Published on March 14th, 2021 | by Subhash Nair0
Have You Seen This Old E-Class In Taman Jaya?
Right in the middle of Taman Jaya lies this old W123 Mercedes-Benz E-Class for all to see.
It’s a Sunday and we thought we’d deliver you a more laid back article about this car we came across in Taman Jaya a few months back. This park is at the heart of Petaling Jaya, Selangor. The original LRT line passes overhead, so most people who reside in the state have come across this park at some time in their life.
I myself am not from PJ, but last September I decided to take a walk through Taman Jaya just to get a feel for what it was like. It’s not an exceptionally large park, so before long I had investigated just about every corner. At the centre, there was a building of some sort. At first I thought this was just some strange municipal planning that had resulted in a residential house being plonked right in the centre of the park. Kind of a silly assumption.
So I got a little closer and saw there was the car that was “parked” in the porch was actually being displayed as a sort of museum piece. The building itself was some sort of administrative or groundsperson’s office (to be honest, I didn’t pay much attention to it). The car that was on display wasn’t anything too special. It was an old E-Class sedan – the classic W123. Some say the last truly robust and simple Mercedes-Benz vehicle ever sold.
Yes the W124 that succeeded the W123 was also robust, but it was not quite as simple in its construction as this E-Class. Electronics in this W123 are minimal, cabin material selection is uncomplicated and the whole vehicle can be mended without much effort. Unfortunately, the W123 4-door sedan is not a particularly special car. It was sold in the MILLIONS (2.7 million produced) and unless it’s a rare estate, coupé, or VERY rare cabriolet, most owners don’t see the point in continual upkeep after a certain age.
We wondered was that what happened with this particular car? Well the answer was a little more straightforward than that. There was a little signboard with the car’s story. There were a few grammatical and spelling errors. We’ve reproduced it verbatim for you here:
“For the first time this vehicle was used as the official council car in 1994, then Petaling Jaya Municipal Council President Tuan Haji Iskandar Bin Haji Astar and Dato’ Mohd Noor Bin Bador used it in 1995. Both, council presidents had used this vehicle for two-years only before it was handed to the council’s secretary for official use.
Among the Council’s Secretaries who had used this vehicle are Tuan Haji Kamarul Bahrim Bin Dato’ Raof (1977-2001). Tuan Haji Intanjudin Bin Haji Islail (2001-2005) and Encik Zulkepli Bin Ahmad (2005-2007) to carry out official duties.
After 10 – years in official service the vehicle in Mei 16, 1997 was decommissioned as the official car. The move was in accordance to the Federal Government’s call to use the national car for all its government agencies and departments.”-From signboard in Taman Jaya
The signboard also disclosed some details of the vehicle itself. It looks like they just took the information from the ownership grant. It’s a 200 (carburreted) manual. Originally the paintwork was white, but it looks like it was resprayed silver to our eyes.
Also unfortunate was that the three-pointed star hood ornament had been vandalised or possibly removed to prevent vandalism. The rims also looks to be either aftermarket units of some sort. The car was sitting on jackstands. I suspect this reduces the need to keep the tyres inflated over the years.
Besides that, it was nice to see the car was still being kept clean and spotless. It’s not a particularly special car, but it does mark the end of an era for government officials. As the story hints at, at a certain point in time, the national car brand was the only brand government officials could use. It’s not 100% true today, as some officials have gone back to using nice Benz vehicles.