Rare stateside 1978 Mercedes 350SE

Prices of the venerable Merc 116s are continually creeping up. 30+ years later and these sedans still can hold their own. Some may say they fall in no man’s land right now. Comfortable daily driver? Classic vintage saloon? Outside of the 6.9 they aren’t that expensive to fix and are easy to maintain.

The car featured here is a rare bird in the states. The Euro only 3.5 liter V8 is lighter on its feet and had a higher compression ratio than the U.S. 4.5 liter V8. Couple that with the shorter wheel base SE model and you have your self a nice little package. The peppy, compact 3.5 liter unit, most believe is one of the better to have tucked under the wood of a W116. If the car had the manual instead of the auto transmission that package would truly be complete.

This being a grey market car it features the body hugging bumpers. Unfortunately, sometime during the federalization process the car got U.S. headlamps and the owner didn’t switch back in the Euro units.

This 350SE has the velour interior, which was common on Euro cars, even the top of the line 6.9. The sunroof is an interesting option, apparently put in instead of air conditioning, note the single dial climate system. The Becker Monza right below the climate controls wasn’t the best looking W116 radio option, the Mexico I think looks better.

Finding one of these in this nice shape, in Euro trim, in the states, with a measly 57,000 miles on the clock does not happen every day. You’d actually have to do some decent searching to turn up a similar one of these. A no reserve auction with low opening, currently the price is just over $1,500, is a fantastic deal. The seller seems to describe the car as being in great shape, but that price is so cheap it makes me want to check it out in person.

A very nice find that might find a new home for just a song.

Rare stateside 1978 Mercedes 350SE on eBay.

~Evan

1998 Mercedes-Benz C230

There was a lot of reader interest in the W202 C280 Sport we featured a few weeks back, so I figured it would be worth posting another W202, this time, with a slightly different take on the model. What we have here is a three owner, 1998 C230, that includes the non-Kompressor M111 2.3 liter four cylinder and five speed automatic.

While normally this wouldn’t be the most exciting of cars on GCFSB, there’s something special about this particular car. I was the second owner. The current owner is a long time friend who has cared for it as lovingly as I had. With a growing family, he is parting with this car with a heavy heart, as it was as trusty a trusty, reliable motoring companion for both of us.

I purchased this vehicle from American Service Center in Arlington, Virginia in November 2001. At the time, this car had 32,000 miles and was a Starmark Certified Mercedes, undergoing a 130 point plus inspection. Similar to the E320 cabriolet I posted a few weeks ago, this C230 is painted in the rare, special order Moonstone Gray Metallic (paint code #721). The gray MB Tex (leatherette) interior has worn like iron with no blemishes to speak of and the burl wood trim is in good shape with no cracking.

With it’s 5 speed automatic, this C230 can return in the low 30 MPG range on 91 octane. Features include power moonroof, power windows, power heated mirrors, power door locks and eight way power drivers seat. Car also has keyless entry with window and sunroof auto close feature from the outside. Stereo includes 6 disc CD changer in the trunk. The OEM carpet floor mats are still in the plastic wrapping and have never been used. Instead, I had bought Mercedes-Benz accessory all season floor mats. These are much easier to keep clean, as you can simply wash and scrub them to keep them looking like new.

In June 2006, I drove this car to Montvale, New Jersey to Mercedes-Benz USA Headquarters for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America June Jamboree. My car took home first place through a popular vote in modern sedan class. At the time, the car had about 72,000 miles and the president of the Mercedes-Benz Club at the time, Jim O’Sullivan, chatted with me in the parking lot about my car and asked me to let him know if I ever sold it.

My friend purchased this car from me when I took delivery of my 2007 C230 sedan in July 2007. At the time he purchased it, the car had 82,000 miles on it. One month prior, I had the entire AC system recharged, along with a small return hose in the system being replaced due to a leak. The AC to this day blows ice cold. Recent work includes an oxygen sensor being replaced in the summer of 2010.

Currently this vehicle has 159,000 miles, most of which are highway miles. Routine maintenance such as oil, coolant and brake fluids have been religiously kept on top of and the car comes with a full service history. It has been serviced at the following dealers/mechanics:

-American Service Center (Arlington, VA)
-Keenan Motors (Doylestown, PA)
-Tysons Corner Mercedes-Benz (Tysons Corner, VA)
-German Automotive Group (Springfield, VA)

The car has a few blemishes and dents consistent with its age and mileage, but the paint still has a glossy, deep shine. There is a small scuffing on the front left rub strip on the bumper, which, with a bit of rubbing compound would buff out. The plastic cap on the wiper arm is also missing, as it came loose in a heavy rain storm. The wheels are in very good shape for it’s age, as many similar Mercedes-Benzes alloys have been ruined due to the caustic nature of the brake dust. There are a few chips that could stand some touch up paint here and there, but not many. There are no chips and scratches on the windshield.

The owner is asking $4,900. Those who have questions regarding the car or are interested can contact me at paulshenriques@hotmail.com. I can answer a lot of questions regarding the history of the car and I can link up serious parties with my friend, the seller. Even at 159,000 miles, you’d be hard pressed to find a W202 these days as well preserved as this one.

-Paul

1991 Mercedes 300CE Koenig Widebody Ken Griffey revisit

This car has been up for sale numerous times, I even posted it on this blog over two years ago.

Something strikes me as odd that this car hasn’t traveled in those two years, the mileage hasn’t changed much. In fact it has covered less than 5,000 miles since 1997, stashed in a collectors garage. One of the times the car was on eBay, in Fall of 2009, it had apparently sold for $8,700, but looks like that sale didn’t go through. Now it is up for sale for $12,500.

If you disregard the strangeness of the fact that no one seems to want to drive this car, the price is not too shabby for a genuine low mileage Koenig car. If this was a big body Benz with that mileage buyers would be more likely to bite. Plus this one was owned by Ken Griffey Jr. as indicated by the custom speedometer gauge face, which should appeal to some people.

The dark green paint is a unique color, but the custom yellow striping and boy racer trunk lid spoiler are kind of a turn off. Of course if you are in the market for a Koenig car you aren’t interested in being inconspicuous.

The current owner purchased the car earlier this summer from the collector who had basically parked it since 1997. This seller had some work completed to make the car more road worthy. It looks like it could still use some work to fix the handling and touch up some paint and chrome issues. Maintenance on this should be a breeze as it still sports the standard 3 liter inline six of which parts are plentiful.

If the right collector finds this it might sell at the opening ask price. More likely though I bet it goes through with no bids, which is strange when you think about what a new Koenig Specials conversion cost. The rareness of these cars coupled with the low mileage of this one may tickle a collector looking for an investment the right way, but lets hope the car doesn’t get locked up off the road for another decade.

1991 Mercedes 300CE Koenig Widebody ex Ken Griffey on eBay

~Evan

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with 25,000 miles

Growing up, I used to collect car brochures. What started as a hobby turned into a storage nightmare. So as any good librarian would do, I cataloged everything and organized all of them in a file cabinet. I remember the 1989 Mercedes-Benz brochure distinctly. It was about a 50 page booklet, with a two page spread at the end featuring a silver 560SEL. Unlike a lot of other kids who grew up in the 1980s that dreamed of Lamborghini Countaches and Ferrari Testarossas, I dreamt of driving a big, black S class. While I’ve owned two Mercedes so far, I haven’t had my W126 fantasy fulfilled. Which is probably why I was searching around today for clean, unmolested examples. Like this one for sale in California with only 25,000 miles.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with 25k miles on eBay

-Smoke Silver(702)/Dark Brown Leather(173)
-25,427 original miles, Single corporate owner until July 2011
-Original sales invoice ($74,233 cost new), original handbooks, original window sticker
-Original unused spare, unused tool roll
-Spotless interior trim, superb burlwood, perfect headliner, rear seat foot rests, non-smoker,
-All original sheetmetal, likely original paint as per electronic paint depth inspection (hood reads higher than other panels although shows no evidence of paintwork)
-Spotless undercarriage/wheel arches and engine bay.
-Every item functions as Mercedes-Benz intended
-A few very minor paint chips
-Superb wheels, recent Michelin ‘Pilot’ tires
-An amazing 126 series ‘survivor’ suitable to win at any Mercedes-Benz Club of America event.
-Major service and careful inspection just completed
-One of the finest 560SELs in the United States

I’m not a big fan of beige cars, but the tobacco leather is in great condition and makes the large interior look rich. Also, with features like dual airbags and anti-lock brakes, this is truly a practical classic that could hold its own against newer vehicles. I happened to peruse the Mercedes-Benz Classic website and they have a 560SEL for sale with a click over 60,000 miles on sale at EUR 36,750, or about $52,000. While that makes this car’s buy it now price seem reasonable, from recent sales I’ve come across it appears a more realistic value would be settling in around the $15,000 to $20,000 mark.

It’s common knowledge that most Mercedes-Benz sedans don’t command the higher prices that coupes and convertibles do. However, if one Mercedes-Benz sedan is going to see values take off in the coming years, it would have to be the W126 S Class. More modern than the W116 without being as complex as the W140 that followed, these cars have withstood the test of time.

-Paul

Good looking 1994 Mercedes 400E

Not everyone can afford to jump into the 500E market. For those who still want the stately looks of the W124 and the rumble of a V8, but at a significantly lower price take a look at this 400E. The 500E’s little brother rarely gets the spotlight so when I saw this looker I thought I’d throw it a bone.

The 400E deserves some of the praise given to the 500E, it is no slouch in the engine department. The 4.2 liter V8 puts out close to 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of  torque. If you take the electronically limited speed of the 500E into account the 400E has the same top speed of 155 m.p.h. The smaller 4.2 won’t jump off the line as quickly, but is just as comfortable out on the highway.

The car seen here has been given a much more aggressive look thanks to 18″ rims that tuck under the fenders thanks to lowering springs. Smoked taillights and front signal lights complement the dark gray paint. The 1994 also comes with the updated grille for a more modern look. It has some new maintenance parts, like brakes, that the next owner won’t have to worry about. It has had an accident that meant a new trunk lid and rear bumper work. It looks like a Remus or other aftermarket rear exhaust is on the car. The owner doesn’t give details, but it looks like things have been repaired properly. The owner indicates that the car has been cared for well. The 77,000 miles on the car are less than you would expect on one of these.

The car currently sits at $5,600 with no bids and a reserve. No real investment potential here just a fine looking set of wheels and a chance to get in on V8 Mercedes ownership.

Good looking 1994 Mercedes 400E on eBay

~Evan

1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v Cosworth daily driver

We recently showed a very expensive Mercedes Cosworth and have seen a fair number of these cars float through the site. This particular specimen looks to fall into the daily driver category.

This is a U.S. spec car that is pretty original. It has had shorter springs added and AMG rims. The seller provides a number of photos and the car looks clean. It doesn’t look quite as nice as those without the ugly sunken U.S. lights. Besides cosmetics,with the such a rev happy engine and several spirited drives most certainly under this car’s belt I’d want to take it around the block a few times to listen for valve noise and feel out the five speed.

This car has 133,000 miles. Not too much in Benz terms, We have seen higher mileage models sell in the $10k range when presented well. I don’t think this one will bring much if any more than that since the seller has only included history cribbed from Wikipedia instead of specific to his vehicle.

The car is at $3,500 with the reserve not met.

1986 Mercedes 190E Cosworth on eBay

~Evan

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

Following up to the clean, low mileage Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan just featured, here is a very mint example of the first Mercedes-Benz four seat convertible manufactured since the early 1970s: the E320 cabriolet. Just shy of 3,700 examples were produced in this last year for the W124, featuring the venerable 3.2 liter inline six producing 217 hp. This example has yet to see the better side of 60,000 miles and it shows.

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Convertible on Hemmings Motor News

This E320 Cabriolet is painted in rare #721 Moonstone Gray Metallic with a Gray leather interior and black cloth top. A limited production hand-built car, this example has only 57,000 miles. No accidents ever with clean CarFax. All original paint. Meticulously maintained by its owner and used as a fair-weather driver only in Wisconsin summers and Florida winters. Must see and drive to appreciate.

It always amazes me that given how few E320 cabrios were produced, there always seems to be a wealth of clean, low mileage examples for sale. The asking prices for these models have always been strong, but $28,500 seems a bit optimistic. If this car had under 20,000 miles and was close to showroom fresh, maybe I could see it. But realistically, given the current economy, a value of closer to $20,000 seems more reasonable.

I will say that this car speaks to me, and quite loudly, because my 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 was painted this very hue, Moonstone Gray Metallic, and it is a fantastic color. Subtle, with a hint of mauve about it in the right lighting. Ever since they appeared in 1992, the W124 E class cabriolet was a favorite of mine. I have no doubt that someday, when my economic and living situation changes, I will be searching for a clean, lovingly cared for example like this very car. And maybe I’ll be lucky enough to get it in Moonstone Gray.

-Paul

1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 with 64,000 miles

Until this January, I had been a Mercedes-Benz owner for the past 10 years. I have to say, as a consumer loyal to the marque, I’m not too pleased with the styling direction Mercedes has been taking the last several years. Where to start? Well, the new C class coupe can’t help but make me think Honda Accord Coupe, many models suffer from too much needless chrome in an effort to up the bling factor and the SUV offerings I feel have watered down the bread and butter sedans and wagons.

This, however, doesn’t stop me from loving the classics, though. After growing up with a 1992 400E in the household, I have been quite the fan of the W124, especially the 500E/E500. I’m always on the lookout for clean examples of any variant, and here is a well cared for late model E320 for sale down in Texas.

1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 on eBay

One owner from Houston and has been pampered and garaged! This was an extra vehicle for the previous owner and the mileage is consistent with its limited use. The paint is in excellent condition and it is apparent that this car was garaged and meticulously-maintained. The tires on the vehicle appear to have been recently replaced. The interior of this vehicle is virtually flawless. All interior functions have been tested and the only thing I could find that does not operate is the drivers seat forward/backward motion (tilt seat/back position work fine) This vehicle runs like it has 10,000 miles on it. The owners manual has been kept up to date with service records/dealer stamps.

As of writing this, there is a little over four days left in the auction and it hasn’t met the reserve. I’m guessing the seller has the reserve set around $5,000 to $6,000, which is about what average examples of this E class sell for. Given the cars history and pleasing color combination, $8,000 doesn’t seem too unreasonable, but if a buyer can get this for right around $7,000, I’d say it was a good buy. This is a car that will last a lifetime, even at almost 20 years of age.

-Paul

Expensive, restored 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v

The baby Benz with the rev happy four showed its ability on the track with the DTM series as well as blowing away other four door sedans in the small car market. This E30 M3 fighter tuned with the 16 valve engine built by Cosworth didn’t skimp on the sport with an aerodynamic body kit and famous dog legged 5 speed.

Expensive, restored 1986 Mercedes 190E 2.3-16v on eBay

This particular 16v appears to have been extensively redone with $35,000 in receipts. It has a new bare metal respray, rebuilt engine and transmission, as well as redone suspension and brakes. The bumpers and head lights are also new. The large amount of work done to this car shows as it looks great. The Euro lenses, smoked taillights, and painted grille along with the more modern AMG rims complete the stealthy performance look. You would never suspect that it has covered 182,000 miles. The restoration shows that an owner enjoyed this car. It isn’t clear if the current owner put all the miles on, but he does state it took him two years to complete all the restoration. It seems a bit of a shame to go to all that work to restore the car and then not enjoy it, particularly knowing going in that, at least right now, you aren’t going to get all the money back out on the sale. Of course there is also the feeling that once you get a car perfect you hate to drive it for fear of seeing your work start to come undone. I wish there was a bit more description in the auction. I’m sure that you could get more details on what exactly was rebuilt in the engine from the seller, but I would’ve liked to see that up front.

With an ask price of $27,200 this 190E is no where near cheap. There is another one, minus the restoration work, on eBay up for sale with no reserve and 217k on the clock for under $3,000. Though the limited production models of the 190E have been singled out as future classics, the ask price on this one is steep. With all the work the purist collectors looking for an original condition car will skip this one. The car isn’t quite scarce enough yet to have a major restoration on a high mileage chassis pull in close to the $30,000 wanted here. If this was a scarcer 2.5-16 the price would be higher. Of course neither of those can come close to the prices realized for the Evo 190E models, but they can come close on performance.

Great looking car and I understand that on paper it should be worth the ask, but I’m afraid painful as it may be for the seller, they will need to lower the ask or put the car away for a few more years.

~Evan

1999 Mercedes-Benz C280 Sport

I’ve always been quite partial to the W202 C class, as I used to own a 1998 C230 and my mother is still running a 2000 C280 with almost 90,000 miles and winces at the thought of giving it up for a lesser vehicle (read: any new mid-sized luxury or near luxury sedan on the market today). These were some of the last over-engineered Mercedes, along with the Geländewagen and R129 SL roadster. With their demise came a new era of Mercedes-Benz cars and trucks that, good vehicles as they are, don’t quite capture the classic essence of the marque. Here’s a very tidy C280 sport in Florida with a set of tasty AMG wheels that are thankfully not oversized and period correct.

1999 Mercedes-Benz C280 Sport on eBay

Mercedes C280 Sport

You are viewing a stunning, low mile 1999 Mercedes C280 Sport. Only 55k actual miles. No accidents, only two owners. Loaded with AMG wheels with new tires, sport package (sport seats, sport steering wheel, carbon fiber look trim, sport exterior trim, sport suspension). Also loaded with moonroof, 6 CD changer, Bose audio, telephone, dual power seats and much more. Florida owned and rust free. Drives as if new. Looks as if new. No dents or dings. Excellent condition. It will not be easy to find another one like this.

With a little over three days in the auction to go, there’s been a fair amount of bids and the price has reached just under $6,500. With low mileage, a desirable color and the sport package, I could see this C280 fetching maybe between $8,000 and $10,000, at the high end. Clean, low mileage W203s are not much more, but then, they don’t carry the cache of these first generation C class sedans. This isn’t the fastest or most exclusive piece we’ve featured on GCFSB lately, but this is a tasty piece that could serve someone very well as a daily driver for several years to come. Just ask the family (mine) who have owned two.

-Paul