Collecting Cars

1985 MERCEDES-BENZ (W123) 280 CE

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This Mercedes-Benz 280 CE is a remarkably smart example of a sophisticated and famously well-built modern classic. Under the bonnet is a 2.7-litre DOHC straight-six, producing around 182bhp, coupled to a four-speed automatic transmission. The odometer shows just 59,984 miles.

First registered on 4 March 1985, this 280 CE has six previous keepers on the log book, and has been owned by the vendor for the last year. It was specified in Anthracite Grey metallic paint, with the seats trimmed in beige leather, along with an electric sliding sunroof, electric windows, a Becker Mexico stereo, and rear headrests.

Today, its body panels and paintwork are reported to be in excellent condition, and the finish is believed to be original. A close inspection of the photos below shows this to be an extremely well-presented example, with all of the light lenses and chrome trim also in very good order. It rides on a set of original 14-inch ‘Baroque’ alloy wheels, which look superb, with only a few minor blemishes in the silver finish.

Inside, this Mercedes-Benz looks every inch the plush and stylish grand tourer, with its comfortable seats upholstered in smart beige leather, which is still in great shape. There are some small marks and creases around the driver’s outer bolster area in particular, but overall the condition fully supports the low indicated mileage. The Zebrano wood inlays present well, as does the rest of the dashboard and centre console trim, and all of the switchgear works as it should. It remains original and unmodified, with even the Becker Mexico stereo still in place.

The last scheduled maintenance was in December 2020 at 59,984 miles, which comprised an engine oil and filter service, a new air filter, fuel filter, and a fresh set of spark plugs. While the MOT history shows the car was in regular but low-mileage use from 2006 to 2014, the maintenance during this period is not known. The last services prior to this were recorded in May 2004 at 51,745 miles, and in January 1998 at 45,459 miles.

The vendor has stated that the car will come with a fresh 12-month MOT certificate upon handover, but the last test on record took place on 4 July 2019 at 59,968 miles. This resulted in a first-time pass with no advisories or defects noted. The tyres are all reported to have around 6mm of tread, though there are showing some slight cracking from age.

Accompanied this 280 CE is a service book with 12 stamps, the original owner’s manual, and a number of old maintenance invoices and MOT certificates.

Today, this generation of Mercedes-Benz is renowned as being a particularly robust machine. Writing about the model in Classic & Sports Car magazine, Martin Buckley said: “To own a W123 is to make an investment in safety, reliability and superb build quality, secure in the knowledge that you’re driving a product of the largest research and development budget in the world, from a firm that was at the top of its game”.

This particular Mercedes-Benz 280 CE is a superb example of a sought-after breed, with a cosmetic and mechanical condition that sets it apart from countless other classic coupes. It would make a fine addition to any collection, and is of course a delight to drive on the road.

The description of this auction lot is, to the best of the seller's knowledge, accurate and not misleading. Collecting Cars requests a range of detail about the lot from the seller, and performs a level of due diligence through HPI checks and MOT history where available. However, bidders must satisfy themselves as to the accuracy of the description, and conduct any research they feel is necessary before committing to a bid. Please see our Terms and Conditions for full details.

All UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Collecting Cars are run through an online HPI check. This vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft, and has no finance owing.

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