Mercedes has been manufacturing grand luxury saloon cars since 1926 so as you can imagine they are experts of the variant and the Mercedes-Benz 280E (W123) was no exception. Introduced in 1976 this big Merc was the order of the day becoming the best selling Mercedes with over 2.7 million cars sold until it was replaced in 1985 by the W124.
The W123 introduced some great innovations to car specification such as a driver’s airbag, anti-lock brakes and a retractable steering column, variations of the model include a C model for coupe, a T model being the estate version, the D model is a diesel and of course the E model, which is the fuel injection engine.
Even today you’ll still find thousands of these Mercedes running as daily cars with over 500 thousand miles on, which just goes to show how well they were made back then. These grand automobiles are still priced to buy giving outstanding value plus well made and well engineered quality.
The Mercedes-Benz 280E is without doubt a well made car and will stand the test of time, but any car made in the late seventies and early eighties will need to be checked thoroughly for those signs of age. The body of these big saloons wears well but there are some places were rust can lurk, so make sure you check underneath the battery tray and inner sills as these areas are prone on the W123 model. Also check underneath the car as under-seal is good at hiding any problems so look out for splits so you can see any problems underneath.
Engines are bullet proof if maintained properly so make sure good history is evident. Timing chains are good for 200,000 miles. The only problem is the 280 are thirsty but it does depend on what you’re used to. Suspension is soft for comfort but don’t allow that to be a disguise for sloppy handling as this could mean the shocks are over worn also check the springs for cracks as they may need replacing.
Steering is not ultra precise on the Mercedes but excessive play can mean steering dampers or idler bush or worse the steering box can be an expensive replacement.
Inside the car vinyl wears best but the selection of interior cloth is large and all wear well. Check all the switch gear inside and make sure it all works properly. There is a large network of owners and enthusiasts to help if you are looking to work on the car yourself.
For any film buffs out there a highly modified W123 Lang was driven by the people eater in the blockbuster movie Mad Max : Fury Road released in 2015.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“These classic Mercedes give off an air of style and confidence like no other car and as values are reasonable now would be an ideal time to buy one of these sturdy and reliable cars.”