Right Hooker Week: 1996 Mercedes-Benz S280

Back for round 2 for a Mercedes from across the pond: I present to you a little bit of an odd-ball S-Class and at the same time, an infamous one. This is a 1996 S280, a car that North America was never graced with because of it’s rather spartan equipment — if you could even use that term when talking about a S-Class. This W140 is graced with the wonderful Malachite Green paint and even better 18 inch Eltanin wheels. Surprising to me, despite how great everything looks, this S280 is really cheap. How cheap?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Mercedes-Benz S280 on eBay.co.uk

Year: 1996
Model: S280
Engine: 2.8 liter inline-6
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 103,000 mi
Price: GBP 2,499 ($3,252 Buy It Now)

Exterior Features
This Mercedes S280 is solid and the general condition of the paint work is great, with the exception of very few age related marks. The wheels are 18″ Mercedes alloys and they all have recently changed, low profile tyres with a good amount of tread depth.

Interior Features
The interior of the S-Class is renouned for its luxury feel and comfort during every journey. This example has lots of features which add to the comfort, including double glazed windows, heated beige leather seats, cruise control, automatic windscreen wipers, electric windows, central locking and centre arm rest. Considering the car was built over 24 years ago, it has more optional extras than most cars do today!

Service History
There are some service receipts and previous MOT certificates present with the vehicle, although the service book has been lost over time. The current MOT has no advisory items on the certificate, and the previous certificate had no advisories either.

More Information
This is a great example of a classic Mercedes, which is still just as much of a pleasure to take out on the road now as when new. The transmission is smooth and the engine is responsive. The car is HPI clear and there are two keys present.

Taking a close look at this W140, you get the M104 2.8 liter inline-6 engine that isn’t under powered per se, but it probably feels a little weak if you are used to driving these with the V8s or even better, the V12. What is interesting to me about this car is that it comes with manual seats. I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a W140 with manual seats, if ever. My guess is that this was one of the things you gave up when you bought the S280. You still get everything else you’d normally see in a W140 with heated seats, automatic climate control, and power everything else. I really love the 18 inch Eltanin wheels that someone added after the fact and they really suit this car well. One more thing is that this car has a S600 grill which is basically a must do modification for any W140.

Like I mentioned in my opening, the S280 has an infamous past in England as it was the car that Diana, Princess of Wales was killed in on August 31, 1997. (Wear your seatbelt, kids!) Although the car she was riding in was actually a left hand drive S280 registered in France, every time I see a S280 it brings back those memories. One of the things I’ve been wondering for a long time is that if Mercedes saw a drop in W140 sales after the accident due to the massive impact it had on the world.

So how cheap is this car? A mere £2,499! (That’s just over $3,250) I’ve bought a lot of Mercedes in this price range over the years and none have come close to how nice this one is. It’s not like this S280 has a ton of miles either with just 103,000. Dollar for dollar, I mean pound for pound, you are getting a ton of car here. Like I mentioned with the C43 AMG, keep it away from the salt and it should stay nice for a long time. But for this cheap, maybe it’s not such a big deal?

– Andrew

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

It has been a while since I featured a nice W140, but this example outside of Detroit has given me a perfect excuse to check out another one. This 1992 500SEL in Arctic White with the outstanding Saffron leather interior has everything you would want out of an early W140 and a few extras that I think are great additions. Of course, all this comes with a price tag.

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

Year: 1992
Model: 500SEL
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 104,898 mi
Price: Buy it Now $8,000

1992 S500 Immaculate. White over Palomino. All options including self closing latches on doors, power rear view mirror, self closing latch on trunk . . . . . . . . . . The vehicle has never been driven in the winter and has been kept in climate controlled storage. The car has never been through a car wash, only hand washed. I bought it with 99,000 a decade ago, and now it has 104,898 miles on it. It has been a summer Sunday driver. Living in MI does not afford me the opportunity to enjoy the vehicle as much as I’d like to which is the reason for selling the car. As a Benz aficionado you would know that all big body big engine Benz’s were 500SEL’s in 1992. In 1993 they became S500’s. The second owner, a physician in Myrtle Beach SC, bought the 20 inch AMG wheels and low profile tires you see on the vehicle in 1996. He also had the fascia’s on the front and back bumper and side fascia all pained white to match the rest of the car, and re-badged it an S-500. Since the wheels came out in 1996, and the all one color “Euro” look came out at the same time, most think its a 96 car or later. Everything works and it has been maintained for me by my local Mercedes dealer over time. With this vehicle it’s not about the price, it’s about the car. If your looking for an outstanding Vintage Benz that has been pampered and lived its life being well cared for, then the money is secondary to this piece of history. The vehicle has never been in an accident and also comes with a car cover.

First off, let’s address the best part of this car: the wheels. These are called ‘Eltanin’ wheels which were available as an option on European W140 sedans and coupes in 18 by 8.5 inches wide. Because the grass is always greener on the other side and these wheels looks great on the bigger body sedans, the Eltanins are in high demand with the W140 crowd and bring a pretty penny when up for sale. Also, on the exterior of the car, one of the previous owners decided to spray the lower body cladding Arctic White to match the rest of the car which gives it an updated look to match the later W140s. The badging on the trunk was changed from ‘500SEL’ to ‘S500’ which is a little odd because it’s 2017, who cares if your car looks 22 years-old vs. 25 years-old. Inside, this car is equipped with the Saffron leather which is a love it or hate it kind of color. I personally love it because it fits so well with the burl wood and matching colored carpets. You still get some darker color tones with the black dash and door trim so the interior isn’t all a mess of tan and caramel colors.

The ‘Buy It Now’ on this car is $8,000 which isn’t totally out of the question if this car is truly how it presents itself. For that kind of money I’d probably want to pop off the valve covers to take a good look at the oil tubes to see if they were changed over to metal and check the cam chain guides as well. We still aren’t at a point where W140s are becoming collectible outside of S600s and the S500 Grand Edition because the market is still flooded with every variation of these cars for a few thousand dollars. If you want a nice early W140, you’d get no argument from me about snagging this car because it sure seems like a good buy. But if you’re like me and go all in if you are committing to a 20 year-old car, the V12 S600 is where I’m spending my money.

– Andrew