2005 Smart Roadster

After the introduction of the original Smart Car in 1998, Smart diversified their lineup by adding the Roadster and Roadster Coupe in 2003 and the Fourfour in 2004. The first generation Smart Car wasn’t officially imported to the US and neither was the Roadster or Forfour. Powered by a turbocharged, three cylinder engine mounted in the rear, this car was likened to a modern day incarnation of the cheap sports car popularized by UK marques such as MG and Triumph. With a low curb weight of just over 1,700 pounds, this car has a power to weight ratio normally found in many exotics. Sadly, due to warranty claims stemming mainly from leaky tops, the Smart Roadster was a failure for parent company Mercedes-Benz and production halted in 2006.

2005 Smart Roadster for sale in Hemmings

The seller states:

Here’s a rare one. A Smart Roadster with large Michalak wheels, low profile tires and a new tuned exhaust system. This sport roadster gets 50-60 mpg on the highway. Never imported into the U.S. and 1 of only 5,000 produced. Heres your chance to own a sports car that can actually save you money on gas!

This car presents an opportunity to be one of the very few in the US to own one of these. Even so, the $18,000 entry fee seems a bit steep. After sifting through eBay UK, the highest priced Smart Roadster I came across was a 2006 Brabus edition for just shy of £10,000 (about $15,000). Given there are probably zero others on the US market right now, the seller is obviously thinking he can name his price. The only lingering question I have regarding a car like this is how difficult it might be to register it in certain states.

-Paul…

1 owner 2007 ML63 on Craigslist

Clean looking Mercedes ML63 with 31,000 miles out in Portland at a dealer. For anyone who thinks you are driving something that looks like a minivan, just let the 503 horsepower do the talking. Lots of options included on this one, like rear camera and head rest TVs. I like the looks of the ML, much more than the larger GL. The grab handles in the center console are an nice design touch. This one looks unmolested so there is room to add your own personal flair.

1 owner 2007 ML63 on Craigslist

~Evan…

1976 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer

I have to admit, I’m not an SUV fan. For my purposes, at least, these vehicles are of little use. That being said, there are a few I admire for their capability and design. The original Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz Geländewagen come to mind. Oh yeah, and this thing, the Pinzgauer. While this vehicle isn’t German, it’s made in Austria by the same folks who had a hand in developing the Geländewagen, Steyr-Puch. Production of the first generation Pinzgauer ran from 1971 through 2000 in both 4×4 and 6×6 models. Powered by an air cooled inline four cylinder engine with dual carburetors, these vehicles are noted for their durability. Other features include a two speed transfer case, hydraulically actuated locking differential hubs and a 24 volt electrical system. While they don’t have a huge following in this country, you do see them around from time to time. Incidentally, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger owns two of them.

If you are familiar with the 712 Pinzgauer, you know it is a “go anywhere” vehicle! With three driving axles and dash lock-in hubs on all axles and high ground clearance, it truly will go anywhere. I purchase it in 2006, have added 100 miles and always stored inside. Includes tool kit, space tire and English manuals. The vehicle is in very good condition, everything works. Vehicle is” for sale” local, Seller reserves right to end sale at any time. Thanks for looking.

During the last blizzard here in Arlington, Virginia, a 4×4 Pinzgauer passed me on the street. I instantly knew what it was but had to do a double take because I had never seen one in person in the US that I can remember. This beast didn’t miss a beat through snow drifts measuring several feet high.…

Theme Week: Winter Olympics of SUVs

Since our first theme week was such a success and fun. We are doing another round. This week we are thinking about the Winter Olympics. Heavy snow, cold temperatures, rugged terrain, all things you would associate with the Winter Olympics. Lastly, of course, you have your highly tuned, trained, athletes at the top of their game, ready to tackle tough conditions.
We think that this can be a pretty easy comparison to the top dogs (St. Bernards perhaps?) of the luxury, performance SUV, category.
So be on the lookout this week for Teutonic trucks.

To start things off here is a silly video of a pair of Mercedes G55s pulling a C63 through some snow. Something is slightly off with this video, be it lack of snow tires, lack of driving skill, lack of something.

~Evan…

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe

With the reintroduction of the Mercedes-Benz E Class Coupe for 2010, let’s take a moment and pour over its direct forebear. Here is a clean, relatively low mileage 1995 E320 coupe, which represents the final year of production for the W124 chassis. According to The Standard Catalog of Mercedes-Benz, only 1,798 Coupes were produced for 1995, which was amazingly higher than production was in 1994. While there were less W124 Convertibles produced during the same time frame, open top versions seem easier to find in mint condition and appear to change hands rather frequently, given the short supply. Powered by the ubiquitous M104 3.2 liter inline six, this coupe is capable of providing many more miles of effortless, reliable transport.

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe in Hemmings

The seller states:

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe, 88K, Black/ grey leather. Never smoked in, southern car, always garaged, no rust, mint condition. Clean CarFax. Cost new $63K.

Upon seeing this ad, I had a suspicion that $14,500 seemed high for an asking price, but I had not looked up the value of W124 coupes lately. Sure enough, after consulting three pricing sources, Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book and NADA, my suspicions were correct. High retail value from these three pricing services was $5,086, $7,150 and $8,912 respectively. Granted, the ad is not very descriptive and there is no telling whether the car is fully documented or if it is an original owner vehicle. If this were the case, I could see the value of this creeping more towards the $10,000 mark, given the mileage and the fact that you don’t see these on the market every day. All of this aside, it is nice to see a well preserved, late model W124 coupe out there, as these cars are simply timeless.

-Paul…

1995 Mercedes S600 Armored

This is one battle ready S class. If you are just looking for regular luxury transportation this is not for you. If your ride to work may lead you through an area known for IEDs or near that former business partner you screwed over who happens to also own a collection of sniper rifles, this may be perfect. This car was built for the Sultan of Brunei by TRASCO a company that was known for building the ultimate in specialized urban protective vehicles. TRASCO is now one of the companies that falls under the Centigon nameplate. The original cost, and you can be sure no expense was spared, was $400,000 you also can be sure that whatever this sells for now it will include a lot of priced in depreciation, the buy-it-now price is $85,000.

With 3″ thick glass and 1/2″ steel plating the car meets European level B6 armor standards, or in other words it’s capable of fending off 7.62mm rounds from the guy parked next to you with a machine gun. Naturally all that armor is going to add a literal ton of weight, the car weighs 7600lbs, but thankfully you have Mercedes’ 6.0 liter V-12 helping put plenty of power through run flat tires and also an upgraded suspension. The car comes with the stock rims as well as a nice set of big Carlsson wheels.

With 20,000 miles the car looks brand new. It even is coming off of a year long stay as an exhibition car in the Petersen Automotive Museum. Here is a link showing the car at the museum.

This is not really a collectible car and should not be seen as an investment, but should go to someone who will use it for what it was built for. Someone who has a chauffeur and is genuinely concerned for their own and their family’s  security.…

1993 Mercedes 500SL for the Superbowl

For the Superbowl I thought this car was appropriate.
A 1993 Mercedes 500SL formerly owned by NFL player and broadcaster Pat Summerall. I don’t really think there is much value added in the former owner status though, no offense to Pat.
67,000 miles is not much at all. With so many of these 5.0 Benz engines out there parts should not be outrageous. The seller says the car has a brand nw convertible top and another $1600 in recent tuneups. I kind of like the blackberry color on this car.
It is nice that it comes with both tops as I think if you aren’t going to drive topless the hardtop on the SL is a much better look than the softtop.
The $11,700 ask should have some play in it if the owner wants to sell.

~Evan…

Clean, low mileage, 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

The 560SEC was not a common car to begin with, as just a little over 5,000 were produced for the 1989 model year. In total, during its entire production run, almost 29,000 were produced. Considering Toyota makes over 400,000 Camrys a year, this kind of gives you a perspective on just how rare these W126 coupes are. Finding a clean one these days proves to be quite a challenge, however, there are still some out there. Take for instance this example, which has evaded the harsh Northeast climate, advertised in Hemmings Motor News:

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on Hemmings

The seller notes:

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC, Desert Taupe mettallic / Creme beige leather. FLAWLESS, only 48,000 documented miles. Spectacular original paint, clearcoat, glass. Impeccable interior, carpet, wood trim. Fully sorted by obsessive owner and his German born Mercedes (only) mechanic. NEW: A/C compressor, condenser (conversion to R134), water pump, valve cover gasket, brakes (rotors & pads), wheel bearings, tires, alignment, sway bar linkage, window regulators, steering shock, headrest guides. All electronics work perfectly including orginal Becker radio, sunroof, seatbelt extenders, antenna. Remote locking, alarm, 6 disc CD changer. Beautiful!

I haven’t seen one of these for sale with under 50,000 miles for a while, so $22,900 seems pretty fair, especially if it as well documented as the seller describes. This is a lot of car for the money, especially considering this was the most expensive Mercedes-Benz for sale in 1989.

-Paul…

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 wagon

After the glut of minivans and sport utility vehicles that have flooded the automotive landscape over the last two decades or so, the wagon, or estate vehicle, has become an afterthought in many people’s minds. Mercedes, however, has shown a steadfast commitment to the body style, as they have offered a wagon in their lineup every year for the past 32 years. Below is an example of how perfectly Mercedes-Benz blends style, performance and utility in one irresistible package.

The E55 wagon attained almost instant classic status when Mercedes announced they would be selling it here on U.S. shores, because everyone knew it had no equals and was meant as a limited production model. The E55 and E63 which followed accounted for a few hundred sales across the U.S. during it’s production run. Not many family haulers can brag about sharing a supercharged V8 engine with the legendary Mercedes-Benz SL roadster.

The seller states:

One of 129 (verified with Mercedes AMG Private Lounge – I’m a member/AMG nut with 2 other AMG cars) E55 Estates produced for the 2005 model year. In VERY RARE Platinum Blue Metallic with Black/Blue two-tone interior (has subtle blue stitching throughout), light grey headliner. 31.5k miles with 2 owners (AutoCheck is incorrect, 2 of the noted owners are Mercedes dealers).

This has to be one of my favorite Mercedes-Benzes of the last two decades, partly due to its rarity and the Q ship factor. This is a true multipurpose vehicle, as you can find yourself hauling a wardrobe while simultaneously clipping an apex at 75 mph. And if you are a parent and just can’t let go of your youth, this is the best way to have your cake and eat it while on your way to soccer practice.

-Paul…

1964 Mercedes 220SE Leichenwagen / Hearse in Italy

Another unique opportunity here. Normally we keep the auctions to North America, but this was too good to pass up.

The bodywork is nice, but the interior is spectacular. Like the Langversion Merc I posted recently it will take someone with a interesting vision to take advantage of a car like this. Though keeping this just as is doesn’t seem like a bad idea. It is really too nice to turn into a German  Ecto 1.

The new owner would want to make sure to keep this away from anything that could damage all that custom glass in the back. Speaking of glass, I’m always a fan of the Euro headlights on all Benzs. In this case they replace the dual light vertical stack on the U.S. versions.

The original ask was $6500 Euros about $9400 and it didn’t sell. I wish there were more pictures. The folks over at Bring A Trailer also picked up on this ride.

I wonder if anyone famous got a ride in the back?

~Evan…