1994 Mercedes-Benz E320

I was thinking the other day about another daily driver and what it might be. It is not that I am unhappy in my Mercedes-Benz W116 and W123, but on these cold days I just wish I had a little more creature comforts and a heater that was a little stronger than just enough to keep my teeth from chattering. Naturally, the W124 came to mind and specifically the face-lifted E320. They are still relatively inexpensive to buy, they are ergonomically flawless, simple enough to maintain at home and reliable enough that you won’t be scared to death to drive it everyday in fear of something happening. When I saw this 1994 painted in Midnight Blue pop up for sale outside of Philadelphia, the gears in my head started turning. But once I really got a close look at this W124, I wasn’t about to jump on board just yet. At least not for this specific example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 on eBay

Year: 1994
Model: E320
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 118,145 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction

“The vehicle has RECONSTRUCTED PA TITLE IN OUR DEALERSHIP’S NAME. Absolute NO RESERVE AUCTION -HIGHEST BIDDER WINS THE VEHICLE! Please scroll down vehicle description to see all HD pictures and 4k YouTube Virtual Test-drive and detailed walkaround video of the vehicle. CALL US: 215-795-3856”

This W124 is an interesting example. At first glance I thought it looked fairly clean. The interior is well above average from what I usually see from a W124. The seats looked great, the wood trim shines really nice and nothing else seems out-of-place. But when I started to look closely at the exterior and read that this car carries a reconstructed title, I changed my tune pretty quickly on this car looking fairly clean. The Midnight Blue paint looks OK as it sits, but on the in tight photos you can see a ton of orange peel over the entire car. The rear trunk lid is especially bad and judging by the crooked ‘E320’ letters, this car has some kind of impact in the rear that required a repair. The front bumper isn’t any better as it is cracked and is missing an entire section of the lower grille. Also, the lower body cladding on both sides of the car has a strange white hue going on. Maybe it is some kind of wax residue because I can’t imagine what else it might be. Even worse, this E320 is riding on a mismatched set of the cheapest Chinese tires money can buy. I get that this all is just cosmetic stuff, but this stuff just bothers me in the grand scheme of the entire car. Under the hood just looks OK, but it tough to tell just by looking at a couple of photos.

This being a no reserve auction intrigues me. If this was a really nice 1994 E320 with a clean title, I think this car passes $5,000 easily and might even head towards $6,000 or $7,000. But being the shape that it is in and the accident history, I think somewhere in the $3,500 range makes sense to me. Maybe it will touch $4,000 if two bidders really want this car, but anything over that is a bad buy in my eyes. There are a ton of nice face lifted W124s out there, you don’t need to overspend on one right now.

– Andrew

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7 Comments

  1. Watch out for rust in the strut towers.

  2. Slim, rust concern on this example is probably on par with concern of how much filler is on the rear of this car. My favorite part of the video is when the seller points to the area around the trunk lock and states that there are cracks in the plastic (!!!) Thats the steel rear body panel and the visible cracks are gobs of filler used to fix the panel. trunk lid is also full of filler, notice the body lines around the rear license plate opening. The “paint scratch” on the right quarter panel around the right tail lamp is actually appears to be another bondo drying crack. This car was smacked very hard in the back, notice the top front edges of the rear door frames tucked in behind the front doors. The gaps between the trunk lid and the quarter panels are too large. From the early interior video shots, it looks like the headliner is sagging. The front fender liners are missing, with all the PA road crud getting easy access to the engine compartment.

    I didn’t wait out to see the entire 21 minutes of the b.s. video so I don’t know if the a/c and the heater work in the car. Suffice it to say that the HVAC button panel is prone to braking and if the blower fan inside the dash goes, thats a dash out repair nightmare.

    Andrew, I think you are being overly generous on your estimate of $3500 for this car. Its really about half that, tops. Its a salvage title I6 124 sedan with very shady repairs. The cracking of bondo at the rear is just the beginning of the nightmares you will have on your hands after getting this car home.

  3. I bought my 1995 E300D for $2,400. Mine has 275k miles, faded paint, and few small body imperfections, but the interior is excellent, the car is rust free, and a ton of engine work has been done including timing chain and glow plugs and so on. It also has nice bilstein suspension. This is pretty overpriced for a rebuilt car if it goes for more than 2-3K in my opinion!

  4. @Tirefriar, all great points. That is why I’m really curious to see what this car sells for.

  5. Blower motor is accessed via the engine bay. I just replaced the one in my face lifted S124. Its the AC system that requires a dive into the dash, fwiw.

  6. Too bad about this car. There’s fewer and fewer clean examples of these left everyday. And, Andrew, you’re right… there’s no better daily than a 124. 😉

  7. My prediction on the sales price was over by less than $150, not bad.

    @Jeff, thanks for clarification.. Years ago I gave my brother my E260 with HVAC system on the fritz. Come to think of it, the blower fan worked but not the A/C and push button HVAC controls were working funky. Can’t remember what it cost him, but he wasn’t very thrilled about getting it done. However, that fully operational a/c system was a strong selling point when he sold the car several years later.

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