Mercedes W123 Profile

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Mercedes W123 General Information

Mercedes is a company whose attitude wouldn't really fit into the WRC, although to give them credit, like Peugeot, Citroen and Ford they fancied for a long time the long distance route and had some considerable successes at it. But the 280E was never their main project, so please read more about Mercedes' WRC attitude in the 450SLC datasheet.

In fact it was the UK Mercedes importer who got it all sparked. Mercedes UK was impressed by the advertising effect Hillman got out of their 1968 London-Sydney Rally victory and when the event was run again in 1977, they wanted to be part of the party. They even invited Hillman's winning driver line up in Andrew Cowan and Colin Malkin, the car was a 280E "ULL 772R" and they duly won the event. Although with works support, it was a British team, but this success called Mercedes onto the plan.

However Mercedes tried other cars as well, even though the 280E was Mercedes' first works car in the WRC, it soon was outrun by the 450SLC and the 280E was never more than a support entry. Strangely it was the Rally Argentina 1978 where they tried the bigger 450SLC and here it clearly beat the 280E. Maybe disappointment at the 1978 Safari with a 4-car 280E entry supported this somewhat strange decision (because the 450SLC was much heavier). Nevertheless, Mercedes could never quite let go of the 280E idea. Even when the 450SLC program was nearing its end, we still find W123s, now in its lighter Coupé version 280CE, in a support role.

Generally, and this time I don't think it is only me, the W123 cars were some of the most classic Mercedes' ever. It followed the /8 cars and was the direct predecessor to the E-Class. Design was really, really characterful, the London-Sydney with the huge aluminium bumpers a massive success, and even though the best WRC result was 4th on Safari 1979, this must be one of the most classic marathon rally cars as well as road cars ever.

Mercedes W123 Related Content

Mercedes W123 Evolutions

Model & Evo. (Activity)
Mercedes W123 280CE (80-82) 230/6000 255/5500 4640.1786.1395 1320 (6.75) RWD (2710)
Mercedes W123 280E (78-79) 218/6000 255/5500 4725.1786.1438 1365 (6.3) RWD (2795)
Mercedes W123 300D (78-79) 110/4000 195/2400 4725.1786.1438 1365 (12.4) RWD (2795)

Random Mercedes W123 Photos

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Mercedes W123 Results

This is an unofficial Car Results list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego hh:mm:ss
11th. 1980 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo I. Carlsson C. Billstam #31 [UNKNOWN] 9:25:08
18th. 1980 WRC Rallye Monte Carlo H. Bohne A. Ahrens #21 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
11th. 1979 WRC Safari Rally J. Singh D. Doig #2 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
4th. 1979 WRC Safari Rally A. Cowan J. Syer #16 [UNKNOWN] 7:36:00
31st. 1979 WRC Rally of Finland K. Hämäläinen M. Lammi #12 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00
6th. 1978 WRC Safari Rally S. Zasada B. Krupa #18 [UNKNOWN] 15:30:00
40th. 1978 WRC Rally of Finland M. Oksala . UNKNOWN #53 [UNKNOWN] 0:00:00

Mercedes W123 Retirements

This is an unofficial Car Model Retirements list and may be incomplete.

Pos Event Driver Co-Driver # Rego Reason
Ret. 1980 WRC Rally New Zealand I. Carlsson C. Billstam #16 [UNKNOWN] SS18 crash
Ret. 1980 WRC Rally Argentina A. Cowan K. Kaiser #6 [UNKNOWN] SS7 engine
Ret. 1980 WRC Acropolis Rally I. Carlsson C. Billstam #27 [UNKNOWN] SS49 fire
Ret. 1979 WRC Safari Rally S. Zasada B. Krupa #19 [UNKNOWN] SS52 differential
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally T. Fowkes K. Kaiser #12 [UNKNOWN] SS99 suspension
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally J. Singh D. Doig #2 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine
Ret. 1978 WRC Safari Rally A. Cowan J. Syer #9 [UNKNOWN] SS99 engine