1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel

About six months ago, I started planning a website that I was tentatively calling an ‘automotive photojournalism’ site. I envisioned a place on the mighty interwebs whose sole purpose to be an outlet for car enthusiasts to enjoy lots of large photographs of antique, classic, rare, and unique cars. No OEM photos, no photoshopped camera tricks, just large photographs of cars documented from chin spoiler to tailpipe.

Here we are and we’re starting off with a bang – er – a 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel. My grandfather drove the gasoline version of this whip and it’s always been one of my favorite cars. If you go to college in the northeast, the 300D is decent replacement for a late 70′s Volvo 242 DL sedan. I’m looking at you UVM.

This little beauty is owned by a co-worker and it has already been given the name “Smoke Monster”, not for it’s noxious emissions but more for the classic diesel ‘PING-ing’ sounds that leak from under the hood while the engine is on. A nod to ‘Lost’ fans everywhere. But I digress…

Speaking of digression, let’s do a little history recap. As the 1970′s reluctantly gave way to the 1980′s, lots of changes were taking place across the globe:
- Disco was giving way to punk,
- baseball was finally ok with the idea of a DH
- the automotive world was getting ready to say goodbye to the Ford Ranchero
- the world recognized the National Party of Canada
- Mercedes made their last truly pretty cars

I can hear you screaming now, ‘The National Party of Canada’ is not news! But it’s true. After 1984, the Mercedes-Benz design team (like the rest of popular culture/fashion/movies etc.) went like totally 80′s. Like totally.

But in 1984, Mercedes-Benz produced something of a beauty, the 300D Turbo Diesel (W123 for those keeping score at home). So what can be said about the end of a design era that hasn’t already been said? This generation of the 300D was one of the last great sedans Mercedes made. Sure the 2011 E-Class looks great but it’s design legacy has yet to be determined (as the previous generation was completely forgettable). Let me know what you think in the comments section below. Downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr

About Ian Merritt

Ian D. Merritt is a commercial, editorial, and automotive photographer and journalist living in Chicago.
This entry was posted in Automobiles, Daily Driver, Mercedes-Benz and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to 1984 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbo Diesel

  1. Oskar says:

    Growing up, my dad had one of these until it got absolutely demolished. Driving home from ski trip, we hit a patch of black ice. The car slid into the guard rail on the right side of the highway, bounced off and continued careening across the highway when another car slammed into the rear end. I have no idea what happened to the car that rear ended us but the impact sent us across to the left side of the highway where our little jaunt came to an end in a four foot snow bank.

    All in all, something like 15 cars ended up scattered all over the highway. Fortunately for us, the only indignity the car was left to suffer was it got dropped on its front end while being loaded on the back of a flatbed.

    The car ended up totaled but we walked away without a scratch, even my brother who got bounced around in the back seat due to the fact he was not wearing a seat belt. Considering the only “safety feature” the car had was seat belts, I’m always impressed at how well it protected us. Whenever I see one now, I always admire it as I recall the events of that day.

  2. oday says:

    how i can find turbo motor for mercedes d 300 ????

  3. David Melson says:

    I plan on buying one of these today.

    no, seriously. After Church I am driving 50 miles to look at one the same color and mostly same condition minus an updated radio. I have done an amazing amount of research on why to and why not to buy this car and I don’t know why I wouldn’t. No Maintenance issues I cannot perform and the best Drivetrain EVER BUILT. you have a lucky friend!

    These interior photographs are the best on the internet and they really sealed the deal for me. I’ll try to comment again and let you know if I bought it or not.
    Thanks for your work and your ART!

  4. G. Prost says:

    If you decided to sell this one, please let me know glpgwagenge@yahoo.com

  5. Lonnie McRorey says:

    I bought an 84 w123 300D with sun roof, air-conditioning, Automatic, and totally fell in love with this old classic. Hearty vehicle kind of heavy but so smooth to drive. The version I have is European, gold in color with dark green interior. I bought it a few months ago however planning to do some body work to it to bring it up to its original showroom stance.

    The funny thing about diesel is that you have to warm it up real good if not the car will not go into second gear LOL.

    Great post!



  6. Jim Sloan says:

    Great car. I bought one new and still have it. Same lapis blue as the above car, but with tan interior.

    • Joe Sloan says:

      Jim…my father’s name. Being a Sloan myself and considering the purchase of a 84 300D-T lapis blue and tan interior with sunroof and A/C as I write. Sounds like a heck of a vehicle. I am encouraged. Hope it has tires!

  7. rhonnee n. says:

    I just bought this car, 1984 300D turbo diesel. I’ve never own a Mercedes until now, my friends are laughing on how old this car is. I sure changed their mind after they went for a ride. I do want to replace my headlight to one piece but not sure which year will fit. If anyone is knowledgeable to which years are compatible with my this, please help me. Also, i saw the pictures on this forum and noticed that the air vents are round, mine are thin rectangular. Are they different models?

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