The Mercedes-Benz 240D has at all times been for outsiders

As a vehicle slips down its depreciation curve, the change in purchaser demographics is equally envisioned and anticipated. Socioeconomically talking, most societies worth new items above these designed simply a few a number of years up to now. The individuals who make luxurious autos, in some feeling, should hope their creations keep a charmed and beloved on a regular basis residing from start to finish. This could look like to be specifically respectable of Nineteen Seventies and ’80s Mercedes-Benzes, which have been being recognized for his or her outstanding engineering and superb craftsmanship.

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The W123 was a high quality automotive or truck for those that didn’t desire a stereotypical top quality expertise of the interval. And when you appeared on the W123 lineup and chosen the oil-burning 240D, it supposed your style for the atypical was particularly eager.

Again within the day, the individuals at Motorweek purchased their arms on an exquisite illustration of diesel-run German engineering and completely nailed the lede with a affluent businessperson award. This teed up the W123 for a brilliantly contextualized critique. Sure, it’s highly-priced ($22,500 in 1983, or about $62,000 in 2021) at the same time as an entry diploma Merc, however status by your self just isn’t why some individuals lusted proper after them. And within the state of affairs of Motorweek’s illustration: fascinating as humanly possible in luscious brown paint, with a diesel motor and a 4-speed handbook transmission!


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All people is aware of how effectively Mercedes-Benz options have been being constructed on this interval, and the way an awesome deal curiosity went into ensuring W123’s felt higher-high high quality in every particular person nook and cranny. The seats had been cosy for any total physique situation, wood veneers have been endlessly deep, and the sensation was distinctly magnificent with out at the moment being decadent and big a la American luxurious tools.

Sajeev Mehta

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Sajeev Mehta

The OM616 diesel motor was talked about for its supreme simplicity within the interval of rudimentary laptop system-controlled fuel shipping for gasoline engines. The deficiency {of electrical} energy didn’t cease aspirational purchases of those who keep in mind the traces at gasoline stations from simply a few a number of years in the past, so doubtlessly Motorweek’s “dash” to sixty in 22 seconds was actually time effectively used for the driving force. However as time marched on, even because the W123’s replacement was delicate yrs prematurely in situations of technological know-how, the tiny 240D remained magical even because it slipped even additional down the depreciation curve.

The diesel W123s, these because the modest 240D, managed to thrive at the same time as they found newer householders with smaller sized budgets. This proved true no matter the hefty expense (relative to a Ford/GM dependent luxurious motorized vehicle) of substitute areas, a way more constrained number of succesful mechanics, and a seller community that was a lot from the sensible expertise Lexus pioneered in 1990. And someday within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, when the notion of biofuels turned a regional reality for lots of Individuals, the W123 diesel Mercedes—nearing the underside of its depreciation curve—got here again once more into the highlight for all the right elements. In enterprise so, it recognized favor with even more opportunity proprietors.

And so under we’re today, a time when the workmanlike 240D is a entire-on classic auto with unquestionable toughness, modest luxurious, analog interfaces, diesel swagger, and a Mercedes-Benz 3-pointed star atop its hood. Hagerty valuation means that 240Ds in #3 (Good) situation are actually value all-around $10,000, while a #1 (nice Concours ailment) illustration trades for $35,000. The latter is even now solely $12,700 in 1983 kilos, however consider its value of deprecation/resale profit relative to different luxurious sedans from the precise interval there isn’t a query that people who acquired 240D new, and folks that now consider them substitute-gas classics, have constructed the Mercedes-Benz 240D an everlasting living proof of top of the range transportation. So when you by no means get it, it’s principally not meant for you.

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