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For $10,500, This W123 Has Been Around the Block

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Mercedes' W123 is famous for its bank vault build quality and classic styling. Add to those attributes a 5-speed stick and some AMG bits, as on today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe '82 280TE, and you may have a winning wagon. That is, if its price doesn't require too much bank.

Mid-sized family haulers, whether wagon or SUV, seem to never see their popularity wan. Yesterday's 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited proved that case, taking home a respectable 59% Nice Price win, despite the many comments relating the model's history for near single-digit fuel economy and a rep for falling apart as though it were cursed by gypsies.


Should you happen to be a gypsy, or just someone with a wanderlust and a penchant for Swabian fare, you might consider this 1982 Mercedes Benz 280TE for your traveling companion. There's this terrible joke that you likely learned in third grade - if you're American in the living room, what are you in the bathroom? Yurra-pee-in! Today's candidate is just like that joke, only hopefully for the seller, not as groan inducing.


We're all familiar with the W123 and especially those in estate guise. Most of us love ‘em, and that's despite their reputation for being driven - at least in diesel form - by hippies and tweedy liberal arts college professors. You may not have leather patches on your elbows, and may eschew the wearing of Birkenstocks and tie-dye, but that doesn't mean you might not want to get behind the wheel of this 280 wagon as it sports a 5-speed stick and enough AMG-ness (sort of) to overcome any lingering patina of hemp and higher learning.

This particular 280TE (Touring-Einspritzung) also has the patina of a clear coat that's making like McQueen in the Great Escape, as well as a few boogers here and there. Now I don't pretend to be an expert on these cars, but the fine folks over at BenzWorld are, and this exact car has shown up in their threads a couple times at least over the years, here as the recent acquisition by what seems to have been its very excited second owner, and here from the same guy after reality set in.


That gives you an idea of what the next owner might expect, as well as some questions for the current owner in regards to whether some of the issues brought up - oil leaks, suspension bushings, etc - are still haunting the Benz. What he does say is that the car is now in Maryland, having made the move from California where it seems to have spent most of its post-'84 importation days. He also notes that it has AMG skirts and an AMG steering wheel, but not the stock rims nor the front valance or über rare rear spoiler. It also has a dent in the hatch that's been around since '08 based on the MBWorld pics. Note, the lede pic is from the '08 sale, but it doesn't appear that the car has visually changed since then, just thought you should know.

The ad does say the car runs and drives nicely, and that 5-speed was never offered in the wagon here in the US, making it a desirable addition. The M110 engine in the car was supposed to make 185 horses when new, and the car is supposed to have ABS, another rare option not offered here back in the day. A previous owner noted that the speedo drive broke at something like 158K so who knows how many there are on it now, but to make up for that, it supposedly comes with its original Blaupunkt stereo, so you can get your Kraftwerk on. Also, the interior looks a little cleaner than in the past, and the piece of wood trim above the light switch has been found.


There's this amazing aspect to the Internet that stuff you throw into it, never ever seems to fully flush, leading to possible instances of future awkward moments. One of those happens to be the fact that while the current seller is asking $10,500 for this unique and pretty damn cool W123, it looks like in the previous transaction, occurring back in 2008, the seller was asking. . . $2,500. Now, perhaps since then the car has been equipped with narwals and magic fairies adept in road head, I don't know, but really the question is whether or not this particular car, as it stands, is worth $10,500 today.


What do you think, do you think this car's elephantiasis of the price tag is warranted due to its rarity and spec? Or, does that price elicit (see, I got it right this time) an OMG for something with so little AMG?

You decide!


Washington AC/DC Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to nicksails for the hookup!

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