2003 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG with 400,000 miles

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I usually don’t think twice when I see a Mercedes with a ton of miles on it. But I started thinking a lot more than twice when I saw a W211 E55 AMG with over 400,000 miles for sale. As I started digger deeper into this wunderkind, the story got even wilder. This E55 had a single owner its entire 400,000 mile life and managed to get into two accidents in that time with one severe enough to deploy the airbags. So obviously this W211 for sale outside of Chicago deserves a deeper look, so let’s try to make sense of this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG with 400,000 miles on Cars.com

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2003 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG

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The Mercedes-Benz C215 chassis had the task of carrying on the pillar-less coupe legacy that Mercedes was known for. But seeing as this car is basically an 8-inch shorter W220 S-Class minus two doors, you can probably guess how this turned out. It departed the majority of its design language from the prior C140 and went with a much more modern smooth design both inside and out. Much like when the W220 was launched and these cars were brand new, you had no reason to think the result would end up being so poor. So let’s take a look at this 2006 CL55 AMG in Florida to see if a C215 is worth considering.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes Benz CL55 AMG on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM AMG

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Move over Black Series, your body work is out classed here. A little over 11 years ago Mercedes took their normally tame CLK and went insane. Modeled after the 2003 CLK which won the DTM championship that year, the road-going CLK-DTM was much more than the typical AMG offerings that simply added on to the standard car that came from Mercedes. This car was totally rethought and the majority of it was re-engineered. That’s what makes this car so different from a CLK55 both inside and out. Even more special is that they only produced 100 coupes and 80 convertibles, with none of them being sold in the U.S.. But today we have this 1 of 100 car for sale in West Palm Beach, Florida. So let’s take a closer look at this DTM monster for the streets.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz CLK-DTM AMG on Hemmings

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Tuner Tuesday: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf Kompressor

Tuned cars from the 1980s were never particularly discrete, nor were they cheap or easy to come by. Tuners like Treser, in an effort to get more power out of the notoriously non-tunable CIS injection system that adorned nearly all German cars in the 1980s, got creative by taking a 928 fuel distributor for the V8 motor and sticking it on the inline-5 turbo unit. Others, like AMG, took the biggest motor they could build and stuck that into a bunch of different cars. Ruf turned up the boost on the 911 range by moving the turbocharged flat-6 into narrow-body cars. But none of this came cheaply, nor were these tuned cars always the most reliable. When it came to the period of electronic fuel injection, though, things started to change. The first chip-tuned cars also had some bad habits; my father’s chipping 944 Turbo, for example, runs quite rich and if you engage the cruise control, the computer believes you want to go 170 m.p.h. and plants the throttle wide open. But they’ve become increasingly reliable and almost a given; plus they’re cheap. On a car like my 1.8T Passat, you can get a reflash of the ECU with programmable modes for around $500; it can be done in just a few moments, and adds somewhere in the vicinity of 50 horsepower and 80 lb.ft of torque. As such, if you really want to go wild in a tuned car these days, simply changing the ECU to a hotter map isn’t enough. No, if you’re someone like Ruf, you’re still pushing the bounds – or, perhaps, compressing them:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Porsche 911 Carrera 4S Ruf Kompressor on eBay

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2003 Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG

Of the contemporary Mercedes models, the SL55 AMG is certainly among my favorites. The lines on this car are about as good as it gets for the time period and few Benzes pulled off the double oval headlights as well as the SL did. It is a true testament to the quality of the design that the car still looks fresh even though it’s 12 years old. For me a big part of that formula are the Type V “Turbine” wheels. These have always been my favorites on the R230 cars, they’re equal parts opulence and performance, much like the car itself. An SL55 AMG is one of those cars I will forever aspire to own, if only for a brief period of time because I know the kind of road trips it would inspire me to take. Long jaunts for no apparent reason other than to enjoy the drive and end up at an enjoyable locale, that’s the kind of thing these cars are built for. Could you use one as a daily driver? From a reliability standpoint I’m sure you could, the 5.4L supercharger V8 has proven reliable over the years. I’d certainly have no problem pulling this thing out of a garage every day but in some ways I think that’d defeat the purpose of the car. It’s a purpose built cruiser with loads of power, it begs to be driven hard on long stretches of road. My guess is the seller would agree given that they’re the 3rd owner and the car has just 30k on the clock.

Click for details: 2003 Mercedes Benz SL55 AMG on MBWorld.com

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

I’ve written up a couple Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG wagons in my time with GCFSB; even got fooled by a E500 doing a damn good AMG impression on one post. I don’t know what it is about this car that keeps bringing me back to it. I’m not really much of a Mercedes guy. I prefer my fast wagons wearing four interlocked rings. However those three letters found on the trunk (and unfortunately the license plate frame) always catch my eye and earn the car a second glance.

Maybe that’s what I like about these souped up mid-aughts family haulers. If you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know what you’re looking at. That could be said of many wagons with a ferocious power plant but in the case of the E-Class I think it is particularly true. With its country club profile, dopey four headlamp front end and lengthy rear you could be forgiven for thinking these cars were nothing special. I suppose that until they’ve heard the supercharged V8 at wide open throttle most folks wouldn’t think it is, even after you point out the thick AMG steering wheel, quad tip exhuast and AMG wheels. That’s fine as far as I’m concerned, more E55 AMG wagons for those of us in the know. After all, these are rare cars that were only sold through a direct to your driveway order process. It appears that this example which was delivered to Woodland Hills, CA has remained in excellent condition over the 72k miles it has covered so far. The question is, has it been so well cared for that it necessitates the $31,500 asking price?

Year: 2006
Model: E55 AMG wagon
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 72,000 mi
Price: $31,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG Wagon on AutoTrader.com

RARE! 2006 AMG E55 WAGON-SUPERCHARGED! Perfect condition. Always garaged. Blue Tooth technology Extended warranty All scheduled maintenance, All records, Always garaged, Excellent condition, Factory GPS system, Fully loaded with all the goodies, Looks & drives great, Mostly highway miles, Must see, Never seen snow, New tires, No accidents, Non-smoker, Seats like new, Still under factory warranty, Title in hand, Very clean interior, Well maintained

Well, the easy answer is no, this car isn’t worth what the seller wants for it. I don’t care how rare sub-100k mile E55s are, I wouldn’t spend over $30k on one. For that kind of money you can get into this car’s successor, the E63, which is said to be more reliable, is certainly more powerful and has more modern creature comforts. It has the vastly superior 7-speed automatic that makes the car quicker than the E55 even though it produces less torque. It also did away with the much maligned Sensotronic braking system in favor of Pre-Safe which caused far fewer headaches for Mercedes. With that in mind, I would approach the seller of this vehicle with an offer of $26 to $27k which will probably be met with a laugh but one must remain steadfast in their bargaining. Unless those awful sheepskin covers are hiding 100% mint condition seats and this car has had absolutely every little thing that goes wrong with a W211 E-Class replaced, I just can’t see how this car is worth what the seller wants for it. Given the interior build quality during this era these cars are quite prone to annoying little failures which add up quick. Can you live with a malfunctioning window regulator or squeaky glove box while hot rodding around town? I couldn’t.

These cars have to be properly sorted to be fully enjoyed and even if this one is, I’m still not convinced it’s worth what the seller is asking. It is all well and good that the car has new tires, has always been garaged and the 72k on the clock has been racked up mostly on the highway (seems like they always are with these cars) but those things don’t add up to more than $28k in my opinion. I can see where the seller is coming from, he has a rare car, beloved my enthusiasts that has lived a pampered life in Southern California. What are not taking into account is that thanks to our old friend depreciation, the heir to the throne is within the same price range and given the choice between the E55 and E63, I’d go E63 every time. Still, if you could get the seller down into the mid to high twenties, I think the E55 is a wonderful option for shocking people who think they’re looking at a ho-hum wagon.

Cheers,

-Andrew

1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK 230 Kompressor

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At age 10 I was really into collecting die-cast models from Maisto and I vividly remember picking up a 1/18 scale version of the car you see above. As a 10 year old a model of a bright yellow roadster with a functional folding top seems pretty damn cool but only a few short years later after seeing a real one I found myself thinking “that car is so lame.” Of course it was completely due to the circumstances in which I saw the car (tacky retirees at the wheel) and the fact that my automotive tastes had begun to shift towards overwrought Japanese vehicles. If only I had realized in my youth what I have realized now, the R170 SLK is a pretty nifty little car and holds an important place in Mercedes Benz history.

With it’s folding steel convertible top the first gen SLK was quite the head turner in it’s debut year. Mercedes sold 55,000 of the retro-futuristic roadsters worldwide and it snagged the title of North American Car of the Year from Car & Driver in 1998. Weighing a respectable 3,036 lbs. and featuring a 185hp supercharged inline-4 engine, the SLK 230 Kompressor moved from naught to 60 in 7.2 seconds which for the olden days of the late ’90s was pretty good. It marked Mercedes’ return to making a light little roadster with a four cylinder engine, something they hadn’t done since the glory days of the 190SL. I think it’s safe to say that had the SLK not been successful, Mercedes may not have figured out that it’s ok to put smaller motors in their cars when it suits the chassis.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz SLK230 on eBay

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport 6-speed manual

Almost immediately after the C class was introduced for the 1994 model year, plans were being drawn up for its successor, the W203, which wouldn’t appear until the turn of the century. When it debuted, the styling was a bit of a departure from the old W202 C class, with headlamps adapted from the W210 E class style for this smaller package. The car was panned for it’s interior that seemed a bit low-rent in comparison to its predecessor and a level of quality that seemed out of sync with what the marque stood for. Nevertheless, this was a popular car for Mercedes-Benz, with over two million sold over the course of seven model years. In 2003, Mercedes dropped their 1.8 liter supercharged four cylinder into the C class sedan to form this car, the C230 Sport Sedan. This example for sale in Miami is one of the rare ones equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG

It’s been two decades since Mercedes-Benz absorbed AMG as their in-house tuning firm. Each year, more and more fast Benzes have appeared with the infamous badge on their posteriors, tipping off that extra juice under the skin to the casual observer. One AMG model that I feel went a bit unloved was the C32 AMG. Sandwiched between two V8 AMG C class models in the US market (the W202 C43 and W203 C55), the C32 offered more punch via the way of a Kompressor, or supercharger, as was the case with a number of AMG and non-AMG models in the Mercedes lineup at the time. A lot of early W203 C classes, including the C32, have been run hard and put up wet, but this C32 for sale in New Jersey appears to have led a fairly pampered life by the looks of it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe

For some reason, the US market seems to prefer vehicles with a trunk rather than a rear hatch, unless, of course, the car in question is jacked up and has power to all four wheels. Case in point the Mercedes-Benz C class Sport Coupe. Brought to the US market in 2002 in an attempt to reach a larger share of the compact luxury market, it wound up leading a short life in the US market, being withdrawn from the lineup in 2005 and replaced this year by a C class coupe with a more traditional trunk. These C hatchbacks were introduced at a time when Mercedes-Benz reliability was waning, as many less than satisfied owners new to the marque found out. Offered with the supercharged (Kompressor) four cylinder engine or the 3.2 liter V6, both engines could be had with a five speed automatic or 6-speed manual. This C Sport Coupe for sale in Texas has Kompressor engine and, thankfully, the 6 speed manual gearbox. In addition, this car has extremely low mileage for a vehicle that isn’t terribly collectible.

2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor Sports Coupe on eBay

Introducing the 2002 Mercedes-Benz C230 Kimpressor 2 door coupe! This is a one owner, very well maintained vehicle with only 34k original miles. It runs and drives like new! Still has a new car smell. It is equipped with options such as power windows and power locks, power mirrors, A/C with dual zone climate control, dual front and side airbags, cruise control, AM/FM radio with cassette player, 6 disc CD changer, keyless entry and more! All the options function accordingly! The four cylinder, 2.3L engine runs very good and the 6 speed manual transmission shifts smoothly into gears. The black exterior is very good and healthy condition and the gray cloth interior has been kept very clean. The overall condition of this Mercedes C class is great!

Even considering the low mileage, this C Sport Coupe is a bit overpriced at close to $14,000. It also won’t appeal to everyone, as many Benz buyers prefer an automatic transmission. I would say $10,000 to $11,000 would broaden this car’s appeal, and service records or some kind of window into this car’s history would be a must, to see if it suffered from any teething problems common of these W202s. Even though they are much maligned, I like this little Benz, especially with the 6-speed manual. It might not be the fastest or sleekest looking two door hatchback, but it’s an interesting example of an automakers attempt at reaching a new niche in the market only to retreat a few years later and continue with the status quo.

-Paul