Rare In Red: 1985 Mercedes 300D

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It’s hard to beat a W123-chassis Mercedes-Benz sedans and wagons for an entry-level classic car. There’s literally thousands of them still on the road, making parts snagging a snap and free advice from enthusiast networks a breeze to find. This one is particularly desirable, not only due to its phenomenal condition but also its rare Signal Red paint. Find the 300D here on eBay where bidding is over $6K with no reserve.

At least, I’m assuming it’s Signal Red. This Mercedes was purchased in Germany by the original owner, but it doesn’t specify whether it was U.S. model that was purchased via European delivery or a European-market car that was later federalized. Regardless, buying your car through the factory makes it easier to get one of the lesser seen paint codes, certainly not one that would likely show up as dealer inventory.

Mileage by W123 standards is a very low 92,055, and this means the typically hard-wearing interior remains in outstanding condition. By now, these cars are on their fifth, sixth, or twelfth owners, making cosmetic upkeep secondary to preserving the powertrain that can seemingly outlive dinosaurs. This car here was used sparingly and owned by someone who never once treated it like an abuse-hungry beater, and is likely one of the best non-time capsule cars left.

While the five-cylinder turbodiesel won’t light your hair on fire, it is the preferred spec for a diesel-powered W123. This engine will easily outlast the car if maintained properly, and even them, it doesn’t ask a lot in terms of care. The seller doesn’t detail any in-depth mechanical history, but I’m not sure how important it is on a durable car such as this with mileage that is half of what most W123s are showing. Buy and enjoy!

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. JoeMac Joe Mac

    Not great to look at IMO but probably good for another 400,000 miles.

    Like 1
  2. EuromotoMember

    I think there is a certain mythology surrounding the longevity of these MBZ diesels. Some think that, regardless of what one does (or doesn’t do), the engine will live forever. So I disagree with Jeff when he says he’s not so sure
    how important mechanical history is.

    A one-owner 100k mile 123 with good records may well be poised to enter the million-mile club. The same car with 6 prior owners and no data: Not so much.

    Like 7
  3. Gay Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking Mercedes-Benz 300D. I’ve always loved the W123 generation Mercedes-Benz. I hope whoever buys this car enjoys it. :)

    Like 0
  4. Terry

    I had an 84 version of this car, you could drive from Chicago to NY on one tank of fuel and in total comfort. Great cars, a little slow on take off and a bit noisy but very good on fuel and easy to own.

    Like 2
  5. Cargirl

    I am going to agree with Euromoto. I had a 1980 300CD that I bought without a thorough inspection (my bad just wanted it so much). When I went to have it inspected found out it was already on its second engine. That engine blew on me and the third engine – oh God I can’t talk about this anymore. I grow faint when I think about how much money I put in to that car only to sell if for less than scrap. From now on I am going to admire from afar. My bank account is so much happier.

    Like 1
  6. Wrong way

    If this was a 300 SD. I would be all over this car 5 speed manual is a plus on these car. I would buy it just for memories of my father. He owned one except a blue color with 5 speed but I won’t. It’s not the same car as a 300 SD at all. Same chassis but not the same car as in SD.

    Like 0
  7. Bubba5

    Fine print says odometer is broken and the car has been repainted.
    I will pass.

    Like 0
    • Roy Blankenship

      I used to be in the used car biz. For as much as these cars are held in high esteem, every one of them that I bought at auction was TMU, true mileage unknown. The odometers had a way of malfunctioning. I used to wonder if this was because of being converted from kilometers to mph and not-up-to-standard parts being used.

      Like 0
  8. Audifan

    It’s indeed signal red. Looking at the VIN, it’s a US spec. car. Mercedes NEVER offered Turbodiesels with manual transmissions. IMHO, that’s a good move.
    I’m the third owner of a 1982 300 Turbodiesel with 230k miles. Neither engine or transmission were EVER opened or repaired. Continues and proper maintenance is the key to get several 100k miles out of these excellent cars.
    P.S. SDs are based on W116s or W126s. This car is a W123. Same engines, different platforms.

    Like 1
    • Wrong Way

      Sorry but I cannot resist a comment to you buddy Mercedes sure enough offered a 5-speed transmission manual shift what’s up Mercedes 300sd I do not know where you get your information from but if I were you I would look elsewhere not only that my friend you are talking to play Ginuwine classic car collector restore I know more about cars then you could ever imagine and I would say I’ve been on this planet a lot longer than you have young man have a great day

      Like 0
      • TouringFordor

        Around before they invented punctuation?

        Like 4
      • Audifan

        You definitely drank too much
        “Ginuwine” buddy. Lol.
        P.S. MBZ never offered any Turbodiesels 123 or 126 with a manual transmission. Oeriid.

        Like 1
  9. Lance Platt

    My mom purchased a used 1981 300D in beige. My dad bought a 1985 dark silver turbocharged 300D. Except for batteries in the cold Ohio climate, both cars lasted them the rest of their lives. So I know they are sturdy and dependable if properly maintained and did not rust through like American cars of that era. I particularly liked the red paint on this example for sale.

    Like 1
  10. leiniedude leiniedudeMember

    Ended: Feb 28, 2019 , 9:00PM
    Winning bid:US $6,300.00
    [ 27 bids ]

    Like 0

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