1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

Speculation of value is a crazy thing. Some people go conservative while others shoot for the moon and see where they land. The classic European car market over the past five or so years has exploded and there looks to be no slowing down. The big winners in this market are the rare cars with lower mileage that all of a sudden everyone seems to want. Today’s car, a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E, is no different. Rare car, lower mileage, mega reputation and street cred leaving everyone all of sudden wanting one, and the Porsche tax added to it for good measure. The thing about this 500E is that I’ve never seen a price tag this high on the legendary W124.036 before and I still really can’t wrap my head around it. How high is it? Are you sitting down?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on Hemmings

Year: 1993
Model: 500E
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 19,959 mi
Price: $89,500

Low original mileage Collector Grade 500 E –

Let’s just take a quick look at this 500E first off. It is a nice clean example with just a hair under 20,000 miles on it which makes it one of the lower mile 500Es I have ever come across. It has a few things going for it with the European headlights and 18 inch Monoblock wheels, but at the end of the day I have seen 500Es with five times this mileage look just as nice. Nothing on this car jumps out at me at being extraordinary or totally flawless as this car does have some interior pieces that need attention. The 19,959 miles sure are low, but I don’t think it can justify the price tag the seller wants for this car. So how high is it?

The asking price for this 1993 500E is $89,500. That is not a mistake, that is a not a typo. Almost $90,000 for a 1993 500E. The values on these rare beasts have always been pretty good compared to the rest of the Mercedes lineup from that era, but they’ve never even dreamed of someday turning in to $90,000 cars. I get why the dealer is doing this. Throw out a crazy high price then see if more reasonable offers come in and then settle for maybe 10s of thousands of dollars less than what you asked for in the $89,500. It just blows my mind that something you can pick up in the $10,000-$20,000 range with ease is now suddenly $90,000. Do I think it sells for that? No way. This is a classic case of someone or something over-valuing low mileage all while trying ride the chart of increasing values across the board. Me personally, I would have hard time calling this car a good buy at half that price. But who knows? Hagerty currently values a Concours example at $51,000 – and since they’re the ones insuring a chunk of these cars, they likely know. Maybe in another 10 years all of these 500Es will be worth $100,000 and they’ll pull this piece up and have a good laugh at how wrong I was.

– Andrew

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12 Comments

  1. I love the w124 – I’ve had a dozen of them, currently a ‘90 300CE. Incredible cars – excellent design.

    There are probably two models that are collectible: the 300CE cabriolet and the 500E.

    It’s a time machine with the miles.

    Your point about higher mileage ones looking just as good is a compliment to the build quality and materials used.

    But it’s not $90k. It’s $35-40k.

    It’s not really rare, it’s not really fast, and it looks like every other w124 out there to all but quite discriminating eyes.

  2. The 500E reminds me of Gerry’s “Two Face” girlfriend on Seinfeld. Sometimes I look at one and think it looks pretty and other times it looks almost hideous.

  3. Thing is, these cars get driven. Low miles in a MB, unlike a Porsche, is rare. Don’t know that I’ve seen one with under 20K. This would be fascinating as a BAT entry. Could set the market, as a pristine M6 did a few weeks back at $36K.

    But, it’s not a $90K car. Yet.

  4. Ultra low mileage (< 30k miles) 500E/E500's are $60-$75k cars now. I specifically know of a sub-20k mile 500E that sold for $70k in the last 2 months. That car was near perfect. This car is $20-$25k too high at this moment. A year from now, maybe. Would help if the car had EvoII wheels and the Seller would fix that center roll-top console issue that is glaringly obvious. Makes collectors scratch their heads when top of the market price is being asked and the car is not perfect. Would also help if the wiring harnesses and EHA were replaced. For that price, I would hope so.

  5. This current car is nice. Low miles. But there’s always gonna be one nicer. Wth lower miles.
    https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11672

    And then, just when you think you’ve found the ONE… something like this pops up….
    https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11351

  6. Agree to the comment above that for it to get near this price, the car should be perfect.

    This color – Blauschwarz (199) – is the most common color of this model. If memory serves, half of the 1528 imported to the US over 3 years were this color. If it were Black (040) or Imperial Red (580), it could command a higher price. If it were White, Anthracite Gray, or Bornite, now you’re getting into commanding higher prices.

    Also, no pics of the engine to show replaced yellowed plastic bits like the coolant, washer fluid, and SLS reservoirs. Have the intake hoses dry rotted?

  7. Great cars, but the asking price is almost double the market value. I am not sure this pricing tactic works or not. I prefer when sellers ask market value plus a little extra for negotiation. Asking near double can backfire as serious buyers may not waste their time. Very common 500E color combination does not help.

  8. This is a tough one. I have a ’93 500E — and it is nearly impossible to keep the miles off of it. It is absurdly satisfying to drive. I put 5K miles on it in a year – all pleasure driving (no driving to work!) when I have several others cars in the garage to choose from as well. I regularly pass up opportunities to drive my ’96 Porsche 993 to drive the MB instead.

    BTW – refinishing the center rolltop wood is only a couple hundred clams from Jeff @ Madera Concepts in Goleta CA, and replacing the upper wiring harness is only $380 + a few hours of your time — and if I can do it (I did), anyone can.

  9. Yes, you are probably very wrong and I’ll say it brings something much closer to $89k than $20k. These cars really don’t offer anything in earth shattering performance, but what car from that era does relative to today. This car does offer the prized intangibles that collectable cars are born with. Rarity, ultra-low miles, and we’ll just assume the condition is fine. It also has a Porsche connection being a joint venture, and a pre-AMG high performance Mercedes that was sold in the US, making it literally a one of one model. I have owned a couple in the past and they are a great high speed touring driver and the W124 is just a fantastic car in build quality and design. Really the only downside to these is replacement parts, especially body work. It was low production one off stuff and is NLA new and a really hard find used. Some Mercedes collector is going to have to scoop this one up for a post Christmas gift to him/herself.
    Great Car!

  10. Here’s another VERY minty 500E which sold a few months ago. Another common color. 38K miles. Selling dealer is quite familiar with the market.

    Sale price would have been in the mid to upper $40s.

    https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11608

  11. @Ralph
    BaT results do not really set the market. If you evaluate auction results, both sold and RNM you will quickly see that a) euro cars are much more favored than american iron and b) quite a bit often the sales price or reserves have nothing to do with the real market value. Here’s a case in point:

    https://bringatrailer.com/search/r63/auctions/

    the first r63 sold at a ridiculous $51k and as we move away from that date, the prices are approaching the realm of reality. The bidding war for the r251 which reminded me of two trust fund babies getting into a pissing contest…

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