|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, with 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. Built on a shorter 2710mm wheelbase platform, the W123 coupes were better equipped than their four-door cousins, with features like power steering fitted as standard. The flagship of the W123 range was the 280CE coupe, with a powerful fuel injected twin-cam 2.8-litre six-cylinder engine under the bonnet. The M110/988 engine developed 185 bhp at 5800 rpm, enough to propel the 280CE to a top speed in excess of 200 km/h, with decent acceleration to match. Built in relatively small numbers between 1977 and 1985, the 280CE offers surprisingly strong performance from the gutsy six, typically Germanic build quality and safety – all at a very affordable price. Indeed, the 280CE is the perfect classic daily driver, reliable enough to be used in modern traffic but stylish enough for weekend pleasure trips.