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Smoke Silver California Diesel Coupe: 1985 300CD

Unique to the North American market, these w123 coupes with the renowned OM617 (turbo and non-turbo) remain attractive for their pillarless coupe design and long-term reliability. This example out of northern California shows quite well with a Smoke Silver exterior on Palomino interior with ‘only’ 155,000 miles. The listing for this coupe can be found here on Craigslist for $8,500.

This particular example really stands out with what look to be period-correct AMG Penta wheels, possibly by ATS but up close shots of the stamps around the lug holes could confirm. These “penta” style wheels were made by a few different companies in various sizes for most of the sedans and coupes from this era and are usually wider and/or larger diameter than stock wheels. Although the center caps are not AMG specific, a quick call to the MB Classic Center could really finish off the look of these wheels.

The interior shows significant wear and delamination on the center console, but the seats seem to have held up in the last 35 years. The Momo steering wheel is a nice touch: the inclusion of the original that seems to be in good shape is a welcome addition. The driver side outer seat bolster isn’t visible but is a very common wear point. The automatic climate control vacuum actuators are also a question worth asking as they are increasingly difficult to obtain. There appears to be at least one crack in the dashboard, a common result in the sunnier states after so many years.

The engine bay looks very clean from the one photo we have, which is in favor of the mechanical work that has been done on the valve-train per the seller. The maintenance list reads well but lacks certain details about “new” versus rebuilt or aftermarket components and raises additional questions such as why the “drive axles” were replaced. The motor mounts, drive shaft bushings (bearing?), and new brake pads/rotors/calipers are notable items that should give peace of mind to buyers.

The front grill looks to be free of pitting and has retained a shine typical for California cars. Additional photos to determine how faded the original paint is, and if there are any notable discrepancies in body panels or paint based on the salvage title should be reasonable next steps. The asking price given mileage is not unheard of but a slightly better interior and clarification on the salvage branding would have made this coupe stand out even more.



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