This 1980 Mercedes 230 E is for sale on Craigslist in the Washington D.C. area for $14,500. It caught our eye… for obvious reasons, that fabulous Inca Red Metallic paint. W123 sedans are often finished in eccentric colors of the 1970s and this car is no exception. A good W123 in a funky color is a car every self respecting vintage Mercedes enthusiast should own at some point.
What makes this particular car extra special is the fact that it’s a Grey Market, European spec car with a 4 speed manual transmission. The 4 cylinder, fuel injected (gas) 230 E was rated at 134 horsepower and was never offered for sale in the United States. They were produced for the European and ROW markets from 1980 – 1985.
In the CL ad the owner explains that the car was imported to the U.S. by the original owner and that it resided with that original owner in Oregon until he purchased it. He reports that he drove it across the country from Oregon to Washington D.C. without incident and has owned it since. He mentions the car has 97,000 original miles, but makes no mention of whether he’s converting Kilometers to miles or if the car has had its gauge cluster changed.
The interior is trimmed in typical Euro spec fashion with a combination of cloth upholstery with MB tex seat bolsters (the seller states, incorrectly, that it’s cloth and leather). Not unusual with Euro spec cars, this car does not have air conditioning. The seller states that the original European headlights are in excellent condition. There are no tears or cracks in the upholstery or dash and the car still retains its original radio.
The car comes with some service records and original books and manuals. Recent service includes new tires in September 2020 and an oil change and transmission fluid flush in February of 2021.
The seller’s asking price of “$14,500 OBO” is aggressive for a 4 cylinder W123. Unfortunately, only 6 mediocre photos accompany the listing, and just one of the exterior. To make buying this car even more difficult, the seller has only provided and email address for contact, no phone number. Hopefully, the interesting color and manual transmission will motivate some potential buyers to inquire.