With the exception of the high-performance C36/C43 AMG, the W202 C-class tends to get short shrift around here. That’s probably because for many, the W202 marks the point at which Mercedes began to lose its way. Not only did the taut, angular design language of yesteryear give way to the rounder, less attractive lines of the “jelly bean” era, Mercedes products from the mid 1990s onwards just never seemed as reliable or as well-built as those that came before. I think there’s something to this, but the upshot is that a garden variety C280 can be had for not much money. And while it isn’t quite as tank-like as the venerable W201 it replaced, it can still make for a satisfying commuter. If you squint hard enough, you can even see the design parallels between the two.
Okay, enough dangling carrots and arguments over what’s the best Audi of all time. If there was a do-anything, do-everything, you only have one car for the rest of your life type of car, it’s the S6 Avant.
Today it’s not abnormal to have a car that can out-drag sports cars, carry a family of five dependably and their gear, go through any weather and be a luxurious car that even returned reasonable mileage. In the early 1990s, though, what were your options in that category, exactly? That was a time where Audi had the market cornered with its S4 and later S6 Avants. Though they were available in Europe earlier, it took until the 1995 model year for Audi to introduce the concept to Americans. And just like that, it was gone again, with only a few hundred imported. Nearly every single one is unique as a result of mid-model year changes. Yet all are equally legendary among U.S. Audi fans:
I recently sold my E34 525i and replaced it with a W126 300SE. I’ll post a write up on my new car next week. I love it, but let’s just say I learned a few valuable lessons about buying cars sight unseen from the whole episode. As potential buyers came to view my BMW, a funny thing happened. The more I explained my ownership experience while they test drove it, the more I began to wonder why I was selling it. In fact, I concluded, if space and money had allowed, I would have preferred to keep it alongside the Benz. In one year of ownership, I put an unusually high number of miles on it while doing a mega commute. During that time, it never once failed to start or gave me any reason to worry. I replaced some suspension parts that were worn out. But other than that, all I did was drive it and feed it fuel and oil. It was remarkably fun to drive, which I credit to the 5-speed manual gearbox and sweet chassis setup. Sure, it wasn’t terribly powerful or fast, but it was certainly fast enough for me. And it made for a good commuter, getting 28 MPG on the highway. In all, I think the E34 525i is an under-appreciated gem. I’m sad I let it go.
The U.S. version of the E36 chassis Motorsport offering has steadily begun to emerge from its “also ran” position in the category of favored M products. It has languished in value since the introduction of its replacement, the wildly popular and more aggressive E46 M3. Long derided for being a bit too cost-conscience of BMW, the reality is that the car that came to the U.S. might have been a bit better.
Yes, I just said that.
It is true that the North American M3 made due with a less powerful and certainly much less exotic motor. The U.S. S50, based upon the 325i’s M50, displaced the same 3 liters as the European S50B30, but the two differed in nearly all other aspects. Only items like the oil filter are shared between the models; in Euro guise, the engine sang with individual throttle bodies. The engine also sported the trick continuously variable VANOS system to optimize performance. After finally being convinced to bring the second generation M3 to North America, the news came down that the western-bound motor would be less exotic; static VANOS, lower compression, and no individual throttle bodies.
Frustrated though enthusiasts may have been to not be getting the “true” model, many were just happy it was coming here at all. But the amazing thing was what the USA motor offered. At 240 horsepower, it was indeed 46 down on the European cousin. Yet other numbers told a different story; torque was nearly the same between the two, as was weight, and the real advantage of the Euro motor was only quite high in the rev range. That meant acceleration in the real world was effectively identical between Euro and USA models. Sure, you lost a bit of top speed – but where in the U.S. were you hitting 155, anyway?…
Ever been out shopping and you impulse bought a shirt, wore it a few times, then it sat in the back of your closet for many years? Then finally one day you rid yourself of that shirt because you wanted it gone without too much hassle? Well, that’s what we have today. Only it’s not a shirt, but a highly desirable Mercedes-Benz. Imagine living in a world where in 1995 you drive down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, purchase a car for $79,000 ($125,000 in today’s money), put a few thousand miles on it, then seemingly forget about it. Situations like this still blow my mind.
This 1995 E320 Cabriolet for sale in, you guessed it, California, was sitting at an estate with four flat tires for over ten years. It had only 6,300 miles before being noticed then rescued by the seller. It received a careful examination and full rehab before being listing for sale ready for a new owner. Much like the 1,300 mile 1982 240D I looked at last week, this is essentially a brand new car. So with nice examples of these cars with over 100,000 miles still selling for prices in the mid-teens, how much will this one bring? I might have an answer.
Model: E320 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 6,348 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
This an amazing find, and the cleanest Mercedes I’ve ever seen outside of a new car showroom. It’s an almost mint condition 1995 Mercedes E320 convertible coupe with only 6,384 miles on it and one prior owner. It was stored its entire life in a perfectly conditioned garage, and wasn’t driven the last 10-12 years before I got it. This car is in amazing condition, down to the still legible paper price-tag style stickers clearly visible on the brake heat shields, and all the paint markings on the undercarriage from original assembly at the factory.
Here we have a pretty rare opportunity. Of course, such opportunities come with a high cost, but I can’t imagine the market for a car like this ever really extends to us regular buyers anyway. You expect to pay a lot. This is one of only 40 Carrera Supercup 911s built in 1995 and reportedly is the only one that was sent to the U.S. From what I gather it hasn’t really seen any race time (or at least not within the Porsche Supercup series) as it was intended as a show/demonstration car for Bridgestone. Its graphics make that aspect pretty clear. It looks in wonderful condition and that it is eligible for vintage racing certainly is a nice bonus for the owner who’d like to experience a legit Porsche factory racer.
Model: 911 Carrera Supercup
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: unlisted mi
Originally purchased by the Bridgestone Corporation as a VIP car used to introduce and promote the new SO2 tire. It is one of only 40 Supercup cars built in ’95 and the only one sent to the US. Hurley Haywood and David Murry were the hired drivers for this car. Class winner at the Porsche Parade and Excellence Magazine cover car. I have just completed a light restoration to museum quality condition of how it appeared in 1995. The car has never been crashed and retains the original engine and gearbox. It retains proper Recaro seats, correct dash, instruments and interior panels as well as proper alloy front lid and original rear wing. A great addition to any collection and can be vintage raced. Please ring me with any questions. Thank you.
Serious inquiries please call 631-786-6511 EST.
I’ve been big admirer of the W124 Cabriolet because of the massive design and engineering project it was. Like I mentioned a few months ago, making this car wasn’t just chopping the roof off the coupe, sticking a soft top in the trunk and calling it a day. But sadly despite the huge undertaking and investment, you were only left with one engine choice in the 3.2 liter M104 straight-6. It wasn’t under powered by any means, but it wasn’t exactly a speed demon either. Besides, if you want a fast Mercedes convertible, you ponied up for the SL500 or SL600. I’m going to assume that if they offered the M119 V8 in the W124 Cabriolet, the price would have been even greater than already high $79,000 (and that’s in 1995 money!). The price point probably would have been right at the edge of the $87,000 SL500 and it probably wouldn’t of sold very well at all. Plus, you are factoring in even more engineering and cost to a project that like mentioned, was very expensive.
So it makes total sense why there was no V8 W124 Cabriolet. But of course it doesn’t stop someone from building one which is exactly what we have here today for sale in New Jersey. What started life as a 1995 E320 Cabriolet has been transformed into a “E420 Cabriolet” and it even has a few other interesting details.
Model: ‘E420’ Cabriolet
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 56,921 miles
ORIGINAL PAINT, ONE OF ONE E420 CONVERTIBLE
OVER 160000 DOLLAR INVESTED IN PROFESSIONAL CONSTRUCTION,
$199 Dealer Fee
From the looks of it, this swap was done by the people at Wolfgang’s Inc., a Mercedes- Benz specialty facility in Tenafly, New Jersey.…
At first glance I thought this 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera Coupe was going to be a very interesting color that I’d never seen before. But instead I think the lighting in the pictures was showing things a bit strangely. It turns out the color is Polar Silver, which although a nice shade of Silver isn’t something unfamiliar. This 911 itself, though, is still pretty nice! The miles are very low, it’s had one long-term owner (though apparently two owners overall), and everything is said to be original. As with many low-mileage 993s the price is pretty darn high, but the last of the air-cooled 911s have always seemed to have a premium attached.
Model: 911 Carrera
Engine: 3.6 liter flat-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 16,550 mi
Price: $84,900 Buy It Now
We are proud to offer this very low mileage & original 1995 911 C2 with only 16,550 miles since new.
Although carfax shows 2 owners I did buy this off the original owner who purchased it at 34 miles, he was a doctor who over cared for the car since new.
Finished in Polar Silver over black this 993 is mint inside and out… the original paint is mint with no road wear, interior is also in same condition and all original. Everything is in proper working order including the original radio. Mechanically perfect and fully serviced by Porsche of west palm less then 2 months ago. Full service history and mileage documentation is provided through its clean carfax. Factory LSD and full leather are one of the number of options it came with. A set of Cup 2 17″ can be included for an additional fee.
The pictures and mileage speak for it self, don’t miss out on the most original and lowest mileage C2 available right now.
In a very small subset of enthusiasts, early Audi chassis are nearly as legendary as the BMW E30. Robust, well built and refined, Audi over-engineered most of its small chassis starting with the B2 because it was the platform that launched the legendary turbocharged Quattro. While the normally aspirated versions lacked the punch of their bigger brothers and the acceleration curves could be somewhat laughable, they still offered plenty of entertainment when driven hard. I have a video of my Coupe GT at Watkins Glen – heading up the long uphill straight, we’re shouting out numbers as they barely increase from 95-100 before flinging the car with nary a touch of the brakes into the bus stop, maniacal laughs abounding as we leap the turtles.
Clearly, though rare the small Audis are always prime for more power, and converting those earlier cars to turbocharged Quattro specs – or later RS2 replicas – has been popular since they were sold new. Today’s example, though, has different and more modern motivation than the familiar inline-5 under the hood – but they don’t get much better than this presentation and build:
What kind of car should you buy if you’re looking for a reliable, stylish daily driver with German build quality and driving dynamics, but don’t have a huge amount of money to spend? The W124 platform E-class suggests itself as an obvious answer. These are precisely the sort of car for which Mercedes-Benz earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the best cars in the world. Over engineered, reliable, safe and built like tanks, they can be regularly picked up still going strong with hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer. Which means that if you can score a clean, low mileage example, you can be sure that it has many years of faithful service left ahead of it, if properly maintained. This remarkably clean, well-specified E320 looks to be just such a car.