I continue to be inspired to research cars I see on the street. I walked past a C43 the other day and was impressed by the many little changes that give it an air of muscularity not present in the C-class until recently. Add to that the fact that it was the first V8-powered C as well as the first Mercedes to be completely assembled at AMG after Daimler gained total ownership in 1998, and this is an unassuming but rather special Benz. The 4.3 liter’s 306hp is tame by today’s insane nuclear-proliferation style power wars, but when you realize that it’ll do 181 miles per hour when delimited, it becomes clear just how adequate that much power can be.
The C-class is often overlooked when it comes to AMG badassness, but reviewing the numbers for this car makes me think that a Buy-it-Now of less than $10k, and with just 74k miles, this is a good deal. It may not be the most stylish Benz, and obviously not the fastest compared to the insane modern-day equivalent, but I’m betting even M-Bs invasive traction control can’t stop the 4.3 from having some fun with rear tires. I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows of reliability problems with these, but I’m guessing the V8 is plenty robust, giving this C43 the potential for a lot of fun miles out of the AMG bargain bin.
We see a lot of fairly new cars that just get crushed with depreciation. That leaves some great opportunities for secondhand buyers.
This 2003 S55 had an M.S.R.P. north of $100,000 and now can be had for $22,500. 75,000 miles on the car, which looks pretty clean. The interior looks great considering its light color.
With the addition of a Eurocharged 180mm pulley, Kleeman headers and tune added to the already potent supercharged engine, your probably looking at close to 550 horsepower and gobs of torque.
Sure you could buy yourself a nice brand new car with a warranty for this price, but it certainly won’t have the presence of this top of the heap German luxury sedan. If you don’t mind paying top dollar here is another chance for instant gratification for the holidays.
Several Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16s have been featured here on our site before, so the qualities of this pre AMG sport sedan from Stuttgart need not be poured over. Low mileage examples are getting harder to find these days, however, this clean and well documented example grabbed my attention late last week on eBay.
The seller states:
The 2.3-16 was sold in the US market for model years 1985-86 and a total of only 2,229 were produced for this market. The car presented here is the 229th “16 valve” brought into the US and was produced in October of 1985. The car was shipped to the US and on January 2nd, 1986 the car was sold to its first owner, a doctor in Yuma, Arizona. This owner kept the car for 10 years and covered 53,307 miles before selling it. The second owner, a geologist from San Jose, CA, drove the car for an additional 10 years and in July of 2006 I bought the car with 153,660 miles on it. Currently the car shows 171,469 miles. Below is all the factory information on this car including the option codes. This information was taken directly from the data card and all of the equipment, as well as the numbers on the car match.
Chassis #: 201.034-1F-160993
Motor #: 102.983-10-008984
Model Year: 1986
Paint: DB 702- Smoke Silver Metallic
Interior: Code 271- Black Leather
222- right front seat, electrically adjustable
240- outside temperature indicator
241- left front seat electrically adjustable with memory feature
410- electric sliding roof
444- tempo-mat cruise control and airbag
467- central locking system and instruments with english lettering
494- California version
506- outside rearview mirror, left and right (electrically adjusted on the right)
519- Becker radio Grand Prix electronic cassette- USA
531- automatic antenna
543- sun visor with vanity mirror, illuminated, left and right
551- anti-theft warning system
586- Behr air conditioning system and electric window lifters (front and rear doors)
593- heat insulating glass all around, heated rear window pane (single sheet safety glass), band filter
639- elimination of first aid kit and warning triangle
876- rear door contacts and lamp above rear
As you can see from this option code list this car was fully loaded directly from the factory.
Every morning on my way to work I am confronted by the ubiquitous Toyota Prius screwing around in the left lane and holding up traffic. Now, I’m all for more efficient vehicles, but driving a penalty box like this on a daily basis might lead me to mental instability. While this vintage S class isn’t faster than a Prius, it will certainly get you there in style and last a whole lot longer.
The seller states:
This is an exceptionally clean, well cared for, smoke-free Mercedes. Accordingly here is a list of the good and also things needing attention: All the glass is in great shape. The car idles, runs and drives out as I feel it should – strong oil pressure, strong battery and charging system, no overheating, no brake pull or alignment issues! The factory original color gold metallic paint is in great overall condition and still holds quite a shine. I find NO rust spots on the body or door panels. Absolutely superior chrome and exterior trim all around, too! The front fenders, doors, rear quarters and floor pans are all solid; in fact the entire undercarriage is in great condition for a 30 year-old car! The factory wheels are straight and true. They’re wrapped with 205/70R14 radials with at least 80% life remaining.
The upholstery is all-original with the pictures giving a very accurate view of its clean, solid, superb condition. Often, you’ll find worn springs and disintegrating cushion material on these cars. This is NOT the case here. Hop in and feel comfortable sitting on these firm seats for hours. About the only flaw is a worn spot on the driver’s backrest that doesn’t warrant much attention for now, you’ll see it in the pics. The heater and A/C system work, but could use a refrigerant recharge.
Most of the 2.3-16s I see are surprisingly dirty. It seems like they’re taken care of like any other 190E, left to get rained on and crapped on by birds, bleached by the sun with the self-leveling suspension sagging. This owner apparently took exception with that frame of mind and approached his Benz as if it were already the 40 year-old classic it will surely become. A top-to-bottom rebuild has left no stone unturned, and the results are impressive.
The seller’s description in all caps so you can read it better:
I START MY RE-BUILD BACK ON 2006 DECEMBER TILL 2008 JULY, IN A SHOP CALL BERGAN IMPORTS IN NEW JERSEY ( PALISADE PARK), THEY ONLY WORK ON GERMANY CARS ONLY. MY TOTAL COST WITH INVOICE OF PAYMENT IS ABOUT US$28000.00 AND WITH OUT INVOICE LIKE THE 17″ OEM AMG MONO BLOCK, ALARM, CENTRE CONSOLE AND MANY EXTRA PART IS ABOUT USD$8000.00 OR MORE WHICH DOES NOT INCLUDE THE BUYING PRICE OF THE VEHICLE OF USD$6500.00 WITH THE TOTAL OF ABOUT US$ 42500 OR MORE.
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE TO THE ENGINE: (COST ABOUT USD$10000.00)
IF NEEDED I CAN SEND YOU A COPY OF IT , BECAUSE IS TOO LONG TO LIST EVENTHING, BUT NOT ONLY THE ENGINE, LIKE THE CLIMATE BLOWER MOTOR, TIMING CHAIN, ALL 16 VALVE , TIMING CHAIN GUIDE AND RAIL , WATER PUMP, ALL RUBBER HOSE AND ALL SEAL, AND THE AIR IS UPGRADE TO R134, AND THE TEMP SENSOR IS BEEN UPGRADE ( NORMAL TEMP IS 110c FOR A 190E AND THE NEW SENSOR ONLY RUN IN BETWEEN 85c ~95c ONLY) AND THE TRAN HAS BEEN RE-BUILD TOO, CHANGE GEAR IS VERY SMOOTH.
EXTERIOR : ( COST ABOUT USD$12000.00)
ALL THE OLD PAINT GET SAND OFF AND RE-PRIME, THE REAR QUART L+ R + CENTRE PANEL IS BRAND NEW DUE TO THE RUST ON THE L+R CONER OF THE REAR WINDOW AND THIS IS NORMAL TO A 190E, ALL OF THEM ARE LIKE THIS, BUT I DON’T LIKE TO SAND OFF THE RUST AS I KNOW IT WILL COME BACK AFTER A YEAR OR TWO, SO I JUST REPLACE IT AND THE CAR ALSO GET A NEW UNDER COATING ON ALL FENDER TO MAKE SURE IT WILL PROTECT AGAIN THE RAINING.
After 3 of these monster R129 Mercedes showed up this past summer, we got a tip for another one on eBay from Portland, Oregon. It’s a short list of cars that have over 7 liters of displacement, and pretty extreme for Renntech to punch out the normal 6.0 liter V12 in the SL an extra 1.4 liters. A couple things always seem come up with these cars: time/space-bending power in a dated chassis, and massive depreciation. I’ve always fantasized about having a Benz that could light up the rears on the highway, so maybe this is the most financially feasible way to achieve that goal.
The seller’s 2 cents:
This is an extremely rare Mercedes SL600. It was converted to a RENNtech in 1999, and has a 7.4 liter 575 HP engine with camshafts and ported and polished heads. It also carries a RENNtech resonator by pass, RENNtech rear muffler, oil cooler, CF air intake, transmission upgrade, ASR delete switch, larger front and rear sway bar, Alcon 14″ front brakes and AMG 18 inch Aero wheels all verified through RENNtech. The Customer spent $73,681.00 to do this RENNtech conversion. The car is in spectacular shape, with books and all four Keys.
In the same sleeper green as the one Evan found this summer, this one is extra sleepy with standard AMG monoblocks and completely shaved identifying badges. Nice to see another one that’s been driven, having covered 89k miles, but the flipside is that you’ve got a 90k-mile tuner V12. Right. Anyways, while it’s certainly not the best looking R129, that’s kind of the appeal here: scary power in as plain-jane an exterior as Mercedes can do. No bites at $20k yet, we’ll see if even that is too high for a car whose monster in the engine bay is only matched by its monster depreciation.…
There aren’t a lot of better ways to get in on some classy German V8 action than the W210 E55. Plenty of power and timeless looks generate nostalgia for the last time German uber-sedans were simple. This example has covered fewer miles than its moniker and it shows.
From the seller:
Up for sale is a gorgeous Silver E55 AMG – an autobahn stormer in a gentleman’s suit. The handbuilt AMG engine is magnificent and very responsive. This car has been garaged and well maintained with all service records. It drives as nice as my wife’s 2010 Mercedes, which is a testament to how well built these machines are. 1 prior elderly gentleman owner prior to me. I have all the service records and original window sticker with a $70,000 + pricetag. In my exhaustive search for the perfect E55, none of the others that I drove have come close to the caliber of this car. The new owner gets two sets of keys.
MECHANICAL: The magnifient E55 AMG handbuilt engine sounds amazing and is just as responsive as the day it left the factory. It drives amazingly well, thanks to religious servicing. It handles just as well. No rattles. Dealer serviced, and I have the service records. In addition to routine servicing, some major items are as follows –
18k mi – AC blower motor replaced under warranty. AC works great.
37k mi – replaced throttle actuator and EGR valves and gaskets, shift linkage bushings, lower control arm bushings – $1320
EXTERIOR: Gorgeous Brilliant Silver paint (744) is in excellent shape. Garage kept, without dings. A few small scratches on the rear bumper. NO rust and flood issues.
– 18″ AMG wheels with Michelin Pilot Sports II with 80% tread depth. A few small scratches on the wheel lips, but not too unsightly.
This car is from down under in more ways then one. It hails from Australia, but there also is quite a lot of under world connections with this beast.
From the description it looks like this started life off as a proper hearse, but a new owner has gone all out with custom work to turn it into a head turner. Fancy mural work all over, neon lighting, big subwoofer, full size casket with skeleton, this thing has some fun possibilities.
With the under hood work being a fairly standard Mercedes 2.8 liter 6 cylinder maintenance to keep it running shouldn’t be too “scary,” despite having covered 128,000 miles.
The ask price is just under $13,000 U.S.
Spooky awesome. Just in time for Halloween!!
We try to avoid posting utter monstrosities and crimes against nature but sometimes one sneaks in. Perhaps it is my soft spot for Mercedes that slipped this one through.
The seller boldly proclaims “THIS VEHICLE HAS BEEN UPGRADED” and they also claim, “WE HANDPICK ONLY THE FINEST VEHICLES” so I guess its all relative.
I’m not really sure what one would do with a car like this. It isn’t valuable enough to try and return to it’s former glory and the custom work has really limited the potential buyer pool.
The oddly placed aftermarket driving lights and the rainbow fleck paint aren’t what you normally would associate with a Benz, don’t forget the hood scoop(?!) either. The racing stripes shout class in case the gaudy steering wheel cover or Fast and Furious wing didn’t catch your eye.
I see this car parked in a high school parking lot in the near future.
With 123,000 miles the car has a no reserve ask price of $3,600. Not a bad price, you could part the car out and make that much, but still I’m not sure this is going to see any bidders. The AMG rims are worth at least a quarter of that if they are genuine as the seller states.
Do any of you have a better suggestion as to where car like this will end up next?
Please don’t do this to your Mercedes.
I’m going to top Aaron’s earlier post of the 1983 GTI with 38k with this sweet low mile cupcake.
You sometimes think of Mercedes and you picture long term reliability and high mileage cars. So how about this gem of a vintage Mercedes sedan that has covered a mere 26,000 miles. Finding a garden variety 250 with such low miles is almost unheard of. These cars were typically used, racking up many trouble free miles. This beauty was spotted prowling the paddock over at Watkins Glen, New York. I’d like to know the story about previous ownership to see where the low mileage comes from. I noted that the car has historic plates on it so it is not likely the current owner’s daily driver. The owner also states it has not seen winters, a plus in central New York.
The cream paint looks fantastic, the interior almost as new. Not even a single of the notorious Mercedes Benz dash cracks. No pitted chrome either. This Benz comes with the column shifted automatic, not quite as desirable or as fun as the floor mounted auto or the manual, but this is a sedate sedan.
Nothing too flashy here, just a chance to have a charmer of a Benz transport you back into a simpler time of premium automotive travel. Perfect for say a New Haven area professor, tweed jacket with suede elbow patches not included.
The owner asks for $10,000, and says call if interested, 607-279-7688.