Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FrankenBenz: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 280CE W123, 5.0 M117 V8 Swap

This post is part of DT's 2016 Epiphany celebration.  The next wise man is named Melchior, and comes from the wilds of Germania, but made a stop at a custom shop along the way.  Typically when someone says they've got a 5.0 in a W123 Mercedes-Benz, the easy assumption is a pushrod Ford V8...but not today.  Find this 1983 Mercedes-Benz 280CE with 5.0 M117 V8 Swap offered for $14,500 in Atlanta, GA via craigslist.

Melchior isn't the average Benz tuner -- it would have been cheaper/easier to shove a carbureted 350 SBC into the front, but not this W123.  In this coupe the builder has decided to keep it in the family and put a Mercedes-Benz M117 V8 in place of the original inline-6.

The M117 was an all alloy overhead cam V8 that started production in the 1971 W108 chassis, and was built all the way through 1991 in the W126 S-Class.  No word from the seller on the donor car, but this would be rated as high as 261 horsepower from the factory, with more power on tap if you are into that kind of thing.

This isn't just a case of somebody shoving a big engine up front; the rest of the car is nicely presented and doesn't look like a hack job.  Personally, I'd be tempted to remove that 5.0 badge and let her ride on stock wheels, but either way this car is a sleeper.

See another frankenbenz for cheap?


  1. Seems like a good price given the cleanliness of the work. That said, this is my least favorite style of benz. Maybe because when i was growing up as a teenager, all the kids I knew drove 15 year old benzes, which would have been 83-84s. They all smell the same inside and, to me, aren't quite old enough to be nostalgic, but not new enough to look great.

  2. Looks like a nice piece of work, though these engines were a far cry from what was to come later and if I recall correctly it's K-Jet injected.

    I'm neutral on this body style, but it seemed like half of them went out the door in a sort of bile-tan color that was something of a practical joke on the American Mercedes buyer. It was (and probably still is) the standard German taxicab color, you'd never find a privately-owned Merc that color in Germany.

  3. Previously featured on BaT not once, but twice -->

  4. Add genuine AMG F&R spoilers, side skirts and a set of real Penta's not to mention period Recaro "C's" with a 240D rear badge and you'd have $20 into a car that you couldn't 10 for. But that's not the point, you'd have more smiles per gallon than pretty much anything on the street.

  5. Personally I'm fond of this body style. I've had several w123 platform Benz and two coupes like this. Would love to have this

  6. Personally I'm fond of this body style. I've had several w123 platform Benz and two coupes like this. Would love to have this


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