I tend to think of Mercedes-Benz’s W123 and W124 as stately, comfortable luxobarges that will run forever but aren’t particularly special. Looking into this 300TD Turbo, those assumptions seem needlessly oversimplified. Did you know that when it came out, the W124 wagon had the lowest drag coefficient of any production car at the time? Neither did I. It also had the 80s double-edged sword of self-leveling suspension, notoriously present in the E28 M5 but almost always replaced in that application. It sounds like the Mercedes version is a little more stout, and this car’s SLS is functioning with zero leaks.
A slippery shell and Benz’s storied 3.0-liter turbodiesel (an engine that could easily outlive a human) combine for decent fuel economy, while the longroof provides great storage and – surprise! – two more seats. Video of two police dumbfounded by a Tesla’s rear-facing trunk seats recently went viral, but these awesome jump seats were popularized in the 80s by Volvo and Mercedes after being a phenomenon in 60s American wagons. The best part of the Benz’s sixth and seventh seats is they fold flat into the floor, giving leg room for the seats or a normal wagon floor when stowed. No SUV or awkward crossover necessary! With 122k miles and all electrical bits working (for now), this is a classy family-style ride. Paul featured this car back in August of this year when it sold for $12,500. Let’s see where this eighties estate winds up this time around.
If there was ever a car that looked more at home on the forecourt of a country club, it was the W124 series Mercedes E-class estate. This was a car synonymous with the well-heeled housewives or those summer jaunts to New England beaches. While utilitarian, this is a rather stately machine. Take it to the local market and you would have no problem finding this 300TD amongst the myriad of vanilla, look-alike SUVs jamming the parking lot. This 300TD for sale in British Columbia is a Canadian market car, but given its age of over 25 years, is legal for US importation.
You’ve probably noticed, but we have a few favorite specialty dealers here on GCFSB. One of which is 4Star Classics in Hampshire County, England. These folks really take the extra mile to present their vehicles well without making them overly glossy, which is a mistake made by many a forecourt. Good pictures and a comprehensive history go a long way towards moving the metal. So, continuing on with Wagon Week, let’s take a look at this immaculate 300TD for sale by this very dealer with under 40,000 miles. These are cars known for racking up epic mileage, so at this rate, we’re basically dealing with a new car in W123 terms. For fans of rowing their own, this is tasty number, as it comes equipped with a 4-speed manual; something we didn’t see much on these shores. Care to make a statement on the school run? This will have the hipsters drooling with envy.
It seems there’s a never ending supply of good Mercedes-Benz W123s out there. I’ve met a good number of people who have owned or experienced these cars over time and all of them have walked away impressed. With modern manufacturing and bean counters, it’s doubtful we’ll ever see a car engineered to a point like this in the near future. The good thing is, however, that these cars’ durability have kept many on the road, clocking hundreds of thousands of miles each in the process. This 300TD for sale in Georgia has made a few long distance trips, having just broken 160,000 miles. Considering their reputation, the break in period for this final year W123 estate has just ended.
The venerable Mercedes-Benz W123 has enjoyed success among an extraordinarily diverse set of customers, from dictators and wealthy families to hippies and hipsters. The unsurpassed combination of luxury, comfort, cachet, good looks, diesel availability, and epic longevity begins to explain why so many people see this as truly great transportation. Pile all this into a low-mileage (for a Mercedes diesel) wagon and you have a timeless classic that can do pretty much anything (if not that quickly). This 1982 Turbo wagon is looking immaculate in silver with pinstriping, and I am developing a new area of longroof lust.
The Mercedes-Benz W123 is one of those few cars that blends luxury and practicality in one stoic package. If a W123 could play a round of poker, you probably would have a hard time getting a read on it. These are cars that go the distance with little complaint. While many have been run for hundreds of thousands of miles, some looking worse for wear than others, this 1979 300TD for sale in New Jersey is a remarkable survivor.
The unique 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD pickup is back up for sale, giving someone with light payload duties one last crack at this classy hauler.
The below post originally appeared on our site April 22, 2014:
The E63 AMG Estate we featured earlier isn’t an impractical car, but it’s hard to deny that it’s a bit over the top for most people. If speed isn’t your thing, you could always go the other direction and pick up a W123 diesel estate, such as this 1985 300TD for sale in Michigan from the same seller as the 300TE 4Matic we featured last week. With only 37,000 miles, this beauty is nowhere close to being broken in and is in like new condition, a superlative that is thrown about liberally but certainly applies in this case.
Are you a fan of the Mercedes-Benz W123 estate but find yourself saying “I coulda had a V8?” Then look no further. This 1980 300TD Estate has a 5.7 liter Chevrolet V8 under the hood, a handy tool to keep up with traffic and even embarrass a few unsuspecting motorists. For sale in California, this looks like a well-done build, right down to the stock Mercedes V8 air cleaner box being adapted to the new engine. Now this is a sleeper.
The W123 T-Modell. We would be remiss for not including at least one of these workhorses during Wagon Week. An impossibly timeless design penned by Bruno Sacco in the mid 1970s, these wagons are still seen regularly on the roads from The Hamptons to Los Angeles, a testament to their impeccable engineering. This particular 300TD for sale in Utah is a Euro market car with a 4-speed manual transmission, a rarity on these shores.
Model: 300TD Estate
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-5 diesel
Transmission: 4-speed manual
Mileage: 176,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction
This Wagon is amazing. It was brought over from Europe by an astro-physicist, garaged for several years, and then I happened upon on it. What makes this 300TD so exceptional is that it has the four speed manual transmission that was only sold in Europe. It is extremely hard to find this model wagon in the States, let alone one in such good overall condition. I have over $10,000 put into this car, and it is set to run for the next several decades. The original miles are low for the year as it is, but taken into the account all that has been done to it, this car can be driven another 500K miles, as these MB diesel engines tend to do. The entire engine has been upgraded with all new bearings, gaskets, pistons, connector rods, clutch system, pumps, seals, hoses, belts and more. Furthermore, the head and block have been completely tuned up. This engine has 500K miles left in it easy. Cosmetic issues include a few normal scrapes and scratches, two small holes in the interior, three scratches in the drivers side window tint, and some small run’s and stains in front carpets and the trunk. Overall, the exterior would get an 8.5/10 grade, the interior a 8.5/10 and the engine/mechanics an 10/10. The car also comes with an extra set of tires and the matching blue hubcaps.
I have to admit I’m always drawn in by vintage Mercedes in light metallic blue hues. These colors suit these cars quite well, highlighting the prudent use of chrome accents. We’ve seen good examples of 300TDs of late hovering around the $10,000 to $14,000 mark. Considering the maintenance done and the mileage, I’d suspect this one might bring shy of $10,000 to the right buyer who is looking for a three pedal variant. This is a neat Benz with an interesting story that would be an utterly practical and economical choice for the times.