The W126 and W140 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL/400SEL/S420 cars have always been lost in the crowd a little bit thanks to big brother 560SEL/500SEL/S500 and even bigger brother 600SEL/S600. There is nothing really wrong with these cars and in the W140s case, the S420 uses the same M119 engine as the five-liter S500. When new, you saved about $13,000 when you selected the S420 over the S500 and in exchange you gave up about 50 horsepower and gained a whopping one mile gallon in fuel economy on the highway. Today, none of this really matters because any car without 500 horsepower might as well not even show up and 22 miles per gallon is considered poor fuel economy. Such is life.
Today, I wanted to look at one of these forgotten S420s and this example in Virginia is one of the better ones I’ve seen over the years. This 1999 checks in with a little over 120,000 with no real issues or anything to be concerned about. The price? Actually pretty reasonable.
After last week’s 22,000 miles Mercedes-Benz E500 that with the bidding ended at $79,800, I figured I’d check out another 90s Mercedes sedan with similar mileage that I happen to run across. This is a 1999 S420 with 24,601 miles located in Chicago. Unlike the E500, the presentation and documentation leave a lot to be desired. The mileage doesn’t lie, but when hit with a big price tag for a not-so-desirable W140, it is a tough sell to anymore who isn’t willing to dive headfirst into finding out what this car is really all about. But I’ll try to do my best with the little information and quick photos that I do have, but I make no promises.
The last Golf I took a look at was a high-spec GLS TDi model from the end of the run. A popular niche vehicle, the turbo diesel Golf is a hot commodity and even with over 170,000 miles bids were quick to crest $4,000, finally ending with a $4,350 sale. Yet it’s far from the most desirable, or indeed the most valuable, model within a robust lineup of favorites.
There’s the all-wheel drive 3.2 liter VR6 R32, often with asks that rival multiple generations of M3s:
2004 Volkswagen Golf R32
There’s the 20th Anniversary Edition GTI, a turbocharged terror with great looks:
2003 Volkswagen GTI 20th Anniversary Edition with 9,800 Miles
There’s the Edition 337 – a limited collector-friendly model that kicked off a new generation of turbocharged Golf performance:
Feature Listing: 2002 Volkswagen GTI 337 Edition
And though it carried a ‘Jetta’ badge, we finally got the “Golf Variant” wagon, replete with your choice of 1.8T, 2.0, TDi or even a gutsy 2.8 liter VR6 hooked to a manual:
2002 Volkswagen Jetta GLX VR6 Wagon
So the Mk.4 range really has a devoted following and plenty of love to spread around to make you a bit unique. Today’s car, though, is none of those collector favorites. What we have here is a Flash Red first-year Golf. No TDi, no VR6, not even a GLS. No, this is a standard Golf. Except it’s not a standard Golf, because it’s an automatic. But before you click away, this one’s odometer hasn’t yet turned 23,000 miles….
Where to start….where to start….
So, in the realm of ‘Least Desirable Volkswagen Products’ enthusiasts bemoan, the New Beetle must surely rank very high on the list. But every once in a while one pops up that is worthy of consideration. Maybe they have low mileage or are a neat color. Sometimes they’re turbocharged, making them pretty quick, too – all attributes of this 1999 example. Presented in L9L9 Cyber Green Metallic, it’s traveled only 23,000 miles in its life and its the more macho 1.8T speedbug. Though it’s clearly not stock, we’ve recently looked at a well modified Beetle that pulled off big-dollar mods at a budget price.
Tuner Tuesday GCFSB Alumnus: 2002 Ruf Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S Concept
So when I first caught the gallery shot, it looked as though the owner of this car tried to replicate the super-sweet Beetle RSI – not a bad thing, if it was pulled off correctly.
This one is not pulled off correctly.
However, if you’d like a few chuckles, read on.
As a send off to the Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class in 1999, Mercedes gave 600 S500s the treatment of the Grand Edition. All painted black, these cars had 18 inch AMG Monoblock wheels, the same hand stitched seats and steering wheel from the S600, a special birdseye maple woodgrain trim, privacy screens on the rear and back windows and illuminated door sills on top of all the standard things you got on the S500. Sticker price for these 600 cars was $89,500, a mere $2,000 more than the regular S500 — which is totally worth it in my eyes. Most of the time these older Mercedes-Benz ”special edition” cars haven’t had any impact on their value once they are past their warranty limit. But for this W140, it has been just a little different.
Another week, another G-Wagen. Last week it was the crazy G55 AMG limousine and the week before that it was the short wheelbase G500 for sale in the UK. Today, we have another short wheelbase G but as you might have noticed, this one has a little extra feature. This is a 1999 G500 Cabriolet that was federalized by Europa (read more here about them) for sale in New Jersey with a little over 65,000 miles. It’s a no-frills G outside of that slick power top that will make any Wrangler or Defender owner as jealous as can be. But the price, are you sitting down?
Who says you can’t go back in time? I think all of us at one point or another wish we could go back in time. Sure, we’d take care of all the things we regret in life but after taking care of that I think I know where the majority of us would turn: cars. Some might hurry and snag up cars that were cheap for a period of time but now are very expensive (I’m looking at your air-cooled 911s and E30 M3s) while other might go back and experience cars when they were factory fresh. A time when the problems of leaking valve cover gaskets and ripped leather seats didn’t exist. Well today, we are in luck with this car. This is a 1999 Mercedes-Benz S500 with just 6,101 miles. That’s it, an average of a little under 340 miles a year. Some of us drive that in a week. The thing is, this just isn’t a run-of-the-mill W140, the interior in this car is something I very rarely see. What is it?
The mighty Mercedes-Benz SL73 AMG: A car that can’t be mentioned without saying the word ”Zonda” in the same sentence. Less than 100 of these monsters started life as a regular SL600 with the M120 6.0 liter V12 and were shipped up to the AMG factory for some special touches and an increased displacement to 7.3 liters good for over 540 horsepower. The eponymous 7.3 liters were so good that they made their way in the Pagani Zonda and the rest was history. With so few of these cars made, if they ever come up for sale, they usually don’t go for cheap nor stay for sale long. Now that this 1999 is available for sale in California, it’s time to take a close look at this thing while we can.
There are probably cars you really like and want to own, but only with certain options or packages. In my world, the Mercedes-Benz R129 falls into the category. For me to spend money and commit to one, I need the SL1 and SL2 packages. What do they include? The SL1 comes with the ”AMG designed” bumpers and sideskirts with 18 inch Monoblock 1 wheels. The SL2 includes xenon headlights, a 6-disc changed (who cares?) and heated seats. For me, that is the pinnacle of the R129. Well, I’d love a pano hardtop too, but you can’t have it all. But every R129 that I come across without these packages seems disappointing to me because I know that there are other ones out there that are better in my eyes. Today’s 1999 SL500 for sale in Pennsylvania has these packages and in a rare color, but it has one catch.
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 117,000 mi
Price: $15,000 Buy It Now
This car has been garage kept and meticulously maintained. Driven for pleasure only. Excellent inside and outside rare grey interior for this year model (most are tan in color). Car is located in Manchester , Pa. 17345
Please call me @ 717-818-9033 if you have any questions.
If you have a keen eye, you might notice something about this car is ”off.” Well, if you guessed the wheels, you are correct. This R129 has the 17 inch Albali wheels instead of the 18 inch Monoblock 1 wheels that come with the SL1 sport package. I have no idea where those original wheels went, but it is really unfortunate because this car also has the SL2 package. To top it all off, this SL500 is painted in Amber Red which is a really rare color for a R129.…
The final year of 1999 for the W140 Mercedes-Benz is one of those “hindsight is 20/20” things. At the time, no one probably had any idea that 1999 would be considered by many to be the last of the true over-engineered cars from Mercedes. From the mid-1950s, the S-Class was basically the standard for full-size luxury cars. So the year 2000 rolls around with the launch of the W220 and everything is status quo with the S-Class, right? Not really. I don’t blame Mercedes for going tech heavy with the W220, it is what needed to be done to compete with 7-series, A8 and the real killer, the Lexus LS. The problem was the early W220 didn’t live up to quality and reliability standards that S-Class owners were used to. Combine that with soft styling and a car that didn’t “feel” like a S-Class and you have a real problem. Now it’s 2017 and we look back on the W140 has the last true beacon of hope for feeling that old Mercedes charm while W220s languish for sale on Craiglist for $2,700. But right now these nice W140s aren’t being snagged up like W126 560SELs are and prices reflect that. So when a nice late-model W140 does come up for sale, is it time to buy?
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 154,845 mi
Price: Buy It Now $8,995
Key features: Leather, 6-Disc CD-Changer, Bose Sound, Heated Seats, Moon Roof, Tinted Windows, Xenon Headlights
You are bidding on a 2nd-owner vehicle in excellent condition. The owner is motivated to sell.
This sedan looks stylish and drives nice and smooth. Come take it home! You will be thrilled to own it. Take a look at the detailed series of 36 pictures below.