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1981 Mercedes-Benz (S123) 280TE



This 1981 Mercedes-Benz (S123) 280TE is an Australian-delivered example presenting in a period colour combination. Under the bonnet is a 2.8-litre inline six-cylinder petrol engine which sends 136kW (182hp) to the rear wheels. The powertrain features a four-speed automatic transmission which allows this wagon to run from zero to 100km/h in 9.9 seconds and on to a 200km/h top speed. This example currently shows 306,088km on its odometer.



The W123 generation of Mercedes-Benz is a high watermark for the brand and is arguably the model that earned Mercedes-Benz its reputation for reliability, build quality, and longevity. Wagons (designated as S123) are becoming sought-after in particular thanks to the old school station wagon design and the practicality afforded by the versatile configuration of the cabin allowing up to 2.8m length of flat load area. Part of the W123’s allure is its relatively simple serviceability. The estate cars were the choice of the W123’s and of those the 280TE, being rarest and most powerful variant, became the car to have by celebrities and dignitaries – with John Lennon and Barry Gibb amongst the celebrity 280TE owners. Whilst there were more than two million W123s built, fewer than 20,000 280TE’s were made, with the vast majority being left hand drive. Very few 280TE’s were delivered new to Australia making this example, ordered in 1981 by Mr. Hugo Villegas, the Columbian Consul General in Double Bay, NSW, a rare find. The current owner purchased the vehicle as part of Mercedes-Benz TE collection and has used it sparingly over the past 9 months.



Finished in the period colour China Blue (934H), this S123 also features blue MB Tex interior trim, carpeting and the popular fold- away 7-Seater option. It is described as an original specification car without modification. It rides on a set of period-correct 14-inch Mercedes Bundt wheels which come wrapped in Sumitomo whitewall tyres. Other equipment listed as standard is the self-levelling suspension which needs attention. This car was optioned with Central locking and Air Conditioning – both in need of recommissioning.



The car starts without fail, drives and stops with usual Mercedes reliability. Recent history of the car is lacking, and the owner notes the car has not been used often for several years, with the current owner giving a full service recently. The beauty of W123 ownership is the reliability of the model and the abundance of parts at reasonable prices. Finding good trim / interior being the hardest to source, which is what makes this example such an attractive proposition to own, as the interior is in great condition for it’s age, and the body is particularly straight and solid.



As with many 123-generation Mercedes-Benzes, there are several external indicators of wear and tear over the course of its 40-year life. The China Blue paintwork does look presentable, though it is fading in a number of areas and displays some cracking in the bonnet and roof. Slight weathering of external rubber and chrome trim is identified, though seems commensurate with the car’s age and mileage. The body is mostly seen as straight, though a small dent and paint chips are seen on the bonnet and roof. This car has previously had some rust repair on the underside to non-structural sections, but other small points of rust are emerging in areas such as the bumpers. The alloy wheels do display signs of paint flaking.



The interior has fared relatively well over the course of 300,000km. Blue upholstery covering the seats and door trims looks to be in fine order, while the carpeting and trim looks to have held up well. The dash exhibits some cracking, though this is extremely common for cars of its era. The door jambs near the roof display some signs of rust. The two rear jump seats fold up inside the boot to provide seating for seven people in total.



All accompanying documentation will be supplied with this car. The personalised number plates currently registered to the vehicle are not included in the sale.



This listing is to the best of the sellers knowledge and is not misleading or deceptive in anyway. As per Trading Garage’s Terms and Conditions, although Trading Garage have completed the following checks, bidders must satisfy themselves to the accuracy of the description and do any research, they feel necessary before bidding. All listings are sold in Australian dollars. This vehicle is currently registered in NSW until 6/12/22 and there are no security interests registered on the PPSR against the serial number. 



Exterior Gallery (106)

Interior Gallery (139)

Mechanical and Documents Gallery (36)

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