We photographed this early-1980s Mercedes-Benz 240D (w123) in a self-service junkyard located in northern Utah. Several years ago, junkyards went through a regular diet of w123s and it wasn’t uncommon to find five or six of them in a yard at the same time, but they are becoming increasingly scarce as they get older and even the roughest examples are kept for parts by collectors.
At first glance, the 240D pictured below shows all the signs of a car that has been well-preserved over the past couple of decades. The MBTex-upholstered seats are protected by covers, all of the trim pieces are accounted for and nearly all of the original paperwork is scattered across what’s left of the interior.
Harsh Utah winters have visibly taken their toll on the body but most of the rust is superficial and the car is structurally sound. A sticker on the windshield indicates the junkyard purchased the 240D at an auction and the big dent on the passenger-side fender leads us to believe it was written off by an insurance company following a minor accident. The damage can be easily repaired by fitting a new fender but the owner likely decided the car’s time had come after logging over 381,000 miles (613,000 kilometers).
Although the 240D was brought in complete and presumably running, parts quickly disappeared after we took the photos, meaning bits and pieces of this car will continue to live on in other w123s.
The 240D was brought in complete (and presumably running) but parts quickly disappeared after we took the photos so bits and pieces of it will continue to live on in other w123s.