After I wrote up a nice looking W124 the other week, a few of our enterprising readers did some further digging and uncovered a number of discrepancies in the car’s history, suggesting it wasn’t such a great deal after all. To try to make up for it I’ve found three more examples of the venerable old E-class for consideration this week. What these cars have in common is that they all present nicely in the ads, appear to have been well cared for by their previous owners and are all priced very competitively. Hopefully at least one of these is a winner. First up is this white 400E.
All posts tagged 1991
Dismayed that the E30 M3 is priced unrealistically for most? Me too, and we’ve heard it plenty of times. Not only have M3s gotten pricey, but so have low mileage, pristine original 325s and even 318s. But the wonderful nature of the E30 is that you can build one yourself, as the amazing support and knowledge base that exists in the community coupled with interchangeable parts and plenty of gutsy engine options creates a near limitless amount of permutations. While quite a few swappers follow the tried and true S50/2 path with their hotted up 3 series, today’s car goes one step farther with an E39 M62B44 V8 and a 6-speed stuck into an otherwise mostly unassuming 318is:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW 318is M62 on eBay
In the 1980s, especially in the early 1980s, if you wanted a hot BMW your best bet was to look for a “gray market” car. Equipped with stronger motors and unequipped with emissions equipment and bumper-car bumpers, they were the more pure versions of the original designs. But as the 80s drew to a close, the flood of Euro-spec cars into the U.S. dried up. It became harder to import and Federalize them, and the differentiation between U.S. and Euro versions became smaller. True, there were cars that still had a pretty big gulf; the E36 M3 is a great example of this. And it’s still not usual to see fans of a specific model from any of the marques interested in what was available in Europe – or rather, what wasn’t available to U.S. customers. Take the E34 M5, for example. There were a number of colors and interiors that U.S. fans didn’t have the chance to partake in, but it’s usually the later run 3.8 motor that raises eyebrows for U.S. fans. That, and of course the Touring model of the M5 that debuted with the E34 and wasn’t brought here. But this particular E34 M5 doesn’t have any of those things. It’s an early run car without the larger motor, so the S38B36 is essentially the same one you’d get in the U.S. model. Interestingly, the HD93 U.S. spec car is much more rare than the HD91 European version – 1,678 produced versus 5,877. Rarity also isn’t on the side of the color, as Jet Black 668 with 0318 / L7SW Black Nappa Leather isn’t an outrageous combination. It is more rare to see the four post seat setup which this car has, but the real kicker is the mileage and condition with a scant 500 miles a year covered:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 BMW M5 Euro on eBay
In the past I’ve sung the praises of the W201 as a classy yet affordable daily driver (see here and here). But for some, the compact Baby Benz is just a little too small. The good news is that all the best features of the W201 – the classic styling, bank vault build quality and over-engineered platform that yields surprisingly high levels of crash protection – can all be had in the roomier W124. Produced between 1984 and 1996, this generation of the E-class is in many ways the definitive 80s-era Benz: handsome, practical and built to outlive its owners. Indeed, since these cars are so long-lasting, there’s no shortage of them out there for sale, with a wide variety of examples available to suit all manner of tastes and budgets – sedans, wagons, coupes and convertibles, gas or diesel engines, hoopty or minter. Most of these fall on the affordable side (with the exception of the 500E super sedan), offering a lot of substance for very little money. This particular car is a fairly basic 300E, but it caught my eye because it ticks all the right boxes: a nice color, low miles and a good price.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300E on Autotrader
The R129 has always been my favorite iteration of the SL roadster. Softer and more modern than the classic R107 that it replaced, but still sufficiently angular that it doesn’t succumb to the awful jelly bean aesthetic of the late 80s and early 90s, the quintessentially Mercedes design remains attractive today; sporty and taut yet elegant and handsome. While most US buyers opted for the V8 500SL or the range topping and magnificent V12 in the 600SL, the car could also be had with an entry level 3.0 liter straight six, as found in this 300SL version. Already a relatively uncommon spec, this car features the especially rare manual gearbox, available only on six cylinder R129s.