1958 BMW Isetta 300

Bubble cars. These little runabouts are possibly the most confounding thing on the automotive scene for me these days. What was originally designed as low cost transport for postwar Germany have become the darling of the auction set, bringing huge sums for well restored and preserved examples of cars like the Messerschmidt, Goggomobil and perhaps the most famous of them all, the BMW Isetta. The Isetta was a curious little beast, with a unique front hinged door and variants produced in both three and four wheel formats. We’ve featured a couple of these small runabouts here on GCFSB over the years but this one is particularly stunning, given the fact that it is an untouched survivor with only 6,478 miles on it.

Year: 1958
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: 298 cc single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 6,478 mi
Price: $22,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1958 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

1958 BMW Isetta 300 Absolutely ORIGINAL and in wonderful condition!!! At Speed Motors focuses upon investment-level Porsches…but sometimes BMW’s too! Please see my website atspeedmotors for your viewing pleasure! This Isetta has ABSOLUTELY ALL-ORIGINAL PAINT! I have been over and over the body with a paint meter and can’t find but very small touch-up spots from chips that are not original. That is beyond amazing for a 55 year old car. In addition, the rest of the car, including the interior, engine, trans, gauges, lights, etc. also all appear to be absolutely original. Yes, original and untouched!!! The odometer shows 6,478 miles and I have little doubt that is absolutely correct.

I purchased the car from a short-term owner (he had the car only 4 months) who bought it from the original owner who purchased the Isetta brand new. The car was shipped to the U.S. with the standard wax undercoating and then was driven very, very little in its lifetime. The original owner lived in Florida so the car was never exposed to any corrosive salts, etc., but it was exposed to humidity. Thus, the undercarriage has this very small layer of humidity induced surfacy rust. You can literally scratch it off with your fingernail. There is ABSOLUTELY ZERO rust-through anywhere on the car or anything other than this type of covering. On the top-side, where the original paint is, there is also a small amount of the same here and there (please see pictures and you’ll understand what I mean.) but, again, nothing of any significance. The car is so untouched that one of the original leather exhaust supports is still in place as are the paper-style stickers for the gear pattern as well as the choke/heater position (see the pictures!!!). That is beyond belief.

I see the car simply as the ideal candidate to either keep in its present original form, or to restore at some later date. It is the perfect restoration candidate because ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING IS THERE…UNTOUCHED AND ORIGINAL. Even the front windshield is original…no kidding. Of course all of the other glass is too! However, my focus upon Porsches has now overwhelmed my business and I don’t see touching the BMW for several years. Thus, if I can find it a good home, I will sell it. If not, it certainly doesn’t take up much space. Please review the pictures (I have about 100 more if you need them), and call or email me with any questions. Again, this is absolutely a wonderful, original, untouched Isetta that can either be enjoyed or restored…although to be honest, I’d probably just leave it just the way it is… See my 100% eBay rating and bid with confidence. I stand behind absolutely everything I sell…period. My address is At Speed Motors, 7410 Coca Cola Drive, Unit #110, Hanover, MD 21076. Please contact me with any questions at 703-627-9991 or my email which is bob at atspeedmotors dot com.

Unrestored originals like this Isetta are wonderous because they offer a window into the world of how things were manufactured years ago. Cars like this serve as templates for enthusiasts clubs when it comes to restoration and judging standards. Given how much restored examples of Isettas are bringing – sometimes upwards of $40,000 – I’d say this particular car won’t have any trouble reaching its asking price of just over $20,000.

-Paul

Double Take: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Coupe and Convertible

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Today is a rather unusual “Double Take”; while usually we focus on newer cars, today there are two pretty pristine and desirable BMW Isetta 300s with very different personalities on Ebay. The Isetta is a very interesting car just by itself; liscenced from an Italian company it showed up in many guises, though the BMW version is probably the best remembered. It’s also remember for being a bit of a TV star, if you grew up in the late 80s/early 90s, you probably remember “Urkle” having one on the TV show Family Matters. For those who don’t remember “Urkle”, he was a quirky person with an even quirkier personality, but you couldn’t help but smile at his crazy look and lack of attempt to fit in. That, in many ways, summarizes the Isetta pretty well – it doesn’t fit in, but it just doesn’t care. Take a look at the two very different personalities we have today – we’ll start with the Police car:

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: .3 liter single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 55,540 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

Offered for sale is a head-turning and ceaselessly charming 1957 BMW Isetta 300 “Landespolizei” model, finished in requisite and hard-to-find Police Green (Polizeigruen, BMW Color Code 758) over a tan interior. “Landespolizei” translates loosely to “State Police”, and as hard as it may be to imagine, many German local and federal agencies (including the State Police) utilized the small, albeit cost effective and dependable Isetta for any number of tasks. Featuring all of the correct Landespolizei insignias and fonts, an original and fully functional Eisemann KKLE 90 flashing blue light and twin, modulating Bosch Super tone sirens, this example is certainly an attention grabber, although for legality’s sake we’d recommend not engaging the light or siren when on public roads. Of all the classic, collector and unique cars that we’ve owned, no one model garners more attention from other drivers and pedestrians than the BMW Isetta. And of all the Isettas that we’ve owned over the years, none have come close to drawing the attention that this Landespolizei 300 does. Thumbs ups, waves and requests for photographs run rampant. And perhaps the nicest aspect of that attention is that it’s always accompanied by smiles – you just can’t help but feel good in this car’s presence.

Restored a few years ago, the car presents beautifully, its deep green finish consistent, deep and lustrous, free of any significant imperfections. The car’s body is completely straight and its undercarriage is solid and clean, the car exhibiting absolutely no evidence of rust. The interior is also in great shape, the tan seat and interior panels showing only minimal wear, the correct rubber floor lining flawless and the canvas sunroof clean and fully functional. All the finished interior surfaces (steering wheel, instrument hub, e-brake, etc.) are also in very good condition, as is all of the chrome, including flawless new hubcaps on color-matched wheels that are wrapped in tires with plenty of remaining tread.

Mechanically the car is in excellent shape, its original one cylinder, four stroke 298cc engine starting easily and idling consistently. The car shifts well, pulling through each of its gears strongly, and it’s also quite sure footed on the road, handling tightly on its incredibly short wheelbase and driving and braking straight. Surprisingly peppy, the car is as much fun to drive as it is to look at, although despite its livery, we’re skeptical that you’ll be pulling over any speeders on the Autobahn, as BMW rated the car as being able to reach a maximum of 53 MPH. The car has recently received a considerable amount of service, the brakes, clutch, flywheel and carburetor have all been gone through using only correct BMW parts. Everything works as it should and the car needs nothing to be enjoyed, save for a proud new owner.

Isettas have skyrocketed in value in recent years with auction examples of standard 300 models routinely fetching $50k+ and showing no signs of slowing. The Bruce Weiner Microcar auction held by RM Auctions earlier this year saw many rare examples knock on the door of $100k, including a similar 1961 Isetta 300 Police Car that sold for a whopping $86,200. As such, this is an excellent opportunity to acquire a beautiful and solid example of a wonderful investment grade car, whether it be for the serious collector/investor, a promotional vehicle for a business owner or a unique driver for the weekend enthusiast. Please bid accordingly.

We want this car to go to great home and would be happy to further discuss it and answer any questions, so please feel free to email us or call us at 805-202-4557. You can also visit us online at GoodmanReed.

Goodman Reed Motorcars

We’ve always had an appreciation for classic European cars and over the years have created an eclectic personal collection. We only buy cars that we’d personally be interested in owning and generally only sell them to make room for other acquisitions. That time has come for this BMW (if the price is right, of course – this isn’t a fire sale). We try to give accurate descriptions of the cars we’re selling, but we’re enthusiasts, not experts, and we encourage and are happy to help facilitate personal or professional inspections. But please do so before bidding, as the alternative harms our ability to make sales to other interested parties who have done their proper due diligence before bidding.

For U.S. buyers a 10% non-refundable deposit is required within 3 days of the auction’s end, the balance to be paid within 7 days of the auction’s end. Foreign buyers must pay in full within 7 business days of the auction’s end. Buyer is responsible for shipping, however we’d be more that happy to help with recommendations and arrangements. The car is listed locally and we reserve the right to end the auction at any time should it sell prior to auction’s end. Thanks for your interest.

This car is just good for a laugh. The graphic package is great, the color is fantastic, and the condition seems to be close to show-ready with a full restoration still pretty fresh. The period correct lights are a bonus. Pull up next to a Ferrari in this car, and you’re likely to be the one having more pictures snapped of you. I love the parting shot of the Isetta pulling over the 356, though the seller does admit that to be an unlikely scenario given the 53mph top speed. What could this car pull over? How about another Isetta, this time a convertible:

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Looking like a color pallet that belongs on a ’56 Chevy, I think this Isetta looks great! It’s presented in original colors, but likely has undergone a restoration as well along the way. The green top with Coral paint is an interesting combo but works, especially with the white interior. Lovely!

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300 Convertible
Engine: .3 liter single cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 27,393 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 Convertible on eBay

1957 BMW Isetta 300 convertible

This is one outstanding very well restored and very rare BMW Isetta convertible. you must see and drive this very rare classic car. there are very few convertibles and this one is in the best condition ive ever seen one come.we just detailed and serviced she is ready to go. the colors and overall condition is show condition.

Renzo Rivolta was an early adopter of the inventive bubble car style in 1953. The Iso refrigerator magnate created an odd four-wheeled, two-seat Isetta that was powered by a 236-cc, two-stroke twin-cylinder engine. The car was cute and quirky, with a steering wheel that hinged outwards with the front -opening door (a la a refrigerator, naturally).In 1954, Rivolta sold sold the whole works – tooling and all –to BMW, who was looking for an economical car with mass appeal to combat the company’s bleak financial picture. Out went the two-stroke twin and in went a 250-cc motorcycle engine. In 1956, the first full year of production, BMW sold 22,000 Isettas. Encouraged by the results, the engine was bumped up to a 297-cc four-stroke single, which turned the car into reliable transportation that was capable of 50 mpg at 50 mph. By 1962, BMW had built 161,728 Isettas, with 41,000 more constructed under license in other countries. BMW soon altered the window arrangement to permit sliding side windows and reduce the goldfish bowl effect of sunshine.Originally designed with rear wheels 20 inches apart to obviate the need for a differential, tax laws in various countries gave a break to a three-wheeled version, and sales of those units predictably soared. British-built Isettas added a pickup version and a full convertible. All Isettas have a sliding sunroof, supposedly so occupants could get out if the front door jammed. Most Isettas are left-hand drive, as moving the wheel to the right side meant that driver and engine were on the same side of the car, impractically necessitating ballast on the left.Most BMW Isettas sold in the U.S. survive. For many years BMW was embarrassed at such humble origins and did not manufacture spares, stranding survivors. That situation has been corrected, and though parts may not be cheap, they are at least available. Urban practicality and concerns about the price of gas – plus the cute quotient – has made the Isetta a somewhat recent darling. Fully restored examples have topped $40,000 as high-line auctions, but driver-quality cars can still be found at entry-level prices. The Isetta remains a fundamentally sound design, and looks especially attractive in “Easter egg” colors. Unsurprisingly. Isettas must be considered the unlikeliest Mille Miglia entrant, competing twice, in 1954 and 1955, so add event eligibility to the car’s list of attributes

Value? Hagerty pegs a top condition 1957 Isetta 300 around $45,000, which seems about right based upon the auctions we’ve seen over the last few years. With the bubble car trend still the rage, however, these cars may increase in value a bit. I wouldn’t speculate, as these bubbles sometimes burst, but if you want a fun little car to enjoy either of these would be a get bet. My guess is that the convertible will pull stronger money than the coupe given the rarity and the color combination. Is it worth $50,000? Well, if you want to stand way out of the crowd, there aren’t many cheaper ways to do so in a classic car! Just plan your arrival time to any given destination a little later than you’d get there in a 2002…

-Carter

1957 BMW Isetta 300

If you go back a few decades, you’ll realize that small cars like the Smart and Toyota/Scion iQ are not that new of a concept. In fact, they aren’t really that small at all. In postwar Europe, a vehicle came about out of necessity that was even smaller: the bubble car. This was the answer to getting folks back on their feet and mobile when few could afford a full-sized car. These tiny runabouts, usually powered by engines derived from motorbikes, were built by a few manufacturers. Perhaps the most famous of the breed is the BMW Isetta.

Virtually unlike anything that came before or after it, this two seat microcar had a front-hinged door and could fit in a parallel parking space head first. Powered by a one-cylinder engine, performance was leisurely, which was fine, as these cars were used mainly in urban settings. While the notion of such a small car seems far and away removed from the current BMW product portfolio, it serves as a reminder as to how this company was hanging on for survival after the war. This Isetta for sale in California has been treated to a comprehensive restoration and is painted in a period appropriate color.

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Year: 1957
Model: Isetta 300
Engine: 298cc four stroke one-cylinder
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 32,023 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 BMW Isetta 300 on eBay

Offered for sale is our incredibly original, always California owned, numbers matching, rust free, professionally fully rebuilt original numbers matching engine and original transmission 1957 BMW Isetta 300 finished in its rare factory correct Weisgold (paint code 19567) over tan. Produced for the US market, it has been a Southern California car from new, stored for the better part of three decades between the 1970s and 2000s, and most recently a labor of love for two brothers who mechanically and professionally restored the car together (rebuilt original engine, rebuilt original transmission, carb, fuel system, brakes, clutch, electrical, etc.), preserving the cars beautiful originality and charm. Of all the classic, collector and unique cars we’ve owned, none has garnered more attention from other drivers and pedestrians than the Isetta. Thumbs ups, waves and requests for photographs run rampant. And perhaps the nicest aspect of that attention is that it’s always accompanied by smiles – you just can’t help but feel good looking at it.

This is only complimented by the cheery factory correct finish, a warm pastel yellow that’s entirely era specific and stunning in person. Presenting beautifully, it’s only marred by the most minimal of imperfections (the odd, touched up rock chip), none of which are significant enough to appear in any of the pictures. The interior shows only a light and evenly beautiful patina, its handsome tan upholstery, interior panels and carpeting all in excellent condition. All of the chrome is great shape, as is the rubber, front and rear windshields and each of the sliding windows. The body is completely straight and the undercarriage is solid, straight, and rust free.

Mechanically the car is in excellent shape, its original and recently fully rebuilt and refinished one-cylinder, four stroke 298cc engine starting easily and idling consistently. This has to be the strongest Isetta that we have owned mechanically. The car shifts well, pulling through each of its gears strongly and is quite sure footed, handling tightly on its incredibly short wheelbase and driving and braking straight. Surprisingly peppy (BMW rated the car as being able to reach speeds of 53 MPH!), the car is as much fun to drive as it is to look at. With its Italian designed space-age looks, it’s interesting to picture how the car must have been received by consumers in the 1950s. “Practical” is certainly one adjective that was used, because despite its unique looks, the car is of course incredibly fuel efficient and easy to park with ample room for two adults.

Isettas have skyrocketed in value in recent years with auction examples routinely fetching $50k+ and showing no signs of slowing. As such, this is an excellent opportunity at a beautiful and solid example of a wonderful investment car, whether it be for the serious collector/investor, a promotional vehicle for a business owner or a unique driver for the weekend enthusiast. Please bid accordingly. Thank you for your consideration.

We want this car to go to great home and would be happy to further discuss it and answer any questions, so please feel free to email us or call us at 805-202-4557. You can also visit us online at GoodmanReed.

Goodman Reed Motorcars

We’ve always had an appreciation for classic European cars and over the years have created an eclectic personal collection. We only buy cars that we’d personally be interested in owning and generally only sell them to make room for other acquisitions. That time has come for this Isetta (if the price is right, of course – this isn’t a fire sale). We try to give accurate descriptions of the cars we’re selling, but we’re enthusiasts, not experts, and we encourage and are happy to help facilitate personal or professional inspections. But please do so before bidding, as the alternative harms our ability to make sales to other interested parties who have done their proper due diligence before bidding.

For U.S. buyers a 10% non-refundable deposit is required within 3 days of the auction’s end, the balance to be paid within 7 days of the auction’s end. Foreign buyers must pay in full within 7 business days of the auction’s end. Buyer is responsible for shipping, however we’d be more that happy to help with recommendations and arrangements. The car is listed locally and we reserve the right to end the auction at any time should it sell prior to auction’s end. Thanks for your interest.

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This little car can’t help but make you smile. It just looks happy. With that happy demeanor comes a surprisingly dear price. A lot like that other auction darling of late, the Amphicar, prices for bubble cars in good nick have shot up in recent years to the point where good ones are no longer play toys for the novice enthusiast. A good Isetta like this could be capable of bringing upwards of $40,000 to the right person. In fact, a restored Isetta 300 brought a shade over $40,000 at the Barrett-Jackson auction last year. Average cars in good running condition are trading hands between $20,000 and $30,000. For the quality of this restoration, I’d suspect this one is worth somewhere between $35,000 and $40,000.

-Paul

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT

The Mercedes-Benz W123 T-modell could be considered the father of modern “lifestyle” estates. Before this car appeared on the scene, estate vehicles were considered more of a workhorse vehicle and less of an upmarket people mover as many are perceived today. Bruno Sacco, head of design for Mercedes-Benz between 1975 and 1999, did a masterful job of using the W123 as a bridge between the classic and modern eras, with restrained, tasteful styling that is aesthetically pleasing to this day. These five door W123s are among the most revered of the series, and good ones command strong prices. This final year 300TDT for sale in California is rust free, with newer paint and an R134 air conditioning retrofit.

1985 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT on eBay

This is the last model year of the 123 body 300TD which was one of the most popular production runs. These vehicles are known to be extremely durable, reliable and economical. They have been used as taxi’s all over the world. This particular vehicle is special because of its low mileage along with it being a one owner, rust fee California car. It is in great shape and shoes very little wear considering its age. There are no rips or tears in the upholstery and no cracks in the dash. The interior is extremely clean and well taken care of. The car was re-painted but is the original dark blue color. There are a few minor surface scratches which would not show in pictures along with minor door dings.

Mechanically the car is very sound. The A/C was updated to R134 and blows cold. The brake pads were recently replaced along with a new radiator. Our facility has maintained this vehicle since 2003 when it had 120k miles. We have performed large services, front suspension & steering repairs and air conditioning repairs. Everything this car needed was addressed accordingly. This would be an excellent candidate for a vegetable oil conversion. This is a 27 year old car that will be sold ” as is, where is” and without a warranty.

For many cars, 150,000 miles might signal the end, but for a W123 Mercedes, it means this car is barely broken in. These cars can go half a million miles or more with regular maintenance. Given the mileage and condition of this car, the auction will probably wind up somewhere between $12,000 to $15,000. Only those very low mileage or original examples can bring close to the $20,000 mark or more these days.

-Paul

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT

The W123 needs no introduction on GCFSB. These were Mercedes-Benz’s bread and butter models between 1977 and 1985 and they combined durability, luxury and style like few cars have been able to do. While these cars are known for their ability to rack up hundreds of thousands of miles with little hassle, you can still find clean, lower mileage examples of coupes and sedans from time to time. The estate versions, however, tend to be the workhorse and good quality examples are a bit more tough to source. This particular TDT is one of the best that I’ve come across in recent memory.

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TDT on eBay

This might be the lowest mileage 123 series Mercedes wagon in the country. There are only 98k well maintained miles on it since new. This gorgeous Mercedes wagon was sold new in Sacramento, CA in 1983. In 2001, when the original owner passed away his widow sold it to the second owner in Orange County, CA. He sold the car to a gentleman from Maine in 2005 and purchased it back from him in 2007. The car still has the original paint on every panel and it still shines like on the first day. It was finished in Taiga Beige (MB color code 684) with palomino color MB-tex interior.

This car was always parked in a garage and it shows. It has never been in any kind of accident and there are dings or dents on it. The body and the paint are in truly amazing condition for an almost 30 year old car. The interior is very clean as well, as the many pictures will show. The carpets are clean, there are no rips or tears in the seats and even the wood panels are in great condition. This car has been very well maintained and i have the books and receipts to show it.

A new transmission was installed in 2009 with 93k miles. Together with the complete 90k mile service and new drive shaft axles this bill came to $3900. The work was done by Silver Star Motors in Escondido, CA. This car shifts and accelerates like a Mercedes diesel with a very low mileage should. There are no strange noises of any kind. It always starts up right away and it is not slow at all. All the instruments work the way they should.

All the windows, the door locks and even the original radio with the power antenna still function well. This car would be perfect for a collector. There are just not that many 123 series wagons with less than 100k miles around anymore. They are often on Ebay with 300k-400k miles and still running well. This wagon would also be a perfect family car for somebody who wants to drive it every day. If you keep maintaining this car like it has been maintained, you should be good for the next 30 years. It would also be a perfect candidate for Bio diesel conversion. This way you could drive it on vegetable oil or even free waste oil from restaurants. I have never tried it, but with gasoline prices where they are today, it sounds like a good idea.

I would prefer to sell this car to somebody local who could actually come out and see it/inspect it BEFORE the auction ends. But I would also try to be helpful with shipping or a airport pick up. All shipping charges would have to be paid by the buyer. This is a wonderful, gorgeous, well maintained and original 30 year old car and it will be sold as is, where is and without a warranty.

The buy it now price of almost $17,000 is serious money for a 30 year old estate with almost 100,000 miles. If it were any other brand of vehicle, it would seem ludicrous. However, like a fine timepiece, with regular maintenance and care, these are cars for a lifetime. Still, it’s a few thousand dollars more than I’d be willing to pay. I’ve seen these sell for more, though, so I’m sure it will find a new home in short order.

-Paul

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300CD with 35,000 original miles

Another week goes by and amazingly, another clean W123 Mercedes-Benz appears. In contrast to the clean 1981 Estate featured last week, here is an amazingly low mileage turbodiesel coupe from the second to last production year for the W123.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

The seller states:

Up for bids is this super low mile Mercedes, a 1984 300CD. This car was bought new at Rasmussen Mercedes here in Portland as part of their European Delivery Program. The car was delivered new in Sindelfingen on May 21st, 1984 where the new owners enjoyed a driving tour of Europe. The car has had 3 local owners since new, and with its low miles remains an exceptional example of the acclaimed W123 series.

Finished in Silver Blue Metallic, code DB930, the car presents very well. The paint finish appears to be all original and in impressive condition – glass smooth, with excellent depth and gloss. The body is free of dings or dents, and of course no rust problems anywhere on the car. Tires are nearly new Toyo radials. All 4 wheels are in excellent condition with no scuffs or curb rash.

All switches and controls are in like new condition, and all of them operate correctly. The climate control functions as it should, the AC has been converted to R-134 and blows cold. Its auto function works correctly, including the stepped fan feature. The car retains its original Becker Grand Prix cassette radio, a very advanced unit for its time. It works in tandem with the power antenna just as it should.

The car comes with a full assortment of original manuals and paperwork, as well as all of the service records from new. Also included is a folio full of all the documents pertaining to the car’s European delivery. There is interesting information here, such as instructions for picking the car up at the factory, a bill of lading for the trip back to the US, customs forms, even an advisory letter stating that a strike by the Metal Workers Union of Germany may “have the effect of delaying sailing dates for automobile carrying vessels!”

There’s a little under a week left for this auction and bidding has almost reached $20,000, and the reserve STILL hasn’t been met. While Mercedes-Benz coupes and convertibles always command a higher resale value, we are talking about the more pedestrian mid range model for the era. I have never seen a W123 with an asking price this high, at least in recent memory. I could see maybe paying around $15k for an example like this, and maybe even $20,000 at the maximum. But, as with any auction, time will tell to see if the reserve will be met and what it’s worth to someone.

-Paul