These ultra-low mileage cars always intrigue me in more ways than one. How have they held up after so many years of just sitting? How has the maintenance been handled despite only having a handful of miles a year? But this biggest thing I wonder is was it worth it, literally, to let the car sit and preserve its pristine condition. Today’s car, a 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet that checks in with a little over 6,700 miles, isn’t your typical used car to begin with. I’ve covered the C124 pretty extensively and we’ve even featured some really nice examples here for sale. But for this 1994 for sale in New York, is it worth the giant price tag for the so little miles?
Some things never change. One of those things just happens to be people cutting the roof off Mercedes-Benz coupes and adding convertible tops. I’m not kidding. They did it with the C126, they did it with the C140 and they did it with the C215. Naturally, they did it with today’s car, a 2007 CL550, up for sale in Florida. Thankfully for everyone, Mercedes started doing it themselves with the 2015 S-Class convertible that looks amazing in my eyes. The biggest problem with these conversions is that they are clunky. Adding a convertible top to a car is no easy feat and those who do it as an afterthought always face an uphill battle. It’s one thing to make everything function smoothly and actually work, but it is a whole other challenge to make it look good. Most of the time when the top canvas is folded down, it creates an ungainly mass of metal and fabric sticking up behind the rear seats. This not only looks bad, but has horrible wind noise and causes visibility problems. Nevertheless, people still do it because people still buy them for whatever reason. As for this specific car? I have a no idea why anyone would ever consider it. Let me explain why.
Okay, I’ll admit that we don’t spend a lot of time on pre-War German cars. The why is quite simple; outside of an occasional Mercedes-Benz model, there just weren’t a lot of pre-War German cars exported to the United States. Heck, there just weren’t a lot of pre-War German cars, period.
Contrary to popular belief, German wasn’t a nation of drivers until well after World War II. It was something that Mercedes-Benz and upstart conglomerate Auto Union lamented to a certain then-new German Chancellor by the name of Adolf Hitler. Hitler agreed; he wanted and needed the automobile industry in Germany to prosper to help resurrect the economy. But he also needed German car firms to take to new markets. The results you likely know; Hitler spurred the industry through lowering of automobile taxes, and more notable, the encouragement and funding of international-level automobile racing. It’s one of the few times in history that a government has undertaken full sponsorship of a race effort, and without a doubt it was the most successful and evocative. Should you care to on this blustery and very cold late December evening (at least here in New England, where temperatures are struggling to reach double digits), you can read all about it in my dissertation:
Motorsports Monday Special: Racing to Sell – The ‘Silberpfeil’: Part 6
The result of all of that racing and support of the automobile industry was that both Mercedes-Benz and Auto Union prospered – for a while. The unfortunate side-effect of the buildup for the Spanish Civil War and World War II, along with re-arming several areas of taken from Germany through the Versailles Treaty was that by the late 1930s, automobile production had ceased to accelerate because of artificial shortages of items like metal and rubber. Couple that with the fact that most Germans, though much better off in aggregate following the NSDAP takeover in 1933 than they had been during the Great Depression from 1929-1932, still weren’t very rich. So although both Auto Union and Daimler-Benz produced ultra-luxury models like the Mercedes-Benz 540 series and the Horch 853, few outside of high-ranking party officials could afford them. And even then, they were often gifts to gain favor with the notoriously corrupt government.
Today, some 80 years on from that time period, these incredible machines have gained a new appreciation in the market place. Long second fiddle to the pre-War stand-bys – Rolls Royce, Packard, Bentley, and Duesenberg, the rare models from Mercedes-Benz have come to surpass the value of nearly all pre-War cars outside of some real exotics, and Horch models, too, have come to be much more highly valued:
It’s been a while since I’ve seen one of these 911s. This is the Commemorative Edition (aka the Jubilee Edition), which Porsche released in 1988 to celebrate the production of the 250,000th 911. Like other special editions of its time the special enhancements were almost entirely cosmetic. In this case that meant special exterior and interior colors: Diamond Blue Metallic for the exterior, with color-matched Fuchs wheels, and Silver Blue Metallic in the interior (the seller refers to it as Diamond Blue in the interior as well though I’ve always seen it called Silver Blue). It makes for an attractive combination that’s quite elegant as these things go.
You also got Dr. Ferry Porsche’s signature stitched into the seat headrests, a shorter shifter, and an electronic top for the Cabriolet. I suppose the most unique aspect of this particular Commemorative Edition is that it’s had the model designation deleted. You probably don’t care about that. These 911s are pretty rare with only 875 produced in total. I believe the seller’s statement that this is 1 of 100 imported to the US refers to the number of Commemorative Edition Cabriolets rather than the number of Commemorative Edition 911s imported in total. Still, there aren’t a lot of them.
I’ve passed by this 993 a few times and I’m starting to think that I shouldn’t have. I obviously notice it any time I see it. Maritime Blue, especially on a 993, will do that. It’s a great non-metallic blue and it really grabs your attention. So why ignore it? For starters it is for me the least desirable model: a Carrera 4 Cabriolet. In fairness, it’s a manual transmission so it could be worse, but overall it’s not a model I’d seek out. Second, I hate the wing. Like really hate it.
So the color would draw me in, I’d take notice, see the wing, and move on. However, that’s not entirely fair. There’s a lot of good going on with this 911 and the wing is something that can be changed. So let’s take a look. As I said this is a paint-to-sample Maritime Blue 1997 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. It has only 30,412 miles and the paint is mostly original – both bumpers have been repainted. It also has some interesting options with the rear seat delete, the hi-fi sound package, and 18″ Technology wheels among a few others. There’s more going on here than I initially realized.
The last few weeks I checked out Mercedes newest supercar, the AMG GT R, in both green and black. Both are really excellent cars and Mercedes seems to be going all in with the AMG GT guise as a four-door version is rumored to be on the horizon. But what we have here today is one of those AMG GT variants, the AMG GT C Roadster. Just clear up all those letters, the GT C Roadster is the roadster version of the GT S coupe. That means this top-down cruiser can do 0-60 mph is a mere 3.6 seconds and top out at 196 mph if you are counting. Everything is great and all, but you are probably saying ”What is the point of this when Mercedes-AMG makes the SL63 and SL65?” Well, I guess options are always a good thing, right?
I can’t say it enough times how special the Mercedes-Benz W124 Cabriolet is. On the outside, yes, it just looks like a W124 coupe with the top removed. But like I said here, it is far from Clarkson breaking a sawzall out and saying ‘How hard could it be?’. Over 1,000 parts needed to be changed to take this handsome coupe and turn it into a handsome cabriolet. No easy task, but then again, this is Mercedes-Benz we’re are talking about and I have faith in them. So should you.
What brings me to talk about the W124 Cabriolet once again is this beautiful 1994 E320 for sale in sunny Georgia. It checks all the boxes if you are looking for a prime example of the model. This is the facelift version painted in beautiful Polar White with blue leather interior and a blue top. The news only gets better from there.
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?
What do we have here? This 911 is really rare and I’ll admit I was a little stumped by the designer until after some searching. This is a Black 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet with a Carat by Duchatelet interior. It’s located in New Jersey and has only 48,000 miles on it thanks to hanging around in storage for more than a decade.
So who is Duchatelet? A company out of Belgium well-known for their Carat by Duchatelet high-end interior work performed principally on Mercedes-Benz and Rolls-Royce cars of the ’80s. Apparently they also worked on Porsches. From the outside their designs are pretty subtle, so much so that when I first was looking through these pictures I couldn’t figure out what was so unique about it. When you get to the interior, it all becomes quite clear!
I’m forcing the issue a little bit here as I will freely admit there aren’t great reasons for lumping these two 911s together. So why? Basically because I think each is worth consideration for those in the market for a 3.2 Carrera, but neither is really distinguished enough that I think one is obviously superior to the other, nor are they distinguished enough to write up separately. So why not look at them both?
These two 911s each present as similar examples of a late classic 911 and since neither is a Coupe they also present the choices for those who prefer a bit of open-top enjoyment. Each comes from the final three model years after Porsche fitted the G50 5-speed manual transmission and I think their condition is pretty comparable. While the mileage of each is a bit different neither is crazy high nor crazy low. Lastly, I think their selling prices should be pretty close. So if you’re in the market for a G50 Carrera and want a little wind in your hair these both should be worth further investigation.
I’ll go chronologically and begin with this Grand Prix White 1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Cabriolet, located in New Jersey, with Dark Blue leather interior and 68,050 miles on it.