The Mercedes Benz W124 series was the most successful car range in the company's entire history. Today the 124 range is appreciated not only for its design & engineering excellence but also for its longevity & continued practicality.
According to Mercedes online info a total of 2,562,143 units of the 124 series (of all variations) were manufactured during just over 11 years in production. Of these, only 13,768 were manufactured as E320 coupe models (built from the end of 1992 to early 1996).
Of these less than 850 cars were final-production facelift examples with 5-speed transmissions. Of these, only a small proportion (We'd estimate around 150) were built in RHD. Of those, only a handful came to Japan as RHD's (E320 coupes in Japan were nearly always supplied as LHD for reasons explained further below).
Exact production figures for the E320 Coupe Facelift model would be available from Mercedes Benz heritage - but we trust these easily found online figures can illustrate what you're looking at is a VERY rare example of an E320 coupe.
Most importantly, this is an example that's never seen salt, nor been subjected to the usual rigours of use on European roads. The condition of this E320 coupe is so good, it should really be in a museum & never be driven again - but not to enjoy a fine car such as this would be a terrible waste of one of MB's best vehicle experiences.
With so many W124's in total produced & with vault-like build quality, many are still in use today on each of the world's continents. Some have lived their entire lives as taxis covering huge mileages, some are driving on European, Asian, African potholed roads, or even in war zones in the middle east. Sadly, the majority of those in colder European climates can have severe chassis rust, whilst most have battle scars from having covered such high mileage, though they soldier on regardless. In spite of the typical ravages, a W124 must face, 100's of thousands remain firmly in use on roads worldwide today with a strong following. Virtually all parts are available from MB and other pattern parts brands & like it's predecessor the 123, this will be a car that will remain well supported by MB for decades yet.
Out of all the cars available in our line of work, we have chosen W124's like our own primary cars both in Japan & the U.K. From years of ownership, maintenance, modification & sales - We understand these cars deeply. If properly looked after and maintained they'll last forever. However, finding such examples is easier said than done (& has become ever more difficult). Fortunately locating & offering only the best cars is the typical challenge we relish.
The attention to detail & quality MB put into the final spec. W124 coupe design should be an inspiration to car designers today. Unfortunately, these 124's were so good many owners chose to keep and not replace them after the first 2-3 years of use. So in the mid '90s MB’s accountants dictated that the company had to reduce its quality and that was when things began to go downhill from the next E class models on.
Corrosion resistance was generally excellent on W124's but eventually everything gives in to punishment.
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. This electrolytic mixture finds itself mixed with moisture resulting from use during typical seasonal weather in the UK, which leads to rust.
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 & for this reason, this example is completely rust free. For someone wanting only the very best example available & none of the usual rubbish in the UK, it'll be hard to beat this E320 Coupe.
This is the final & best performing spec. of 124 coupes produced & this particular example is loaded with nearly every option, we've ever seen on a non-V8 W124.
This E320 Limited Coupe was owned by one mature non-smoker who, judging by the car's amazing condition & Nagoya number plate(s), clearly appreciated the virtues of a W124. It has no stone chips, no pin dents, not even dings to the wheel edges and the paintwork is so perfect, it's clearly been garaged and beautifully maintained too.
An extensive list of equipment includes full black leather incl. electric front seats, automatic seatbelt arm (to save front seat occupants needing to reach back to get the buckle), remote central locking, 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 (Head unit is the original, with optional boot mounted Disc CD changer), Dual SRS Airbags for front seat occupants, Leather steering wheel, pristine mahogany veneer trim on doors, dash & centre console, centrally located lockable storage box, original option fitted floor mat set, 4 electric windows with unique rear quarter glass movement, first aid kit, large chrome sill plates, courtesy lights, factory privacy glass for rear, etc. Remote pneumatic central locking, etc.
Design: Many features demonstrate how much thought & attention went into the design of the unique W124 coupe to make it practical, reliable and easily usability. For example, the rear glass features fine filaments that are barely visible to the eye - this didn't feature on other models except for some E500s. The movement of the rear quarter's electric windows is novel and with the large sunroof opened and all the windows down, it feels like a convertible with built-in shaded areas for occupants than a saloon or even a coupe. When occupants get into the front & close the door, a motor in the quarter panel quietly whirrs and brings the seat belt buckle beside, for ease of access - before retracting quietly again. In the even the door is opened whilst it's operating, it cancels the operation and retracts early. 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 a 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.
Detailed condition report & observations that follows is from notes we took whilst checking the entire car over for 2 days during preparation for our stock:
Interior: The interior smells good and (from the interior & exterior condition) has clearly been kept garaged and in a city all of its life when not in use. Note the boot area's first aid kit, 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 with a reassuring solid thud. The leather is in excellent soft & supple condition. Floor mats are in good condition - almost like new 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, fading or delamination & door trim mahogany veneers are all without cracks too. All electric seat adjustments work perfectly & silently, including headrest height, etc.
It has never been smoked in. Ashtray & cigar lighter are still as new as the day this Benz left the factory, headed for Japan.
Being a Japan spec. car please note the speedometer currently displays in km/h only. As part of our final preparation, we'll be happy to fit a dual range (MPH & KM/H) speedometer face for the new owner if desired.
Bodywork as pictures show is excellent. Paintwork is beautifully presented and we note a lack of stone chips or fading as is common to the side panels, or most of the bodywork incl. the bonnet (indicating this car's been driven slowly).
Note there are ZERO pin dents to be found on any of the bodywork, nor any swirl marks, pin dents or stone chips. From experience, we can tell this car's always been professionally cared for. The paint is of similar quality as an expensive hand-built luxury car's. It really is that good. Our pictures although showing a beautiful car, won't do it the justice it'll quietly display when viewed with one's own eyes.
Note also door mirror's rubber boots are both without cracking and ageing, which is usual normal wear & tear on W124's - they usually have this when these parts are still factory original. NOT this one, there’s been attention to every detail during its life in Japan.
Every sign shows it's been garaged since new and driven only on special occasions.
Brakes, Wheels & Tyres: Brakes on the coupe are essentially of the same specification as on early E500's and are reassuringly good on these cars, offering no dramas at all and excellent reliability (ATE 4 piston callipers with 294 x 25mm vented discs front / opposing 2-piston rear callipers with 278 x 20mm vented discs rear).
Note the complete lack of corrosion to any of the original wheels. The alloys are in beautiful original condition with no corrosion nor kerbing marks to the edges, which is a testament to the care that's been taken with this car. High-quality tyres are near new also.
Underneath there's no rust to be found on the chassis either. Even the exhaust is still the factory original with no rust on it & plenty of life in it yet.
If you compare condition of this E320 Coupe with a car that's been in Europe all it's life, you'll most certainly be shocked as the difference.
This E320 Coupe Limited is supplied with its Japanese manuals and full Japanese Mercedes-Benz service history.
Since arriving, in addition this engine has been fitted with the revised and updated Mercedes-Benz head gasket design – with work completed by a well respected Mercedes –Benz specialist in the U.K., using only genuine parts. A desirable & total peace of mind upgrade for anyone who knows about the Mercedes M104, ensuring the engine will run to very high mileages completely trouble-free. We have also checked and confirm the engine loom is still soft and pliable, which helps confirm the car hasn't sat in traffic most of its 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.
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 its life in Japan and the engine & transmission are so smooth they're indicative of no significant wear since new. Even the exhaust is still the factory original with no rust on it & plenty of life in it yet.
If you compare the condition of this E320 Coupe with a car that's been in Europe all it's life, you'll most certainly be shocked at the difference.
All signs show this car's been driven slowly and done mostly motorway kms (legal limit is 100 km/h in Japan).
We have also checked and confirm 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.
Test Drive: 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 soundproofing 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 coupe models produced around 25 years ago, this example's integrity means it still drives better & will, without doubt, last a lot longer than most modern equivalents today.
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 an impeccable level of 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. The much-refined 5-speed gearbox fitted to the last coupes works perfectly.
Underneath there's no rust to be found on the chassis. Zero corrosion.
This example was supplied new in 1995 (May) 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.
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. When sourcing to order or for our stock, we only select top condition with the best spec. possible. With this car being intended for sale in the UK market it had to be RHD and this is why it took us 2 years to find. Don't be misled just because we have not one, but two of these amazing cars in stock. Others of this condition are highly unlikely to surface again, judging by the numbers made in RHD and exported to Japan.
Having made a name for ourselves over the last 5 years as the best source for W124's & recommended by those in the know for supplying the very best hand-picked examples from Japan, we've been asked several times for good RHD coupes. This example is only the 2nd RHD high-quality example of a coupe we've managed to find for our stock & not for a lack of trying to find such cars.
As knowledgeable enthusiasts for these, knowing the strong prices of the best low mileage examples in Europe are fetching (which aren't as good as this, realistically) and so honestly speaking we're also tempted to keep this one for ourselves, only lack of space prevails.
With its timeless elegance, rarity & condition, this E320 Coupe will make an excellent investment for someone who has been searching for a long time and until now has been unable to unearth the very best preserved RHD example.
This unique Mercedes W124 E320 Coupe Limited represents a top opportunity to acquire an appreciating classic of best available condition & spec.
Top calibre w124's have risen in value up to 40% in the last year and its examples like this, which are set to continue climbing in value the most.
This example is a unicorn, amongst average ponies masquerading as fine thoroughbreds - if you really do only want the very best and are tired of looking at poor quality cars, knowing the costs of repairs, then you need look no further.
Now in the UK, registered and ready to go. Viewing (inclusive of checking the underside using our lift) and test-drive of this E320 Coupe is available by appointment to serious individuals.
Price: £22,895. includes fulll UK registration, new MOT & comprehensive warranty.
Contact us for further details of how to reserve this unique example.
Newera Imports - Established 1998. Premier source of the best hand picked specialist cars from Japan. As recommended by Import magazines, car clubs and enthusiast owners.