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Turbo Diesel 4-Speed: 1980 Mercedes-Benz W123 Station Wagon

Some well-versed Mercedes-Benz readers may be thinking hey, wait a minute, there was never a turbo diesel stick-shift wagon produced, and they’d be correct.  But thanks to the effort of two separate owners, now there’s at least one to fill the void for the car that, according to the seller, is the wagon that many enthusiasts wish that Mercedes-Benz had actually put into production.  Looking at things now, it’s kind of hard to believe this one started out as an abandoned project, but thanks to love from the current owner it’s ready to go for the next driver, so if you’ve been wanting an unusual German wagon this 1980 Mercedes-Benz here on Craigslist may be worth considering.  The present location is in Santa Monica, California, with the asking price set at $13,500.

Reader Rocco B. sent this tip our way, and for that, we’d like to say thanks!  This car has come a long way since the seller acquired it, which is really evident when you take the above photo and put it side-by-side with this before and after picture.  That’s not only the same paint you’re seeing in both photos, but according to the seller, it’s still mostly the original factory finish.  There are some imperfections and a couple of areas with minor rust, including around the rear hatch and the bottom of the driver’s door, but overall this one’s looking pretty sweet on the outside.  And since the owner couldn’t get the hood to shine to his satisfaction, he found a hood from a different car of the same color with the original paint and swapped them out.

Apparently, the person who began the project gave up on the idea of making a stick-shift turbo diesel wagon and just gave up on the conversion attempt.  The seller says he spent nearly a year getting the blend together properly, and now it’s a reliable daily driver with numerous long trips already traveled with no problems.  Speed isn’t an issue either, as it’s stated to be plenty fast, and I’m sure the 3.07 rear gears add to the quick feeling.  The 4-Speed transmission is said to be in excellent shape too and has recently undergone a fluid change and re-seal.

Lots of attention has been given to the inside as well, with the original seats still in place and just about everything in there looking more than acceptable for a driver.  The Mercedes definitely isn’t perfect, but I’d think twice before making a lot of expensive improvements right away and would probably start out by enjoying the fruits of the seller’s love, and just drive it as-is for a while.  I’m liking this one a lot and find myself too wishing this was the wagon Mercedes-Benz had built, how about you?


  1. Haig L Haleblian

    I’d take this over the blue 308 in a heartbeat.

    Like 7
  2. Maggy

    These engines last forever. Customer had an 80 in a 4 door and it had over 300k on it and ran like a sewing machine and got awesome mpg for it’s day.I’d like to take this one for a spin to see how she runs and performs.Seems very interesting of a utilitarian car.Seems priced right but I’d check build quality first.glwts

    Like 1
  3. Bamapoppy

    I’ve had two Lt knee surgeries as the ONLY reason I wouldn’t offer the BIN price and put it in my garage. I’ve had to give up my manual transmission days.

    Like 1

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