1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

As followers of my posts will know, I love cars that conceal their heightened performance behind austere exterior styling. The 500E is a particular favorite of mine. Around 1,500 of these were imported to the US between 1991 and 1994. Based on the W124 chassis E-class, the “wolf in sheep’s clothing” was the product of a joint venture between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche. The chassis would pass back and forth between the two manufacturers as it was assembled: the car got beefier brakes from the SL, upgraded suspension, a wider track and a glorious 5.0 liter V8 motor. A 0-60 MPH sprint time of about 5.5 seconds, top speed of 160 MPH and total power output of around 322 hp might not sound all that impressive now. But those were very respectable numbers for the time, especially for such a large sedan. By the mid-2000s, the 500E had become somewhat overlooked, passed over by many in favor of the BMW M5. But in the last five years there has been a resurgence of interest in these cars. Values have begun to climb as a result.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

The 300k-mile 500E I wrote up last week was a bit of a hot mess. It needed extensive cosmetic work along with who knows what else. But to my surprise, it sold for $7,700. I wish the brave soul who bought it all the luck in the world, whether they restore it to its former glory or use it as a comically powerful beater. The sale price got me thinking: how much would you have to pay for high mileage 500E that wasn’t all torn up? As if on cue, this nice looking example popped up on eBay. The miles are high, but the condition of this Porsche-Mercedes mashup looks great, a testament to the longevity and durability of the W124 platform on which it is based.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

High mileage 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E project

High mileage 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E project

The product of a collaboration between Porsche and Mercedes-Benz, the W124 500E was a worthy competitor to the E34 BMW M5. Powered by a 5.0 liter V8 motor generating 322 hp and equipped with beefed-up suspension and brakes, these stealthy Q-cars have languished on the used market until relatively recently. Finally receiving the attention they deserve, over the last decade values have steadily risen, with mint condition examples now commanding $30k price tags. Cars at that end of the market will likely stay tucked away behind closed doors. But what if you want to just drive a 500E, and not worry about every ding or scrape it gets in the parking lot? The courageous and open-minded might want to take a look at this forlorn-looking example. With a bit of attention and light restoration, this could turn out to be a steal. Or a money pit. Only the brave need apply…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

Feature Listing: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

Feature Listing: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

The term “Q-ship” is an antiquated phrase dating from the WWII era. Originally used to refer to merchant ships carrying concealed weaponry, among car enthusiasts it’s been repurposed to describe fast, brawny, and exotic sedans that hide their performance beneath conservatively styled exteriors. German manufacturers excel at producing these kinds of cars, and while the E28 M5 might have been the OG “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” the 500E may be the more interesting. The product of a collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, and based on the confidence-inspiring W124 chassis, it got a 5.0 liter V8 motor making 326 hp, beefier brakes taken from the R129 SL, upgraded suspension, a wider track and Recaro bucket seats. The saga of assembly of these beasts was a heroic undertaking; Porsche had the capacity on its dormant 959 production line, so a deal was struck where bare chassis were loaded at Daimler-Benz in Unterturkheim and shipped across town to Porsche in Zuffenhausen. There, the revised and widened fenders were mated with the R129 500SL 16-inch wheels and brakes. Porsche also installed the all-aluminum V8. Mercedes-Benz then repatriated the partially complete cars to paint them, but Porsche completed finally assembly. Around 10,000 were completed in this back-and-forth manner.

Sold between 1991 and 1994/5, the 500E could make the 0-60 MPH dash in under 6 seconds and topped out at a limited 155 MPH. Those were very respectable numbers for the time, especially given the size of the car. From the outside, the 500E was virtually indistinguishable from an ordinary W124, the flared fenders and slightly lower stance being the only tell-tale signs.

Year: 1993
Model: 500E
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 66,300 mi
Price: $39,500

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E, 66,629 Original Miles, 4 Owners From New, Perfect Running Condition

VIN: WDBEA36E4PB886196

This 1993 500E is fantastic example of one of the most important Mercedes Benz models produced and represents an era of collaboration between Mercedes-Benz and Porsche cars that will never be seen again.

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

3The 500E was an M5-baiting super-sedan built on the W124 platform in joint collaboration with Porsche. Offered between 1991 and 1994 with a 5.0 liter V8 generating 322hp and a subtly flared bodykit, these cars earned the clichéd (but accurate) moniker “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Somewhat forgotten about until recently, not too long ago neat examples could be had for around $10k. Not so any more. As the market has woken up to these cars we’re increasingly seeing more of them for sale at the $30k price point. This particular example breaks that barrier and then some: the seller is asking for a bold $54k.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1The product of a Porsche-Mercedes collaboration built on the W124 platform E-class, the 500E is a 90s super sedan that tends to fly under the radar (or did, until recently, when the collector market began to take an interest). The flared fenders and squat stance are the only external cues that set these cars apart from your average Stuttgart taxi. But beneath the surface lies a wider track, beefier brakes and a 5.0 liter V8 engine developing about 326 hp. That lump is sufficient to propel the 500E to 60 in just under 6 seconds. While that’s not super impressive by today’s standards, it was quick for the time. And the chief virtue of the 500E was never really its acceleration from a standstill (torquey and quick, though it was). It was its ability to cruise the autobahn at 160 mph all day, every day, while four passengers sat in dignified comfort in the cabin.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

1The W124 platform E500 – the product of a joint venture between Mercedes and Porsche – has established itself as a firm favorite among enthusiasts lusting after brawny, fast German steel. Hewing close to the late 80s/early 90s super-sedan recipe – big engine, understated exterior, room for four to travel in comfort with effortless rapidity – these brutes have been rising in value of late, with asking prices on mint, low-mileage examples reaching into the $30k plus territory. Over the summer, Paul and I saw a couple of 500Es hanging out at Katie’s Cars and Coffee, the same place, in fact, where a week later a 380SL would rather infamously collide with a Ferrari 458 Speciale. I hadn’t seen a 500E in the flesh for a while, and I was struck by just how muscled and hunkered-down they look. At the time, Paul said to me that “hunkered-down” is exactly how they feel to drive too. I have to take him at his word; sadly I haven’t had the pleasure.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 on eBay

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

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One quick look at this late model W124 and you might mistake it for any other normal E-class of the era due to its rather sublime Smoke Silver hue. Such is how good this color is at hiding those wide front fenders, bodywork which will tip the enthusiast off into knowing this isn’t your normal E-class. No, this is one of a few of the facelifted E500s which made its way stateside before taking a bow three short model years in. This example for sale in Georgia just crossed the 20,000 mile mark, quite remarkable for a car which screams “drive me.” Been on the hunt for a mint condition example of this legend? This one is worth a closer look, then.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1 The 500E is the pumped up, M5-fighting, super-sedan version of the W124 platform E-class. The product of a Porsche-Mercedes collaboration between 1990 and 1994, these cars were 322 hp monsters capable of 155 MPH on the autobahn. Powered by the 5.0 liter V8 M119 engine, the 500E was externally differentiated from ordinary W124s only by flared fenders, a slightly lowered stance and an innocuous-looking badge at the rear. The 500E was the very definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing: practical, supremely fast and understated (a cliche, to be sure, but an apt one). I used to scour Craigslist for these cars, in the vain hope that I would come across one being sold for cheap by somebody who didn’t know what they had. Sounds far fetched, I know. But Doug Demuro once found one for half price price at a dealer who mistook it for just another old Benz. Sadly, I think those days are over. The used market has since woken up to these cars and now they’re usually priced anywhere between $10k and $40k depending on condition and miles.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

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The Mercedes-Benz 500E needs no introduction here at GCFSB. But consider this was a luxury sedan that was edging 330 horsepower in an era when many mid-sized sedans could barely muster 150 horsepower. Rather impressive for a four-door in its day, then. This Porsche-built four-door express is getting its fair shake in the market after years of sitting in relative obscurity. Currently, excellent examples can edge $40,000 or more. This 1993 500E for sale in Northern Virginia has just passed the 50,000 mark and has little to fault with it. Will this pull the big money? Let’s take a look…

Click for details: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

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We tend to take power for granted in this day and age, with your average mid-sized luxury sedans capable of nearing 300 horsepower with not much effort. This was not the case in the early 1990s, when Mercedes-Benz arrived on the scene with their pumped up E-class, the 500E. This Porsche collaboration was dubbed a wolf in sheep’s clothing at the time, with little exterior clues to hint at the 322 horsepower V8 hiding beneath. When your run of the mill 300E had well under 200 horsepower, this was quite impressive. This 1992 500E we see here is a Canadian spec example, looking pretty good considering its age and mileage.

Click for details: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

What can I say about the W124 500 that hasn’t already been said? I doubt I could honestly come up with anything original. Sure, I could throw around the typical laurels – super sedan, Q-Ship, sleeper, muscle car, velvet hammer. I could talk about the interesting relationship in construction with Porsche through which reportedly each of these cars took 18 days to complete as they traveled between factories. Of course, it was long from the first time that Porsche and Mercedes-Benz had worked together, since Ferdinand had been employed by the company pre-World War II as a designer. You could argue that Mercedes-Benz out-M5’d the M5 with the “monster” M119 pushing over 320 horsepower to the rear wheels – a full hundred horsepower more than some of its rivals. Interesting stuff, for sure, over a pint of your favorite beer. But what interests me about this particular example is not the obscure facts, the stupendous for their day power levels, the legendary build quality or even the luxurious yet Spartan interior of the W124. No, in this case, it’s the color – Arctic White:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1992 Mercedes Benz 500E

1992 Mercedes Benz 500E

 

Every time I come across a clean 500E it gets the wheels turning in the ‘ol noggin. I find myself wondering if this early 90s tribute to the automotive gods would work as a daily driver. As much as I tell myself I could get by with a sporty coupe, in the end I know my active lifestyle and willingness to shuttle friends around would have me yearning for an extra set of doors. Once I start that internal dialogue I quickly get on the line of thinking that if I’m going to have four doors then I might as well have hatch to access the cargo area. On top of the practical angle there’s the cosmetic angle. Most of the cars I’m a fan of look better as a wagon, rarely does a sedan hold my gaze the way a slick long roof does and it is for that reason that I will always write up a crisp 500E when I come across one.

I have a special place in my heart reserved for these cars, they’re really unlike anything else that I have on my bucket list of cars. The E34 M5 is about as close as it comes for the era but it’s a BMW and BMWs are were focused on the driver’s experience above all. The 500E isn’t short on driver engagement but one only need look at the heavily bolstered rear bucket seats to see this car was designed to keep everyone comfortable during a proper Bahnstorming. I love a good solo mission up to the canyons where it’s just the car and myself but I also enjoy being the wheelman on a night out with some friends. It’s a different kind of energy in the car for sure but I think it can be equally as enjoyable, provided your friends don’t suck, If they do then riding around in a modern classic like the 500E will surely be lost on them but I know mine would appreciate it, especially when the 5.0L V8 is doing its best Wilhelm Scream impersonation.These days 322hp can be found in many a four door but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that utilizes it with such emotion and grace.…

1993 Mercedes Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes Benz 500E

My affection for the original super sleeper is well known but this Anthracite Grey Metallic Mercedes-Benz 500E in Chicago has taken them to a whole new level. This is without a doubt the cleanest 500E I’ve come across and as one would expect, the excellent condition of the vehicle is reflected in the asking price. With a Buy It Now price of $39,800, it certainly represents the high end of the market. If this vehicle is indeed in concours condition, however, I don’t think the price is unreasonable. These cars are very rare. Only 1,528 of them made it to the US and of those, I’d be willing to bet this is among the ten best kept vehicles.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes Benz 500E on eBay