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1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

The desire for the W123 Mercedes-Benz 300TD never really seems to wean. I honestly think a lot of the desire comes from the car looking so good on paper, and then diving in and hoping for the best. Yes, it is tremendously reliable and sturdy in a world of cars built just to outlive the warranty period, but they are not without many sacrifices. They have just enough power not to be a nuisance on the highway, luxury comforts are almost zero, and safety versus any object bigger than it deploys the “hope and pray” strategy rather than airbags. Still, if you are looking for a stylish cruiser that can haul some stuff a day or two a week, it is tough to argue. However, these cars are getting old – very old. The newest example from 1985 is now old enough to run for president and the earliest 1979s models are ready to go to their kid’s college graduations. That doesn’t seem to bother paying truly crazy prices for them however.

Today, we have a non-turbo 1980 up for sale in Florida in the classic shade of English Red. Yes, it sure looks pretty and would look great in a world of earth tone swarming the land, but I’m maybe not so high on this example. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Year: 1980
Model: 300TD
VIN: WDB12319012019861
Engine: 3.0 liter diesel inline-5
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 266,020 mi
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
Price: No Reserve Auction

1980 Mercedes-Benz

300TD Wagon

Highly sought after 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Touring Estate Wagon. Very rare European Spec wagon finished in highly desirable English Red exterior with chrome accents and sleek, narrow front and rear bumpers only found on the gray market variants. Original factory 14″ Bundt alloy wheels, chrome roof rails, yellow-tinted driving lights, automatic climate control with air conditioning, sunroof, folding third-row rear bench seat, and Mercedes factory equipped tow package with wiring connector. Automatic four-speed transmission. Four-wheel power disc brakes and power steering.

This wagon runs and drives great. The ultra-reliable 3.0L inline 5 cylinder naturally aspirated diesel engine has recently undergone a complete servicing including a valve adjustment and fluid and filter change with fresh oil, new oil filter, and new primary and secondary fuel filters. This wagon has been routinely serviced throughout its entire lifetime and starts immediately via added push-button start, without any hesitation. The motor is very smooth and has a healthy sound with minimal blow-by, and no leaks. The transmission shifts smoothly through all the gears including reverse. The four-wheel disc brakes grip evenly and securely. Overall, this wagon is exceptionally dependable and very enjoyable to drive. It is comfortable in both city traffic as well as on the highway.

The inside is clean, without any stains, rips, or odors. All of the gauges and instrumentation function correctly and no warning lights are displayed. The factory windows are manually-operated and are not plagued by failing window regulators and motors that are a common concern seen on these vehicles. The vacuum-operated locks all function correctly. The climate control with air conditioning was professionally converted to R134a refrigerant and blows cold.

The body is very clean as can be seen in the pictures. There are some areas by the front jack points and by the rear wheels where some corrosion has formed, but overall this wagon is extremely solid. The English Red paint was recently refreshed and shines very nicely. These W123 wagons are quite rare, and European Spec/Gray Market variants such as this one are exceptionally more uncommon. If you are seeking a unique and iconic Mercedes W123 wagon finished in a stunning color combination that is an absolute blast-from-the-past to drive and enjoy, this is it!


Although in very good condition overall, this is a historic vehicle that will naturally show signs of use and age, both mechanically and cosmetically. This wagon is not new and the purchaser should fully understand and accept this before placing a bid or otherwise agreeing to buy it. A vintage vehicle such as this will not drive or function like a new car, and the buyer should not expect such. This wagon is being sold As Is, Where Is with no warranty of any kind expressed, stated, or implied. Although I have tried to capture as much as possible within this listing, there will be mechanical and cosmetic details that are not specifically addressed within this description/listing. Seller shall not be responsible for the description, authenticity, genuineness, or defects herein, nor is responsible for any omissions or errors in advertising and therefore makes no warranty in connection therewith. No allowance or set-aside will be made on account of any incorrectness, imperfection, defect or damage. Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type. No exceptions will be made for any components, whether mechanical or cosmetic, that are not up to the purchaser’s standards or expectations. Seller assumes no responsibility for any repairs regardless of any oral statements about the vehicle, post-sale. Only bid on this auction if you are serious about owning this vehicle and will follow through on the terms and conditions stated herein. Test drives and in-person inspections are welcomed and encouraged, but must completed prior to the end of the auction. Please ask any and all questions that you have before placing a bid or otherwise purchasing this wagon. This is a No Reserve auction and will sell to the highest bidder; however, I am open to all reasonable offers prior to the close of the auction. A $300 nonrefundable deposit is due at the close of the auction through eBay and must be received no later than 24 hours after the auction’s end. The remaining balance is due within Three (3) days without exception via bank wire, Zelle, cashier check, or cash. If you cannot agree to all of the terms specified above, I ask that you kindly not bid. I am happy to help organize low-priced professional transport of the wagon to you following the sale through an experienced broker that I have successfully used many times in the past. Thank you!

I try not to make too many assumptions by a handful of photos, but this car maybe had some quick lipstick put on it before it was listed. For one, the paint was “recently refreshed” at 266,000 miles, but areas of rush are in the jack points and rockers. Under the hood, spray paint was the call over the rust on the brake booster and air filter housing, as well as the power steering cap of all things. Not the mention there is a giant chunk missing on the front shroud. The inside doesn’t look too bad, but the big thing here is that there is something really wrong with the rear suspension. As bad as that SLS system looks right now, I bet it drives even worse.

This one is actually running at no reserve and the bidding is already hot and heavy. It is going to sell for a big-ish number because of that and everything else will be dealt with later. Color 100% sells cars, and this one will be no different. I just hope the buyer knows what they are in for.

– Andrew

One Comment

  1. Dallas
    Dallas January 26, 2022

    Good writeup. I think you mean “desire never seems to WANE” though. And I wonder what the story is with the push-button start. I had a 1975 VW Scirocco that had been converted to push-button start but that was only because the previous owner had lost the keys and was too lazy to have a new one cut!

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