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1979 Mercedes W123 250 gas engine

I’m possibly buying a 79 MB W123 250 2.5 liter I6 , native to Germany, brought to the States by military.

Does anyone know if the carburetor on that model is the same on any other models more common in the States, like a 230 or 280, etc.?

I can get it for 2k, and it seems like a good deal. My concern is the carb and finding any parts at a later date.


I’d avoid any old Benz with a carb. And I’d bet the German carb is different than one for US cars, if they had any. Most Benz cars imported by then were fuel injected. This is much preferred.

I would avoid a vehicle brought into this country by a serviceman because it could wind up biting you in the rear. I did this years ago with a Porsche 924. I loved the car but got a nasty surprise when I went to register it. Seems it needed a lot of work to make it legal for U.S. roads.


I am an ex-Benz master technician, and I’ve seen those grey market cars from the 70s and 80s up close


The extent to which many of them were BUTCHERED to make them “compliant” is mind boggling

Getting parts for a butchered grey market car can be a bear . . . and that’s wording it nicely

If you want a nice W123 gas engine vehicle, this is what I recommend

A US spec 280CE with the 110 engine with CIS fuel injection

You can always find the nice euro spec headlamps on ebay, I suppose

I just checked, and US spec Benzes no longer were using carbs in 1979

In fact, the 2.5 straight 6 was no longer available in the US at that time

My dad bought a grey market Fiat back int he early '70’s.

What a PITA. Parts were impossible to find, as was information on it in a pre-internet world. At least you have that going for you.

Does the car have a (legitimate) US title & registration, or has it been sitting in storage since its arrival? It the answer is the latter, there’s probably a good reason for it.

I think the only way this would be viable would be if you’re one whale of a DIYer and pretty handy with the toolbox and improvisation; assuming there are no issues with titles and emissions testing.
If you’re not a very competent DIYer and improviser then it would be best to run.

My vague memory seems to recall someone posting here some years back about a gray market Benz out of Canada and brought into the U.S. They were in a real jam because parts they needed just flat did not match up and they could not even get any help from the Benz dealers.

“There’s no such thing as a cheap Benz.”

I agree with @ok4450 about the Benz dealers

When I was working at the Benz dealers, every once in awhile, a customer with a grey market car would show up

The parts department never liked to deal with them

Neither did the mechanics, for that matter