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A wonderful Mercedes Benz E Class estate, from the era of legendary Mercedes build quality.

 

At a glance:
- Mercedes 230 TE 2.3 litre automatic estate.
- Original specification

- 5 Seat Version
- Optional Factory Extras: Air Conditioning, Sunroof, Cruise Control and ABS
- 121,769 miles
- MOT to November 2020

The Model:
These were magnificent cars from Mercedes-Benz; German over-engineering from the time when Mercedes-Benz built cars to the ultimate specification, rather than to a budget. The W124 E class, or TE estate in this instance, was a beautifully engineered and very expensive mid sized model. In its day was probably the best engineered car money could buy. The W124 models replaced the W123 models after 1984. Due to the high cost of German engineering and build quality, the W124 was designed to last hundreds of thousands of miles, with awards actually given and worn by high mileage versions. The R129 SL Roadster was also based on the W124 platform. Much of the 124's engineering and many of its features were advanced automotive technology at its introduction, incorporating innovations that have been adopted throughout the industry.

The history of this car:

 

The car was first registered in January 1989, and has had 8 owners spanning 28 years and 8 months years. The last registered keeper owned a vet’s practice and dearly loved this car, but due to travelling around the country, he admitted he had gone to ‘the dark side’ with a modern BMW 330D which he was struggling to enjoy as much as his old faithful Mercedes W124.

 

The specification:

This car is the 230 TE in rare and rather fetching metallic blue green “blaugrün” (paint code 877, used from 1979 to 1990), coupled with a grey cloth interior. The interior is in excellent condition for its age with no significant wear. The upholstery is in amazing condition for the age of the car, clean and virtually unmarked, with 4 original clean Mercedes floor mats protected by the original ‘indestructible’ Mercedes ribbed cord over-mats. This car has quite a few optional extras from new; fully working air conditioning (serviced in January 2017 and still cold), ABS brakes (an optional extra), smooth tilt/slide sunroof, 4 electric windows, electric mirror near side and a tow bar with working electrics (2 sockets). The central locking also works perfectly; on all doors and boot, which is rare for these 1980/90s vacuum operated systems. The car has Michelin energy tyres all round with two good spare tyres (on two spare wheels) plus original jack and first aid kit.

 

Availability:

According to online sources, there are only 209 of these 230TE models still taxed on UK roads, which means this car is increasingly rare and desirable.

 

Mileage:

This car has covered a low 121,769 miles (at time of writing) which seems commensurate with the minimal wear and good condition, indicated also by previous MOTs from every year between 2006 at 54,406 miles to 2017 at 114,881 miles. This is an average of roughly 4,300 miles per annum. I have seen these estates having covered over 300,000 miles, so this mileage is relatively low.

 

Service History:

Last service was in June 2017 but unfortunately the service history book was lost by a previous owner. Therefore regrettably there is no service history with the car. However the condition of the interior suggests that this is a car that has been cherished and cared for over the years. It is extremely rare to find w124s of this age with ice-cold air conditioning, smoothly operating sunroof and working central locking, which indicates that (despite an absence of service history) it must have been very well maintained by previous owners as these tend to be the main things which tend to be non-functioning on neglected cars.

 

The car will be serviced prior to collection by the new owner.

 

On the Road:
These cars drive exceptionally well, even after 28 years, which is testament to their superb build quality. The car starts swiftly without hesitation and cruises well, effortlessly wafting along to the muted burble from the engine. The automatic gearbox changes as expected and operates smoothly. The car has a very solid German feel and is very engaging to drive, whilst easily keeping up with modern traffic. The speedometer appears accurate and the car is capable of covering long journeys with ease. It’s a very pleasing experience driving a car of this quality on either short or long journeys. The steering is precise yet light and the view over the bonnet of the Mercedes badge above the chrome grille gives a great degree of satisfaction when wafting from A to B in style.

These modern classic estates are durable, practical, dependable and enjoyable. Great for families, dog walkers, or those wishing to move large objects from one place to another. These W124 estates do it all, and seemingly go on forever, like an old faithful family friend. The seats are comfortable and supportive, suspension is very smooth and the car is a joy to own and enjoy. These cars can be used for everyday commuting if required, or just for pleasure as a weekend treat - by being capable of either these cars are the best of both worlds.


Engine:
Original engine line-up spanned 2 litre, 2.3 litre, 2.8 litre and 3 litre, the four cylinder 230 probably has the best mix of economy and performance.

The engine and cooling system were flushed last January and the car has had two oil changes in the last 10,000 miles, according to the previous owner. It also had a new thermostat and spark plugs, has a good battery, fires up as expected and runs at the correct temperature with perfect oil pressure; (3 bars cold idle, 3 bars under acceleration/load and 2 bars on hot idle).

 

Transmission:

The gearbox is four speed switchable automatic. It changes gear smoothly and quietly and performs as it should.
 

MOT:

Sold with a recent MOT which runs until November 2020.
 

Condition:

As can be seen from the photographs the car is clean, tidy and well presented for its age.

It’s always difficult to express in words the condition of any car, and most people have differing opinions about condition, so the best way to get a true impression will be to view this lovely car in person.

I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this modern classic.

 

Pricing: 
The original price of these cars was eye wateringly high, largely due to the high build costs and the over engineering which built Mercedes reputation for quality.

These cars are appreciating in value from around a thousand pounds for an example requiring restoration, up to an astonishing £17,995 for a 30,000 mile mint example currently being offered for sale by a classic car dealer. A 1988 model with 192,116 miles recently sold at auction for £3,834.

The general value range for these cars in good, road worthy and presentable condition with sensible mileage and long MOT is normally £2,000 - £6,000 with immaculate showroom examples even higher. This car is offered to sell swiftly at a tempting £2650.

 

Conclusion:

This is really attractive ‘feel good’ modern classic, being practical, durable and hugely enjoyable. Prices are rapidly appreciating and the W124 Class is starting to rise in value as it predecessor the W123 model has done. There are fewer ‘good ones’ left, so this is a rare and exciting opportunity. These W124s aren’t quite as ‘classic looking’ and chrome laden as the W123, but they are better value for money and tend not to suffer with the same structural rust issues which can blight and limit the lifespan of the previous w123 model.

AUTOMATIC - 1989 - 2.3 LITRE FOUR CYLINDER - 121,769 MILES - SOLD

MERCEDES-BENZ 230TE

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