10 July 2018

More than an old car #76: Mercedes W124 260E Limousine

Having spotted classic cars for a few years, I am positive that the humble Mercedes W124 series is the most common old car here. Even in my neighborhood, there are around 2 or 3 that are still plodding on. Previously, I covered the W123 limousine and it turns out that it has a spiritual successor: this 1991 Mercedes W124 260E limousine.

The W124 was first launched in 1985 and it was intended by the engineers to last as along as possible. Firstly, its suspension system featured a 'multi-link axle' which is common in modern cars today. Next, it had an aerodynamic body, as evidenced by its low drag coefficient of 0.28 [the lower the better]. Furthermore, it had a single window wiper that could cover almost the entire car windscreen due to an eccentric mechanism. Here, its angular body was built to withstand impacts at 35 mph (56 km/h) without any serious impact to passengers. Safety features included driver-side airbags, use of lightweight high-strength steel and an impact-absorbing dashboard. All in all, this contributed to the W124's image of being indestructible. If you take a closer look at the drivers behind the wheel, you may notice that they are predominantly middle-aged people...I jest, but you could appreciate the confidence such a vehicle would instill in drivers.

The long-wheelbase version, also known as the V124, was developed in collaboration with Binz and revealed in 1990. Essentially a stretched version of the sedan, it had 6 doors and could seat 8 people. Three versions with different engines were made and the 260E was one of them. It was powered by a 2599 cc M103 i6 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 200 km/h with an acceleration of 11.3 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It was 5540 mm long and weighed 1655 kg. With that length, it would not be able to fit into a standard car park space of 4800 mm long--you can see that the ends are jutting out.

Production of the V124 ended in 1993 with only 1006 made for the 260E. What is more amazing is that we have at least 2 others here: 1 in blue and 1 in white. It really boggles my mind as to why there are people who own limousines here. It is so impractical to park at for example, a multi-storey carpark where the parking lots are quite small. Even the simple functions of turning and parking it takes a lot more effort. However, you could easily attract attention for being such a baller. Have a lot of people but too lazy to get another car? Squeeze everyone inside! I really respect the owner for continuing to take it out on the roads, perhaps you can find it too!


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  2. i like that car. really enjoying your blog . you are showing some great cars of there times.
    long stay parking stansted

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