1970s / 1980s / Driven daily / German / Mercedes-Benz

Driven daily: Mercedes-Benz 300D (w123)

driven-daily-mercedes-w123-300d-1We photographed this early Mercedes-Benz 300D in downtown Geneva, Switzerland, where it’s more common to see a late-model Mercedes with an AMG badge on the trunk lid than a slightly worn diesel-burning sedan built in the late 1970s.

In addition to being finished in an uncommon shade called Icon Gold (paint code 419), this 300D is noteworthy because it is equipped with a shifter mounted on the steering column, an very rare no-cost option that was mostly ordered by taxi drivers.  As far as we can tell the column-mounted shifter was never offered in the United States, where w123s equipped with an automatic transmission had the shifter more conveniently located in between the front seats.

We were not able to tell how many miles were on this car but it is certainly not a garage queen. It wears the typical dings and dents that come with living in a major city and the usual rust spots that are inevitable in a country with harsh winters and salty roads.

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