All posts tagged Mercedes Benz

Feature Listing: 2003 Mercedes Benz S55 AMG Designo Edition

Depreciation: it’s a wonderful thing if you’re a German automobile fan with an affinity for a good bargain. What was once an astronomically priced vehicle could be firmly within reach thanks to the passage of time and a reputation for wallet draining repair bills. Of course the latter is the reason many people still steer clear of used German vehicles, even in today’s world where any question you need the answer to is just a Google search away. Nobody should be afraid to work a car these days, unless it’s so new that you can’t do anything without a computer or you’re completely helpless when it comes to wrenching. If you have the space, tools and the time, there’s nothing you can’t do. I say all of this because I know that right off the bat people will point out that the W220 chassis S-Class is a big scary car with little mechanical demons lurking in its bones just waiting to wreak havoc on your bank account. While it did have its issues, it was actually rather reliable and parts for these things are very easy to come by, even the AMG examples like this one. Sure there is a learning curve when it comes to working on over engineered vehicles but it’s really not as daunting as armchair experts would have you think. Between brand-specific fora and YouTube there’s plenty of information out there to keep you from loosing sleep over things like a vanity mirror door break or armrest failure.

The tradeoff for taking the plunge seems well worth it, especially with pristine examples like this one. The seller’s pictures of the gorgeous Designo Espresso don’t do the color justice which is too bad because the right setting would show off just how much this paint pops. Early morning light along the Hudson, now that would have been the way to go. Even with some glare the car still looks great, a testament to just how nice this color is. What he did do a good job of was taking pictures of the very clean interior with those cozy looking Light Brown Nappa Leather seats. It’s hard to see some of the special details included in the Designo Edition from the photos, such as the extended leather (it even encircles the floor mats!), the Alcantara details and the lovely Elm trim. I have only been in one W220 S-Class and I was riding in the back, reclined with the massage function going and let me tell you, it’s everything it’s cracked up to be and then some. Of course this is the S55 AMG and behind the wheel isn’t a bad place to be sitting either. The 493hp, 5.4L supercharged V8 will take you and 3 willing participants to 60mph in 5.5 seconds. Even by today’s standards those numbers are impressive and this is a 4,260 lb car built in 2003 that you can generally get for under $20k. Just think, you could have this and some sort of two seat canyon carver with plenty of money left over to cover replacement parts for less than a Lincoln MKZ.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes Benz S55 AMG on eBay

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Motorsports Monday Special: Racing to Sell – The ‘Silberpfeil': Part 4

SA20
A 1935 Auto Union Type B Streamliner used for both records and the annual Avus race in Berlin

This past weekend weekend we saw a bit of hubris and bad strategy lead to Mercedes-Benz losing to Ferrari in the Malaysian Grand Prix. Despite the massive investment and seemingly pedantic attention to detail, the same problems existed in the 1930s for the company. Increasingly Mercedes-Benz needed to differentiate itself from Auto Union by undertaking extreme efforts. These efforts were not always profitable; indeed, one could argue that – as we saw last week – since they were already having difficulty delivering cars thanks to raw material shortages, undertaking new forms of racing and record-breaking might have seemed ill-conceived for the company. However, still at stake was preferential treatment from the government, especially when it came to lucrative military contracts. As such, Mercedes-Benz undertook some unlikely projects to not only gain international prestige for the Daimler-Benz model range, but indeed to curry favor with the government.

Link to Part 1

Link to Part 2

Link To Part 3

FOUR : PUSHING THE LIMITS – THE GOVERNMENT GOES RACING

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1993 Mercedes Benz 500E

For all my talk of fandom concerning older Mercedes models, there aren’t many that I would actually pony up the dough for. Sure I appreciate the W123 for the road warrior that it is and I’ve often day dreamed about enjoying a summer cruise in a Blue over White Leather W124 convertible but neither would satisfy my craving for speed and handling capability. My love of technical canyon roads and aggressive cornering is probably why I’ve always been more attracted to BMW than Mercedes and my fiscal responsibility is probably why I ended up in the middle with Audi. As much as I love brute power, I’ve grown fond of driving a slow car fast rather than a fast car slow up in the twisties. Bottom line is you can only do so many 80-140 mph pulls before the experience becomes boring or you get yourself locked up for reckless driving. But if ever there was a Mercedes that would pull me away from Quattro and Efficient Dynamics and manual transmissions, it would be the 500E.

To me, the rarity of this car is one of the most attractive things about it, only 1,528 were imported to the U.S. during its run. Equally as attractive is its ultimate Q-Ship status, as far as I’m concerned it is the finest example of a factory produced sleeper. Of course that makes sense given that the car was hand built by two of the world’s most respected automakers. Today it’s hard to fathom Mercedes collaborating with Porsche but back in the early 90’s it made a great deal of sense. Mercedes wanted a car to beat the M5 and V8 Quattro, Porsche wanted to show their engineered prowess could be applied to a four door sedan. Yes, I’m drastically over simplifying the whole project but there are those far more knowledgeable on the subject than I who’ve written about the car at great length. I am more than comfortable saying that this example appears to be an absolute peach.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes Benz 500E On eBay

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2004 Mercedes Benz E500 4Matic Estate

 

If yesterday’s 2008 E350 wasn’t quite doing it for you, then perhaps stepping back four years will get you on board with the long roof Benz program. This 2004 E500 4Matic Touring looks crisp as can be in Capri Blue and the grey leather interior with dark wood accents really ties the whole package together. I think this is one of the best color combinations you can get on these or just about any car really. The polished silver wheels and chrome grille isn’t bothersome as usual when paired with this paint , a testament to just how nice a shade of blue it is. Given that the car has had 4 owners, all whom have lived in climates known to be less than friendly to cars so I’d look very closely for pitting and chips in the paint. It appears to be in the claimed “Like New” condition but until you see it in person, you never know.

What is clear is that the original buyer wanted to maximize the sporting aspirations of this 5.0L V8 powered wagon. AMG wheels and a factory installed AMG bumper do give this example a tastefully aggressive look. The aforementioned lump has just enough juice to backup the attitude, 302hp from a 5.0L engine isn’t the best hp per litre ratio, especially in a 4,320 lb car. However, with 339lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds, I don’t think you or your passengers would say the car is slow, especially if the folks in the rear facing third row seat.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes Benz E500 4Matic Estate

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2008 Mercedes Benz E350 4Matic Estate

 

I am officially dubbing this week “Mercedes Week” for myself. The majority of my recent posts have been BMW’s as that is mostly what I am in the market for but since the universe sadly does not revolve around me, I figured I best mix it up. What spurred this line of thought was a friend who suddenly found himself in the market for a new vehicle and asked for my help finding one. He wanted a wagon, preferably one with AWD as he lives up a particularly nasty dirt road in Vermont and his budget was about $10k. As with most folks in my native state, his first choice was a Subaru Outback and he found a couple solid examples right away. However given that he wasn’t completely married to the idea of having a Subie, he asked me what else he could get in the same price range with similar functionality. A4 wagon prices have stayed strong, particularly on the manual ones but the E-Class wagons, well those have depreciated significantly despite being a rather reliable rig. I found a few of these in his price range and a few that were decidedly not, clearly this one is the later.

At first glance I didn’t much care for this particular example, I’m not a big fan of tan interiors or light woodgrain accents. I much prefer a nice alcantara or perforated leather wheel, subtle dark wood trim if wood at all. However the more I scrolled through the pictures the more I began to appreciate the vibe this car is putting out.  It conjures up images of trucking kids to private school and neighbors in a freshly minted subdivision waving to each other in acknowledgement of their mutual success. While that might not sound all that great I think it perfectly captures why this car is a solid option for the enthusiast with a family, ultra sleeper status. Nobody expects they grey wagon with a beige interior to be a fun drive anymore than they expect the Inquisition. A set of sticky tires, upgraded sway bars, bushings, and CAI would make for an entertaining and very incognito daily driver indeed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes Benz E350 4Matic State

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