Ministerial Transport: 1997 Mercedes-Benz S420 & 1995 Mercedes-Benz S320

As much as world leaders bang on about climate change and conservation, what is it that we typically see in the car park at the G7 Summit? Big black sedans. With security for heads of state of utmost importance, it’s easier to pack in a bunch of armor and defense systems into a car like the Audi A8 of German Chancellor Angela Merkel than it is a Toyota Prius. The consummate state limousine for many nations has always been one car: the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The 1990s saw the chains move for this perennial favorite, growing larger in almost every dimension with a new V12 engine on offer and a myriad of electronically assisted accessories. The following two black W140 sedans represent the lower end of what was on offer in the US market, each with low mileage. We’ll start with this 1997 S420 for sale in Texas.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz S420 on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SE Euro spec

It’s a testament to their design and engineering that you still see plenty of vintage Mercedes-Benzes on the road today, being used as any normal newer machine would. These cars were ahead of their time in performance and safety with style that has aged gracefully on many models. One of my favorite periods for the classics in the late 1980s, when cars like this 300SE were occupying space on the showroom floor amongst the R107 SLs and newly introduced 190 series sedans. This particular 300SE is a Euro spec model, with slimmer bumpers and flush headlamps that accentuate this car’s styling that blends modern and classic elements.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

$_57 (3)
I love finding anti-G55/G63 G-wagens, and here’s one that’s been used hard but is ready to go for more. It’s an Idaho off-roader, ready to take on trails and backcountry in a way that fully exploits its original intentions. Racks, lights, and big tires all create a great look in addition to being very useful, and the short wheelbase looks like a blast in the hills. It has low mileage but quite a bit of lurking rust, which should keep the price low.

Click for details: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 280GE for sale on eBay

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1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL v. “1956” HMDE 300SL Replica

There are a lot of famous cars that I dream about owning but just aren’t realistic. I’d love a Lancia Stratos, for example. And a Porsche 917K. But since my bank account doesn’t currently contain quite enough commas in the balance statement to make that occur, they’re going to remain dreams. Of course, for reasonable amounts you can buy quite convincing replicas of these cars; Hawk makes a very good Stratos copy, and RCR makes one killer-looking 917K knockoff. While purists decry these fakes as degradation of the brand, when well executed I find these replicas really intriguing. They offer an opportunity for not only mere mortals to own them, but more importantly they offer people who would never get to see them driven a chance to experience the shape in the wild. Another such car that gets traded for the same amount as the GDP of some small African nations is the Mercedes-Benz 300SL “Gullwing”. Considered by many to be the first “supercar”, the 300SL’s performance and design was otherworldly in the 1950s and though it’s not the most expensive Mercedes-Benz model they remain firmly out of the grasp of any but the most well-heeled enthusiasts. Like many Ferrari models, Mercedes-Benz has carefully sought out and squashed any attempts at building replicas, and few that remain floating around look close to the original. But today I have both a stunning original example and a reasonably accurate replica that you could actually buy and drive. Is the replica worth spending money on, though?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL on Hemmings

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2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500

The R107 Mercedes-Benz SL always had a bit of a feminine personality to it. This generation SL was certainly more luxury oriented than the W113 SL it replaced. When the R129 took the R107’s place after an impressive 18 year production run, once again a manual transmission was back on the options list. Was this a sign of changing times? While the 5-speed manual SL didn’t last that long, some AMG styling bits went a long way to give this roadster a more brutish appearance. This final year 2002 SL500 for sale in Florida is closing in on 100,000 miles but still looks quite fresh.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels Roundup

Another week and another set of rare to see wheels. One of the things I love about doing this feature is that I come across wheels I had long forgotten or didn’t even know existed. Today there are some neat ones in here, such as the BBS RT700s pictured above that would really dress up a Mercedes or older Audi. There’s also a mega-rare J.A.Pearce wheels for early Porsche 911s, along with some great looking Hartge and Racing Dynamics wheels for BMWs. I also included a set of Fondmetal F1s – remember when they sponsored an Formula One team? Finally, there’s a set of one of my favorite Audi 4x108mm wheels – the optional sport wheels from the U.S. spec Cabriolet (they were also seen on some European sport models of the 90) that look spectacular and are very affordable.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: BBS RT 17×8 5×112 Wheels on eBay

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1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

It seemed to be it was easier to keep up with vehicle changes year on year, mainly because there were less models populating manufacturer portfolios. As much as a petrolhead as I am, I can’t keep up with all the new model variants cropping up. Many seem to be a mashup of existing models meant to exploit every little automotive niche that might exist. But in reality, they are just variations on a particular modular platform. I still look back longingly to the days when the Mercedes-Benz lineup consisted of mainly the C, E, S and SL classes. It was simpler times and cars like this final year W124 E320 Cabriolet contained much of the DNA that made these cars popular with the monied set. This example for sale in Denver is a one owner car, showing under 50,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

The Mercedes-Benz 500E is one of those cars that was fairly affordable for a long time, but dwindling supply and greater awareness has raised values considerably. I knew it was a matter of time before this legend started to increase in value. We often see these four-door hot rods with Porsche DNA in black or silver, but this metallic blue example for sale in Florida bucks that trend. This car is closing in on 150,000 miles but has had the same owner for the last 18 years.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

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1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 Universal

With the explosion of SUVs in the Mercedes-Benz lineup, we tend to forget there was a time when the mainstay utilitarian vehicle in the product lineup was the T-model, more commonly known on these shores as the wagon. While the first factory wagons from Mercedes-Benz were the W123s in the late 1970s, there were a few coachbuilt examples that appeared before that. One of these was the Universal model based on the W110 chassis. This example for sale in California gives the five-door fan a rare chance at combining classic Mercedes looks with the utility of an estate.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 230 Universal on eBay

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Legend or Reality? Mercedes-Benz 500E v. E55 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz 500E is a car which needs no introduction to the fans of GCFSB. We feature the model on a regular basis; as one of the most popular super-sedans produced by Mercedes, we’re always glad to see a very mint condition, low mileage model and hopeful for a steal when we see less pristine examples. The possibility always exists that one will sneak in at a cut-rate – a model that has higher miles and a small list of needs, for example, that will allow for a more reasonable purchase price. But as we pine and search for values on the 500E/E500 market, ironically we seem to ignore the model which replaced it in spirit; the E55 AMG. Part of that comes down to both the real and perceived gap in quality between the W124 and the W210 chassis; however, what is undeniable is what that equates to in the real world. Find a not-perfect, higher mile 500E today and you’ll be looking at around $10,000 or more while a mint condition, low mile E55 AMG is available for around the same amount. Which is the better proposition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

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