I Love the 90s? 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

I Love the 90s? 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Last week Craig looked at a really nice early R129 500SL. Today’s car is another early R129 500SL, but as you can probably tell, this one is a bit different. This 1990 for sale in Orange County, CA comes from an era where you actually had to paint a car to change its color. It’s a rolling piece of 1990s car culture and it hasn’t aged particularly well. I compare it to a nice house that hasn’t updated the kitchen in 25 years. It’s not that the workmanship is low, it’s that time has left it behind. Now of course with any custom car, it’s priced way too high and has some strange things going on with it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on Orange County Craigslist

Year: 1990
Model: 500SL
Engine: 5.0 liter V-8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 85,730 mi
Price: $13,995

A unique, one of a kind, customized Mercedes-Benz SL500. This car has new B.F Goodrich tires, rebuilt suspension, all new shocks and struts, new conv. tan top, and all original leather tan interior. This auto was customized by Santini with AMG bumpers and trim, Lorinser wheels, and the PPG Harlequin, Vibrance PPG-VM, green to purple paint that changes color as lights hits at different angles. Custom electronics offer remote starting, door and window operations, and remote convertible top opening.

At first glance, I thought this car was customized basically right off the lot. It has all the period correct items like the chameleon paint, early R129 AMG bumpers and sideskirts, Lorinser wheels and remote everything. But upon closer inspection, this car has the 1996-2002 side vents on the fenders. 1990 to 1995 R129s have three squared slots but in 1996 those were swapped out for two slots that were rounded. So if I had to guess, the paintwork and probably all of the other modifications didn’t happen until at least 1996.…

1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet

1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet

The first water-cooled entrant into the Volkswagen world had remarkable staying power, just like its air-cooled brethren had before it. Construction of the first models began back in 1974, and though the convertible version didn’t begin production until five years later, the renamed (but largely unchanged) Cabriolet wouldn’t wrap up production until an amazing 1993. Granted, by that point the Cabriolet was more niche model and nostalgic throwback than practical transportation, but nonetheless it was an impressive return on investment in the chassis design that 19 years later it was still being produced. And, if you want to count the reworked South African version, technically the Mk.1 was still available for sale until 2009!

What we have here is one of the later U.S. specification Cabriolets. In 1988, Volkswagen updated the look of the aging model (which, incidentally, had just been lightly refreshed in 1985 and renamed Cabriolet from Rabbit Convertible) to the “Clipper” models. Signature would become the four-headlight grill, deeper and smoother front fascia, wider fender flares and side skirts. The Cabriolet became the first Volkswagen model to sport an airbag as standard in 1990, too, as well as a new knee protection bar to the lower portion of the dashboard. 1990 also marked the change from the ex-GTI CIS motor to the Digifant electronic fuel injection. The more upscale models, like this “Best Seller”, also received the 16V model “Teardrop” alloys making for a slick looking package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet Best Seller on eBay

1990 Audi 90 quattro 20V

1990 Audi 90 quattro 20V

Just as they had with the development of the 10V Turbo for their top tier products, Audi’s work on the Group B, Sport and later RR 20V Quattro (along with the creation of the original S-series cars soon after) trickled down into the rest of the range, but only in a very limited fashion. The 7A 2.3 liter 20V motor was the beneficiary of that racing work, and it was at the time a pretty impressive unit. Out of 2.3 liters, Audi squeezed a very reliable 164 horsepower with a screaming 7,200 RPM redline. While it’s true this was down on peak power to racing motors like the M3’s S14, the adding of the second cam and a modern EFI engine management also yielded nearly 160 ft.lb of torque.

So why does everyone claim that this car was under-powered?

Weight. The luxury-oriented B3 was most popular in Coupe form, where at 3,300 lbs in 1991 it was in need of a diet. It was 30 horsepower down on the BMW, and weighed 500 lbs more, with a more frontward weight bias. A performance car this did not make, and the result was that the expensive Audis leisurely gained speed. Despite the near 50% power increase over the outgoing Coupe GT, a stock B3 Coupe Quattro shared near identical 0-60 times and cost $10,000 more.

But if you were a clever buyer, you could get slightly better performance out of the 4-door variant of the naturally aspirated double overhead cam inline-5. That’s because concurrent with Coupe production, the motor and drivetrain was offered in the slightly lighter 90 quattro 20V:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 90 quattro 20V on Chicago Craigslist

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL

Buying a high mileage car can be a bit scary, even if it’s a Mercedes with a reputation for longevity. Odometer readings can have a profound psychological effect on our perception of a car’s health (and worth), making people leery of high mileage cars. But in truth, at a certain stage in a car’s life, maintenance history and upkeep become far more important than any number on the dash. This is particularly true of the W126. A low mileage car that has been sitting is liable to cause you more problems than a high mileage one that has been driven and cared for by a meticulous owner. The upshot is that if you shop around and choose wisely, you can score a bargain on a high mileage car. This 300SEL, for example, has 286k miles on the odometer and a cheap price tag attached. Offered for sale by a knowledgeable and friendly Benzworld contributor, it offers a budget friendly entry point into W126 ownership backed up by plenty of maintenance history.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL on Benzworld

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

The 300CE  joined the W124 lineup in 1987. These cars offered the same levels of reliability, passenger comfort and safety as the sedan, but with a shorter body, two doors and no B-pillar. This gave the coupe a much a rakish, sporting look. But there can be no mistaking its provenance: the coupe retains the elegant, taut and brawny good looks of its sedan sibling, and both are unmistakably the work of famed Mercedes stylist Bruno Sacco. Powered initially by the 3.0 liter version of the M103 SOHC engine, in 1990 the CE’s motor was swapped out for the M104 DOHC unit, which increased power output to 217 hp (the engine was revised again in 1993, bumping displacement to 3.2 liters, but power output remained the same).

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on eBay

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe

I really like this 911. That kind of goes without saying since I don’t typically feature cars I don’t like, but I mention it simply because I like it more than I’d normally expect. It has an elegant look about it that is working well with the 964’s shape. The color is great, possessing the stormy blue-grey appearance of a rough sea just as the name, Marine Blue, might suggest. Even the Linen interior makes for a nice contrast between exterior and interior and further enhances the storminess of the exterior. All in all, it’s a really nice looking car!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 911 Carrera 2
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 84,537 mi
Price: $47,900 Buy It Now

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe
Marine Blue Metallic with Linen leather interior
84,537 Miles
5-Speed Manual Transmission

All original condition with no modifications except for an update Sony radio.
It comes complete with its original owners & maintenance manuals with leather case.
It has an excellent service history including a recent major service with new clutch.

Clean CarFax report with no issues – the link to the full report is on our site.

2.99% financing for 60 months is available with qualified credit!

Make sure to watch our test drive video below!

We will be happy to accommodate a Pre-Purchase Inspection at our location or at a local shop.
We can arrange transport anywhere in the US.

Please contact Steven Sasson (212) 804-8070 or Steven@JMLegendAuto.com

964s suddenly have become a rather common feature for me, not because anything has changed with my own feelings toward them, but rather there just seem to be a lot more nice looking, driver quality, examples coming on the market.…

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa

I think by this point it should be pretty clear that I’m a big fan of the 911 Targa. I really like the versatility between open-air and closed cockpit and generally find the aesthetics to be more appealing than with a comparable Coupe or Cabriolet. On the classic 911 design the Targa roll-hoop provides a nice contrast and break in the design that I find very appealing. That’s particularly true on long-hood models. With its reintroduction for the 991 the Targa is easily my favorite. The 964 always has been a little different. The sweeping changes in design from the 3.2 Carrera don’t seem to look as good to me even though the 964 retains so much of the classic 911 look. It just doesn’t look as fluid.

Yesterday I chanced upon a 964 Targa on the street. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen one in person. My sense of it changed, though only some. It looked better in person than I remembered. I still prefer the earlier Targas and prefer the look of the 964 Coupe over the Targa, but the gap has narrowed. But I was thinking about that Targa after coming across this Targa: a Grand Prix White 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa, located in Arizona, with 60,342 miles on it. Maybe I’ll come around on the design even more!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Targa on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 911 Carrera 2 Targa
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 60,342 mi
Price: Reserve Auction

Thousands of $$$ Spent in Major Maintenance in last 5k Mi!

Up for sale this week we bring to market a Super Low Mileage 1990 Porsche 911 Targa, equipped with the highly desirable 5 Spd G50 transmission and the bulletproof 3.6L Flat 6 engine.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

I probably don’t feature as many vehicles from the other side of the pond as I should, but today’s car is a great starting point. This 1990 500SEC for sale in London sports the amazing color of Nautical Blue and to make it even better, is for sale at a reasonable cost. But because this is a right hand drive car, there are a couple different things than what you are normally used to seeing on the C126.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 500SEC
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 169,021 mi
Price: £6,250 ($7,840)

Flagship from the 90’s Mercedes W126 500 SEC pillar-less Coupe. Finished in Nautical Blue, automatic gearbox. Covered 169,021 documented miles. HPI Clear. Options on this car from new include. Heated seats, electric front memory seats, air conditioning, self levelling steering wheel, electric mirrors, sun roof, cruise control and two tone horn. Tool kit and first aid kit present.

Recently acquired this car however, due to business commitments it has to sell. The previous owner lovingly looked after the car and had it in his ownership for the past 12 years. The vehicle was dry stored in a garage, hence it presents in very good condition with 169,021 miles. It has its original book pack and service book including 3 sets of keys. The service book is fully stamped (Mercedes history up to 96k and independent specialist thereafter) and there are accompanying service invoices to verify the provenance of this outstanding car. In addition, the service file has old MOT certificates.

The Mercedes-Benz W126 was a series of S-Class automobiles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1979 and 1992. Premiering in September 1979 as the successor to the W116 line, the W126 was the second generation to officially bear that prestigious designation, an abbreviation for the German Sonderklasse or “special class.” It introduced many Mercedes-Benz safety innovations, including the first seatbelt pretensioners.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 250TD

1990 Mercedes-Benz 250TD

One of the great questions in my life is, after the massive success of the W123 300TD, why Mercedes-Benz decided to import the W124 300TD for one year only to the United States in 1987. Maybe it was too expensive as it cost $42,500, which is a whopping $91,000 in 2017 buying power. Whatever the reason aside, this caused Mercedes-Benz diesel lovers to this day to snag these W124s up and keep them as long as possible. So when I was alerted to an imported 250TD that also had a manual transmission, I had to check it out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 250TD on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 250TD
Engine: 2.5 liter inline-5
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 95,293 km (59,212 mi)
Price: Buy It Now $10,990

Up for auction, an ultra rare 1990 Mercedes 250TD 5 Speed (Factory original), equipped with A/C and power sunroof and leather.
The vehicle was part of an estate that I acquired a while ago in Barcelona (Spain).

This is a NO BRAINER, at such giveaway price it will sell fast, there is NO WAGON 5 speed diesel low mileage equipped like this (leather, A/C…) in the whole country!
Smart buyer will “Buy it now” and run with it. EXCELLENT BUY. NONE FOR SALE, BE SMART !

The Mercedes was seating in a climate controlled garage. The vehicle is extremely nice as seen on the pictures, I would say; way above average ! Being an import, the gauges are still in KM.
The black leather seats are in outstanding condition, headliner and carpeting as well as the cargo space all nice.
Paint is very shinny, NO fading.
Color original
Paint is original.
A/C blow very cold
Straight as an arrow
All electric works
Pneumatic locking works
Tow package
No bearing noises, no shaking at high speed
Mechanically wise, the car runs and drive as it should, very smooth ride 35MPG+ diesel.

Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300SE

Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300SE

I planned to leave the W126 300SE alone for a while since I’ve posted quite a number of these over the last few months. But I couldn’t resist when I noticed not one, but two really nice examples pop up on eBay this week. While these short wheelbase, six cylinder cars are often overlooked in favor of the 420 and 560 SEL, they offer all the class and sophistication of the larger models with somewhat lower running costs, making the 300 a nice entry point for W126 ownership. They certainly don’t have the power of the V8. But on the plus side, the M103 motor is famously stout and will run forever without needing too much work. The only real weak spot is the headgasket, which tends to need replacing every 150k miles or so. I’ve test-driven a few of these recently myself, and I was pleasantly surprised by the driving experience. The 3.0 liter engine provided more shove on the backroads than I was expecting, certainly enough to get the car moving, even if it won’t win any drag races. And out on the highway it cruised effortlessly, which is what these cars are all about.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

Roll the Dice? 1990 BMW 735i 5-speed

Roll the Dice? 1990 BMW 735i 5-speed

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. This is certainly not the nicest E32 on the market. With 190,000 miles on the clock, there’s plenty of evidence of the 27 years that have passed since it entered service. The leather is tired, the pinstripe is faded and under the hood looks quite dirty. It’s got blacked out windows and sits on wheels some three inches larger than the stock units. It’s not the best color combination, nor is it the biggest motor available in the chassis. So why the heck is this 735i up here? One reason – the transmission. Like Audi, BMW took a gamble that a few select drivers in the early 1990s would want to row their own gears, so for a brief period you could opt for a 5-speed manual in your large executive sedan. This is one of those original cars, but is it worth a roll of the dice?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 BMW 735i 5-speedon eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Based on a slightly shortened version of the W126 S-class sedan, the SEC coupe was introduced in 1981 and sold until the platform was retired in 1991. Retaining the elegant and stately looks of its limousine cousin, as well as its extraordinarily high levels of build quality and safety, the two-door, pillar-less body shape took all the elements that made the S-class such a great car and repackaged them into something a little more rakish and sexy. It’s no accident that ads for these cars often make reference to Miami Vice: the SEC is associated for many with the cocaine fueled excesses of the 1980s. But look past the wide boy image and you’ll find a grand tourer that is more about driving vast distances while riding a wave of torque than racing between stop lights. As with the sedan, values for these are a bit all over the place these days, with mint examples fetching $20k plus. But what if you’re looking for a budget-friendly entry into the SEC world? This high mileage example for sale in Tuscon, AZ with a few disclosed faults may fit the bill.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on Benzworld

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16

Last week I wrote up a tidy looking 190E 2.3-16, the boxy, 80s DTM-racing inspired version of the W201 from Mercedes that has never really gained the same kind of attention as its obvious competitor, the E30 M3. Perhaps that is changing, as more of these come to market in respectable shape. The general consensus among enthusiasts, however, seems to be that these cars are neither desirable nor fast enough to merit the higher price tags we’re beginning to see. (Once upon a time they were firmly in the sub-$10k category, whereas now sellers seem to want the mid teens and up for non-basket case examples.) But maybe the skeptics will be won over by a an imported 2.5-16 like this one?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 on eBay

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe

1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe

I’ve posted a few 964s lately and I’m not too upset about that because I’ve come to like the 964 quite a bit. A decent number of those posts have come from the higher end of the price scale – in some cases the very high end of that scale – but this one will not. That doesn’t mean I find it that much less desirable. In fact, it’s a really pretty 964 in a great color combination that has a few minor performance modifications. For those less concerned with originality, it might be just the 911 to pursue. Here we have a Baltic Blue Metallic 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe, located in Dallas, with Tan leather interior and a robust 152,600 miles on it. The mileage is indeed pretty high, but it appears to come with a substantial stack of records and a decent bit of recent work.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 911 Carrera 2
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 152,600 mi
Price: $49,000 Buy It Now

This is 1990 Porsche Carrera 2 Coupe with 5-speed Manual. Desirable Baltic blue metallic/tan. 152k original miles, although it looks and drives like 50k miles. The car looks absolutely stunning with some tasteful upgrades including- performance power chip, Eibach shocks (lowered to correct Euro ride height), Ruf coilovers, sport exhaust, twist wheels, and desirable 94’ Turbo exterior mirrors. The original owner (1990-2003) made an incredible log book for the car when sold new with every service/work inputted with the date & mileage logged. The car runs and drives absolutely incredible. Engine runs like a bat out of hell and has lightning fast throttle response. Even on start up after weeks of sitting not a puff of smoke comes out.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

1990 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

Readers of my posts will know that earlier this month I was on the brink of swapping my E34 5-series for a short-wheelbase W126. But the vicissitudes of life have a way of intruding into even the best-laid plans, and at the last minute I had to pull out of the deal. Both the buyer lined up for my car and the seller of the W126 were saintly in their understanding, for which I remain grateful. So I continue to daily drive the 525i. Since I’m going to hang onto it for a while longer, I decided to do a bit of tidying up, replacing the sagging headliner and refreshing some front suspension components. Meanwhile, I continue to keep a watchful eye on W126 market. A short-wheelbase 300SE was top of my list, but closely followed by the 420SEL. With these, you get the additional torque of the 4.2 liter V8, but without the costly-to-repair hydro-pneumatic suspension that comes on the 560.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on eBay