The W123 series, and namely the 240D, has one of the most widespread and cult-like followings of any Mercedes. Due in part to Mercedes-Benz’s tendency to over engineer everything they make, the 240D has one of the best reputations in the industry for reliability. The W123 was an immediate hit upon its release, and surprisingly it was difficult to get your hands on one without patiently waiting, or paying far over list for immediate delivery. The 240D has grown an almost mythological reputation of persistent reliability, easily doing up to 1,000,000 miles with routine maintenance. These cars were also notoriously robust, as most would be extensively used in German taxi service before being sent over to Africa after for a second lifetime of service. They were liked in Africa as they stood up well to the abuse from undulating and rough terrain, and very rarely required much of any repairs. 1983 would be the final iteration of the W123, but the model did not go out without a bang. The W123 would receive a minor facelift, receiving the more attractive rectangular head lights and standardized power steering. Zebrano wood paneling was added to the dashboard, and improved trim on the roof helped cut down on wind noise.
Driving the 240D is a surprisingly fun experience, although it takes some getting used to. You may need to adjust the amount of space you calculate between you and an oncoming car when turning into a lane, as once you’re committed there’s not much you can do with the gas pedal to get away. The accelerator pedal is really more of an on/off switch than a linearly modulated throttle, you tend to go slow no matter how far down you push. Once everything calms down, and you learn the anticipatory driving style of the 240D, you can start to fall in love with everything about the experience. Yes, it is slow, but there is a charm to it. It has a persistent and soothing reliability when you’re driving it. Without the ability to hustle or hurry you tend to sink into the comfortable seats and cruise on. It will always start, it will always run, and it will always get to where you are trying to go. No need to micro-manage oil or water temp on a hot day, no need rebuild the engine every 100k miles. Just turn the key and patiently plot your way down the road
This exceptional 1983 240D was delivered new on September 15, 1983 in San Leandro California by R.S. Taylor Mercedes-Benz. This 240D remained a California car up until it’s purchase in 2012, when it was purchased by a collector in WA state. The 240D came with factory options of Anthracite Grey Metallic paint on Palomino MB tex interior, electric power sunroof, a rare 4-speed manual transmission and forged light alloy wheels. This 49,000mile 240D is delivered in exceptional condition and running order. Benefitting from a recent and extensive service including a new A/C compressor and dryer. The combination of light Palomino interior and the rare sunroof make this 240D a very open and light driving experience. As far as 240D’s go, this is the best of the best. This is the final year of production, it has the coveted 4 speed manual, and was optioned with an airy sunroof. Whatever your goals are, and depending on where you’re going, this 240D has enough mileage left on the engine to take you there and back for the rest of your life without thinking twice.