Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Twin Turbo AMG

Potential is something that often goes unrealized. In the car world, that means that even though you select the right ingredients, the potential of a great recipe is sometimes led off track by poor execution. The delicate balance between tasteful and tacky was tread upon far too often in the 1980s, but even today that line continues to be stepped over. It would seem that tuners, as Charlie Murphy once memorably said, are “habitual line steppers”. On paper, a turbocharged W124 with AMG body styling and some wicked AMG OZ wheels would be perfect, even if presented in too-typically 80s “Charlie Sheen White”. But then take a look at this W124, and there are a few details that will probably leave you shaking your head…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Twin Turbo on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE-24 Cabriolet 5-speed manual

The W124 Mercedes-Benz E-class convertible isn’t exactly what you would consider a sporting drive. It’s a thoroughly competent cruiser and can handle itself in the twisties, but this is a car meant to cosset you as you motor, top-down and enjoy the passing scenery at a more relaxed pace. It is, simply, a car to be seen in. Our reader Walker spotted this imported 1993 300CE-24 Cabriolet equipped with a 5-speed manual gearbox, one of a handful that were equipped as such. Imported in 2001 and brought up to US specs, it’s available in Richmond, Virginia with just over 100,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE-24 Cabriolet on Craigslist Richmond

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10K Friday “80s Classic” Edition: 924 Turbo v. 5000CS Quattro Avant v. Golf Rallye v. 535i v. 300CE

One thing I really love about writing up these 10K posts is a odd combinations pricing allows me to come up with. For today’s post, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of maximizing the budget, I decided to look at it from the perspective of what was a classic 1980s car that you could buy and maintain well under $10,000. Obviously, if you’re willing to shill out much more, there are countless classics you can jump in to turn-key; but under $10,000 means with almost certainty that the car you’ll be getting in to today will be at least in part a bit of a project. Is there anything wrong with that? No, I think there’s an inherent appeal to trying to save and resuscitate a car that was in part neglected or just needs attention. Certainly I’ve tried to do that several times with 1980s cars – with mixed results. Today, I grabbed one classic from the 1980s (give or take, we’ll see…) from each of the major manufacturers – which is the one you’d like to save?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

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We paid tribute to the W124 Mercees-Benz E-class on Monday. It’s hard to believe it has been three decades since this car was unveiled, as you still see plenty of these cars roaming the roads. A lot of the W124s I run across are run down and seem to be on their last legs, but like the W123 that preceded it, they go from strength to strength. This 300CE coupe for sale in Louisiana is a well preserved example with under 50,000 miles on the clock, making this quite an appealing modern classic.

Click for details: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on eBay

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Coupe or Cabriolet? 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE vs. 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet

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When the W124 debuted in the mid 1980s, it was pretty much business as usual for Mercedes-Benz. First, the sedan made its debut, followed by an estate variant and a pretty pillarless coupe. Then, in the early 1990s, Mercedes revived an old idea and brought back the four place cabriolet. We would get our hands on this drop top W124 in 1993. It didn’t come cheap, at the cost of around $80,000. Then again, compared to an SL, two extra people could come along for the ride and enjoy open air Mercedes motoring.

We’ll take a look at a pair of two-door W124s today, starting off with this 1993 300CE Cabriolet for sale in Virginia.

Click for details: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300CE “AMG”

We’ve seen before many times that the devil is in the details with the pre-merger AMG modified cars. Like Faberge eggs, they can look the part without actually being a real AMG modified car; but unlike the Faberge art the details of all of the early cars is not particularly well known or documented. So here is a fairly desirable, very clean W124 300CE – already a sought after car, especially with lower miles. Tack on the awesome looking AMG bits and you have one really great looking, desirable package. Despite this, it’s not likely authentic. There’s a line that it was factory equipped with the AMG body kit and sport suspension, and indeed if you scroll through the pictures there are the AMG-spec springs. Outside the AMG-spec body kit is one of the best looking available and really sharpens the lines of the W124 into a more aggressive stance. But is it a real AMG?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 300CE “AMG” on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300CE

Mercedes-Benz has stayed the course in offering coupe versions of its mid-sized and large fleet. While not as flashy as some of the competition, the W124 E-Class coupe of the 1980s and 1990s offered the consumer a decidedly conservative choice when it came to personal luxury. This was perfectly acceptable by established customers of the brand, as they weren’t seeking the radical styling cues and glitterball details so common in the lineup today. This 1991 300CE for sale in New Mexico is a one owner, low mileage example that is perfect for playing out your old money fantasies.

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

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet as featured in “The Firm”

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Retro design has been on the rise, from new interpretations of Volkswagen Beetles and Fiat 500s to specimens like the Chevrolet SSR that appear to be a throwback but have no distinct predecessor. In the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz went about the retro concept in their own way. It had been almost 20 years since they produced a four place cabriolet, but with the W124 E class, they reintroduced this bodystyle with a modern twist. Impeccable build quality and Mercedes styling hallmarks remained, but added into the mix were the latest technologies such as ABS, airbags and an innovative roll hoop system that deployed in case of an accident behind the rear seats.

These E class Cabriolets are highly prized and this 300CE for sale in Maryland adds celebrity on top of an already desirable package. This was the very car that starred in the movie “The Firm.”

Click for more details: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE with 25k miles

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One of my favorite Mercedes-Benzes of all time is an obscure one. The W124 Coupe. These cars were the automotive equivalent of a three piece suit garnished with an avant garde tie or fancy watch. Just a little bit of zip to liven it up. Four place seating and a pillarless profile were this car’s hallmarks, with a 3.0 liter inline-6 under the hood for US bound models that would be usurped in the final two years of the production run for a 3.2 mill. This 300CE for sale in New Jersey is another one of those time warp vehicles, having covered just over 25,000 miles in 24 years.

Click for more details: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on eBay

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet

While BMW was lighting up the sales charts with 3 series convertibles like the one we featured yesterday, Mercedes-Benz reintroduced drop top, four-place motoring to their lineup in 1992 with the 300CE Cabriolet. While the 3 series convertible was for those who liked a bit of sporting attitude in their daily drive, the E class cabriolet was for those who wanted a more reserved al fresco motoring experience. This was a car to be seen in, encouraging a serene driving manner rather than zipping about as if your pants were on fire. This 300CE in a rich combination of Smoke Silver over Dark Brown leather has that old money look to it that resonates to the connoisseur.

Year: 1993
Model: 300CE Cabriolet
Engine: 3.0 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 17,835 mi
Price: $32,900

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet on eBay

This 1993 Mercedes 300CE Cabriolet is finished in Smoke Silver Metallic Exterior with Dark Brown Leather Interior and Convertible Top. Only 17,835 miles. Nearly $80,000 original MSRP. All Original, Clean CarFax. Stored Winters, in like new condition. This 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Convertible was built in Germany on May 13, 1993 and originally delivered to Mercedes-Benz of Memphis (Tennessee). It was delivered on June 22, 1993 to a local Memphis owner, where it was perfectly cared for and minimally driven. That first owner kept the car until September of 2002, when the car only had 8100 miles. The second owner was an older gentleman, also based in Memphis. He kept the car until June of 2004, when the 300CE only had 9,166 miles. It was subsequently purchased by a seasoned automotive enthusiast and all around knowledgeable car guy in 2004 which is who we bought it from.

This 300CE Convertible is extremely clean and is in as-new condition. It has been both cosmetically and mechanically maintained to a fastidious level throughout its entire life. It has never seen snow/salt and has rarely seen rain. You will not find a nicer and better documented 300CE/E320 Convertible. It is 100% stock and unmodified. The car is well-equipped, with automatic climate control (with cold A/C), heated seats, CD changer, power/memory seats, cruise control, and integrated rollover protection. All original tools, owner’s manual, window sticker, records, etc. are included. The Mercedes-Benz 300CE was introduced for the 1993 model year and was the company’s first four-seat convertible since the 280SE Cabriolet which was last offered in 1971. Only 766 300CE Convertibles were built in 1993 and the car cost nearly $80,000 when new $77,855. It features seating for four adults, a 217 horsepower 3.2-liter inline-6 engine, and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

This is a Mercedes from the era of old school, over-the-top build standards. It offers open-top motoring for four adults at a fraction of the cost of what the car sold for new. Full Specs: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Convertible Exterior: Smoke Silver Metallic (702) Interior: Dark Brown Soft Leather (263) Options: -LF Orthopedic Seatback (404) -Seat Reinforced, Left (561) -Seat Reinforced, Right (562) -Dark Brown Soft Top (746) -Electric Heated Front Seats (873) -California Emission Control Equipment (494) Total Production 6140 for the three years in the USA. USA production for the three years, 1993 766 1994 1698 1995 3676

These were pricey machines in their time, some optioned examples exceeding $80,000 when new. It’s not surprising, then, that these are some of the most valued W124 models barring the limited edition, high-performance 500E. With under 20,000 miles on the clock, we’re not too far off in terms of value on this one, however, given that it’s an earlier, pre-facelift model, that may hold it back from getting top dollar versus a later model.

-Paul