1981 Mercedes-Benz 280E Saloon
|Engine||In-line 6-cylinder, 2746cc|
Mercedes-Benz’s compact W123 series became the most successful car to wear the Three Pointed Star in commercial terms, with over 2.6 million built between 1976 and 1985. A large percentage these can still be seen on the road today, testimony to the inherent quality of these beautifully engineered machines. The W123 was significantly stronger, better equipped and more refined than its predecessor, the numerous passive features making it one of the safest cars on the market. Sold in both four-cylinder (200/230) and six-cylinder (250/280) versions along with an extensive range of diesels, the W123 was available as a four-door sedan, practical estate and a stylish pillarless coupe. The flagship of the W123 four-door range was the 280E, with a powerful fuel injected twin-cam 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine under the bonnet. The M110 engine developed 182 bhp at 5800 rpm, enough to propel the 280E to a top speed in excess of 200 km/h, with decent acceleration to match. The 280E came with generous equipment levels, including factory air conditioning, power mirrors and windows, central locking and a premium radio/cassette player. The W123 was from an era when Mercedes-Benz built cars to last and the quality of the materials and workmanship means they have survived the years better than most of their peers. Offered for sale between 1977 and 1985, the 280E offers surprisingly strong performance from the gutsy six, typically Germanic build quality and safety – all at a very affordable price. Indeed, the 280E is the perfect classic daily driver, reliable enough to be used in modern traffic but stylish enough for weekend pleasure trips.