Text and photos by James Wong 

For the longest time I resisted putting reverse sensors into my rear bumper.

Silly, right? Well, it’s because the car never originally came with them. So if I wanted to go for the period correct look, it would look really off it I had put modern sensors on.

But I relented. As I predicted it would eventually happen one day but chose to ignore the possibility, the better half relieved the rear bumper of its congruity. These early bumpers are pretty much NLA in Singapore any more, and most of the early W124s had been facelifted to newer bumpers and the older bumpers are presumably thrown away or exported. To be more geeky about it, it’s a MOPF0 bumper, and for W124s there are many other versions including MOPF1, MOPF1.5 and MOPF2…

Tropical Success (the workshop I go to) is finding it tricky to repair the plastic bumper, which is more delicate than usual (why, Mercedes, for such a presumably tough car?). But they will try and I can only hope. A backup plan would be to ship something from Malaysia, but honestly at this stage of my life, I neither have the time nor the bandwidth to be dealing with this. But that’s old car ownership, right? Make sure you have tons of reserve of time and money.

Since the car is at the shop I will be touching up the kerbed hubcaps as well. A weird thing I found while inspecting the car though is a very obvious patch of circular scratches on the left, just above the C-pillar. Very strange and my helper who usually cleans the car swore she did not do it. In any case, hopefully a simple polish would sort it out.

1989 W124 300E

Performance: 2960 cc inline six-cylinder, 188 hp, 8.4 secs 0-100 km/h (approx)
Efficiency as tested: 7.7 km/l
Odometer to-date: 125k