A funny thing has been happening recently: I’ve begun to be attracted to the 996. The general design is one I never was a fan of during production and I can’t say those feelings ever changed. Yet here I am unable to take my eyes off of another 996. I do think there are some caveats. It is the slightly altered bodywork of the Turbo, the C4S, and the GT3 that I find very good looking. The standard 996 design still leaves me cold. And the interior is still mostly terrible. But I do find the peculiarities of the design and the way those come through on certain models to be quite alluring. They aren’t clean lines and I actually like that. The 997 certainly fixed much of this, and the 991 extended that even further, but perhaps it all became too clean. Perhaps following upon the beauty of the 993 Porsche thought they needed to make things a little uglier, a little more interesting. I don’t know, but I’m starting to think it worked.
Earlier this week I checked out a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet with just 6,700 miles on it with a price tag on it that had me running the other way. Today, we have another low mileage Mercedes, but this one is a little different style and a lot more power. This is a 2005 E55 AMG for sale in the Bay Area with just a little over 21,000 miles. It’s painted in the awesome Midnight Blue with black leather interior and my favorite trim, Birdseye Black Maple. Now that most of these W211 E55s have passed their 10th birthday, these supercharged sedans haven started to get really cheap compared to their original $75,000 price tag when new. But as for this car? Sadly you won’t be able to snag it up for $11,995. Not even close.
”How cheap can they really get?”
That is what I ask myself all the time when checking out almost any car. I understand why cars get to a certain point, even ones that were really expensive to start with. Sometimes it is just the natural cycle of used cars. Sometimes it is a situation where the car just isn’t worth the trouble and prices hit the floor. Of course this is a case by case basis, but it is always interesting to see how certain cars slot into the market when they’ve matured to over 10 years old. Today’s car, a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500, is one of these cases where I always wonder how cheap they are going to get.
The R230 generation isn’t like SLs of years past; this is a modern-era SL with a retractable hardtop and a sleek design. Gone are the square slabs and lightweight feel, this is a bloaty, heavy grand tourer. Of course all this came at a very expensive price. The 2005 SL500 started at $92,000 ($118,000 in today’s money) and only got significantly more expensive from there. The thing is, these are pretty stout cars. They aren’t mechanical nightmares like a Land Rover (I know this from personal experience — I own one) and maintenance won’t bankrupt you even if you daily drive one of these. But this SL500 isn’t a mint to get into: it is a mere $9,000. That’s it. No, it doesn’t have a rebuilt title and it’s not full of mold, it is just a 2005 SL500 with a 141,000 miles. This makes me wonder; are all R230s heading towards this level of cheap buy-in?
The last 996 Turbo S I featured turned out to be from a seller that we all weren’t too happy with. The pictures weren’t great and the price was way too high. That’s a bad combination of attributes. So let’s try again with one that certainly presents a lot better and from a seller that on the surface seems to be of a higher caliber. I can’t speak to price since it isn’t listed on the seller’s website, but my hope is that this reserve auction will shed plenty of light on where the market currently is valuing the Turbo S Coupe. I’ve seen a few more come up for sale in recent months compared to past years, and there were never many of these, so the time to pounce may be near.
Here we have a Slate Grey Metallic 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe, located in California, with Black leather interior, a 6-speed manual, and 31,437 miles on it.
Last week I featured this Cobalt Blue 996TT. I said in the post, and most of you agreed, that even with its rare and eye-catching color the price was too high given its mileage. Some of you thought it was way too high. Much of the problem is that it’s a Turbo without the X50 performance package, but priced like a Turbo with the X50 performance package. If you’re looking for performance value, you might as well maximize the performance side of that equation, right?
Another similar comparison is with the car we see here: an Atlas Grey Metallic 2005 Porsche 911 Turbo S Coupe, located in Delaware, with Grey natural leather interior and 29,700 miles on it. Outside of its single-year production there isn’t too much difference between a Turbo S and an X50-equipped Turbo. While the comparison with the Cobalt Blue Turbo isn’t really direct given this Turbo’s much lower mileage it still makes for an interesting point to consider. And, of course, it is also interesting enough in its own right given how rarely we see a Turbo S Coupe come up for sale.
Last week I checked out a really cool short wheel base right hand drive G500 in the UK and explained that you can basically have a G-Wagen any way you want it. Well, today’s G is another way get your kicks and if you haven’t noticed, this one is quite a bit longer than the last G I checked out. This is a 2005 G55 AMG that has been stretched and of course, updated with the G63 bumpers, wheels and badges that seems to be all the rage now. The stretching sadly wasn’t a factory job and because of that I’m going to stop short of calling it a true Pullman and instead go with the more tradition term of limousine. Although this stretching job looks really well done, I do have a couple of questions and one big red flag.
There are good and bad ways to sell a car. You can provide a wide array of pictures under different lighting and from different angles utilizing shots taken from a distance and detail shots close up. You can show all of the body panels, the full interior, and while not always useful a shot of the engine never hurts. The ad text could follow a similar tack: details on the model, history, and available documentation. There’s no need to go overboard, but you put yourself in the buyer’s position and provide the answers to the questions you’d expect to ask were you buying the car.
Or, you can take a seemingly random array of photos under poor lighting and provide only the barest details in the ad. This seller has chosen the latter course for the photos and a mix of the two for the ad text. So it definitely could be less informative, but from a picture perspective there’s a lot to be desired here. But we shall persevere because the point of this 911 is the exterior color and that we get to see: Mexico Blue.
I wouldn’t necessarily have considered a white 911 GT3 to be one that would appeal much to me, but here I am with my second consecutive feature (third consecutive if we count the 996 GT3 RS). Of course, given unlimited options I doubt white is what I’d go for myself, but still I do think it’s a color that looks quite good on these cars. White and black are similar in the sense that both colors can look great when kept very clean. Allow them to dirty and, well, they just look unkempt and uncared for. So a clean one is nice to see. On the GT3 white gives it that wolf in sheep’s clothing look. I’ll admit that I do like the look better on the 997 than the 996, but still the one we see here, a 2005 Porsche 911 GT3 with just 24,100 miles on it, looks good.
As misunderstood and misused as they are, I love the G-Wagen. What started as a utilitarian military vehicle has now evolved into pieces of sheer opulence. One of those early examples of that decadence was the G55 AMG. Mercedes and AMG were throwing the supercharged M113 engine into anything with a Mercedes badge and, common sense be damned, they put it in the G-Wagen. At almost 470 hp and even crazier 516 ft·lb of torque, this G hits 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds. A mere 5.5 seconds in something that weighs over 5,500 pounds. Thank goodness for AMG brakes that come in the package, too!
Model: G55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 95,775 mi
Price: $42,999 Buy It Now
Model: 2005 Mercedes-Benz G-Class
Horsepower: 469 hp
Towing capacity: 7,000 lbs
Curb weight: 5,540 lbs
MPG: 12 city / 14 highway
Engine: 5.4 L V8
Torque: 516 lb-ft
Dimensions: 186″ L x 71-73″ W x 78″ H
First off, what a great use of the DVD function in the aftermarket headunit to show a scene with George Costanza in Seinfeld while shooting the photos for this G. I think the seller knew exactly what they were doing and had a little chuckle doing so. Speaking of the photos, these are outstanding. But they are basically all for naught when you write zero description in your listing. Seriously, this listing tells me nothing about what is going on with this G55. You spend the time and effort to go shoot all these photos and follow it up with nothing. This looks like a great W463, but I can’t assume that. I realize that if you are really serious you pick up the phone to call the seller to really dig into what this thing is all about, but it drives me nuts the lack of effort to sell something this expensive. The only thing a littler odd is the black rear tire cover, which isn’t factory. The correct matching cover is only a $200 part, so it is a little odd to keep the black.
How expensive? $42,995. To me, that is a really fair price for what looks like a real winner. The G55 is a rare beast and I generally prefer the M113K paired with the 722.6 5-speed automatic transmission as a proven combination over the later models. Like every G, the residuals are unmatched in the luxury SUV segment and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Yes, the market will soften over time as more and more of these make their way onto the used market, but I think demand for these will almost always be greater than the supply. Maybe it’s just my own terms of justification on this, but I feel like when you sink money into a G, it’s not like you are throwing it down the hole never to be seen again. I don’t mean putting 24 inch wheels on them, I mean spending the money on proper maintenance and repairs. You can buy one of these and drive it for a few years then turn around and sell it without losing five-figures in deprecation. And if you need one that has 470 horsepower, well go right ahead.
About a year ago I checked out the Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG and explained that the this car is one of those ”best of the worst” scenarios. In my opinion, the W203 was a pretty terrible product overall for someone like Mercedes to produce and owning one when you have so many other options just doesn’t add up for me. But like anything, when the price gets cheap enough, when does pulling the trigger on one actually make sense? In reality, buying an older, used German car never really makes all that much sense in the big picture, but we all justify our purchases one way or another. But I’ve found 2005 for sale in Florida which is actually cheap enough that it is probably going to make a lot of people consider picking this one up.
Model: C55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 129,400 mi
Price: $7,495 Buy It Now
Up for sale is my 2005, Mercedes AMG C55 with 129K original miles, silver with black interior. 5.4L V8 engine pushing 370hp and 370tq. I have every receipt for any work or maintenance that was done to the car since I have owned it. Very fast car that will put a smile on your face every time you get on the throttle.The car comes equipped with every option including the Harmon Kardon sound system, NAVIGATION, heated front seats, memory front seats, turn signal mirrors, 6 disc CD changer, interior lighting, flood lights, xenon lights, front and rear automatic windows, privacy screen, tinted windows and 2 piece 18″ C55 AMG wheels.The car has been garage kept and the interior and exterior looks like new. The Leather and suede still smells like new. Only reason why I am selling it because I need a truck or SUV. Please send me a message for more details.Located in Coral Gables, FL. Asking price is $7,495.00
This W203 looks really fresh for almost 130,000 miles. I’m sure it being a Florida car had a lot to do with this, but you’d be surprised how little it takes to make a W203 look like garbage. The interior still fresh, the exterior doesn’t have anything odd going on and the giant plastic engine cover on the M113 V8 even looks well taken care of. The seller doesn’t say anything about maintenance records but honestly the drive train in these cars are pretty stout with the M113 paired to the 722.6 gearbox. The only thing that can get kind of pricey with these are the brakes and rotors as they are quiet large and carry the AMG tax, but outside of that and some super specific body panels just for the C55, there isn’t a lot to sweat about these cars.
So how cheap it is? A cool $7,500. Just to compare, the C55 I looked at last year was $4,300 more despite only having 10,000 less miles on it. These seem to be hovering right around the $10,000 range for a decent one with an average amount of miles on them. I don’t know how much more deprecation these will take on but I’d imagine they’ll end up like their older AMG siblings and not get any cheaper than the $7,000-8,000 range unless they are really beat up. Will these ever become collectible? Maybe in a number of years, but I don’t think people will be seeking them out like they do a 190E 16v or 500E. There is a long list of cars I’d spend money on before W203 C55, but if the right one came along at a crazy price, I’d think about it.