For $7,995, Could You See Yourself In This 1983 Mercedes 230CE?

Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Mercedes has long be a purveyor of pillar-less coupes and today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe 230CE seems a fine example of the breed. It’s what’s under its hood, not its roof, though that might have you putting it on a pedestal.

I was a little worried about last Friday’s 2006 Cadillac XLR-V’s chances as the early voting did not go in its favor. Fortunately for the seller of that Caddy Corvette, the nail biter turned into a narrow but solid 56-percent Nice Price win. If only Cadillac had folks like you around to rally buyers of the car back when it was new. Hell, I’m sure they’d like somebody to help them sell their cars now!


Don’t run off to shill for them quite yet though, because today we have a car from a manufacturer that, back in the day, really eff’d up Caddy’s (and Lincoln’s and Chrysler’s) shit when it came to defining just what luxury comportment meant.

This 1983 Mercedes Benz 230CE is not representative of the Swabians’ most full-court attempts at automotive indulgence, what with its cloth seats, manual windows, and diminutive motor. Despite that, it’s still classy and probably built as solidly as an Olympic gymnast’s buttcheek.


The bodywork on this W123 coupe has aged like a fine wine or Marisa Tomei, and the black over tan color scheme just adds to its tasteful appearance. There don’t seem to be any major—or minor—issues here, although if you wanted to find fault, the more modern Alamaks are perhaps a poorer choice than the age-appropriate Bundts. It’s been de-badged (with exception of its three-pointed star), seems dropped a bit, and sports a set of Euro-bumpers for an overall bespoke, and tasteful look.


Inside there’s cloth seats, fuzzy-wuzzys on the front thrones, a pleasantly crack-free dash, and a sweet Nardi tiller. It all looks like a decent place to spend your driving time, but will soon be forgotten when you pop the hood and take a gander at what lives there.

The 230 in the 230CE name refers to the M102 four cylinder, an engine that was shared with the W201 190 among others. That was a 134-bhp SOHC four. What this car has however, is that engine’s tougher brother, the 185-bhp edition imbued by a DOHC 16V Cosworth head. As we all know, Cosworth gives some pretty good head.


It’s quite remarkable that the seller fails to mention the engine in his ad, and I poured over that engine bay pic, it’s definitely a W123 and not the later encapsulated W201 bay. I kind of want to know the story behind this. A three-speed automatic backs up Herr Revs.


What the seller does tell us is that he has owned this Benz for 14 years, and that a over-abundance of whips is what is forcing its sale. There’s 170,000 miles on the clock and a clean title in the glovebox.


How much might you pay for so classy and interesting a car? The price has apparently been recently reduced to $7,995 “for a quick sale.” That’s despite the seller claiming that he has it insured for ten grand. Do you think he should get that $7,995 for this Cosworth-equipped CE? Or, can you just not see paying so much?

You decide!


Lancaster, PA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your Kinja handle.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.