Not Good, Not Bad, Just Ugly: The Parts People Always Abuse

I've often said that exceptional cars are the sum of many great pieces. It's not merely about the paint or a fresh interior; it's about every last painstaking detail being preserved. It's about being conscientious to the nth. It all boils down to ... everything. This is certainly true for Cabriolets, where you tend to see the same items either missing, broken, or improperly replaced. This is annoying, petty stuff that can mostly be found at a reasonable price today. Nonetheless, the state of these parts speak volumes about the mindset of the owner. 

So how does your Cabriolet stack up? And if you're an aspiring owner, how do your prospects do on this list? The following is a partial list of the known offending areas:

SUN VISORS: This part is unique to the R129 and the A124 Cabriolet, so the sun visor and mirror are pricey and, for that reason, often not replaced when they break from abuse and UV deterioration. The outer hinge is particularly weak. The lid on the vanity mirrors also tends to break.
    Note outline of fastener that's supposed to snap into place here

HEADLIGHT COVER RETAINING CLIP: Behind the passenger-side headlight is a cover that is held on by a circular retaining clip. I do not know the related part number and, so far, the Classic Center has no idea how to find this part, or even how to reference it. Hence, I would sugggest finding it off a parts car.

TONNEAU COVER TRIM: The black plastic piece that covers this opening has a tendency to pop off over time. Fortunately, the part is still available and is inexpensive. Part # is 124-757-03-08.

(Photo from ebay)

REAR DECK LID BUMPERS: Over time, these pieces decay from heat, use and abuse. (Close deck lid gently, please.) Fortunately, they are readily available, inexpensive, and easily replaced.

HOOD PAD: Over time, this piece will break down into a crumbly mess. The part is readily available and a DIY job to replace.  As always, preparation is key, so my advice is to be thorough about scraping off remnants of the old pad using a plastic putty blade. 

CENTER ARMREST: After years of resting your right forearm here, the leather can wear away at the leading edge of the center drop-down armrest, particularly if you have a pale interior like 265 Cream-Beige. The solution is to recover it in leather or simply find a replacement from a parts car. This piece is the same on all of the late-model W124 variants, so the part can still be found second-hand.

REAR-VIEW MIRROR: The mirror is another R129/A124 Cabriolet shared part, so it's pricey. List price for 129-822-01-31 is $655. Fortunately, you can epoxy a broken mirror and use Krylon 52504 Khaki spray paint to cover the repair. If you use painters' tape carefully, you don't even have to disassemble the fragile mirror.

OVERHEAD COURTESY LIGHT: Again, this part is unique to the R129 and A124 Cabriolet, so it is pricey. It's held in place by screws that are hidden under the light covers and underneath the mirror, so it's not obvious how to remove it. Many are damaged when the windshield is replaced. (Bet the installer would be shocked to learn this part costs more than a windshield.)

DOOR PANELS: For some reason, owners frequently screwed in aftermarket cupholders here and permanently disfigured the leather (yes, that's real leather) insert on either door. To make matters worse, this is not where you want a cup holder, since opening and closing the door with a beverage here is a mistake.

REAR DECK LID PLASTIC TRIM: Be aware that people tend to slam the trunk to close it, so this will crack the trim above the rear license plate over time. Part #: 1248500193. The price of carelessness: $220.80 


  1. The part number for the headlight cover retaining clip is 124-528-00-73. Still available from Mercedes, $1.50.

    1. Thank you, Jamie! You should know that you were able to provde more information than the actual Classic Center.


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