Fast wagons are perhaps one of the most cultish of vehicle genres to date. There are those like me who have disdain for most SUVs and realize there are alternatives to moving your stuff around. As a single person without children, minivans are overkill for my demographic. It was Jeremy Clarkson who was quoted as saying a minivan signals to the world that “I’ve done my breeding. I’ve served my biological purpose, and now I’m waiting to die.” So ruling out a small van, where is one to turn for their hauling needs? How about Mercedes-Benz? Unlike Audi, Mercedes-Benz has not given up on a segment in the US market which it began to popularize decades ago. There are still loyal fans of the five-door variant of the E-class, now on its sixth generation if you count the W123 T-modell which started it all. Luckily, Mercedes-Benz has been kind enough to bring AMG tuned variants to a market with otherwise vanilla tastes when it comes to family cars. Today we’ll look at two very similar looking but different beasts, the E55 AMG and E63 AMG estates, both wearing the same shade of Graphite Gray Metallic for sale for sale from the same dealer outside of Philadelphia.
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Coupe versions of the Mercedes-Benz W126 chassis are popular fodder for these pages, and in particular we love to look at some period modified versions. Just last week Craig looked at a 1989 560SEC with period AMG bits, though that car was not an originally modified car. Today I have a comparison of two different directions modifications took in the 1980s on the C126, and in many ways it is a commentary on both how to properly present a car and…well, how not to. Whether these cars are to your taste is another matter, but we can certainly see the divergence in style pretty quickly. Which one is the winner? Let’s take a look at the European specification AMG model first:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay
Those of you regular readers of GCFSB probably know that I mostly write about Porsche 928’s. Today I have something different, albeit quite similar. Much like the 928, the SL55 is ostensibly a grand tourer and is powered by a V8 of the same displacement as the 928 GTS. Both cars also share a very similar interior layout, with most of the controls located in a sloping and raised center console. Both cars are also beloved by Jeremy Clarkson, who spoke favorably of the 928 in one of the final episodes of Top Gear, and who personally owned an SL55. Describing his SL as a swiss army knife, Clarkson pointed out that the SL can act as a grand touring car if so desired, but can also be turned into a roadster in 16 seconds thanks to a retractable hardtop.
This Designo Graphite 2005 SL55 stood out to me for multiple reasons. The beautiful Designo color combination and interior upgrades, the unique Alphard wheels, and the low mileage differentiate this SL55 from the others currently on the market. The Designo options on this car would have likely added an extra $8,000 onto the $120,000 base price for the SL55. Such options would include a full leather interior (dash, door panels, rear storage compartment, roll bar, and top lid), alcantara headliner, suppler leather on the seats, and black birdseye maple wood trim. This was a huge improvement over the mostly MB Tex and vinyl interior on a standard SL55. Basically, it is a combination of the higher quality finishes available on the SL600 with the more flashy design of the SL55, a win-win in my opinion.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG at Greater Chicago Motors
From ”I leased my spouse one” to ”Yeah, look up DTM on Wikipedia, you’ll see” is what the base CLK is to the roided-up Black Series. That, and about another $90,000. We’ve covered the Black Series cars fairly well on GCFSB so I don’t want to ramble on, but I think AMG did the best job they could given what Mercedes gave them in the CLK. A mix of C-Class chassis with E-Class features, the W209, even with AMG guise, was never the most hardcore sports coupe made compared to the holy grail BMW M3 that is fawned over. But when AMG teased the US with the CLK-DTM and finally gave us a taste with the CLK63 AMG Black Series, it was everything that we didn’t know we wanted. So if you are looking for a little piece of DTM heaven, let’s check out this 2008 for sale in California.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series on Benz World
A few days ago I featured a 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL which I called a ”money is no object” car. To walk into the dealer 28 years later with that same goal of a ”money is no object” you have your choice of the S63 AMG or the S65 AMG, which is about the same kind of hard decision like picking between Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie. Both are going to cost you a ton of money, (about $133,000 for the S63 and a whopping $198,000 for the S65), both are going to attract a fair amount of attention and both might be a risk to have long-term. But all that be damned, when you are with them, you are going to feel like a million bucks. If this is the kind of feeling you want — as well as maybe a little bit of risk — then this the 2009 Mercedes-Benz S63 AMG located in central Massachusetts might just for you.