GRR

From London To Sydney In A Tough Mercedes-Benz 280E

25th June 2016
Adam Wilkins

Nobody has ever doubted toughness of the W123 generation Mercedes-Benz – just ask any Moroccan taxi driver, who seemingly keep them going long beyond their life expectancy. Yet for the thousands of W123s that have done sterling uncelebrated service, there are at least four examples that made a name for themselves in the motorsport spotlight.

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In 1977, Mercedes-Benz entered the gruelling six-and-a-half-week London-Sydney rally, which saw competitors battle through the terrain of Europe, Asia and Australia. Two 280Es were entered, both being relatively little changed from showroom models. Rollcages, 15in wheels and ‘sandplates’ in place of conventional bumpers were the most obvious upgrades.

The car at FOS was reached Sydney in second position in the hands of Anthony Fowkes and Peter O’Gorman, while the sister car of Andrew Cowan, Colin Malkin and Mike Broad came home in first place. Two other 280Es finished in sixth and eighth places. Thankfully none of the cars had a meter running.

Photography by Tom Shaxson

  • Mercedes-Benz

  • FOS

  • FOS 2016

  • 2016

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