Famous for its reputation of being virtually undistructible, the Mercedes W 123 puts its skills to the test. A brown Mercedes 200 D crashed hard at the Nurburgring, but lived to see another day.
The diesel powered W 123 is credited with around 60 PS (44 kW) so why anyone would race it at the Ring is beyond our human comprehension.
At least it is a very safe car. When it came out in the late 70s, the W123 line helped introduce new technology such as antilock brakes (optional from August 1980), a retractable steering column, and the driver air bag (optional from 1982). Some of those technologies, like ABS, were introduced either later or not at all for U.S.-bound cars at the time. Many had wood interior trim with a passenger side exterior mirror, power windows, central locking, and rear-facing extra seats. How novel! Mercedes sold a five-speed manual transmission in Europe and a four-speed automatic transmission in the U.S.
Nonetheless, the driver himself does not seem to be a very skilled pilot either. The video footage shows him loosing control after applying opposite lock during a slide. It is the secondary slide that seems to have caught him on the wrong foot, sending the W 123 Mercedes 200 D into the side walls of the track. With minor injuries. So, yes, I guess we can say W 123 is tough as a rock. SEE IT FOR YOURSELF BELOW.