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  #1  
Old 02-23-2007, 10:21 AM
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1978 230c 4 SPEED MANUAL -- is this unusual?

I would post a link to the craiglist ad but do not know how to do that.

Car is in Columbus, Ohio and I eyeballed it this AM. No one around so I could not drive it. I showed up expecting to find a 114 car but this is a 123 coupe advertised as "rare european 4 speed, 4 cylinder." Don't think I've ever seen one of these before.

It does have euro lights and bumpers. RF headlamp lens has a stone ding in it. Electric window lifts and it looks like American climate controls though. Has been repainted (deep blue) and the clear coat has a minor run here and there and a small bubble/flake on the roof. Interior was very clean, wood looked good. Car was locked did not get in it or pop the hood. Trunk was clean and dry -- had the triangle but did not see a tool kit. Odo reads 164xxx. Seller (dealer) reports that "2 of the windows don't work" and sunroof runs slow. Didn't see any obvious bondo or body repairs, do not think the paint job is brand new but hard to tell since it had a bit of frost on it. LF jackpoint was moderately suspicious for rust but other three looked OK.

Listed at $5500. Is this really a euro? and, a 123 with a 4 cylinder? Which engine would that be?

Thanx for info. Could check it further if someone here is interested. price seems a bit high to me but I do not even know what this is
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W108M117(1972) repaired after deer hit
W124M103(1987)
W124M103(1989) -- sold to son's friend
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W124M103(1987 -- 5 speed Euro) - sold to forum member
W124M103(1989) -- TE
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2007, 03:09 PM
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yep, that's a euro. And if it's rusty, it's not worth anything like what they're asking. Think of it as a 280C (or 280CE if fuel injected) and then drop the price 15%. It's essentially the same 4 cylinder motor as a 190E 2.3 but with some better efficiencies.

As for rarity, chicken pox is also rare. Nobody pays extra for it. Obscure is a better term.

-CTH
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  #3  
Old 02-23-2007, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cth350 View Post
As for rarity, chicken pox is also rare. Nobody pays extra for it. Obscure is a better term.
ha-ha, I learned this when I marketed our cherry '65 Mustang as having the "rare" bench seat. Old car dealer says to me "it's rare because nobody wanted it!"

Thanks for the info.
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W108M117(1972) repaired after deer hit
W124M103(1987)
W124M103(1989) -- sold to son's friend
W124M119(1993) --
W124M103(1987 -- 5 speed Euro) - sold to forum member
W124M103(1989) -- TE
W123OM616(1977)
W201M103(1990) parts car
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  #4  
Old 02-23-2007, 06:38 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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i would say that is the old four cylinder version of the old 350 six, not the same as the newer style engines in the 190.

nothing wrong with that though. they are simple and rugged. i would price it as a 300cd but maybe 30% less for the small engine. the stick should make it a pleasant but not too fast car to drive.

it is all a matter of conditon. if it is pristine it might be worth something like that asking price but if any rust lurking it is not worth much.

the coupes are very nice looking and drive very nice but body parts for the center of the car are rare and expensive.

good luck

tom w
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2007, 11:04 AM
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This car was recently on eBay and bidding reached about what it is probably worth.

Very nicely equipped for a euro (do I spy heated seats?) and doesn't look all that bad, but a carburated M115 is about the least desirable engine of the era (the Solex-equipped US-spec M110 is worse), which, coupled with the fact that no one on this side of the pond even knows what it is will keep the price way down.

Might be worth a gamble if it seems okay under closer scrutiny and the price is cut in half. And the bumpers, burlwood, and euro/coupe-specific trim pieces are worth much more than the car as a whole.

Tom
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2007, 11:12 AM
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wow, tom, you're good!

that is indeed the car, and I didn't even see the dent on the pasenger door!
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W108M117(1972) repaired after deer hit
W124M103(1987)
W124M103(1989) -- sold to son's friend
W124M119(1993) --
W124M103(1987 -- 5 speed Euro) - sold to forum member
W124M103(1989) -- TE
W123OM616(1977)
W201M103(1990) parts car
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  #8  
Old 02-24-2007, 01:02 PM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t walgamuth View Post
I would price it as a 300cd but maybe 30% less for the small engine.
Personally I'd appraise at/or higher than the 300CD on account of the 4-spd drivetrain alone. Meanwhile being already set up as gasoline fuelie, can easily accomodate wide variety of engine upgrades including the M110 hotrod twincam 6, turbo-diesel 5 cyl, even the humble 240D M616 will probly bolt right onto the bell housing and slide right into the engine bay.

Of course at 165k miles on this 230CE there are a few nagging questions that need to be answered:

1) Valve job/head work thats generally mandatory at/near this mileage?
2) Timing chain stretch or has the chain already been replaced?
3) Ball joint suspension, how are the control arms?
4) Original clutch disc and pressure plate?

And finally how sloppy is the repaint? And what's the ownership/maintenance history of this vehicle?

Kip, maybe you wanna to go back there and see what kinda deal you can work out against your 124. Strikes me this 230CE aint goin nowhere but up in value as uncommon classic/vintage MB daily driver over the years ahead. Although the usual caution is to be advized when negotiating with used car dealership sales..... masters of deception at hiding massive mechanical problems like cracked cylinder head that was common among early generation w115 body style 4cyl 230's.

But actually what they're selling here is sunroof 123 coupe w/4-spd drivetrain unless the dealership can proove the engine has been well maintained over the years. And yeah head work/timing chain is the usually done at/below 150k miles on gasoline 6's and 4's. Of course ditching automobile service records is the first thing used car lots do, and they will never tell you exactly who owned vehicle before it was traded in. But maybe running the vin# through MB will at least tell you the last time it was professionally serviced by them. And CarFax will tell you how many owners it's had.

Last edited by 300SDog; 02-24-2007 at 01:43 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-24-2007, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240Dog View Post
Kip, maybe you wanna to go back there and see what kinda deal you can work out against your 124. Strikes me this 230CE aint goin nowhere but up in value as uncommon classic/vintage MB daily driver over the years ahead. Although the usual caution is to be advized when negotiating with used car dealership sales..... masters of deception at hiding massive mechanical problems like cracked cylinder head that was common among early generation w115 body style 4cyl 230's.
The thing about this car, though, is that it is NOT a 230CE M102, which is a hugely desirable car. Rather, this is a 230C with the exact same M115 and Stromberg carb that was used in the W115 cars, hence my jaundiced opinion of what it is worth.

It is interesting, unusual, and full of rare parts, however, and might make a nice driver if it checks out mechanically, but it will never be worth as much as a car with a better engine and fuel injection. If this car doesn't check out mechanically and can be acquired for a decent price, think of it as a donor car for the most awesome 300CD in the world.

Tom
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  #10  
Old 02-24-2007, 06:08 PM
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gimme a low-tech 240D
 
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Thanks Tom, I didnt wait long enough with the ebay listing to see the pics and assumed it had the later version 230E instead of the earlier 230 4cyl thats known as the head-cracker.

But for the ultimate 300CD wouldnt it be easier to just toss any old cheap and readily available M617 into this instead of piece mealing the 4-spd drivetrain & shifter linkage, clutch hydraulics, Euro final drive and misc fiddly bits into an existing comparble 123 coupe? Plus those are manual heat controls in that gnarly wood trim. Dunno anybody who's successfully upgraded the horrible ACC of the typical USA version 300CD with them.

The more i think about it, this car looks better'n better to me. Even given its got maybe the most troublesome MB engine from that era. And yeah, it's probly worth every penny of $2.5 or $3k.
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  #11  
Old 02-24-2007, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 240Dog View Post
But for the ultimate 300CD wouldnt it be easier to just toss any old cheap and readily available M617 into this instead of piece mealing the 4-spd drivetrain & shifter linkage, clutch hydraulics, Euro final drive and misc fiddly bits into an existing comparble 123 coupe? Plus those are manual heat controls in that gnarly wood trim. Dunno anybody who's successfully upgraded the horrible ACC of the typical USA version 300CD with them.
I thought about that, and guess it really comes down to which car has the better body. You're right, though, the hardest part would be converting an ACCII car to manual climate control. The auto->stick conversion is probably on par with the gas->diesel conversion in terms of difficulty. The parts will all bolt right up either way. This is all assuming that the bellhousing pattern on the M115 is the same as the OM617, but as we're entering the land of whims and dreams here, who cares? It sure would be a fun project!

Tom
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  #12  
Old 02-25-2007, 10:26 AM
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That engine was actually offered in the US in a 123 sedan in the late '70s, so you are not totally without Mercedes support. If you're willing to put up with some aggravation when you need parts or repair, you might venture $2500 for it. Anything more is money down the drain.

Members of this forum excluded, there are very few buyers for manual shift Mercedes' except in the roadster world. And almost no one wants to mess with a gray market car.

It looks like a recent repaint which almost certainly included rust repair. I had a 280e like that and within a year of daily driving both rear wheel arches "bloomed" with rust.

Good luck.
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  #13  
Old 03-02-2007, 11:49 PM
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Amazing !

Just last thursday I looked at a Canadian W-123 230CE , it was a 1984 model with A.B.S. and had been federalized and had compliance stickers from California on it .

Automatic and he said it shifted really hard .

It ran O.K. and only the lights & wipers worked , all the rest of the electrics were dead horn,windows , sun roof , heater AC & radio etc.)

The seller came down to $1,200.00 right away .

It was the same color and also had new paint (cheap) and a light blue , bagged original cloth interior .

I prolly shoulda bought it but it ran poorly @ idle (CIS) and I was concerned it would be too slow for the L.A. freeways .

My Persian mechanic buddy who _hates_ German cars , heard of it to-day and says I shoulda bought it .
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