If you happen to be on fire, the title might just save your life. If you happen to own a pristine Mercedes-Benz W123T, then the title will most definitely save your life too, albeit in completely contrasting terms.
The former situation is pretty self-explanatory. If you happen to find yourself consumed by fire; and I know this is undoubtedly easier said than done, but stop running around because that will only serve to make the fire worse, and then drop to the ground and roll around to put out the flames.
Now we get to the more interesting situation of the two, the latter, because let’s face it, nobody likes to be on fire. So of course we all like to modify our cars in one way or another, it all about personalisation to meet a target, be it to stand out or perform better.
However, something as classy and timeless as a W123 shouldn’t be subjected to a barrage of modification. In its case, evolution rather than a revolution is the right frame of mind to be taken into doing it up.
Furthermore, this one right here is a bloody wagon for god’s sake. If you ruin this gem, so help you the self-declared guardians of said classic that form the majority of internet trolls will rain down on you with upper-case words of negativity and punctuated with exclamation marks by the multiples.
Pictured with its partner in crime, a W123 sedan in equally concours condition, the W123T, to be anal as the ‘T’ sets apart the touring or wagon version of the W123, they account for a handful of the most well-maintained cars of its kind I have seen in a long time.
Back to the title, it is often said that the best way to do up a something iconic is to keep the touches subtle and simple. That said, a simple drop and the right set of wheels is all that is needed to make it stand out before rolling away in style.
Similarly to its sedan counterpart too, the engine is left stock with the only addition being a Stromberg 175CD carburettor for some extra fuel and more go. Although the engine’s displacement is same, it is in fact a different engine with a little more punch as well.
The M102 might still displace 2-litres but it produces a more respectable 108hp with more torque as well, 170Nm to be exact. Coupled with that Stromberg, it should feel just a little more sprightly on the road over the sedan.
Four gears still send the power to the rear wheels too, but while the sedan had its four in a manual layout, this sedan takes things a little easier with a four-speed automatic… torque converter and all.
Taking into account the car was made for cruising in plenty of style and not much more, an auto makes perfect sense and just adds to that serenity of slowly rolling down the blacktop and trying not to notice the glares of envy from bystanders and petrolheads around.
Rolling on what you may wonder? Apart from the aforementioned drop that is courtesy of compressed lowered springs all-around, the W123T has a set of beefier rollers and rubbers too under its four corners for a proper meaty look.
AUTOArt VY wheels were chosen in a larger diameter and width as well to really fill up the corners. Measuring 19×8.5jj in the front and 19×9.5jj in the rear, the three-piece wheels are wrapped in 245/35/R19 Advan rubbers up front and massive 265/35R19 Michelin Pilot rubbers in the rear.
Peeking out behind those wheels are the stock brakes that are more than up to the task of bringing the car to a stop even after all these years.
Step inside and you will be greeted by the same high-quality MB Tex vinyl upholstery that covers the seats and more. If you read the previous article on the sedan, you will know that MB Tex is unlike any vinyl and is a high-quality leather alternative that is more durable and lasts longer.
Additionally, the W123T also had the advantage of leaving the factory with wood trim inside. Unlike the cars now that use faux wood trim to try and replicate a classy interior, this was from a time when only real wood was deemed acceptable and the wood trimmings here benefit from actual ageing over the decades that lend the interior a priceless and rustic appearance that, literally, money cannot buy.
The choice of colour used on the exterior was also taken from the very same DuPont Centauri catalogue but in a slightly different shade of Damson Pearl Purple that sets it apart from the blue hue of the sedan.
Just like its sedan sibling, the amount of effort put into maintaining this car for so long simply cannot be declared in monetary terms. This one goes long beyond throwing money around and expecting a spectacular ride to be returned to you without even breaking a sweat, this one is an extension of the owner in mechanical form… and that is something you cannot buy.
SPEC CHECK: Mercedes-Benz W123 200T Wagon
Engine: M102 black-engine, Stromberg carburettor 175CD | Displacement: 1997cc | Bore & stroke: 89mm x 80.25mm | Power output: 108hp
Torque: 170Nm@ 3,000rpm
Electronics: What electronics?
Transmission: Four-speed automatic
Chassis & Handling: Compressed lowered springs all-around
Rolling Stocks: AutoART wheels, 19×8.5jj (front), 19×9.5jj (rear), 245/35R19 Advan (front), 265/30R19 Michelin Pilot (rear)
Interior: MB Tex upholstery and wood trimming, stock
Bodyworks: Damson Pearl Purple DuPont Centauri paint
Words: Dinesh Appavu | Photos: Haznajims