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Spotted in China: W124 Mercedes-Benz 200

Published on July 13, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Spotted in China: W124 Mercedes-Benz 200

A fine black W124 Mercedes-Benz 200 seen on a car parts market here in Beijing. It was dusty and dirty but a nearby shop owner told me the old Merc still snored like it was born yesterday. The W124 ‘E-class’ was made from 1985 until 1996. It was never officially sold in China but many arrived via the gray circuit and some other shady deals.

Spotted in China: W124 Mercedes-Benz 200

Most E’s went directly to the government, state-owned companies and as airport-limo’s to expensive hotels. Many are still alive today although parts are harder and harder to find. At the same market I also saw a perfect W124 300E, more on that machine in a later post. This blacky was a very early 200, made from 1985 until 1992 and powered by a 109hp 2.0 four-cylinder.

9 comments

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  1. Dennis- July 13, 2012 Reply

    NIIIIIICE!

    Pre-Mopf – this is really an exclusive car these days! Small engine – also not often seen in China.

    Did the shop owner say how much he asks for it?

    I think I need to come to Beijing and do some shopping ….

  2. TurboJaySmith- July 14, 2012 Reply

    We hd one in 2004 but didn’t last for more than two months. One can find a large number on the roads in Lebanon.

  3. Dennis- July 14, 2012 Reply

    It must have been in a terrible condition already when you bought it then. Old Mercedes die slowly … very slowly. If you keep changing parts there like planes, they’ll run almost forever. I’ve always had at least one 124 in my family and wouldn’t dare to say a bad thing about them. My current one has at least 260k down the clock (who knows …) with 20 years of unprofessional chinese maintance and care … it has a few problems, but it won’t stop running …

  4. Ali- July 14, 2012 Reply

    Quite a few of these 124s were sold unofficially to North Korea from China a couple of years ago.

  5. Steve- July 14, 2012 Reply

    any chance to find a good 300 around.. for sale .. these are great cars.

  6. Dennis- July 14, 2012 Reply

    Yeah, the Kim Family is crazy about Mercedes. They just recently put Kim Jong Ils old W140 S600 on display in his mausoleum. Also they once tried to copy the 124 (didn’t Tycho have an article about those?) but failed miserably.

    @Steve: Finding a 300, even in acceptable condition, is actually not that hard, but finding one that either still has a registration or that you can register again is near impossible. I was very very lucky to find my 300 by accident on a second hand car market one day. It was still registered in Shanghai, so we couldn’t transfer the license but can renew it every year by telling them we need it for classical movie productions. Due to the 16 (or was it 18) year scrapping standard it can become quite a headache thought. Finding 126s or 140s is much easier and, if you’re lucky, it was imported in the late 90’s after running a couple of years on foreign roads, so you can keep it on the road for a couple of years bc for imports they start counting the years from the day it was first registered in China.

  7. schaminski- July 15, 2012 Reply

    “a nearby shop owner told me the old Merc still snored like it was born yesterday”

    just why do i doubt a china-serviced carburetor engine that probably has x-times the earth circumference on its clock equals this statement..?! especially since the m102 was known for its’ extra hardened camshafts 🙂

    but, as mentioned, bonus points for pre-mopf!

  8. Dennis- July 15, 2012 Reply

    riiiiiight …. i missed the missing “E” – it’s a carburetor!

    Not sure if that makes it even more desirable or an absolute no-go?!

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