Grandfather used to drive it, and today young people work on it: the Mercedes 124 is especially popular as a station wagon. A mid-range station wagon populates trendy neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg and is becoming more and more expensive. why?
Kai Clauder, Andreas of Alinger
Timeless design, solid workmanship, incredibly practical, a little discreet – if the company’s catalog also offers cars, then it could be the Mercedes W 124. In Berlin and Hamburg, T models are found mainly on the streets of hip neighborhoods, and at meetings often Drivers of well-kept limousines are much younger than their cars. The top eight-cylinder 500E that Porsche makes has long been in the hands of collectors, as have the elegant four-seater convertible. The Mercedes-Benz W-124 Club is pleased with the interest: “It is good to see that more and more young people are enjoying this series.”
But what makes the Mercedes-Benz mid-size series a desirable classic? Maybe because it’s “the last real Mercedes-Benz” in a long line of “the last real Mercedes-Benz”? Far from philosophical, there are very practical reasons that speak of the 124 Mercedes. Some of them may also be nostalgic – but that’s exactly why some kids in the ’80s and ’90s bought them.
car to install
The W 124 is “the perfect car for a screwdriver”. Anyone who repairs their own car appreciates uncomplicated access to all units. Above all, the two-valve models M102 (four cylinder) and M103 (six cylinder) are powerful and controllable even for those who work at home. The phrase “The W 124 Practically Never Breaks” may seem like an exaggeration, but there is one thing: the technology is robust and there are signs of flaws. Also, most of what is on the W124 can be easily fixed.
car to drive
Sit and Drive works hardly with any car as well as with the W124. The body is clear, the few keys in the angular center console are self-explanatory and the rounded instruments are crystal clear. Compared to modern cars, it’s amazing how comfortable the W124 is with its high-walled tire rolls and how reassuring a cockpit without a screen can be. By the way, with a length of 4.77 meters and a turning circle of 11.3 meters, even the station wagon is not so massive for a city.
car to ship
Even sedans and coupes are easily enough for four people and their luggage. It even improves with the station wagon “T-Limousine”: with a capacity of 530 to 1770 liters of luggage and a towing capacity of 2.1 tons, it can also handle larger pieces of luggage.
car to live in
The early years of the W124 have always had an H license plate, so it’s officially outdated. However, the safety offered by a Benz in the 1980s is much higher than what might be expected from a classic car: it starts with safe handling and doesn’t end with ABS, which has been standard since 1989. Since 1992, a driver’s airbag has been standard through to later models equipped with an airbag. Passenger standard (from 1995) not too far from the H license plate.
Causes of nostalgia
The last real Mercedes
The change from the W123 to its successor to loyal Mercedes customers was certainly a good change: gray plastic instead of chrome, thematically formed by the wind tunnel rather than the classic curves. But Mercedes knew its customers and offered the usual colors and patterns: there was a velor like the W123, as well as a portion of the usual color selection. Smokey Silver / Cream is one of the milder combinations. Subsequently, buyers were able to skillfully give the W124 a fashionable paint layer with Almandine, Beryl or Burnett.By the way, the display certainly belongs to the last real Benz: the needle that shows the oil pressure in the bar. None of the following electronic classes have an oil pressure gauge.
Mercedes built 2.058 million Sedelfingen cars and 340,503 station wagons in Bremen. There were also 141,498 coupes, 33,952 cabriolets and 2,342 long-wheelbase sedans. 2.5 million good cars in 13 years – someone in every family will drive a W124 at some point – even if it’s a taxi.
The Mercedes W124 Club “repeatedly receives orders for station wagons, which unfortunately are becoming increasingly rare.” As the series’ working horses, Model T were “driven until they fell apart.” Good cars have become more expensive in recent years. Coupe development wasn’t quite as strong – sedans usually gain in value with less power anyway.
Market watcher Classic-Analytics confirms the significant increase in the value of station wagons in the past and continues to assume a positive development of value – which will not be as strong as in the past. In the past, the increase in value has been strongest for the top 500E and for convertibles.
W 124 . schedule
|Mercedes-Benz W 124 الزمني Chronology|
|1984||Sales start December 8th. Initially, the W 124 was only available as a sedan, with coupe and estate versions of the W 123 remaining on offer until 1985. A drag coefficient of 0.30 is one of the details of the revolutionary W 124.|
|1985||The station wagon and 4-Matic all-wheel drive version debuted at the Frankfurt Motor Show — the four-wheel drive cost about 15,000 extra marks when it went into series production in 1987 and sent as much as 35 percent of the power to the front wheels.|
|1986||Regulated catalytic converter as standard on all gasoline engines as of September.|
|1987||The premiere of the coupe based on the recipe of the predecessor: a shorter wheelbase, fully retractable side windows, a much higher price tag. The coupe is only available in 230 and 300m. At the IAA in the fall, Mercedes is offering turbo diesel versions of the 250 and 300.|
|1988||The 200 is also available in Germany as an injection engine (118 instead of 105 hp), previously reserved for the Italian market.|
|1989||The second series of the fall: hard plastic panels on the wings (“Sako-panels”, already known from the coupe and 190 types), wheel rims with chrome rims, tighter seats, new seat covers, more wood trim inside, ABS at no extra charge . The 300 E is also available as a four-valve engine called the 300 E-24 with 220 hp for an additional cost of 7,500 marks; The engine comes from the 129 SL series as an option. Mercedes offers the Sportline package, which includes a slightly lowered body, stiffer springs and dampers, wider rims with 205 tires, sport seats front and rear, a leather steering wheel and special badges.|
|1990||With the 200 (without the E), the last mid-range Mercedes with a carburetor engine disappeared from the range. The 250 D and 260 E both appear as an eight-seat saloon with an extended wheelbase (3600 mm). At the Paris Salon in October, Mercedes presented the 500 E with a 326-horsepower V8 engine. The 500 is assembled in small series at Porsche and costs 134.200 marks; Insiders recognize it by the modified front apron with small fog lights, standard 16-inch wheels and more flared wheel arches.|
|1991||The great success of the 500 E allowed Mercedes to follow the 400 E with a 4.2-liter engine and 279 hp. The 400 E is assembled in Sindelfingen, stands on 15-inch wheels (16-inch brakes and older from March 1993) and costs 92,000 marks. Initially, it was only available for export; Domestic sales didn’t begin until the fall of 1992. The W 124 Cabriolet four-seater was introduced at the 1991 IAA for the first time, with deliveries beginning in the spring of 1992: at first it was only available as a 300 CE-24.|
|1992||New four-valve engines: the 200 E now generates 136 hp, the 230 E is replaced by 150 hp 220 E, and the 300 E-24 is replaced by a more powerful 320 E engine (still 220 hp). The 280 E (197 hp) replaced the 260 E. The four-cylinder engine with manual transmission will also be available from autumn in five gears at no additional cost, and driver airbag is standard on all models.|
|1993||Another major face-lift: the successful model officially becomes the E-class, and the letter code precedes the type designation. The main highlights of the model are the new radiator grille (the “grille”), Sacco panels, body-colored fenders, white turn signals, white and gray taillights and a rear license plate with plastic cover (only for sedans and coupes). The E 250 D and E 300 D appear with new four-valve diesel engines. Production of the 500 E ends in July of that year.|
|1994||As of March: Passenger airbag, infrared remote control, immobilizer and power windows as standard.|
|1995||The last W 124 sedans will be built in June.|
|1996||The station wagon and coupe remained in the range until the spring of 1996. The coupe/cabriolet is also available as the E 200.|
|1997||The convertible will be available until mid-1997.|
|production balance||2,058,777 saloons, 340,503 station wagons, 141,498 coupes, 33,952 cabriolets, 2,342 long base sedan.|
One? I own several!
Never so boring!
Amazingly reasonable arguments speak of the Mercedes W124: it is solid, safe and practical. Great classics definitely look different. But with V8 and Porsche development genes like the 500E, four-seater open-air seats – or a quiet, soft-topped roof – or the elegant lines of a coupe, the mid-series is anything but mediocre. Is it not in fashion that what was bourgeois has become a trend?