Mercedes-Benz 230E

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - Nathan Chad­wick

The W123 has been in resur­gent form of late, with many nice ex­am­ples com­ing on to the mar­ket. This car, with a barely run-in 64,000 miles on the odome­ter, is one of the bet­ter cars out there. The 2299cc fu­elin­jected M102.980 en­gine hadn’t been run in over a month, but it sparked into life in­stantly and idled smoothly. Per­for­mance is perky enough to keep up with mod­ern traf­fic, there are no strange noises from the sus­pen­sion and the brakes are sharp but pre­dictable.


The beige paint is an ac­quired taste, but good through­out with no rip­ples or chips and only a cou­ple of scratches to the driver’s door frame. The chrome is in largely good-toex­cel­lent con­di­tion, though the trim around the rear door frame has gone a lit­tle dull. There is ev­i­dence of touch-ups to the body and paint over the years, as be­fit­ting a car that’s more than 33 years old. There are some scratches to the hub­caps too, and some bob­bling to the plas­tic mir­ror sur­round. Tyres are a mixed bag – the fronts are a match­ing pair of Kumho Power Star 758s while at the rear one side wears a Falken Sin­cera SN807 and the other a Unistar U808. Stick­ing with the rub­ber theme, the seal on the driver’s door frame is sep­a­rat­ing, but there doesn’t ap­pear to be any sign of mois­ture creep­ing in.


There’s a sim­i­lar lack of damp in the rest of the cabin – the lack of a sun­roof means that there are none of the usual is­sues aris­ing from blocked drain holes and the head­lin­ing is in su­perb or­der. The tan cloth in­te­rior is in very good con­di­tion with only light stains to the pas­sen­ger seat. There are a few marks here and there, but noth­ing to cause sig­nif­i­cant worry. The non- stan­dard af­ter­mar­ket CD/ra­dio is sub­tle enough to blend in with the rest of the dash­board and the wood trim is in largely ex­cel­lent con­di­tion, bar a very mi­nor scratch to the glove­box lid.


Pop­ping the bon­net re­veals a clean en­gine bay and an en­gine that has clearly been well looked af­ter. All the flu­ids are up to their max­i­mum mark and none made a bid for es­cape dur­ing our test drive. The well­stamped up ser­vice book backs up the mileage. It’s had eight own­ers but all from the same fam­ily – in fact the car has never left Nor­folk. It had a full ser­vice and a brake over­haul in May 2016 and has cov­ered just 300 miles since.


This is a su­perb and orig­i­nal car that wouldn’t take much work to bring up to con­cours con­di­tion, but if you’re look­ing for a daily driver clas­sic, this also fits the bill. Some won’t like the beigeover-tan colour scheme, but get over that and you’ve got a fine ma­chine in­deed.

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