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The Mercedes W123 is a car you buy if you enjoy the nagging suspicion that everything, including the bits you can’t see, has been screwed together properly. It’s also the car you buy if you enjoy the nagging suspicion that you’re James May.

Yep, this is one of James’ favourite cars in the history of ever: “the W123 E-class is a superbly well-made artefact on a par with some cathedrals…” And that intense, German sort of obsession with permanence tends to attract owners that buy a car for life, which explains why most have similar odometer readings to Space Shuttle Atlantis.

It also explains why the car pictured is so ruddy special. Unlike most diesel-engined W123 saloons - a combination hardy enough to outlast religion, and Jeremy Clarkson - this example has 80km on the clock. Gott in himmel…

The seller claims that the car’s sole owner was a taxi driver with a 250,000-mile 300D. When he found out that Mercedes was replacing the W123 with the W124 he ordered himself a last-of-the-line model W123 in taxi specification to use when his high-miler went bang.

But the 250k W123 didn’t go bang. The owner, now in his eighties and too old to drive, has decided to sell his perfectly preserved taxi, which as just 49.7 miles on the clock.

And what price for such an unusual kink in the Mercedes continuum? £30,046. Which is £921 more expensive than a brand spanking 200 CDI Blue Efficiency…

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Reckon it’s worth the money - and trip to Hamburg - TopGear.commers?

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