The W126 and W140 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL/400SEL/S420 cars have always been lost in the crowd a little bit thanks to big brother 560SEL/500SEL/S500 and even bigger brother 600SEL/S600. There is nothing really wrong with these cars and in the W140s case, the S420 uses the same M119 engine as the five-liter S500. When new, you saved about $13,000 when you selected the S420 over the S500 and in exchange you gave up about 50 horsepower and gained a whopping one mile gallon in fuel economy on the highway. Today, none of this really matters because any car without 500 horsepower might as well not even show up and 22 miles per gallon is considered poor fuel economy. Such is life.
Today, I wanted to look at one of these forgotten S420s and this example in Virginia is one of the better ones I’ve seen over the years. This 1999 checks in with a little over 120,000 with no real issues or anything to be concerned about. The price? Actually pretty reasonable.
Every time I have looked at a pre-merger Mercedes-Benz AMG car it seemed to come to us from AMG Japan. What that means is that car would a leave Germany as a regular Mercedes-Benz until it hit Japan where AMG Japan, LTD. would modify these cars both cosmetically and with performance upgrades. You can always recognize an AMG Japan car by the crazy amount of wood that was added to the car and the AMG Japan plate that riveted in somewhere on the car. Were these”real” AMG cars? Technically, yes. AMG Japan official subsidiary just like AMG North America was. As special as these cars are, I always felt they weren’t as ”true” as the pre-merger cars that were built in Affalterbach. Maybe because I see them come up for sale way more often than cars built in Affalterbach and sometimes they are missing important engine modifications. I don’t know if that means that more were produced or maybe Affalterbach built cars don’t trade publicly as much. Luckily, I ran across one of those Affalterbach built cars for sale and what a car it is.
This is a 1991 E60 AMG Estate. This car started life as your standard W124 300TE until it was sent to AMG not once, but twice, to make it what it is today. This wagon has a M119 6.0 liter V8 and a boatload of other AMG parts to go along with it. The best part about this car? The original VIN was actually X’d out and replaced with an AMG-specific VIN that begins ”AMG124” instead of the standard ”WDB124” that every other W124 begins with. This is quickly shaping up to being my favorite car of the year.
After last week’s 22,000 miles Mercedes-Benz E500 that with the bidding ended at $79,800, I figured I’d check out another 90s Mercedes sedan with similar mileage that I happen to run across. This is a 1999 S420 with 24,601 miles located in Chicago. Unlike the E500, the presentation and documentation leave a lot to be desired. The mileage doesn’t lie, but when hit with a big price tag for a not-so-desirable W140, it is a tough sell to anymore who isn’t willing to dive headfirst into finding out what this car is really all about. But I’ll try to do my best with the little information and quick photos that I do have, but I make no promises.
The last time I checked out a Mercedes-Benz W124 500E, it was none other than Rowan Atkinson’s that ended up selling for a whopping $86,700. It’s pretty clear his name had some serious value attached to it as not many W124.036s carry that kind of price tag, if any. That is until I came across these two beauties for sale in the Netherlands. One is a 1992 painted in Nautical Blue Metallic with the ultra-rare Alpaca Gray fabric and leather while the other one is a 1993 in Blackberry Bornite Metallic that there are only a handful of out there. Both of these cars are nearly flawless and as you might have guessed, carry some pretty serious price tags. But for these special examples, I can totally understand why.
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.
Speculation of value is a crazy thing. Some people go conservative while others shoot for the moon and see where they land. The classic European car market over the past five or so years has exploded and there looks to be no slowing down. The big winners in this market are the rare cars with lower mileage that all of a sudden everyone seems to want. Today’s car, a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E, is no different. Rare car, lower mileage, mega reputation and street cred leaving everyone all of sudden wanting one, and the Porsche tax added to it for good measure. The thing about this 500E is that I’ve never seen a price tag this high on the legendary W124.036 before and I still really can’t wrap my head around it. How high is it? Are you sitting down?
As a send off to the Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class in 1999, Mercedes gave 600 S500s the treatment of the Grand Edition. All painted black, these cars had 18 inch AMG Monoblock wheels, the same hand stitched seats and steering wheel from the S600, a special birdseye maple woodgrain trim, privacy screens on the rear and back windows and illuminated door sills on top of all the standard things you got on the S500. Sticker price for these 600 cars was $89,500, a mere $2,000 more than the regular S500 — which is totally worth it in my eyes. Most of the time these older Mercedes-Benz ”special edition” cars haven’t had any impact on their value once they are past their warranty limit. But for this W140, it has been just a little different.
Who says you can’t go back in time? I think all of us at one point or another wish we could go back in time. Sure, we’d take care of all the things we regret in life but after taking care of that I think I know where the majority of us would turn: cars. Some might hurry and snag up cars that were cheap for a period of time but now are very expensive (I’m looking at your air-cooled 911s and E30 M3s) while other might go back and experience cars when they were factory fresh. A time when the problems of leaking valve cover gaskets and ripped leather seats didn’t exist. Well today, we are in luck with this car. This is a 1999 Mercedes-Benz S500 with just 6,101 miles. That’s it, an average of a little under 340 miles a year. Some of us drive that in a week. The thing is, this just isn’t a run-of-the-mill W140, the interior in this car is something I very rarely see. What is it?
Last week I looked at the legendary E500 that seemed like a really good deal considering the market for these beasts. Today is another W124.036 that also presents good value for the condition this 500E is in. Sporting the lovely Spruce Green Metallic with creme leather like the 600SL I checked out back in the spring, this car just reaffirms why it is one of my favorite colors on 90s Mercedes. Unlike the E500 last week, this one has about 50,000 more miles on it. But taking a quick glance, you could never tell. So how much of a price difference will there?
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 152,696 mi
Price: $19,900 Buy It Now
Extremely Rare and iconic “Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E Sedan with 152k..Finished in rare Spruce Green over Cream-Beige Leather interior for a stunning color combination…These rare 500E Models were was hand-built in close cooperation with Porsche Engineering Team that modified the engines for this model…With the 500E’s aggressive stance featuring 1.5 inches wider track 0.9 inch lower profile flared fenders side skirts front air-dam and wide tires and over 325hp the 500E sets itself apart from other E-Models. These models were built only from 91′-94′ and only have production numbers just over 10000 units making these extremely desirable on the market. This particular 500E has been extremely well maintained throughout it’s life and has an accident free history and clear Title. This was primarily a Pennsylvania Car for it’s entire life and shows no rust anywhere on the vehicle…Please give us a call for more information or to schedule a test drive or showing…978-631-1968..
Our friends on the 500E Board have a nice paper trail of how many times this car has been sale in the last couple years — which is a few.…
The final year of 1999 for the W140 Mercedes-Benz is one of those “hindsight is 20/20” things. At the time, no one probably had any idea that 1999 would be considered by many to be the last of the true over-engineered cars from Mercedes. From the mid-1950s, the S-Class was basically the standard for full-size luxury cars. So the year 2000 rolls around with the launch of the W220 and everything is status quo with the S-Class, right? Not really. I don’t blame Mercedes for going tech heavy with the W220, it is what needed to be done to compete with 7-series, A8 and the real killer, the Lexus LS. The problem was the early W220 didn’t live up to quality and reliability standards that S-Class owners were used to. Combine that with soft styling and a car that didn’t “feel” like a S-Class and you have a real problem. Now it’s 2017 and we look back on the W140 has the last true beacon of hope for feeling that old Mercedes charm while W220s languish for sale on Craiglist for $2,700. But right now these nice W140s aren’t being snagged up like W126 560SELs are and prices reflect that. So when a nice late-model W140 does come up for sale, is it time to buy?
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 154,845 mi
Price: Buy It Now $8,995
Key features: Leather, 6-Disc CD-Changer, Bose Sound, Heated Seats, Moon Roof, Tinted Windows, Xenon Headlights
You are bidding on a 2nd-owner vehicle in excellent condition. The owner is motivated to sell.
This sedan looks stylish and drives nice and smooth. Come take it home! You will be thrilled to own it. Take a look at the detailed series of 36 pictures below.