1978 Mercedes-Benz 280E W123 – Today’s Tempter

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

W123 280E front side W123 280E front side
W123 280E side W123 280E side
W123 280E engine bay W123 280E engine bay
W123 280E interior W123 280E interior
W123 280E interior rear W123 280E interior rear

Cheap classic? This handsome classic Benz is straight, and in great condition with only minor mechanical issues to fix

The W123 generation of Mercedes-Benz is one of the unsung heroes of the brand; as an archetype of Benz’s dedication to over-engineering and durability not long after the brand was verging on collapse following World War II.

It was the most successful Benz ever at the time, and most markets boasted waiting lists of over a year upon release.

With over 2.7 million units produced over its lifecycle, the W123 E-class remains a cheap and cheerful classic to step into; and largely without fear as these cars are known to spin the odometer well past seven-digits with little mechanical issues.


This 1978 280E is a great starting point for anyone after a cheap classic cruiser.

Being a 280E, it’s fitted with the largest available 2.8lt inline-six; and this one specifically comes from just three owners and boasts full service history and documentation for every bit of work dating back to the car’s delivery in 1978.

It was previously a club car that had been sitting for about nine months until the current owner purchased the car. It currently has full registration until May 2020.


It’s a runner and driver that ferries its current custodian to work and back each day; though has been put on the market as its owner does not have the time or money to fix the few issues that have arisen.

There’s a few minor things that the seller points out: the driver’s window has come off the lifter, passenger-side windscreen arm needs spring reinstalling, air-conditioner needs re-gassing (hardware in great condition and serviced 18 months ago, but car has been sitting), and the car is in need of a service as it currently idles a little rough (but runs smooth at cruising speed).


Despite the few aforementioned issues – the body is straight and rust free, with all chrome intact and in good condition. There are a few paint chips from a life well lived, though the interior is in excellent condition with no cracks or tears in upholstery or on the dash – and every switch and knob is fully functional.

Sadly, the minor work in getting the car purchased is beyond the seller’s budget – but is hoping the car finds a new home which can give it the attention it deserves.


If you’re looking to add a cheap handsome project, this W123 280E might be worth a look!

It’s based in the ACT, and is listed for just $3,000.

Check out the full listing here!


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