2.Fast, 2.Furious: 1995 Volkswagen Jetta GL

Saying that you like the Fast and Furious series at all to any dedicated car enthusiasts is a bit like saying you are a Bach and Beethoven fan, but you’ve got a penchant for Weird Al Yankovic too. But the Fast series is, weirdly, a great collection of car films. Okay, back out that the driving scenes are pretty ridiculous, the stunts completely implausible, the plots barely coherent and the acting often one step above pornography. The same claims could easily be said about the Cannonball Run movies, and yet they’re generally accepted among enthusiasts, no?

Each one of these movies is full of iconic cars from start to finish. I’ll admit that I haven’t made it through the most recent additions to the Fast series. They seem a bit contrived (I know, bold statement considering the topic, but work with me) compared to the original, but then it’s hard to argue with their success. Over the past decade a new sequel has emerged like clockwork every two years, and the last one – The Fate of the Furious – netted $1,234,908,020 worldwide. And that was $300,000,000 less than the previous movie, lead actor Paul Walker’s last before his untimely death. In total the series has generated over 5 billion (yes, with a “B”) dollars in ticket sales.

Perhaps it was Paul Walker’s involvement that gave the movies real car credentials. By all accounts, he was a true automobile enthusiast. Just check out some of the cars in his incredible collection. With everything from E30 M3s to R34 Skylines, this man lived life as if he was really in Gran Turismo.

But within the series, there’s still some laughable moments. From the first movie there was Jesse’s Volkswagen Jetta. A Mk.3, it already had lost some street cred in my mind, but the ridiculous body kit and paint scheme was only further underscored by the ABA powertrain. Of course, as VW fan I was outraged. They didn’t even need to open the hood, because the 4-bolt wheels gave away that this was a 2.slow drag racing?!? It was, however, one of the few and the only featured German car in the first movie, and now it’s for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Volkswagen Jetta on eBay

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El Presidente? 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe

Another Mercedes-Benz, another reported former owner who was a leader of a country. According to the seller, this 1996 250SE Coupe was owned Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos. I thought it would be neat to maybe find a photo of him with this car because presidents seem to have their photo taken a lot. (Speaking of, this is a really iconic photo of Mateos riding in an Adenauer cabriolet with JFK.) During my quick research of Mateos, I noticed he died in September of 1969. The seller mentioned that he owned this car in the 1980s. This is why I always say ”According to the seller”. I nicely presented these findings to the seller and he urged me to see if I could find any more information since I was already three pages deep in my Google searching. Turns out, a Mexican website is representing another 250SE, a white 1965, as Mateos car as well. Clearly it is not the same car. This is why it is always a good idea to do your own research before spending a bunch of money on a car or writing about it on the internet. Anyway, this W111 is a European-spec car mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox that needs a whole lot of help. Much to my surprise, it seems like there are plenty of people out there willing to give it such help based on the bidding.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe on eBay

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John Lennon’s 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

I feature famous owner Mercedes-Benz from time to time with the scale of their ”famousness” ranging from Rowan Atkinson, Clark Gable, Bono and even Elvis. Personally, I just don’t believe that these names do a lot, or anything, for the values of the cars outside of it being just a cool side note. Maybe with some of the Elvis cars it might move the needle at little, but his star is fading as the years go by and the people who truly remember him are also fading away. Today, I have a car that you could argue is on the A-list when it comes to celebrity cars. This is John Lennon’s 1979 300TD. You might remember him as the co-founder of the The Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. His fame was tremendous until the day of his murder on December 8, 1980 and judging by how much media attention he and his family still gets just by throwing his name into Google, is still quite relevant.  You would guess that maybe this car, a car that he owned until his death, is probably going to bring big money, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: John Lennon’s 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD at Worldwide Auctioneers

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1998 Mercedes-Benz SL600

Yellow is always a hit or miss color when it comes to German cars. Some cars it looks great on like a Porsche 930 or a Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition. Other cars, maybe not so much. When it comes to yellow Mercedes-Benz, there aren’t a whole lot of them out there. This was a hot color in the 1960s and 1970s, but outside of the first-generation SLK and the new AMG GT, you won’t find many painted in this bright shade. When you do, it is literally just a handful of them and they were probably painted that way by special request. Today car, the king R129 SL600, is painted in the factory Yellowstone 685. At least that is how it sits now. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL600 on eBay

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1968 Mercedes-Benz 600

A few days ago I was talking with a friend who owns and operates a Mercedes-Benz restoration shop and the topic of the W100 600 came up. It was mostly me asking all kind of questions as to what it is like to own one of these cars and getting answers that blew my mind. One thing stuck out that about stopped me in my tracks. He told me that a 600 he services for a doctor had to choose between doing some repairs on his car or putting a new roof on his house. It was at that moment I realized I was never going to own a 600 nor want to own a 600. Our conversation then turned to the cost-per-mile calculation to own one of these and he threw out the number of roughly $5. Most exotics usually average about $3.50 a mile. That means if you own a 600 and drive it a conservative 2,000 miles a year, you can expect your wallet to be $10,000 lighter. To think, some people still don’t understand that this just isn’t another old Mercedes that has some pricey parts on it. I’ve said this before and I want to say it again, there is no faking owning a 600. The amount of time and money needed to keep one of these probably surpasses some short-lived marriages.

Anytime a 600 pops up for sale, I always hurry to take a look because of the crazy options that could be lurking inside as well as the possibility of it being owned by a celebrity and/or murderous dictator. Today’s 600, a 1968 up for sale in Chicago, probably didn’t have any executions called in from the rear seat because it wasn’t owned by someone of that ilk and this car is equipped with a rear refrigerator, not a telephone. This 600 was actually first ordered and owned by a man named Don Ricardo. Ricardo was a NBC Orchestra conductor but real passion was cars — especially Mercedes-Benz. Ricardo owned two 300SL Gullwings, a 1928 SSK and one of the most infamous Mercedes of all-time, a 1935 roadster custom-built for Nazi Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler. I assume this car was a 770. Anyway, safe to say that Ricardo liked his cars and knew exactly what he was buying in this 600. From there, details on this W100 are slim but thanks to the power of the internet, I was able to uncover a little more about this Grosse.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1968 Mercedes-Benz 600 on eBay

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Johnny Cash’s 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

It probably isn’t a surprise that the ”Man in Black” Johnny Cash also liked in his cars in black. It might be a little bit of a surprise that the romantic outlaw musician liked his black car to be a Mercedes-Benz 560SEL. I have to admit I didn’t expect a man with an image like Cash to choose such a fancy car like a 560SEL, but I suppose the W126 will make believers of us all. Cash purchased this vehicle new in 1990 which meant he would have been 59 years-old at the time, so it’s not like he was in the prime of his lawless ways, but image is everything and I guess in the pre-internet days it was a lot easier not to be seen. Nonetheless, this is what is claimed to be his last car and now it is up for bid in Tennessee. Fair warning, if you are expecting a prime example 560SEL, you aren’t going to find it here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Johnny Cash’s 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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Motorsports Monday: Niki Lauda’s 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190e 2.3-16v

To celebrate the opening of the newly revised Nürburgring in 1984, Mercedes-Benz organized a friendly, yet still fiercely competitive race between some of the greatest Formula 1 drivers of all time. That means names like Sir Stirling Moss, James Hunt, Alain Prost  , Phil Hill, and upstart Ayrton Senna were among the drives in the field. What were they all driving? None other than the then-new 190E 2.3-16V. All of these cars were slightly modified for the race with bolt-in roll cages and some racing seats but other than that, they ran the cars as-is. The winner of the race was the 24 year-old Senna, which isn’t much of a surprise when looking back now, but the driver who finished 2nd? Nikki Lauda. This is his car he raced and yes, it is now for sale.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190e 2.3-16v at Auto Classics

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King Juan Carlos I of Spain’s 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9

Some of my favorite cars to look at are special builds from manufactures to serve a specific purpose or person. One of those purposes is diplomat cars and all the crazy modifications they receive compared to the normal civilian version. Today, we have an already special 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 that was modified for Juan Carlos I during his rule as King of Spain. This M100-powered S-Class is fully armored and a rear sunroof was added so he and his wife, Queen Sofía, could stand on the rear seats to wave at people during parades and events. This W116 was also equipped with the customary flag holders on the front fenders and a siren to alert all the mere normal citizens to get out-of-the-way. But now, Juan Carlos I is 80 years-old and while he still gets driven around in a S-Class, he also prefers some faster toys too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on Mobile.de

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Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Last week I checked out probably one my favorite R129s, a 2000 SL500 Designo that everyone else seemed to enjoy too with its unique paint and interior color combination. Well, turns out we weren’t the only one who fawned over this unique SL. Recently decrowned richest person in the world, Bill Gates, seemed to have an eye for this R129 too. According to this seller, this 2000 SL500 up for sale in Silicon Valley no less, was originally owned by the Gates for the first two years of its life. This is wonderful and all, but unlike the car I checked out last week, I’m not totally in love with this specific example. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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Rowan Atkinson’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

Most people know him as ‘Mr. Bean’, car enthusiasts know him as the guy to crash his McLaren twice but only the most hardcore Mercedes aficionados will know him as a mutiple Mercedes-Benz W124 500E owner. This man is of course the legendary actor, comedian and screenwriter, Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson has always been known as a ”car guy” with classics like the Acura NSX, Renault 5 GT Turbo, Aston Martin DBS V8, 1939 BMW 328 and the list goes on and on. Surprisingly, he has chosen to give up two of his classic sport saloons at auction next month in England. One being the super rare Lancia Thema 8.32, the car famous for being powered by the Tipo 105L 3.0-liter V8 shared with the Ferrari 308 and Mondial Quattrovalvo and the other being this handsome 1993 500E. The W124.036 has been blue chip vehicle from the 1990s for years now, but one that has the ultra-rare cloth interior and owned by Mr. Bean? This super sedan could end up being pretty pricey once the hammer falls.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Rowan Atkinson’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E at Silverstone Auctions

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