Not What You Think: 1983 Mercedes 230TE – Sold?

Nov 2020 | Classifinds, Wagon Wednesday

December 1st Update – We just confirmed the Craigslist ad for this ride expired and with no replacement listing found, we’re assuming this car sold.  This one may have got away, but if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.

The W123 line of Mercedes-Benz cars is known to collectors as being one of the most robust vintage vehicles you can buy, the type of classic that will long outlive the garage it’s parked in. While it’s no secret we typically feature domestic, diesel-powered 300TD versions of the W123, this pretty 1983 Mercedes 230TE originally listed in November 2020 on Craigslist in Walpole, New Hampshire holds the added appeal of being a genuine European-market example, with an asking price of $8,000. Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool isn’t a perfect science, as Hagerty doesn’t account for the Euro-spec features – but even with that, the seller has priced this Mercedes well below the “Good” value of $13,600 for a comparative 300TD in traditional U.S.-market duds.

The Mercedes W123 needs no introduction, as its reputation for being long-lived and overbuilt is well established. Oftentimes, the one detriment of its bank vault-like construction is its diesel engine, the overwhelmingly popular choice for this platform. Not known for being powerful, most owners gladly trade in any semblance of speed for the incredible durability the diesel drivetrains provide. The wagons only serve to expand the platform’s usability with acres of space and the always useful stow-away third seat. Even better, there’s a robust owners community that makes tracking down free advice and useful spare parts a breeze.

This Signal Red W123 is said to be a California car that made its way east to the snowbelt state of New Hampshire. Fortunately, the seller notes it has never seen winter use, and the body certainly lives up to that statement. It’s rare to find the W123s of this vintage wearing a paint job that isn’t white, blue, or brown, and gives it more of a youthful appearance than you might expect for a car associated with stodgy professor-types. The European market credentials give the 230TE lots of desirable bits, like the slim chrome bumpers and more powerful gasoline engine. The body looks decent, but the nose has taken a whack, thus revealing the benefit to cars with the more pronounced U.S. bumpers: they can absorb impacts like nobody’s business without doing a lick of damage to the bumpers. This one will also need a replacement dash, thanks to the relentless California sun. This is a neat find with all of the goodies we didn’t get stateside, and for a fair price, too. Good luck with the purchase if you decide you need a W123 longroof in your life.

Here’s the seller’s description:

“This car was made for the German market and is gas (not diesel). Until 2013 this car was in California and has never been driven in the winter. I can send more pictures if interested.

Do you have a Mercedes W123 story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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