|Photo: Hofner||Photo: MBEP webmaster||Photo: Hofner|
Translation of an article from German car magazine "Auto Bild" March 1999
They will not get cheaper anymore
No question: Mercedes` last chrome-model ((sedan)), the W(agen) 123 is a classic car of tomorrow
Still they drive in thousands on our roads, but, dear
brokers (("AutoBild" has a new section called "Youngtimer-Market")), watch
out: What is the last time you have seen a well-looked-after W123? One
without dents, without rust on the wheel arch, without torn off star?
Probably it`s a long time ago; because no other volume-model from that time is being run down so merciless at the very moment like this solid middle-class Mercedes, which really was upper-class.
The majority of the cars which are still more or less in running order has already (not in any case voluntarily) emigrated to Eastern Europe, to demonstrate there diesel-typical long-running qualities.
Big-volume gasoline sedans like the 2.5- or 2.8-litre versions can still be found with some luck from first hand in dry suburb-garages. Good T-models (T stands for Transport und Touristik ((transport and touristics))) are not to be had anymore nearly at all, the beautifully designed coupes unfortunately were lowered first and then gotten rid off in the ditches by the countryside-youngsters. Or are being offered for phantasy-prices of up to DM 20.000 ((USD 10.500 assumed USD 1 = DM 1.90)) in classic car magazines.
Sure is: In a few years we will cry over the loss of the last chrome-model ((sedan)) from Mercedes.
Like already today the predecessor "Strichachter" (1968-1976 ((/8; W114/115))) or even the precious "Heckflosse" (1959-1968 ((fintail; W110,111,112))).
In some years we will not be able to keep a tight rein on the prices of the today felt sorry for workhorse.
Then will be said: The last real Benz!
End of article - translation by MBEP webmaster.
As usual remarks in ((blabla)), but (blabla) belongs to original text.
Personal comment by MBEP webmaster:
"AutoBild" is 100 per cent right with the above article: With the W123-series the era of chromed steel bumpers with sedans came to an end at Mercedes-Benz.
Being used to the sight of W123`s on virtually every corner in Western Europe until now only very few Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts have realized that the number of W123`s still on the roads in Western Europe has significantly dropped in the last years. The rest of the MB enthusiasts will detect in some time only that even today it`s very hard to find sedans in good condition - and to find such a station wagon aka T-model is nearly not possible anymore at all.
The W123 very much contributed to the myth of the undestroyable Mercedes, still today (!) serving as taxis all over the world - keep in mind the newest sedans now are 14 years old!
W123 - The "Mercy Tiger"
If you read the "Cars for Sale" Classifieds in an Indonesian newspaper, when you see some "Mercy Tiger" for sale, don't be alarmed that the Indonesians use the merciful tiger for their transportation needs, but rather it`s a local translation for the faithful Mercedes-Benz W123-series.
The reason it was affectionately called that name is that because when that series was popular in Indonesia, people started calling this car as a "Manis" = sweet (looking), "Cantik" = pretty. And because the Indonesian are known for their love to abbreviate anything the two terms were merged to "Macan".
And because "Macan" is an informal (Javanese?) word for "Tiger", hence the name. "Mercy" is just the way Mercedes-Benz name is both abbreviated and called over there.
In another name twisting, when the W123`s replacement arrived, the successor W124 was called inappropriately as "Baby Benz", even though the "Baby Benz" was supposed to be the name for W201 (190 series). I am not sure about the reason, but I guess it was because 190 E series was never officially imported or assembled in Indonesia. At the time, the W124-series was the only Mercedes-Benz sedan
that was imported to Indonesia as a CKD car: The car was completey knocked down and then all the parts re-assembled to a complete car, to satisfy the local content requirement at the time, and thus probably avoiding the extremely high import taxes for ready-to-use cars.
I heard that the W124 replacement, the current E-Class W210 was marketed as "New eyes" Benz or in local speak, called "Mata kucing" = cat eyes. I can't confirm if this is true, I just heard it from a friend.
So, there you have it, animal`s designations from tiger to cat are used to name the E-Series Mercedes-Benz in Indonesia in the past twenty years or so.
End of article written by Alex A.
In Germany the W123 has no particular name, but as the non-280`s had four round headlamps (see the photo of the sedan on top of the page) these pre-modelyear 1983 car`s headlights are called "Ochsenaugen", or "ox eyes" in English; the modelyear 1983 and newer non-280`s headlights are called "Breitbandscheinwerfer", that`s "broadband headlamps" (see right and left photo on top of this page).
Also Alex A. thankfully has sent me a link to a W123 from
Here you can easily see that with right hand drive W123`s the battery is located on the other side of the engine compartment - a funny look for LHD W123 drivers!
As an appetizer for my - at the end of this year to come - "W123 Specialties" page here`s a photo of a W123 version you will find nowhere else on the whole internet - guaranteed!
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