Introduced in 1976 the Mecedes Benz ’123″ Chassis replaced the tried and true but aging 114/115 Chassis. Designed in a wind tunnel and styled by Benz master Bruno Sacco the 123 Body would be a new sheet of paper for Mercedes Benz. In the USA in 1977 you could get your new 123 in three different ways. The gasoline powered 280E,CE. The 240D with a thrifty four cylinder diesel or a non-turbo five cylinder diesel called the 300D. The 300d was a good car but just a little turtle like when it came to a drag race.
By 1981 Mercedes would bring to the midsize 123 Body much needed diesel firepower with the 300D “Turbodiesel” Not that it was a 427 Vette but the Turbodiesel could scoot compared to it’s slug like counterpart. The heart of this German Oil Burner was the wonderful OM617 Turbo Diesel. The 5 cylinder diesel masterpiece was everything good about Mercedes in the 1980′s. Overbuilt, understressed, rugged, powerful and frugal the OM617 would last up to 500,000 miles with proper maintenance.
To makes things better was the automobile around it was damn good too. The 123 might look like a Berlin Taxi but it had independent supsension, four wheel disc brake and Mercedes granit construction. Look on any highway in the USA and you will still see these 30mpg oil burners running around. Having owned many of these I can say they were reliable, cheap to run, safe, spirited to drive, comfy and held their value due to cult like owner loyality. Why The Best Sedan?? No other sedan can offer you this much comfort, Benz quality, frugality and feeling of safety like the 1981-1985 Mercedes Benz 300D Turbodiesel. Besides all that it could even carry a Kayak and forge thru a snow storm with ease. What do you think?? Let us know..