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W-1-2-3 Go!
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Differences between the European and North American market w123s. Feel free to add to the list! :thumbsup:

Exterior/body

  • Sedans & wagons
-Thin 1-piece bumpers with rubber ends
-European headlights & tail lights without reflectors
-Wagons have one reverse light and one rear fog light
-Rear foglamp on the innermost lens on the sedan/coupe tail lights
-Headlamps with vacuum-controlled height adjustment

  • Coupes
-Same as above but with thin 3-piece bumpers without rubber ends

  • Engine
-European versions have higher compression engines
-Turbodiesels appeared with the wagons only in the Euro versions
-Turbodiesel coupes and sedans were mainly for North American (US) market

  • Other
-Child lock on rear doors on Euro
-US versions have side impact beams inside door frame
-Fuel filler cap has a lock on European versions (w/o central locking?)
-Lower end models (200, 230, 200D, 220D, etc) have less aluminum/chrome and/or other trim

Interior
  • Upholstery
-Most US versions have leather & MB tex
-Velour was most expensive option in Europe
-Headrests on rear seats

  • Accessories/options
-Pin door locks instead of "mushroom" door locks on US versions
-Lower end European models have rear armrests without the angled handle
-Column shifter on some Euro models
-Manual crank windows on Euro
-No antenna switch on Euro versions
-Headlight vacuum adjustment, and sometimes integrated to vehicle's SLS
-Some cars had no airconditioning, US versions had them standard (correct me if I'm wrong)
-Early warning device in trunk
-Fire extinguisher on driver seat


 

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88 200 (A); 93 280E (A); 96 E250 D (M)
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329 Posts
Some Euros don't have climate control with the push buttons, but rather the rotary dials.

Greg
 

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1985 Euro 300TD Turbo, 1983 Euro 300TD turbo, 1979 Euro 240TD and 1981 300D converted to euro.
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2,700 Posts
Euros: Different auto trannys and headlight wipers.
 

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1984 300D Turbo 1972 BMW 3.0CS
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497 Posts
Euros were avail with manual (turn-knob) dual-zone climate control- separate temperature controls for left and right hand sides.
 

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1978 C123 280CE, 1988 500SEC, MY10 W204 C200 CGI
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1,380 Posts
Yay for my velour interior! :D :D
 

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1980 300 TD
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179 Posts
Headrest on the rear-seats were an option in Europ too.. An option which is very hard to find..

I think the main difference is that the cars standard were a lot "balder" than all the US versions (although that is what I experience since I have been reading this forum). Airco (manual) is very rare. Auto-Airco I have even never seen.. (but I know it exists). Automatic transmission is not very common too. So are electric windows and leather/MB-tex seats. The Turbo-diesel also is very hard to find (indeed only available for the T-models).

Especialy it's very strange for me to read that al lot of folks here want to swap the tranny to manual... I would like an auto, and even would consider to buy a Manual, and switch to auto afterwards...

It's a strange world.. ;)

PS: Collum shifters on SOME models?? On all models ;) !!
 

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83 300td
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165 Posts
i can try to take some pics of my euro wagon, i do have some wood trim in mine, and i really dont think its stuff that was "added" after .. my seats are not original, they were the blue cloth to match the inner door panels, but they were in bad bad shape, and the previous owner swaped them out. things i know for sure were differant.
1. euro trans started in 2nd -- US thats in the car now starts in 1st
2. car came w/ the adjustable headlights, have the switch and lines.. wrong headlights now
3.no block heater in original euro motor
4. dual range manual heat
5. 2 differant ac compressors between the US and euro
6. i have a bright orange pack in the back w/ my safety/jack/warning tri. kit... in it is a bright orange vest..made from some vinylish material..
i think thats it... as soon as i find my camera ill try to take some pics.. R
 

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1980 300 TD
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179 Posts
the wood trim was standard on the more exclusive models.. So my guess is that your car, mercwagon, is a 280??

Piont 1 is true.. Of course I didn't knew it was different form the US auto, but all the auto-trannys in Euro start in 2nd gear. It only shifts down to 1st gear when you give FULL throttle from standing still.

Pionts 2 to 6 are new to me... (expect the dual range manual heater)

Learning every day ;)

Bert.
 

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81' 300SD, 82' 300D
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The Euro W123s didn't have all those pollution control devices like catalytic converters and EGRs.
Lower end models (200, 230, 200D, 220D, etc) have less aluminum/chrome and/or other trim
That's not just a Euro thing. US spec 240Ds and 230s had less chrome than the 300Ds and 280Es.
 

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1984 300D Turbo 1972 BMW 3.0CS
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"Headrest on the rear-seats were an option in Europ too.. An option which is very hard to find.."
-Haplo

Rear Headrests were optional in the U.S. on ALL models excluding the SL, however they were very rarely optioned on w123's, w116's, w126 SD's, and W201's by U.S. buyers.

Other options (U.S. W123) included Velour upholstery, Orthopedic front seats, Sunroof, Leather Upholstery, Alarm System, Cargo net and pull out cover (w123TD), Engine Block Heater, Metallic Paint.
 

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1985 300TD Wagon
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408 Posts
-ABS was an option from early eighties over here in Europe.
-In the last year of manufactuary a drivers airbag was an option, I don't believe it made it to the US.
-There's an independent heater option, like a block heater but with it's own comburtions chamber and fuel delivery. Heating up the engine and the heater at the same time! And it was set in motion by a clock at your pre desired timing.
- Wagons had the option of a second heater in the rear.
-15inch rims was an option.
- Europe version could order an OEM towbar.
 

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83 300d turbo, 79 c123 AMG
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Airbags were an option as well.

Vacuum adjust headlights did not come on cars with SLS

On euro 300d's there is no oil seperator in the air filter assembly
 

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1985 Euro 300TD Turbo, 1983 Euro 300TD turbo, 1979 Euro 240TD and 1981 300D converted to euro.
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Black trick on the euros only lasted til 81 after that it was wood...i have wood in bad shape and wanted the black trim so i swapped ,but i have an 84 euro300d so i was really suppose to have wood.
 

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1985 Euro 300TD Turbo, 1983 Euro 300TD turbo, 1979 Euro 240TD and 1981 300D converted to euro.
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also after 81 300ds said diesel before they just said 300d
 

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The leather seats have allways been a bit more expensive than the velours. The most expensive option was the becker car phone, which was 19,500 DM in 1984. By that time a 200 was 27,500 DM.

A very strange extra was the manual column gear shift, available for finnish taxi cabs.
 

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79 300SD
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637 Posts
A very strange extra was the manual column gear shift, available for finnish taxi cabs.[/QUOTE]


Something about the manual column shift I really like. I've never heard a w123 w/ this though.

How about paint combinations? Did the euros have more color options than US models??
 

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Chaw, I only know this pic of a W124:



It was available until around 1990.

I think, the colors have been the same. You'll find them listed on pedros site "http://www.astralsilber.de/farbcodes/farbcodes.htm" It's deutsch.

Cheers
Martin
 

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83 300td
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165 Posts
Vacuum adjust headlights did not come on cars with SLS
my 83 300td wagon (euro) w/ sls had the adjustable headlight..still have everything but the headlight buckets themselves, i assume they were changed out when it came into this country... (i cant find my damn camera) as soon as i do ill snap some pics...of my sweet hazard vest too... the woman love it.. HAHAHA
 
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