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New Book Tells Fascinating History of the Mercedes-Benz W123

The greatest sedan of the 20th century?

Sandon VoelkerphotographerEric Weinerwriter

The Mercedes-Benz W123 remains a car worth celebrating, and Martin Buckley has done just that and more in this beautiful book. Check out some pictures of the must-have volume below.

Self-published by Cosovich, an internationally renowned expert in the model, and written with one of our favorite classic car wordsmiths Martin Buckley, this lovely volume is dedicated to the proposition that in the world of mass-production sedans, no one ever did it better than did Mercedes with this model. Built between 1975 and 1986, W123s are still in wide use around the world, which increasingly seems to place them in a class of one. - Jamie Kitman

In addition to W123s you might still see rolling around town or in some lucky neighbor's garage, Buckley dives into some other interesting and less ubiquitous variants. One of these is the Factory Limousine W123, a car whose air of class and dignity has remained untarnished to today. We'd still love to be chauffeured around in one any day of the week.

The 230E is the most sought after, at least by collectors in the U.K. It was also the most popular during its run from 1980-1985. Armed with Mercedes' first direct-injected four-cylinder engine, the car's relative simplicity compared to its five- and six-cylinder competitors helped it become a runaway success.

280E motorsport history is fascinating. It doesn't get much more entertaining than reading about driver Andrew Cowan and his 280E rally car, which suffered smashed headlights and a bloodied bumper after crashing into (and killing) three kangaroos during the 1977 London-Sydney Marathon rally. Not impressed? Cowan's 280E won the race by 21 minutes.

For more in-depth information on the W123, visit www.w123book.com. It'll do you and your coffee table some good.

Buckley, Martin, and Cosovich, Mark, Mercedes-Benz 123: The finest saloon car of the 20th Century?, Swansea, Wales: Independent Publishing Network, £42 (inquire for ex-UK sales postage)