All posts tagged Grey Market

1979 Mercedes-Benz 350SE

With our resident Mercedes-Benz expert Paul out of the country, we’re going through a bit of a classic Mercedes-Benz drought here at GCFSB. I’ve tried to fill in a few gaps, but the reality is that Paul has a knack for finding the best examples of the stars from Germany. So until he comes back, you’ll have to make due with our admittedly second-tier examples, two of which we’ll feature today and both of which at W116s. A bit later, Jeff has written up the top of the heap 6.9 that’s in need of some attention, but right now I have a one of the lesser examples – a 1979 350SE. It doesn’t have the big motor and it’s not the long wheel base, but it’s a slick Euro model which appears clean – so certainly worth a look:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 350SE on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible “AMG”

If you missed Paul’s MerCamino earlier today, I’ve got another strange conversion for you. The 1980s were a heady time for “tuners”, some of which made some downright odd creations and others of which took existing really good cars and just…well, made them worse. One of the best ways to wreck a good car is to chop the roof off, and making cabriolet or roadster versions of coupes seemed to be a sure tuning bet in the 1980s. We got convertible versions of the Quattro, Porsche 928, BMW 6 series – heck, even the Ferrari Testarossa wasn’t immune. But if you wanted luxury and sun for 4, of course you needed a Mercedes-Benz 500SEC convertible. And while you’re there, why not throw in some AMG bits. “What?”, you say, “But I’ve never seen one!” Search no more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG

About a month ago I wrote up a AMG-modified grey market 500SEC that scared people with it’s chromed Pentas, blacked out windows and questionable history. But perhaps if you can get by the again all-caps ad copy, this cranberry-colored grey market 1983 will be the one for you. Sporting the requisite AMG bits and period correct color-matched wheels, this 500SEC certainly looks the part – and the Moby Dick sized stack of receipts may mean this is the not-so-white whale you’ve been looking for:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay

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1993 BMW “M550CSi” – M5 with S70 V12 6-speed swap

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In my post about last week’s 2JZ swapped M5 many questioned why you would go through the expense and difficulty of swapping in the Toyota unit, or at least that it was downright sacrilegious to do so. Perhaps I have a looser sense of how to do things the proper way, but I certainly can recognize that the 2JZ unit is capable of higher levels of power than the original S62 V8 was for less money, and that at least makes some sense to me even if I wouldn’t do it. When I first came across today’s E34 M5, I was initially struck with awe, but as I’ve sat wondering what to write up about this car, that awe has slowly turned to a bit more confusion. The reason why is fairly straightforward – some enterprising individual has taken a quite nice Euro-market E34 M5 (great start) and swapped in the equally great S70B56 V12 from a 850CSi along with a 6 speed manual transmission. Take a look for yourself at this monster:

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Year: 1993
Model: M5
Engine: 5.6 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 76,000 mi
Price: $20,000

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 BMW M5 S70 swap on Willz.Ca

Model: 1993 European M5 chassis
Chassis: WBSHC91090GD63011
Build Date: June 1992
Mileage: 76,000 miles
Colour: Black
Motor: 5.6L 850 CSi engine (S70B56) conversion
Interior: black leather mechanical sports seats, leather stitched center console and door skins
Transmission: new 6 speed manual
Traction Control:
Brakes Front: 2-piece, 355 (14″) rotors UUC 4 piston aluminum calipers
Brakes Rear: vented 328mm (12.9″) rotors
Wheels: 17 x 8 forged system II
Tires: 235-45 and 275-40 Dunlop Sport 5000
Features: front strut bar, HR springs, uprated sway bars, UUC short shifter, Eisenman stainless exhaust, in dash CD
Options: single air bag, ABS, rear deck wing, rear window shades, E code headlights, clear blinkers, Motorsport door handles
Comments: Hand built custom driveline by Brett Anderson from Koala Motorsport, Cleveland OH. Sold and registered as 1993. Self-leveling not removed – still functional. New EDC shocks all ’round. Quaife LSD.

As I said, initially I thought “Holy beep that is awesome!”; seeing that monster V12 in a real M car is sort of like 1995 got all sorts of better. But then I sat on it and thought about it some more, and came away confused. The S38 is a pretty strong motor and this car didn’t have many miles when it was yanked from what I can tell, so there’s that question. Then, the replacement motor is that awesome 5.6 V12. Well, at least it was awesome in 1995, but my main question comes from the result. That V12 is effectively two inline 6s, meaning you have double of nearly everything in the engine bay. On a 20 year old car, that’s not always a good thing – especially those early computers, which seem to have hiccups.

Then there is the second main question when you look at the performance. Sure, the S70 has a healthy bump of torque over the S38, but only 70 horsepower more than even the lowly 3.5 – bump up to the optional 3.8, and those numbers are closer. Then there’s the question of availability; it’s not like the S70 is a cheap motor to come by, so this was intentionally done at great expense. Further, unlike the all-aluminum M73, the M70-based S70 has a big old iron block, so you’re throwing off the balance some. While I have no doubt this car is a blast to drive and looks fantastic, I am left scratching my head a bit. Still, like the Supra-powered E39, I’m happy that someone went through the effort and created what would have been the ultimate handbuilt M-car. And it can all be yours for less than the price of most E39 Ms…

-Carter

Heap of the Week (Part I): 1965 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Coupe

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We’ve featured some neat and rare cars in the “Heap of the Week” feature, and here’s another seldom seen model that is in need of your love. When I look for these cars, I often feel like looking through the ads should be accompanied by soft Sarah McLachlin “Arms of the Angel” playing in the background. There are plenty of hard luck cases that it would just be great to save. For example, this week there was a neat Karmann Ghia coupe and there always seem to be plenty of rusty buses available. There also always seem to be a glut of older Mercedes-Benz models that someone thought they would restore and never completed. Such is the case with today’s rare 220 SE Coupe. 1965 was the last year of the 220 SE as they shifted towards larger engines in the W111. Correctly done, they’re very pretty and stately Coupes, with a pillar-less design that seems elegant compared to later models. Today’s example is in need of a hefty amount of work, but is available for a low purchase price:

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Year: 1965
Model: 220 SE Coupe
Engine: 2.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 3-speed automatic
Mileage: N/A mi
Price: $4,500 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1965 Mercedes-Benz 220 SE Coupe on Ebay

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VEHICLE WAS PURCHASED FOR A RESTORATION PROJECT YEARS AGO BUT WAS NOT COMPLETED.

PARTS CAR OR PROJECT. NO CALIFORNIA TITLE. IMPORTED FROM GERMANY IN 1983 CUSTOMS DUTY PAID BUT NO TITLE WAS EVER ISSUED. CAR IS LEGALLY IN CALIFORNIA UNITED STATES BUT NOT REGISTERED OR TITLE ISSUED.

1965 220SEB, ORIGINALLY PURCHASED FROM GERMANY IN 1983 AND SENT TO LOS ANGELES, WHERE IT HAS BEEN SINCE. ENGINE WAS RUNNING AROUND 5 YEARS AGO AND HAS NOT BEEN STARTED AFTER. ALL PARTS PICTURED ARE INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE. CAR IS SOLD AS IS, AS A PARTS CAR OR PROJECT CAR. CAR COMES WITH GERMAN TITLE, NOT CALIFORNIA TITLE. REGISTRATION IS NOT CURRENT. IF BUYER WISHES TO REGISTER CAR, BUYER WILL HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE NECESSARY STEPS TO COMPLETE. OTHERWISE KEEP AS A PARTS CAR. THERE IS SOME RUST, BODY NEEDS WORK. THE CAR IS LOCATED IN WESTLAKE VILLAGE CALIFORNIA AROUND 40 MINUTES NORTH OF LOS ANGELES. I WILL ASSIST IN SHIPPING VEHICLE BUT ALL ARRRANGEMENTS WILL HAVE TO BE MADE BY BUYER. PICK UP IS RECOMMENDED BUT IF YOU ARE IN ANOTHER STATE OR COUNTRY CAR CAN BE SHIPPED. NO GUARANTEES, NO WARRANTIES, CAR IS SOLD AS IS. DEPOSIT OF $500.00 USD IS REQUIRED WITHIN 24 HOURS AFTER WINNING BID IS MADE BY PAYPAL. REMAINDER OF BALANCE IS TO BE PAID WITHIN 48 HOURS OR AT PICK UP IF ARRANGED. PLEASE BE SURE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU HAVE PRIOR TO BIDDING.

INCLUDED ONE SET OF DOORS NO EXTRA DOORS OR BODY PARTS. I WILL CONSIDER OFFERS BUT NOT REDICULOU$ ONES. THESE PARTS ARE BECOMING MORE RARE EVERY DAY.

I MOSTLY SELL MERCEDES PARTS AND ACCESSORIES. OFTEN I HAVE A FRIEND ASK ME TO SELL SOMETHING FOR THEM. I TAKE AS MUCH PRIDE IN MY NON-MERCEDES ITEMS. I MAKE SURE ALL MY ITEMS MEET HIGH STANDARDS. PLEASE KNOW IF YOU SEE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT MY SPECIALTY, I HAVE TAKEN THE TIME TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE RECEIVING A GOOD PRODUCT FOR A FAIR PRICE. WE HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE MERCEDES BUSINESS FOR OVER 50 YEARS. WE HAVE A GOOD SELECTION OF PARTS AND GOOD SOURCES FOR THEM. PLEASE EMAIL US IF YOU NEED A PART YOU DO NOT SEE LISTED.

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While this model has been taken apart for restoration that restoration never happened. Fortunately, the pictures seem to document that most of the trim pieces remain intact, though it appears this car will need a healthy dose of time and energy to get it back to working order. When and if that occurred, it could look something like this:

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There are several problems, though – in addition to the headache of restoring this car, there’s the headache of sorting out the correct paperwork, as it retains a German title. I’d imagine that could be creatively overcome given the age of the car, but it will take some legwork. Second is the much larger problem; value. These cars, even in very good condition, seem to be on the lower end of the classic Mercedes-Benz market – it’s not uncommon to see clean examples trading below $20,000, and Hagerty lists the average value for the 220 Coupe right around $18,000. So, that leaves you a budget of less than $15,000 to make this car a viable option. Let me be first to say “No way”. Unless you own the body shop, are a handy backyard mechanic and have some favors owed to you by an upholsterer, there’s just no way you can get it done and have the car be under the value of a decent one. That’s a shame because it’s a cool, rare car that doesn’t deserve to die (cue the Sarah McLachlin) and it would be great to see it restored. If it were a cabriolet, it would be a no-brainer. But unfortunately, even if this one was free, I’m still not certain it would be worth the time and effort to restore to original condition.

-Carter

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