This one has a mere 288,982 miles on the clock, which would be breathtaking for most early-1980s cars but nothing special for a diesel W123. Did its final owner break something costing more than a few hundred bucks to fix, resulting in that sad, final tow-truck ride? Or did it just accumulate a lot of parking tickets, so many that its final owner couldn't afford to bail it out?
Under the hood is the OM616 four-cylinder diesel engine. Horsepower was rated at 67, which made for a 3,020-pound car that required a great deal of driver patience when entering freeways and leaving stoplights. Yes, 67 horsepower in an E-Class. It was a different time.
In spite of the bombardment of decades of harsh Colorado sunlight and close to 300,000 miles of driving, the MB-Tex upholstery inside looks just about as good as new. This stuff will last longer than the Great Pyramids.
You could buy a semi-sporty, kinda-flashy Benz in 1982, but you bought the 240D because you knew it would last four times as long as sedans costing a third as much. This not-particularly-luxurious machine listed at $23,158 new (that's around 58 grand in inflation-adjusted 2016 dollars), in a year in which a new Dodge Diplomat with more power had an MSRP of $7,750. A new Cadillac Sedan DeVille was just $15,699 that year.
When you drove a 240D, you told the world that you cared about value. This one has reached its final chapter, but it provided a lot of value for that $23,158 during its 34 years on the planet.