2.Fast, 2.Furious: 1995 Volkswagen Jetta GL

Saying that you like the Fast and Furious series at all to any dedicated car enthusiasts is a bit like saying you are a Bach and Beethoven fan, but you’ve got a penchant for Weird Al Yankovic too. But the Fast series is, weirdly, a great collection of car films. Okay, back out that the driving scenes are pretty ridiculous, the stunts completely implausible, the plots barely coherent and the acting often one step above pornography. The same claims could easily be said about the Cannonball Run movies, and yet they’re generally accepted among enthusiasts, no?

Each one of these movies is full of iconic cars from start to finish. I’ll admit that I haven’t made it through the most recent additions to the Fast series. They seem a bit contrived (I know, bold statement considering the topic, but work with me) compared to the original, but then it’s hard to argue with their success. Over the past decade a new sequel has emerged like clockwork every two years, and the last one – The Fate of the Furious – netted $1,234,908,020 worldwide. And that was $300,000,000 less than the previous movie, lead actor Paul Walker’s last before his untimely death. In total the series has generated over 5 billion (yes, with a “B”) dollars in ticket sales.

Perhaps it was Paul Walker’s involvement that gave the movies real car credentials. By all accounts, he was a true automobile enthusiast. Just check out some of the cars in his incredible collection. With everything from E30 M3s to R34 Skylines, this man lived life as if he was really in Gran Turismo.

But within the series, there’s still some laughable moments. From the first movie there was Jesse’s Volkswagen Jetta. A Mk.3, it already had lost some street cred in my mind, but the ridiculous body kit and paint scheme was only further underscored by the ABA powertrain. Of course, as VW fan I was outraged. They didn’t even need to open the hood, because the 4-bolt wheels gave away that this was a 2.slow drag racing?!? It was, however, one of the few and the only featured German car in the first movie, and now it’s for sale:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Volkswagen Jetta on eBay

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El Presidente? 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe

Another Mercedes-Benz, another reported former owner who was a leader of a country. According to the seller, this 1996 250SE Coupe was owned Mexican President Adolfo López Mateos. I thought it would be neat to maybe find a photo of him with this car because presidents seem to have their photo taken a lot. (Speaking of, this is a really iconic photo of Mateos riding in an Adenauer cabriolet with JFK.) During my quick research of Mateos, I noticed he died in September of 1969. The seller mentioned that he owned this car in the 1980s. This is why I always say ”According to the seller”. I nicely presented these findings to the seller and he urged me to see if I could find any more information since I was already three pages deep in my Google searching. Turns out, a Mexican website is representing another 250SE, a white 1965, as Mateos car as well. Clearly it is not the same car. This is why it is always a good idea to do your own research before spending a bunch of money on a car or writing about it on the internet. Anyway, this W111 is a European-spec car mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox that needs a whole lot of help. Much to my surprise, it seems like there are plenty of people out there willing to give it such help based on the bidding.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1966 Mercedes-Benz 250SE Coupe on eBay

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John Lennon’s 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

I feature famous owner Mercedes-Benz from time to time with the scale of their ”famousness” ranging from Rowan Atkinson, Clark Gable, Bono and even Elvis. Personally, I just don’t believe that these names do a lot, or anything, for the values of the cars outside of it being just a cool side note. Maybe with some of the Elvis cars it might move the needle at little, but his star is fading as the years go by and the people who truly remember him are also fading away. Today, I have a car that you could argue is on the A-list when it comes to celebrity cars. This is John Lennon’s 1979 300TD. You might remember him as the co-founder of the The Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music. His fame was tremendous until the day of his murder on December 8, 1980 and judging by how much media attention he and his family still gets just by throwing his name into Google, is still quite relevant.  You would guess that maybe this car, a car that he owned until his death, is probably going to bring big money, right?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: John Lennon’s 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300TD at Worldwide Auctioneers

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Johnny Cash’s 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

It probably isn’t a surprise that the ”Man in Black” Johnny Cash also liked in his cars in black. It might be a little bit of a surprise that the romantic outlaw musician liked his black car to be a Mercedes-Benz 560SEL. I have to admit I didn’t expect a man with an image like Cash to choose such a fancy car like a 560SEL, but I suppose the W126 will make believers of us all. Cash purchased this vehicle new in 1990 which meant he would have been 59 years-old at the time, so it’s not like he was in the prime of his lawless ways, but image is everything and I guess in the pre-internet days it was a lot easier not to be seen. Nonetheless, this is what is claimed to be his last car and now it is up for bid in Tennessee. Fair warning, if you are expecting a prime example 560SEL, you aren’t going to find it here.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Johnny Cash’s 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500

Last week I checked out probably one my favorite R129s, a 2000 SL500 Designo that everyone else seemed to enjoy too with its unique paint and interior color combination. Well, turns out we weren’t the only one who fawned over this unique SL. Recently decrowned richest person in the world, Bill Gates, seemed to have an eye for this R129 too. According to this seller, this 2000 SL500 up for sale in Silicon Valley no less, was originally owned by the Gates for the first two years of its life. This is wonderful and all, but unlike the car I checked out last week, I’m not totally in love with this specific example. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Bill Gates’ 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL500 on eBay

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Rowan Atkinson’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

Most people know him as ‘Mr. Bean’, car enthusiasts know him as the guy to crash his McLaren twice but only the most hardcore Mercedes aficionados will know him as a mutiple Mercedes-Benz W124 500E owner. This man is of course the legendary actor, comedian and screenwriter, Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson has always been known as a ”car guy” with classics like the Acura NSX, Renault 5 GT Turbo, Aston Martin DBS V8, 1939 BMW 328 and the list goes on and on. Surprisingly, he has chosen to give up two of his classic sport saloons at auction next month in England. One being the super rare Lancia Thema 8.32, the car famous for being powered by the Tipo 105L 3.0-liter V8 shared with the Ferrari 308 and Mondial Quattrovalvo and the other being this handsome 1993 500E. The W124.036 has been blue chip vehicle from the 1990s for years now, but one that has the ultra-rare cloth interior and owned by Mr. Bean? This super sedan could end up being pretty pricey once the hammer falls.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Rowan Atkinson’s 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E at Silverstone Auctions

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Michael Jordan’s 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722

Michael Jordan is one of the most popular athletes and brand in the world. He’s worth over a billion dollars and with that usually comes some expensive cars. Normally, wealthy celebrities go out grab the latest and greatest vehicle, drive it for a few years, then rinse and repeat. But even before Jordan was worth 10 figures, he always had some really enthusiast-minded cars. He had a Ferrari 512 TR, W140 S600, Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano, C4 Corvettes, SL55 AMG, 930 Slantnose and my personal favorite, a 993 Turbo S. Today’s car for sale in Texas might be one of the rarest cars he’s ever owned. This 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 Edition owned by M.J. is just one of 150 ever built. And judging by its original price tag of just under $500,000, it was probably one of the most expensive cars he has even bought.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Michael Jordan’s 2007 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren 722 on AutoTrader

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Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster

Last week I checked out a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 190SL in Hellgrün which is a lovely, as well as much cheaper, alternative to the big brother 300SL. Well, today we have the big brother and believe it or not, it also is a 1957 in Hellgrün. Just to top it all off, it was owned by “The King of Hollywood” Clark Gable and has just 1,368 miles. But, as you might have guessed, this 300SL comes with a much higher price tag than the 190SL. Much, much higher.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Clark Gable’s 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster at Classic Driver

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King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

Last week I checked out at a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 that looked to be cared for by a wealthy stable owner in north Alabama. Today, we have another W100 to examine, but this one has quite a bit more history to sort through. This 1970 600 for sale in Portland, Oregon isn’t the normal standard wheelbase sedan you are used to seeing but rather it’s the rare Pullman version, which is one of 423 ever produced. Of course, those who ordered these cars usually weren’t your normal private citizens. So who was the original owner of this rolling symbol of power?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman on Hemmings

Year: 1970
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
Price: $395,000

1970 Mercedes 600 Pullman

Ordered new by King Idris of Libya the same year he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi
Award winning restoration (fully documented)
All mechanicals are new or rebuilt
35,000 km’s (300 km since restoration)
Factory 040G black with bamboo leather
Complete set of factory spares kits and tool pouch
Price: $395,000 firm

The owner of this awesome 600 was King Idris of Libya who according to the build sheet, didn’t have possession of the car for too long. This Pullman was built in July of 1969 but unfortunately Idris was deposed a few months later in a coup d’etat by army officers led by a guy you might have heard of named Muammar Gaddafi. I’ve tracked down a photo of Idris getting out of the car attached below and even more amazingly, the Associated Press actually has video footage of Idris in Turkey on September 2nd, 1969 with the car that can be viewed here. That same day is when Libyan Army officers took control of the country. Naturally, Idris didn’t return to Libya choosing to head to Greece until ultimately going into exile in Egypt until his death in 1983 at the age of 94.

From there, the story is missing some chapters. From what I understand, this car was probably sold off (along with Idris’ other things) and ended up in Japan where it rested for over 20 years. From there, the car made its way to Los Angeles to a new owner where again, it sat. That’s where the current owner found it and sent it over to the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in Irvine, California for extensive restoration in 2011. Now, it resides in Portland along with the owner’s five (that’s not a typo) other short-wheel-base 600s. I do remember seeing this car on display at Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance last year where it took home the Allen C. Stephens Elegance Award — which I have no idea what that means. I don’t run in the same circles as people who have cars nice enough to park on putting greens.

Now that the seller wants to move on from this Pullman, he is asking a whopping $395,000 – firm, no less. I know that the seller of this car wasn’t aware it was Idris’ car until after he purchased it but I’m sure he might have had an idea it had some kind of diplomatic ownership being so well-versed in 600 ownership. Just for comparison sake, there was a 1968 Pullman that was sold at an auction the Netherlands in 2015 that wasn’t a restored example, but still presentable, for just under $200,000. The notion that this car has some sort of increased value because it was owned for a month by a rather unknown King in Libya almost 48 years ago just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t think prior ownership factors into value unless maybe you were taking about one of the 600s owned by Lennon or Elvis and even then I’m weary. So while this 600 Pullman looks outstanding and surely has a cool history, almost $400,000 might just be a pipe dream number.

– Andrew

Slippery When Wet: ex-Jon Bon Jovi 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500

New Jersey: Strip malls, used car lots and Bon Jovi.

Somehow these things lead me down a convoluted path to talk about a 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500. What’s the connection?

From the title, you’ll know of course this is not just any W140. It is a W140 once owned by Jon Bon Jovi, and now it is for sale in New Jersey. At a secondhand used car lot, across from a strip mall. Bingo!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz S500 on eBay

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