not to say that the car is worth millions of dollars (nor that it will never achieve such a figure in time). I say priceless because there is no way to put a dollar value on a vehicle as rare as this. There is no other comparison that I know of; it is undoubtedly a one-of-a-kind.
A little history of the car from second owner:
The following information was passed on from the daughter of the original owner to the current collector: For propensities sake, before his passing in his 90s, the original owner had instructed his daughter to sell the car only to a collector. He said “the car is much too valuable to go to anyone else”. After her father’s passing, his daughter enlisted the help of a friend who is a licensed dealer in the state of North Carolina and deals only in high-end European cars. The car was sold to the current collector who has driven the automobile less than 80 miles while in his stewardship.
The original owner was a Mercedes-Benz enthusiast. In his middle-aged 50s he went to his local Mercedes-Benz dealership and placed an order to have this fine Mercedes-Benz built and shipped back to the states to his humble little town in Winston Salem, North Carolina. He purchased the car not as a daily driver, but as a pure pleasure vehicle. He was absolutely in love with the Turbo-Diesels and also had a Mercedes-Benz 300TD for his daily driver.
It was said that he would take this car for long drives in the foothills and through the mountains on the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway. These were some of his favorite weekend countryside drives. (Original period correct maps included.) While prepping this car for auction I found myself chuckling and picturing the old man with the windows down, cruising in the crisp cool air through the foothills of North Carolina; what a pleasure it must have been.
He, like most Mercedes-Benz owners, was in love with his car. He took the upmost care and precautions to preserve the integrity and fine workmanship of the automobile. When not in use, the vehicle was stored in his garage with cover. His daughter conveyed that he was so meticulous about the vehicle that when he took it out he would put a red matching towel on the rear of the dash as to not risk any type of sun fading since it was a “hotspot”. (Original red towel included). I always find that Mercedes-Benz owners are some of the fussiest owners of their automobiles any one person can come across.

Now to describe the condition of the car:
The exterior finish is show quality and is beautifully complimented by bright and clear show quality chrome trim!!!

The anodized aluminum trims around the vehicles glass is in excellent condition!!!

All glass is crystal clear and free of nicks or chips, with the exception of one teeny tiny minuscule chip under the passenger windshield wiper; other than that all of the glass on the car is flawless!!!
The interior is the nicest I have ever seen with zero sun fade!!! Seats, carpeting, the entire interior is impeccable and as close to flawless as you can get, literally factory fresh and new!!!

Zebrano wood inlays have a mirror-like shine and a deep beautiful clear luster; excellent condition!!!

All power options functioning 100%, Becker Radio sounds beautiful and the A/C is ice cold!!!

Engine bay is factory fresh and THE nicest I have ever seen in its class!!!

The under carriage is in exceptionally preserved, like new condition. The Cosmoline looks as if it were applied yesterday, and the under carriage paint and factory coatings are the absolute best I have ever seen!!! This is without a doubt the best under carriage I have every laid eyes on in the vehicle’s class!!! It well represents fair weather usage and in my expert opinion, no rain weather operation!!!

The vehicle still wears (very rare) its original matching factory issued Continental tires including spare which has never been down!!! The tools are still sealed in the wrapper!!!

The vehicle has been completely serviced, all fluids are fresh and a new battery has been installed…

This vehicle is at 100% optimum running order and needs nothing mechanically or cosmetically!!!

In short: ultimately the vehicle looks like it did back in 1982 the day it rolled off the factory line!!!!

This is one of the most well documented Turbo-Diesels on the planet. Everything is complete including hand written dealer service receipts (that’s the way they did it back then). If you demand PERFECTION, this car is as close to perfect as you will ever get!!!

All Books, manuals, dealer brochures, first aid kit and service records are in order.

Please scroll through over 150 high resolution photos below:
Located in Central NJ, 07753

Just to get this out of the way, this is a really nice 300CD. The interior is the selling point of this car and it delivers many times over. Sienna is one of the least common interior options on the W123 and it’s great to see an example that’s been preserved as well as this one has. The Zebrano wood is what dreams are made of in terms of condition and I still can’t get over how well it shines.

But, there are a few odds things about this car. Under the hood, the hose that leads from the coolant overflow tank and vents onto the ground is routed on top of the air box then routes into the hole for the coil spring. This isn’t a big deal as this car probably isn’t overflowing and dumping coolant from that hose but ideally it needs to be routed in its factory location and not on top of the rattling air box that will soon wear it away quickly. Second, the bottom of the spare tire well looks like it was damaged and repaired rather hastily with some sort of black goo. (I attached the photo of this.) Again, not a huge deal but just a little odd. Third and most importantly, it looks like this car still is riding on the original tires from 1983. I don’t need to explain to anyone why this is a very bad idea seeing as it could turn a very nice 300CD into a 300CD that needs body work and paint.

Listings for cars like these make me shake my head when I see them. If you go out on a limb and say “This is an unbelievable, unmolested, pristine, like NEW in the wrapper and very rare W123 Coupe !!!” and then double down with three exclamation points, the car better be that. Unfortunately, in 1983 Mercedes didn’t sell cars with dry rotted tires and strange repairs to the underside of their cars. I have no problem with sellers who say “This is a really nice example and here are things you should be aware of: … ” but to go off the deep end and proclaim this is the best car ever just doesn’t work for me. I literally feature cars just like this almost every week and many more that I pass on because they just aren’t that interesting sometimes.

So where will this one end up? I wouldn’t be shocked to see this one pass $20,000 or more. We are full into spring and summer is just around the corner so the market for a car like this is pretty warm. C123s always pull a premium over sedans and this one shouldn’t be any different. Let’s just hope the buyer leaves money in their budget for a new set of tires.

– Andrew

1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D on eBay

Year: 1983
Model: 240D
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.

Looks, feels and smells like a new 240D. A potential MBCA National Preservation class winner.
Certainly one of the finest 240Ds in the country.

Call Roy Spencer @650-343-7980 for more details.

This superb 240D can be inspected at my facility in Burlingame, CA – 5 minutes south of SFO. Global shipping gladly arranged.
Golobal references available. Local Pre-purchase inspections available.
Over 25 years providing exceptional Mercedes-Benz classics.

This 240D in Classic White is in remarkable condition even for what would be considered lower mileage on a W123. I always take note of the wheel wells to see if the body color paint is still present or it’s been turned the black over the year and with this car, the while shines through nice and clear. Either someone was great with some degreaser and a brush or there just wasn’t a lot of road debris to that came in contact with this car. Probably a combination of both if I had to guess. Inside, the blue MB-tex and wood shine like a new car and I’m very surprised the blue dash hasn’t cracked in the many years in the California sun. Given the care the rest of the car shows, maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised. Every other part of this car checks out as being almost flawless as well.

This outstanding 240D is priced at $22,000 and you won’t find me arguing that it’s not worth that. It’s a color that is desirable with the matching hubcpas rather than Bundts, has the 4-speed manual that is generally preferred over the automatic and above all is a turn-key car. But for me, it’s not a ton of value for what you are spending. I can go find a handful of nice 240Ds for probably a third of the price of this one and get the same enjoyment out of it. Yes, it probably won’t have 62,000 miles and I couldn’t eat my dinner off the valve cover, but the W123 isn’t garage art. We have W111 coupes and Pagodas to showoff the craftsmanship and beauty of this era at Mercedes-Benz. These are 240Ds; go drive them to 500,000 miles as they were intended. I’m all for caring for these cars and preserving them, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them to the fullest at the same time. The problem is a 240D isn’t giving me — and probably a lot of other people — $22,000 worth of enjoyment.

– Andrew