1984 Mercedes-Benz 230E

If you had to sum up the Mercedes-Benz W123 in one word, it would probably be “honest.” This is a car that just goes about its business without a lot of fuss. Sure, it carries the cache of having the Three Pointed Star sitting on its bonnet, but glitz and glam isn’t what this car is about. This is perhaps one of the most durable vehicles the planet has ever seen, especially the diesel variants, which are known for covering hundreds of thousands of miles with ease. No surprise, then, that you still see these cars pressed into service all over the world. While I wouldn’t mind the diesel, this 5-speed manual 230E for sale in the Netherlands is grabbing my attention, as many of the manual transmission W123s were 4-speeds.


Year: 1984
Model: 230E
Engine: 2.3 liter inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 43,096 km (26,778 miles)
Price: €14,800 (~ $19,142 USD)

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 230E


A 230E from first owner of southern France, with the rarely ordered 5 speed gearbox. Car is in a perfectly maintained condition. Complete first paint with minimal wear, perfect and untouched interior. Options are tinted glass, radio / cassette, central armrest, right mirror and central locking system. Well documented history with numerous maintenance bills, invoice and order as well as many technical inspection reports.


This particular seller has some really nice cars in their inventory, which, unsurprisingly, aren’t priced cheap. Ultra low mileage or restored diesel W123s have been commanding strong prices, especially the estate models. At almost $20,000, this is serious money, but this is a rather uncommon W123 with very low mileage. Any buyers in the US would have to really want a W123 in this specification to outlay the cash for importation costs. It’s nice to sit here, though, and know that some of these late model W123s are still out there in exceptional condition. This is certainly a car I could see driving all the way to my grave.


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  1. Beautiful car. Anyone interested should drive before you commit. The 230E is slow, no question, and will only seem not to be slow to those folks who are using a 240D or 300D turbo for comparison. That being said, the M102 four banger is very smooth and the mileage on this car is quite low. Whether the purchase price is appropriate is better left for a buyer to say, but personally while I am a big fan of the W123 I believe that Ebay sellers have done a great job hyping their reliability beyond reasonable expectations. Yes, they are solid and extremely well-built cars but the newest ones built came off the line almost 30 years ago so for starters, everything rubber on the car that is original, particularly things like suspension bushings and vacuum lines, would need to be changed. If working with a good private MB tech to put one into what I would call “cross country roadtrip” shape, once could easily spend $5k to $10k on even a very good example. People should keep that in mind when bidding these sky high on the basis that they “routinely go 300k miles with ease.” A Honda Accord will also go 300k with ease if you lavish that kind of money attention on it. Keep it real, in other words.

  2. a museum piece 230E.. why? A car like this is only a great find if its one that some one will love and drive for the foreseeable future. the W123 is a great piece of craftsmanship for sure, but as Raymond said, its a money pit, $10k to make it road worthy and then park it?!
    Is their a Benzophile ready to park this thing in his Bavarian country estate? maybe, and that’s a big maybe. However, I call no bids on this Benz stateside.

  3. Upon arrival in Germany in 1981 for a three year assignment for IBM, my father proudly purchased a two year old 200 on the W123 chassis. Ten year old me couldn’t yet differentiate between the M102 and M115 motors yet, but regardless of the output, it was a plaid-upholstered, red rocket ship to this budding petrol-head, as we cruised along the Autobahn at what felt like light speed. In hindsight, relative to the Chevy Citation and the Honda Civic CVCC that we left behind in the States, it probably was fast.

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