The passing of the R107 chassis Mercedes-Benz 560SL proved a turning point for the classic SL roadster. Gone was the heavy, boulavardier cruiser and in came a more technologically advanced, if heavier, model. Not only was the SL available with the new 5.0 liter, four cam V8, but Mercedes saw fit to equip the new model with the first ever inline six engine for the US market since the 1972 280SL, resurrecting the storied 300SL badge once again. Here we have a 300SL with the rare 5 speed manual option over at Quattroworld.com.
75,523 miles. The turbo kit was used on this car and removed recently for smog.
Here is a video of a similarly equipped 300E with a Mosselman turbo installed:
R129 SLs have just about reached bottom when it comes to resale value, especially the earlier models. Going forward, clean ones are sure to appreciate, as we have seen with previous generations SLs as they age. While it would take the right kind of person to buy a 5 speed SL, there are very few out there and of those, I’m sure they have their following.
This is the last of my last minute Easter posts. Here is a tastefully modified 500E with 153,000 mile. It is up for sale at $9100 no reserve. Even with the mileage that is a very tempting price for a 500E.
The car comes with a blacked out grill and a brand new $9000 paint job. The nice deep dish three piece AMG wheels the seller is keeping, which is unfortunate because they look really good and are contemporary with the car.
There is something funky going on with the headlamp wipers, but that should be an easy fix.
The seller gives a list of recently serviced items including:
VALVE COVER GASKETS
REAR SHADE SERVICE
ALPINE AM, FM, SIRIUS, BLUETOOTH PHONE INTERFACE, USB AND IPOD FEATURE
This looks like a solid car for under $10k. Even though the auction ends really soon a PPI would be advised with those miles.
Number 2 in my last minute Easter Sunday posts is this Euro grey market 560SEC with only 62,000 miles. Sold by the same fellow who is selling the nice 500E that ends today. Perhaps if you buy both this and the matching charcoal black 500E you could get a deal.
Like the 500E this looks to be a very well maintained example. The Euro spec model has the nicer headlights and bumpers, as well as a Euro spec engine.
These are great cars and this is low mileage for the engine. The car is just old enough to avoid many of the electronic gizmos that can cause problems, but new enough that it has plenty of convience features modern Mercedes are known for.
Another fine unmolested example.
It is Easter and there are a number of auctions ending today on eBay that may get missed as folks are traveling or spending time with family.
I thought I would post a few up to get them some attention before they disappeared. So this will be post #1 of 3 quick ones.
1994 Mercedes 500E with 68,000 miles, which is fairly low for the Porsche engineered engine. Buy it now is $25,000.
I’m not sure if this one has appeared on the site before, I don’t think so, but I am almost positive I have seen it for sale before. It is clearly one of the nicer 500Es out there. This one looks really well maintained and original. The pictures back up the seller’s statements about the condition. Perhaps one of the nicest original driver 500Es left on the road.
I’m still keeping up with this unique Mercedes gullwing theme I’ve had going on. If you thought the Styling Garage SGS or the Sbarro were scarce finds, this ups the ante once more. This fantastically rare find comes from reader Victor, awesome catch.
Isdera’s are one of the rarest cars in the world and you hardly ever have the opportunity to see one come up for public sale. For one reason or another this one has popped up on the Japanese Yahoo Auction site. These cars go beyond the standard supercars you people dreamed about. Isdera falls in with brands like Vector and the Cizeta in terms of early 90s exclusivity.
The 108i was built from 1984-1993, according to the auction this one has a date of 1991. The Imperators had their origins as a Mercedes concept car before being turned over to the Isdera company to develop privately. The name means commander in Latin stemming from Roman times. The seller states that this is one of two that was imported to Japan. With such a long, but limited production run, apx 30 cars, several different Mercedes power plants were used. The seller states that this one has a Mercedes 5.0. The engine cover looks like this is the 32 valve version found in the 500SL of the day. With Isdera modifications, 400 horsepower could be lurking in there. These cars were known as potent performers.
The seller is looking for 58,000,000 Yen which is about $650,000, half of the initial cost of 120,000,000 Yen. That makes the cost of that $90,000 Sbarro look pretty good.
Here are a couple of videos showing similar vehicles, you can see there is some variation. Note the roof mounted “periscope” mirror for backup driving on both these cars. Note that both videos show the car wearing the same license plate badge, with letters bb and CW311. CW311 was the name of the initial Mercedes prototype styling study, b+b is one of the German Mercedes tuning firms. Also pay attention how in one video the car is wearing all 3 pointed Mercedes star badges, but in the other these have been replaced with Isdera flying eagle badges.
First is an advertisement from Isdera for the 108i.
Second here is one out on the street. This one appears to have an earlier 5.6 Mercedes engine, it sure sounds fine.
Keeping with the flavor of my last post on the Gullwing Sbarro I thought this similar aged take on the classic Benz Gullwing take was nice.
Nowadays you see everything from Dodge Neons to Honda Civics running around with cheap poor quality Lambo style door kits.
The gullwing setup on this Merc is a much more involved project since it involves cutting the roof. When you cut this much metal out of the car you have to add significant reinforcement to maintain a safe body.
Styling Garage, SGS, the company that made the modifications, was well known in the 80s for making dramatic visual upgrades to Mercedes cars.
Many SGS tuned cars were given SGS badges out front and custom body work instead of the three pointed star. This one has some AMG body parts, but looks mostly stock. Inside there is some custom guages and nice wood steering wheel.
Original price on the conversion was the same as the price of the car itself.
This specimen has 40,000 miles, and a seller looking for $15,000. It has new paint, but as you can tell from the wood planks holding the doors up there is some work to be done. Lots of depreciation here for a really unique car.
You can read more about the SEC gullwings over at 1000SEL.com
Clean, low mileage Mercedes 190E sedans are getting harder to find these days. Even more rare are well looked after examples of the hot version, the 190E 2.3-16 with an engine developed jointly with Cosworth and an available 5 speed manual transmission with dog leg first gear. Before AMG became the in-house tuning arm of Mercedes-Benz, there were several performance sedans to emerge from the manufacturer, most notably the W109 300SEL 6.3, W116 450SEL 6.9 and the legendary Porsche assembled W124 500E/E500. The 190E 2.3-16 and 2.5-16 were part of this high performance history.
This is the holy grail of 190E 2.3-16V cars; all original paint and body panels, no accidents or paintwork EVER. Only 63K documented original miles. Fantastic original cosmetic condition inside and out. Flawless mechanically with everything working including the VDO computer. A 5-speed manual with a smooth and perfect clutch and transmission. She runs strong, looks great, and is in SUCH great shape cosmetically and mechanically; this car needs NOTHING but a new owner.
The 190E 2.3-16 has begun to garner recognition amongst collectors and values have crept up as of late. Still, no matter how clean, $17,900 seems optimistic, given that mint C43 AMG models with a V8 can be had for similar, if not less money. True, the C43 is a different animal, but when NADA is listing a high retail shy of $12,000 for this car, one would think this kind of vehicle would maybe pull $14-15k max. Still, there is no denying that this is an exceptional example of an important piece of Mercedes-Benz history.
The seller has had this listed a couple times on eBay and it hasn’t sold. It is listed as a 1976, but while that may be how it was registered I’m certain this car was converted in the early 1980s. It is riding on the W126 500SEC based chassis, not as the seller states the 116. The engine is the 6.9 liter out of the 116 based 450SEL 6.9, though. (edit: This model is on the W116 chassis, unlike the 5.0 liter versions that came on the W126.)
While this one is an automatic, these cars were available with a 5 speed manual and with a bi-turbo engine 5.0. When new these cars started at 250,000 German marks.
The seller might want to go with more classic rims and include more information and pictures of the engine bay if they want to get anything close to the $90,000 ask price.
At first look this indeed looks like a W126 chassis vehicle. This has the W116 dash, something I easily recognize from my days of 6.9 ownership, and distinctive U.S. market 116 servo climate control center console, something my 6.9 didn’t have being grey market.
Two sources I used in digging up some info, Customizing and Tuning Mercedes by Heitz and Neff and Extraordinary Automobiles by Vann and Asaria both list Sbarro as using 500SEC W126 chassis as the basis for these conversions, calling it first the Shahin 1000 and then the 500 Portes Papillon Gullwing. It turns out they did use 116 chassis parts when using the 6.9 liter engine as opposed to the 5.0 or the 5.0 twin turbo option. Apparently the 6.9 motor was not available with the twin turbo option. It was one or the other, though who knows, money could lead companies like this to do strange things for customers.
There is also some wonderful additional photos and information available over at 1000sel.com and this Sbarro Shahin website which quotes directly from the Vann book and uses the same photos from that book.
The SUV theme week added a bit of interesting flavor to the blog. I think we’ll continue to keep an eye out for the occasional German born beast to compliment the svelte roadsters we post. As always if there is a theme you would like to see us try shoot us an e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
While we didn’t find any of the following for sale, I thought we just couldn’t leave an ultimate German SUV discussion without posting these.
If you are a Benz fan and want the highest form of expression of the G55 you actually have a pair of options.
You could go with the killer 600 horsepower Hamann Typhoon with 6 sidepipe exhaust:
or the even more crazy 700 horsepower, 800+ lb ft torque Brabus G V12 S Biturbo. Can you imagine a heavy truck with shape and weight of a small house that can hit 60 MPH in 4.3 seconds? The price tag is near $400,000.
Not to leave you BMW folks out, here is one of my favorite clips of Hans Joachim Stuck motoring an X5 LeMans arround a track. The car features the same V12 engine from the BMW LMR racer. Just listen to the engine howl on that thing. 700+ horsepower and it was faster around Nurburgring, 7:49, then a Gallardo a Ferrari 360 and even the M3 CSL. Not exactly what the typical American SUV buyer has in mind.
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.
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.
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