1981 Mercedes 300TD has a V8 secret under the hood

What do you do when the trusty 5 cylinder diesel in your 1981 Mercedes 300TD finally requires a replacement? While most people would probably find another Mercedes diesel and enjoy several hundred thousand more miles of relatively trouble free driving, the builder of this unique Benz had an entirely different idea.

This might look like another clean vintage Mercedes from the outside, but it has a blue oval secret hidden underneath the hood. Instead of installing another diesel, a 351W Ford V8 now sits in the engine bay of this old German wagon. This odd swap also required the builder to swap in a Ford C4 automatic transmission which is conveniently hooked up to the stock Mercedes console shifter.


According to the seller the swap took place in 2008. The motivation behind repowering this 300TD becomes easier to understand upon finding out this car is currently showing 411,000 miles. Although the seller believes the car to have less, it's pretty hard to kill the stock diesel without some serious mileage. It could be the swap wasn't a necessity—a fact that would be backed up by the car's clean condition—but who messes with a perfectly good W123?

It's old, it's a wagon and it's got a weird engine swap—usually three sure signs a vehicle deserves the Weekend Jalopnik seal of approval but we're not sure what to think of this car. As the result of a few years spent behind the wheel of a high mileage '85 300D we are generally of the belief these cars should have some kind of diesel under the hood.

We want to know what you think of this odd wagon. Is this $8500 well spent on a unique custom Benz or would you hold out for an original and likely cheaper turbo diesel?

[Ebay via Bring a Trailer]


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