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Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number

Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number
ER Classics Desktop 2022

When you get behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz 240 D (W123), you know it. A beautiful ride awaits you, where you can enjoy quality and comfort undisturbed. A while ago - as part of an extensive report - we drove a piece with a copy from 1977. So an early one, and the pleasure was great.

Without revealing too much: nowadays there are wonderful opportunities to drive such an old diesel classic sustainably. We will discuss this in detail in AMK issue 6-2022. And we do that in the background of this Benz, of which the owner sets a good example in several respects. But we already said it: we won't reveal more, as long as you have no idea yet which way the story is going.

For multiple lives built

We do take you on a tour of this classic, which with its indestructible and beautifully running OM616 D24 engine shows in everything why these engines and these cars had eternal life with a little bit of love. The construction of such an old-school Öl engine with Vorkammer injection is robust. The line pump injection is provided by an installation that already seems larger than a downsize block of a contemporary turbo beetle. Durability and reliability above all, and the diesel thing under the hood alone shows that Mercedes-Benz used to build cars for life. And for a second, third and eighth life.


Of course. A Mercedes-Benz from this series could eventually rust quite a bit, and also in several places. This certainly applied to copies from earlier construction years. But basically this series is incredibly robust, and with a little maintenance you can enjoy it for a long time to come. Das Haus also continued that line within the ergonomically excellent interior of this copy from the actually last chrome Mercedes series. The high-quality materials make it pleasant on board, without you being completely overwhelmed by the higher echelon that the decoration radiates. Let's put it this way: padding and padding were capitalized by the manufacturer from Baden-Württemberg. Mercedes-Benz also understood the art of communicating the quality standard in a natural way. And that goes for everything. Whether you grab a lever, pull out the pull button on the dashboard during the starting protocol, steer (powered), shift or brake: everything works equally solid. No secret for you of course, but we would like to mention it again.

Balanced chassis

The chassis is masterful. At the front, it is inspired by that of the W116 series. And at the back you will find the Diagonal-Pendelachse that already debuted on the predecessor series of the Baureihe 123 (Strich-Acht or 114/115). The conspiracy behaves in a balanced way, the smooth spring movements and the dead-straight course stability ensure an extremely stable and comfortable ride. In combination with the quiet diesel engine and the very comfortable seats, this ensures a pleasant driving experience, especially if you have the hallway in it. That will take some time though. The intermediate acceleration is doable with the 240 D, from zero to a hundred, however, you achieve old-fashioned diesel values. You can live with it, but in a busy traffic situation it is important to anticipate. But once on course and on pace, the unmistakable and relaxed qualities of this Mercedes-Benz version come to the fore very nicely.

Old-fashioned acceleration values

There is much more that comes up. In everything this Mercedes-Benz generation had a patent on absolute harmony. In terms of dimensions, in terms of design balance: nowhere was a stroke missing in the design of the 123 series. It is not without reason that this Benz was a huge hit immediately after launch, and waiting times sometimes reached astronomical heights. And in combination with the 2404 cc diesel engine, this Mercedes-Benz proved its added value compared to the smaller diesel brothers. Certainly in his time he was very representative and he was easy to deploy.

Also now to drive responsibly

Even today it still works, but as said: with a little anticipation. For the rest, it is a wonderfully relaxing and oh so easy to drive classic that can last for years to come. And which can also be driven responsibly with today's technical solutions. What do we mean by that? As said: hold on to that for a while, you will read that in AMK 6-2022. But that we are fans of these great cars, well, we can no longer keep that to ourselves. As far as that was already a secret.

Many thanks to Cor Dijkstra

Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number
Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number
Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number
Mercedes-Benz 240 D. Driving with a historic success number


Give a reaction
  1. At The Hague Police they had the 200D with 2200cc engine. Indestructible, safe but incredibly slow. And then some were also armored, not to burn forward. But comfortable cars.

  2. I have driven a 230 (77) 60.000 Km and only Hfls. 2.500,00 depreciation and a 280(79) until the counter was 6 after 289.788 years. Here the depreciation was Hfls 45.000,00
    All in all not bad values. And also had little maintenance during use. Perfect cars. Suspect that writer Bert Ooms does not set the cars up to temp. drove and then you get those kinds of repairs.

  3. What a K cars these were, rusting like crazy, under that thick tectile plastic layer, engine overhaul done 2x because the front chambers exploded after 100000 km, so the engine fell apart again, you had to replace those front chambers with 100000 km, an old taxi told me driver but not mercedes itself, no with my 1979 300 you just ran into it, in 1981-82 they changed that but don't say anything, and those seats, pain in your back then just put an ASR seat in it, stop talking about that indestructible Mercedes diesels, the later 300 turbo diesel 1988 was the same, update mid 1992 and yes I have driven both models for 500000 km so I have experience, still with Mercedes again, now V8 petrol they are strong but those diesels .....

    • Guys, what an asshole. I drove a 300d W123 on Madeira. 1.780.000 km on the odometer, yes, you read that right… 1.780.000 km!!! Still with the original engine. What other car can do this? The only competitor came from France. I had one of those too, you could hear it rusting while looking at it. It was that great… And do you want to brag with your V8? I have that too, but then give me that V12 that is even more masterful… But yes, you will probably comment on that too. Have a nice day.

  4. They ride well, feel like a tank in the pleasant way, they are quiet and ooze grandeur. And that fantastic engine? Well, don't worry about it, because that normally provided half a million kilometers of trouble-free driving pleasure, if the brown plague hadn't made the bodywork crispy and consumed it for a long time in the meantime. And unfortunately that often happened for such an illustrious car, sob…!

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