Ever been out shopping and you impulse bought a shirt, wore it a few times, then it sat in the back of your closet for many years? Then finally one day you rid yourself of that shirt because you wanted it gone without too much hassle? Well, that’s what we have today. Only it’s not a shirt, but a highly desirable Mercedes-Benz. Imagine living in a world where in 1995 you drive down to your local Mercedes-Benz dealer, purchase a car for $79,000 ($125,000 in today’s money), put a few thousand miles on it, then seemingly forget about it. Situations like this still blow my mind.
This 1995 E320 Cabriolet for sale in, you guessed it, California, was sitting at an estate with four flat tires for over ten years. It had only 6,300 miles before being noticed then rescued by the seller. It received a careful examination and full rehab before being listing for sale ready for a new owner. Much like the 1,300 mile 1982 240D I looked at last week, this is essentially a brand new car. So with nice examples of these cars with over 100,000 miles still selling for prices in the mid-teens, how much will this one bring? I might have an answer.
Model: E320 Cabriolet
Engine: 3.2 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 6,348 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
This an amazing find, and the cleanest Mercedes I’ve ever seen outside of a new car showroom. It’s an almost mint condition 1995 Mercedes E320 convertible coupe with only 6,384 miles on it and one prior owner. It was stored its entire life in a perfectly conditioned garage, and wasn’t driven the last 10-12 years before I got it. This car is in amazing condition, down to the still legible paper price-tag style stickers clearly visible on the brake heat shields, and all the paint markings on the undercarriage from original assembly at the factory.
The 300CE joined the W124 lineup in 1987. These cars offered the same levels of reliability, passenger comfort and safety as the sedan, but with a shorter body, two doors and no B-pillar. This gave the coupe a much a rakish, sporting look. But there can be no mistaking its provenance: the coupe retains the elegant, taut and brawny good looks of its sedan sibling, and both are unmistakably the work of famed Mercedes stylist Bruno Sacco. Powered initially by the 3.0 liter version of the M103 SOHC engine, in 1990 the CE’s motor was swapped out for the M104 DOHC unit, which increased power output to 217 hp (the engine was revised again in 1993, bumping displacement to 3.2 liters, but power output remained the same).
I’m going to be really honest with everyone, I didn’t want to feature this car. Why? Because I want it very badly for myself. I want to drive down to Virginia, hand this seller an envelope full of money, then drive this car home and slide it next to my other cars to make it one big happy Mercedes sedan family. But I can’t do that. Well, I could, but it would be a really bad idea seeing as I am out of garage/driveway space as it is and I already own a silver AMG sedan from the same time period thus making this car repetitive. Still, I’ll sleep on it.
So what is this car I want so badly? It’s a 1997 C36 AMG, the last year of the first official production car from the Mercedes-Benz and AMG merger that North America got. It’s not really that fast with only 276 horsepower and the W202 chassis it’s built on isn’t really that great either. Yes, it’s rare with only a few hundred built but they’ve never been all that desirable. They’ve always been available if you really looked hard enough, but now that they are getting close to drinking age, finding a really nice C36 is getting tough. Fortunately, thanks to people who still look at these cars like I do, this C36 for sale in Virginia looks like a winner.
Model: C36 AMG
Engine: 3.6 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 171,000 mi
Price: Reserve Auction
For sale is my 1997 C36 AMG. I bought the car last year from the previous owner of 9 years. He serviced the car at his shop (Blueridge Mercedes) the duration of his ownership. I collect Mercedes and this car is my current daily but I just sold my SUV and I need to replace this with something bigger.
What kind of car should you buy if you’re looking for a reliable, stylish daily driver with German build quality and driving dynamics, but don’t have a huge amount of money to spend? The W124 platform E-class suggests itself as an obvious answer. These are precisely the sort of car for which Mercedes-Benz earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the best cars in the world. Over engineered, reliable, safe and built like tanks, they can be regularly picked up still going strong with hundreds of thousands of miles on the odometer. Which means that if you can score a clean, low mileage example, you can be sure that it has many years of faithful service left ahead of it, if properly maintained. This remarkably clean, well-specified E320 looks to be just such a car.
To some, the W124 might look like just another Stuttgart taxicab. But to those in the know, the 80s/90s era E-class stands for all those traits that once made Mercedes-Benzes the best cars in the world: over-engineered, incredibly safe (for the time) and remarkably durable, capable of cracking over half a million miles if properly cared for. While I’ve written up a number of sedans in the past, I haven’t posted many coupes. That’s a regrettable omission; the coupe offers all of the aforementioned characteristics only repackaged into a stylish, pillarless two-door body shape. The 300CE, produced between 1987 and 1995, was built on a slightly shortened version of the sedan chassis. Initially powered by the SOHC 12v, 3.0 liter version of the M103 engine – good for about 180 hp – cars sold from 1990 onwards came with the DOHC 24v M104 motor instead, pushing output to around 217 hp.
The W124 wagon is a Mercedes-Benz ‘young classic’ that is loved by many near and far. Wonderful build quality, handsome styling and a very reasonable to live with everyday car are the highlights everyone knows and have made the W124 a perennial favorite. But now that the youngest W124 is over 20 years old, finding a nice one for sale is becoming a little more difficult. When you do, be prepared to pay a premium over the sedans. Today’s 1995 E320 Wagon for sale in Florida is a great example of that – but is surprisingly more affordable than you might think.
Last week I looked a CL63 AMG in a nice shade of green and a few weeks before that I looked at a very nice W124 Cabriolet. So today we’ll combine the two and check out this seasonal 1993 300CE covered in Spruce Green for sale in California.
One thing that amazes me about the W124 cabriolet is how expensive it was when it was new. In 1995, when you drove into the lot at your local Mercedes-Benz you didn’t have a ton of choices. You only had the C, E, S and SL compared to the 16 different models now in 2016. If you made your way to the E-Class lineup, you had the E300D, E320 and E420 in sedan form. (Sadly the E500 was axed after 1994). If you needed to haul some stuff, there was the E320 wagon. If two doors were more your speed, you could either go E320 coupe or cabriolet. Now you think the prices would all be somewhat comparable since hey, they are still all E320s, right? Well, not so much. The standard E320 sedan came in at $43,500 while the coupe was $63,000. Now the cabriolet, you ready for this? The MSRP price was $79,000. Just for kicks, the 1995 SL500 was under $90,000. So why did the cabriolet run almost twice as much as the sedan? Cost.
To make this car perfect, it’s not just as easy as chopping the roof off and adding a soft top in the trunk. Over 1000 parts had to be changed or modified from the coupe to be at the standard Mercedes wanted. The A-pillars were welded together with metal inside the pillars to form a stronger unit in the area that is prone to buckling. To combat vibrations, there are a system of dampeners in the front and rear of the car as well as the roof frame. In addition to all that, fitting an automatic top was no easy task as the roof mechanism has 27 linkage parts and 34 joints. Mercedes manged to make a perfect top and still left you with a generous amount of room in the trunk.…
Back in the 80s and early 90s, when AMG was an independent tuner not yet folded into the Mercedes-Benz family, those looking to soup up their Benzes could have their cars delivered to an AMG-authorized dealer for the installation of a range of body, suspension and engine upgrades. As a result, there are a number of “mix and match” cars from the period with bespoke configurations, making the authentication of pre-merger cars today quite difficult. The most famous car from this period is probably the “Hammer,” the AMG-tuned, V8-powered, wide-body kitted version of the W124 platform E-class (there’s a neat little video of Chris Harris driving one here). While the Hammer continues to be highly sought after, and priced accordingly, less well known is that AMG also produced a tamer version of the W124, the 300E AMG. This offered the brutish exterior styling of the Hammer while retaining the M104 six cylinder engine, bored out to 3.4 liters.
I really enjoy a well done engine swap. Three months ago I featured a W113 Pagoda with a M104 3.2 inline-6 swap. Today’s car is another M104 swap but with a little more displacement and a lot more AMG. What started out as a nice W124 E320 wagon was transformed to a hybrid C36/500E/E320 borrowing various parts from both cars. It’s a unique build that I haven’t seen and sure is an improvement over what Mercedes offered from the factory. So let’s take a closer look at this uber W124 wagon for sale in Connecticut.