1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D turbo diesel from North America


A timeless, powerful, well built beauty, but it needs TLC


Rough idle only at the start.

Typical oil leaks for this car.

Run on sometimes after the key is turned off.

General Comments:

Bought this car with 183K on it for $4500. Beautiful looking, and some light rust on the rear wheel wells.

Start right up, but idles rough for 10 minutes. Once on the road, it is very powerful and smooth. A real pleasure to drive, but it is over 30 years old, so is not engineered like we are used to today.

Good mileage; 33 MPG.

I love this car, and its classic looks are absolutely beautiful. Not perfect, and I expect it will keep me busy.

I have work to do on this vehicle, namely valve adjustment, diesel purge, rack damper adjustment, fluid filters (engine, trans, rear, power steering), track down oil leaks, vacuum review, body work... Etc etc.

I look forward to maintaining this car, and having it for many years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2014

7th Jul 2015, 23:27

Mine has 97,875 miles on it. Outstanding original interior, needs a new paint job. Anyway your problem is probably one or more bad glow plugs.

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 200 stick shift 2.0 litres from Chile


Incredible build quality. Amazingly smooth and accomplished for a 23 year old car. I want another


Had to replace the electronic ignition system - mechanic adapted one from a modern car (cheap fix), but this was acceptable as the car was inexpensive to buy, and was obviously in need of attention.

Ingress of rainwater from holes in the front bulkhead - very annoying, and difficult to find and plug.

Replaced front damper units.

Driver's seat needed re-stuffing as the springs were rather tired.

General Comments:

I bought this car for 2500 dollars - considered cheap in Chile, where vehicles are "overpriced" in comparison to the US/Europe.

Paid around 400 to put things right, and have since used it as a daily driver, plus have been on really long trips across the Andes mountains, Argentinian desert regions, Patagonia and South Chile, up and down the length of Chile (500 miles each way), and the car has been flawless.

It's taken us across deserts and gravel roads, and has even forded small rivers!

This was the (rare) manual transmission model (stick shift), so no worries about aging belt drives in the auto box etc.

This vehicle is Excalibur like - forged from minerals stolen from a sacred mountain, lovingly assembled by greasy overalled elves.

It's not a fast car for overtaking etc, but it will drive for hours at high speed without complaint.

Sadly I had to sell it because I needed a truck for a construction project.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th July, 2012

24th Jul 2018, 15:08

Original reviewer here. I sold this car in 2010 and recently (2018) had a call from the buyer about translation services. He is still running it with no major problems. That's a 35 year old car.

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 300D 3.0 liter 5-cylinder turbo diesel from North America


It would be a great car for a first time driver, or for someone who is in no hurry


Key stuck in the ignition due to steering wheel locking mechanism failure... common at around 300000 miles. Required some minor dash removal, a new key, tumbler, extraction of the wheel lock, some grinding and pounding, but it is better than new.

I accidentally started the car with no way of turning it off (no ignition switch installed). Can't pull the plugs, the battery, the coil wire, etc. as there are none. Even pinching the fuel lines was absurd. I was freaking out.

General Comments:

Comfortable, safe, although this is my 2nd, and both cars had the same ignition switch problem, and this one has the vacuum door locks not working, no dash lights, no overhead light, and no heater/ventilation unit working.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th June, 2012

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 3.0 turbo diesel from North America


300D - The best car ever built


AC didn't work when I bought it. It was a $500 repair.

I had to replace the flex discs. I did the work, $80.00 for parts.

The start solenoid went bad. $40 part on eBay and one Saturday afternoon to replace it.

I rebuilt the front suspension and steering system. $300 in parts plus $90 for an alignment. I probably spent 16 hours on this job.

General Comments:

This is an awesome car. Probably the best production vehicle ever built, in my opinion.

The car looks great. It has a real classic look to it. It has real bumpers!!

It is a little slow to start, but it just zooms along the interstate. It has great passing speed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd January, 2012