I’m ready to declare that the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG has stepped into collectibility territory. Full disclosure, I own one of these so take it how you want, but the recent sale prices have been telling the story. Over the past year, auction results for clean, nice condition E55s have been producing prices that have surprised me just a little. For the past five to eight years, you could pick a decent W210 E55 for $7,000-9,000 and have a nice example. If you wanted a rusty one with a bunch of issues, $5,000 would put one in your driveway. Now, those $9,000 examples are $13,000-$15,000 and the really prime cars with low miles are reaching the high-teens and maybe even $20,000. Sure, you can still find those rusty $5,000 ones if you look hard enough, but I just don’t think there will be any appreciation on those because once the rust starts on a W210, it never ends. I guess this makes sense in the grand scheme of things because we’ve been seeing price cycles like this for years with W201 190E-16vs, W124 500Es and on the BMW side with the E39 M5 and of course the E30 M3. Remember when you could get one of those for $8,000?
Today’s car, a 1999 E55 AMG up for sale in Canada, brings a little bit of a unique situation. First being it is a Canadian-spec car so there are some minor changes from the US cars and second being that it’s a 1999 which means this is the rare, one-year only, pre-facelift car. That means a different gauge cluster, steering wheel, body work, transmission setup, taillights and radio. For some the one-year status might mean increased scarcity, but I doubt you’ll find a lot of people wanting a 1999 over a 2000-2002 because of all the upgrades the facelifted cars received. That doesn’t matter all that much today because this car is in outstanding condition and is set to probably bring a nice, fat number once the auction ends.