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The Mercedes Benz W124 series was the most successful car range in the company's entire history and today the 124 range is appreciated not only for it's design & engineering excellence but also for it's longevity & continued practicality. A total of 2,737,860 units of the 124 series were manufactured during just over 11 years in production, with 340,593 estates. Of these, only 18,368 were manufactured as E320 models (built from Sept 1992 to February 1996).
With this many cars produced, being vehicles that last so well, many are still in use today. Some have lived their entire lives as taxis covering huge mileages.
Many are still on used daily on roads around the world today, so virtually all parts remain available from MB and other pattern parts brands. Like it's predecessor the 123, this will be a car that remains well supported by MB for decades yet. Enthusiasm for these cars remains strong worldwide for all the right reasons. The last time we counted there were over 8 Benz communities online with a strong interest in 124's.
We ourselves have chosen W124's as our primary cars both in Japan & UK (Modified 300D Turbo & E500) and the reasons are simple. We understand these cars well and firmly believe that if properly looked after and maintained, can provide an excellent driving experience for ourselves & families for decades to come. Choosing a car that won't have to be replaced for 10-20 years is a wise choice and will save money in the end too, but finding such an example is easier said than done (& getting ever more difficult!), but finding the best cars is a typical challenge we are known for rising to.
Corrosion resistance is generally excellent, but examples that have been on UK roads all of their lives have usually been subject to 2 decades or more of annual winter salt, mud & sand as a layer that tends to build up over the years attaching itself to the underside, arches, exhaust, engine bay, etc. which often finds itself mixed with moisture resulting from use in typical weather in the UK. This mixture combined makes a great electrolytic substance which is the cause of rust & other problems associated with corrosion.
By contrast, in Japan cars don't corrode in the same was as in UK.
In Japan salt isn't used on plains areas, only in the higher altitudes (mountains areas, etc). where people rarely go during winter due to difficult driving conditions and so even there, salt is rare. Japan's roads are well drained and protected from debris falling onto them since there are frequent earthquakes and typhoon rains can also occur. This means mud, etc. isn't to be found on roads, unlike the UK and for this reason, this example is completely rust free. For someone wanting the very best example available, it'll be hard to beat this one.
The attention to detail & quality MB put into the final spec. W124 wagon's design should be an inspiration to car designers today. Unfortunately these 124's were so good owners didn't replace them, so MB had to reduce its quality and things begun to go downhill from the next E class models... This E320 Limited Wagon has been owned by a mature non-smoker who, judging by the car's amazing condition & Tokyo number plate(s), clearly appreciated the virtues of a W124. This is the final best performing spec. of 124 produced & this particular example has every option we've ever seen on a non-V8 W124.
Extensive list of equipment includes: Full grey leather incl. electric front seats with heating, electrically heated door mirrors with electric adjustment for both sides (w/ usual larger size reduced blind-spot passenger mirror), Electric sunroof, Cruise Control, electrically adjustable steering column, Dual temp. control A/C, Original option high power speaker system incl. front door woofers & rear door mounted speakers too (With a Kenwood CD/Radio fitted), Dual SRS Airbags for front seat occupants, Leather steering wheel with Mahogany wood to match the rest of the interior, Luggage net (Can be used with all rear seats folded too!), rear tonneau cover, split foldable rear seats, original option floor mats, remote central locking etc. The car smells good and (from the interior & exterior condition) has obviously been kept garaged and in a city all of its life when not in use.
Note the boot area's first aid kit, warning triangle, emergency torch and tool kit are complete & unused. Amazing for a car of this age! Doors shut as effortlessly as the day the car left the factory and sound like a high quality fridge closing - no rattles, just a reassuring solid thud. The boot lid has a soft-locking electro-magnetic mechanism and there's even a leather strap to help close it. Central locking is of course pneumatic.
Design: Many features demonstrate how much thought & attention went into the design of the 124's rear end to add usability. For example, the rear screen wiper operates automatically if the driver selects reverse when the front wipers are in use. There are more interior lights than the saloon too. Effective form & function to the smallest detail.
Having worked on many 124's over the years including our own, we see many design considerations that contribute to the overall integrity of these. Everything from how the bonnet can open & be locked into position completely upright, to the ease of ability to maintain & change parts, there's very little that goes wrong with these and that's testament to the integrity of the original design by MB.
Some owners of various MB's have said the 124 has what may be the best design of all for a Mercedes dashboard. It's elegance and ease of use, clear instrumentation with excellent lighting, quality of switches, cold air vent in the centre (helps avoid drowsiness in warm cabins), simple yet effective cruise control, speakers integrated invisibly by the A-pillars, simple A/C controls & illuminated vents. Visibility is excellent too and despite the headlights being Halogen filament type, they give excellent lighting and include pneumatic (as opposed to electronic!) headlight level adjustment. There are few electronics in these, which is largely why the 124 isn't known to have electrical problems not uncommonly experienced on later models. If an exterior bulb fails, an orange light on the dash will illuminate to warn the driver. This is controlled through a resistance sensor, again - not by un-necessary modern CANBUS data electronics that plague modern MB's not long after they run out of warranty. Mercedes felt the need to use electronics to switch on brake lights rather than a simple 12v circuit with thick wires, as a need to have OBD2 diagnosis, but these things have conspired to make physical wiring a lot thinner, which in turn can break, etc. You'd almost be forgiven for thinking they went this direction on purpose... !
The integrity of design of 124's included much attention to aerodynamics, but also especially with regard to sound insulation. The engine bay is separated from the interior by not just one, but 2 walls of steel. This insulates noise from the interior. Underneath the carpet there is thick foam molded into the contours of the reinforced floor and combined with high quality rubber seals that don't fail and large heavy duty rubber bushes & excellent suspension design all these combine to provide a quiet and relaxing ambience in which to travel. In our own 124 saloon here in Japan, we find ourselves arriving to a destination after a 7 hour drive - refreshed and not tired.
Interior Condition is excellent as pictures will show. Leather is in excellent shape, mats are in good condition and even the boot area looks as if it's barely been used. The wood veneers on the centre console are all in original condition with no cracking or delamination & door trim mahogany veneers are all without cracks too. All electric seat adjustments work perfectly & silently, incl. head rest height, etc.
The Leather is all in great condition and appears to have barely been sat on. These rear facing seat belts are neatly held out of the way when not in use. The rear folding seats appear to not have been used, but there's a slight mark in the centre section. This can be repaired in UK at small extra cost if desired, but it's so minor we feel it's better to leave as is. Note there's a stain on the rear luggage area and another on the o/s/r passenger floor mat. We've cleaned these as best as possible and although much better than before, marks are still visible. Please see pictures. We also noted the flip key's plastic casing is broken, meaning the key doesn't open as it should - so we'll order a new one. Note the instruments are in km/h only.
As an extra service, we'll be fitting a dual range (MPH & KM/H) speedometer face for the new owner.
Bodywork as pictures show is excellent. Paintwork is very well preserved and we note a lack of stone chips too (indicating this car's been driven slowly). There's a couple of small paint chips on the front o/s wing and these has been touched in with perfectly matched paint. Although visible if looking for these, they're too minor to warrant doing paintwork but mentioned to give a complete report. Note there are ZERO pin dents or any signs of body filler or accident repairs of any kind to be found on any of the bodywork. Amazing! Note that underneath there's no rust to be found on the chassis either. Compare this with a car that's been in Europe all it's life and be shocked as the difference!
Note this wagon has (rare on these) headlamp wash / wipe fitted. We noted the headlamp wipers are old & the rubber has deteriorated & so as part of the completed package these will be replaced with new MB supplied items.
We noted some minor marks to the n/s/r wheel edge as shown in pictures - more from corrosion to the lacquer beneath a previous wheel weight than a scratch - but otherwise the wheels are in beautiful condition with no kerb marks or corrosion, which is testament to the care that's been taken with this car. A picture shows the corrosion described but it's very small. There's a thin area of the driver's door seal which is damaged (See picture). Whilst this is only very minor and doesn't warrant replacement, to give a complete report it's photographed and mentioned herewith.
We noted 2 small dimples are visible on the front bumper's o/s chrome trim (see picture). Although we feel this is too small to warrant replacement, if desired we can look for a good used one here in Japan and send to UK to fit whilst completing the car, although to do so would require removing the front bumper completely, then refitting.
Of greater relevance, the door mirror's rubber boots are both cracked and aged, which is sadly normal wear & tear on W124's - they all have this, when these parts are still factory original. Some say these have been discontinued by MB but for our own cars, we have found a supplier here in Japan. They're not cheap at cost (to us) of £279.00 but available if desired & fit is perfect too. We can also supply a colour matched touch-up pen at £13.00 if desired, which may be useful as this is usually hard to find.
Engine bay has no corrosion at all, anywhere. Looking inside through the oil filler cap, we could see camshafts are still like new with no crystalised oil deposits, which confirms it's had very regular oil changes with synthetic oil throughout it's life in Japan and the engine is barely worn. Last oil change was less than 4,000km ago (See picture of the sticker on airbox) Signs show this car's been driven slowly and done mostly motorway kms (legal limit is 100 km/h in Japan). We checked and note the engine loom is still soft and pliable, which helps confirm the car hasn't sat in traffic most of it's life. The M104 engine has proven itself as reliable & is known to run without trouble to 500,000km, if properly maintained as it has been to date. Note the battery was weak & not holding charge well, so we have replaced with a brand new one.
Test Drive: The 3.2 L (3199 cc) 24 valve M104 engine produces 220 hp (162 kW) at 5500 rpm and 310 N·m (229 ft·lbf) at 3750 rpm. For this twin cam design, to improve on prior 3 litre models MB developed the variable inlet camshaft system to boost gas flow at low to medium speeds to maximize low end torque, without losing performance at higher engine speeds. The result was impeccable performance which to this day still works perfectly. Weighing only 1,510kg the M104 engine can propel this 7 seater wagon to around 145 mph with sensible or brisk performance as desired. The engine purrs quietly & smoothly at idle, almost making itself imperceptible. Transmission is creamy smooth and takes up well.
Brakes are reassuringly good (4 pot calipers & 294 x 25mm vented discs front / opposing 2 piston rear calipers with 278 x 20mm vented discs rear). Self-levelling rear suspension means this makes a great car to carry luggage in, or tow with and it's known to give excellent ride quality regardless of carrying loads in the back. For this model anti-roll bars were made larger (Same size as coupe & Convertible E320's), meaning body roll was minimised, offering good handling by way of the excellent 5-link rear suspension that was introduced in the 124 series and continued for several subsequent replacement series. The self-levelling rear suspension works perfectly with no leaks or any such problems.
As to be expected of a properly looked after example, it drives faultlessly & is one of those cars that will break motorway speed limits whilst purring quietly with the usual W124 sound proofing keeping the interior sedate & relaxing, in part due to the excellent sound deadening in the floor, lowest in period of class aerodynamics and the engine bay being separated from the cabin by two walls. Despite this being one of the last W124 wagons produced 21 years ago, this example's integrity means it still drives better & will without doubt last a lot longer than most modern equivalents today.
This example was supplied new in 1995 (April) by Yanase, Japan - official MB Importers and is therefore not a grey import that came from Japan as a used car from Germany, hence why it's never seen salt.
With the best of these continuing to appreciate, as there are so few left in this condition and with other W124 models such as convertibles & E500 models going up in value, it made sense to us that these too have continued to climb in desirability & value. We predicted this a couple of years ago when supplying the first and expect these to continue to rise in value. We'd stock more if we could but supply is very limited of these E320 Limited models.
This car was sourced specifically for a UK customer car enthusiast who wanted the very best we could supply and this included the lowest mileage example we could find too.
When sourcing to order or for our stock we only select top condition with the best spec. possible & being intended for sale in the UK market it has to be RHD. Most W124's of higher spec in Japan are LHD since this has been considered a status symbol since the end of WW2, so finding this particular car took much daily & diligent daily searching.
Knowing 124's well, we've picked out this particular example as what we would want were we looking for the same car personally. When it reaches the UK it'll have our usual full specialist check-over, extensive service and a new MOT so it's ready for daily use for it's new owner.
This unique Mercedes W124 E320 Limited represents a top opportunity to acquire an appreciating classic of best available condition & spec. Ready to leave for the UK immediately, this example is priced at £13,495 & includes 12 months comprehensive warranty, new MOT & UK registration. This example is already reserved, but we will continue to search for others, although this one took a good 5 months of searching to find and there have been no other low mileage examples, yet alone as good as this example!
If you'd like a similar example sourced to order, Contact us.
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