I Love the 90s? 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

I Love the 90s? 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL

Last week Craig looked at a really nice early R129 500SL. Today’s car is another early R129 500SL, but as you can probably tell, this one is a bit different. This 1990 for sale in Orange County, CA comes from an era where you actually had to paint a car to change its color. It’s a rolling piece of 1990s car culture and it hasn’t aged particularly well. I compare it to a nice house that hasn’t updated the kitchen in 25 years. It’s not that the workmanship is low, it’s that time has left it behind. Now of course with any custom car, it’s priced way too high and has some strange things going on with it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SL on Orange County Craigslist

Year: 1990
Model: 500SL
Engine: 5.0 liter V-8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 85,730 mi
Price: $13,995

A unique, one of a kind, customized Mercedes-Benz SL500. This car has new B.F Goodrich tires, rebuilt suspension, all new shocks and struts, new conv. tan top, and all original leather tan interior. This auto was customized by Santini with AMG bumpers and trim, Lorinser wheels, and the PPG Harlequin, Vibrance PPG-VM, green to purple paint that changes color as lights hits at different angles. Custom electronics offer remote starting, door and window operations, and remote convertible top opening.

At first glance, I thought this car was customized basically right off the lot. It has all the period correct items like the chameleon paint, early R129 AMG bumpers and sideskirts, Lorinser wheels and remote everything. But upon closer inspection, this car has the 1996-2002 side vents on the fenders. 1990 to 1995 R129s have three squared slots but in 1996 those were swapped out for two slots that were rounded. So if I had to guess, the paintwork and probably all of the other modifications didn’t happen until at least 1996.…

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

In my opinion, very few modern Mercedes-Benz have any kind of collectible value. You buy them, get your use from them, then move on to the next car. Of course there are exceptions to everything and today’s vehicle is one of those. The W211 AMG estates, both in E55 and E63 guise, are now reaching cult-following status from Mercedes enthusiasts yet are valued by a more general audience, too. There are groups of people who search the country for these wild wagons in order to find the perfect one for them. This of course, is keeping values much higher than their sedan counterparts. However, this 2005 for sale in Sacramento is surprisingly on par with the sedan prices and actually the cheapest E55 estate I’ve seen come up for sale. Why you ask?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on Sacramento Craigslist

Year: 2005
Model: E55 AMG Estate
Engine: 5.5 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 175,633 mi
Price: $13,900

For sale is RARE(one of 129 imported in USA in 2005) Mercedes Benz E55 AMG WAGON with 175k miles.
This is a 2 owner Sport Wagon with Clean Carfax and Clean California Title in hand.
The original Window sticker was $96085 and is still available together with all original owners manuals.
This vehicle was well serviced at Mercedes Benz dealership and local Mercedes independent shop and comes with lots of service records. Just passed Smog inspection with Certificate available in hand.

Just to cut to the chase, this $13,900 E55 estate has just over 175,000 miles. Before you get too disappointed and write it off, hear me out for a second. I’m a full member of the “miles don’t scare me” club and this is a perfect example why. The M113K engine paired with the 722.6 gearbox has been tested through and through to prove it is a durable combination as long as you take care of them.…

1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SE

1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SE

Now that we are just about done drooling over Craig’s new 300SE, it’s time to take a look at another W126. This 1985 380SE for sale in Kentucky offers up another shade of blue on the S-Class, the darker Nautical Blue Metallic. This one also has two extra cylinders with the M116 3.8 liter V8. Fortunately for everyone, this Gen 1 W126 has been highly cared for and shows only a hair over 45,000 miles. But are you willing to pay the price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SE on eBay

Model: 380SE
Engine: 3.8 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 45,100 mi
Price: $8,900

“ONE OWNER! Garage kept Only 45k Original Miles! Owner invested $6400 in upgrades recently…you will NOT find this year and mileage anywhere on the internet. Near perfect condition! Very Very minor paint chips…almost cannot see them. Trunk appears to have never been used. Leather is perfect and the overall interior is pristine. This is a one of a kind car and there is NOT anything like it on the entire internet for this year, make, and model. No fading in paint and the tires are newer. Chrome has no blemishes. Just a beautiful car. Mechanically it runs and drives like new. You will not be disappointed.”

From 1980 to 1985, the 380SE was sold along side the 380SEL, 500SEL and of course the diesel 300SD in the US. In 1984, the M116 in the 380SE/L was upgraded to a dual-row timing chain to fix chain failure issues that the earlier engines suffered from. The dual-row 380SE/L only lasted until 1985 until it was replaced by the 4.2 liter V8 M117 that birthed the 420SE/L that carried on until the end of W126 production. This being a 1985 car, it’s a far more desirable car in the eyes of enthusiasts and anyone who just wants to maintain these cars to go forever.…

1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC

Produced between 1971 and 1981, the C107 was a fixed roof, four seater coupe based on a longer version of the R107 chassis. Badged as an SLC, it was effectively an SL in 2+2 configuration, with a modest amount of room in the back for a couple of (small) adults. The 4.5 liter V8 in the 450 put out a meagre 190 hp, so it wasn’t all that fast. But it was, and remains, a gorgeous and classy cruiser whose looks neatly capture that moment at which the design language of the late 1960s began to give way to that of the 1970s. Even in elongated form, the car retains the timeless good looks of the SL. Those pleated, curtain-looking louvres behind the rear windows? I always thought they simply gave rear passengers a bit of privacy while also letting in some light. But a bit of internet research reveals they have another purpose. They allow for shorter rear windows that can slide downwards into the body without hitting a wheel arch. This means the car can retain a completely pillar-less look. A typically German solution to a problem: practical and elegant at the same time.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1974 Mercedes-Benz 450SLC on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

It has been a while since I featured a nice W140, but this example outside of Detroit has given me a perfect excuse to check out another one. This 1992 500SEL in Arctic White with the outstanding Saffron leather interior has everything you would want out of an early W140 and a few extras that I think are great additions. Of course, all this comes with a price tag.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

Year: 1992
Model: 500SEL
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 104,898 mi
Price: Buy it Now $8,000

1992 S500 Immaculate. White over Palomino. All options including self closing latches on doors, power rear view mirror, self closing latch on trunk . . . . . . . . . . The vehicle has never been driven in the winter and has been kept in climate controlled storage. The car has never been through a car wash, only hand washed. I bought it with 99,000 a decade ago, and now it has 104,898 miles on it. It has been a summer Sunday driver. Living in MI does not afford me the opportunity to enjoy the vehicle as much as I’d like to which is the reason for selling the car. As a Benz aficionado you would know that all big body big engine Benz’s were 500SEL’s in 1992. In 1993 they became S500’s. The second owner, a physician in Myrtle Beach SC, bought the 20 inch AMG wheels and low profile tires you see on the vehicle in 1996. He also had the fascia’s on the front and back bumper and side fascia all pained white to match the rest of the car, and re-badged it an S-500. Since the wheels came out in 1996, and the all one color “Euro” look came out at the same time, most think its a 96 car or later.

2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG

Earlier this week I looked at a SL550 Mille Miglia 417 that was (dis)graced with matte black paint and red accents throughout. My argument was that it was an SL that no SL buyers wanted. Today’s vehicle, a 2015 G63 AMG, is along the same lines of being just as ostentatious, but Mercedes gave buyers exactly what they want.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG on eBay

Year: 2015
Model: G63 AMG
Engine: 5.5 liter V8
Transmission: 7-speed automatic
Mileage: 12,728 mi
Price: $134,880 Buy It Now

Special Edition-CC1 package (“Crazy Color Edition”)-2015 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG? with a Sunsetbeam paint finish and a $20,000 performance studio package, which includes designo Carbon Fiber trim, two-tone paintwork, 20″ Black AMG five spoke wheels, …plus much more. This Special Edition, pearl shimmering vehicle is about as equipped as Mercedes-Benz makes a G-wagon/wagen, and is a limited edition sparten truck offered in only select countries.

If you are buying a G-Wagen, you are probably buying it for one of two reasons: To own a one-of-a-kind ultimate off-road vehicle that offers features unlike anything on the market or to own a vehicle that you can still be noticed in even if you can’t find a parking space directly in front of Starbucks. If you are in the latter of those options, Mercedes gave you everything it in power to get those eyeballs on you by offering their legendary G in every color that comes out of the Skittles bag. I’m serious, AMG calls these the “Performance Studio Colors” which are “Bold and adventurous and have an iridescent shine, perfectly complementing the glossy black accents of the wheels and roof.”  You have your choice between orange, purple, lime green, yellow or red. This 2015 is painted in Sunsetbeam Orange wasn’t just a special color you picked out, you had to drop an addition $20,000 for 20-inch AMG 5-spoke wheels, designo Black Nappa leather with color stitching, designo AMG carbon fiber trim, and AMG sport front seats.…

2003 Audi RS6 with 23,100 Miles

2003 Audi RS6 with 23,100 Miles

If yesterday’s post on the Audi 4000CS quattro represented the genesis of my love for the brand, if I’m honest the C5 RS6 was the start of where I started to question the choices of Ingolstadt’s design. It wasn’t that the RS6 wasn’t a hugely impressive car; though they seem pretty new still, this amazing ride is over halfway towards being considered “vintage” in some states. 14 years has passed since the original owner plunked down the heady $80,000 for what was briefly the world’s fastest production sedan. Audi brought two turbochargers to the Cosworth-built 4.2 liter V8 party, offering 450 horsepower, sub-5 second 0-60 times and a car that would easily bump into its 155 mph regulated top speed – and it came to America!

Consider, for a moment, that in 2002 when this car was ready for launch, the car that had existed 15 years before that was the very 1987 4000CS quattro I wrote up yesterday.

It was a monumental leap for the company into the throes of the top-tier performance sedans, but alas, it was a war of escalation that hasn’t stopped since. Audi has already announced that the new RS6 will have a gazillion horsepower and may even come here. In response, BMW has promised to up the new M5’s power to no less than whatever Audi produces, plus 50. To me, though the newest and biggest and baddest sedans are certainly mind-boggling, none of them really appeal to me in the same way the 4000CS quattro did. The 4000CS quattro had been a car I could conceptualize owning downstream of the original owner (maybe I’d even be the second owner?), but the RS6? It’d have to be many years and many ownerships before I could even hope to own one. And then, did I really want a seriously complicated car that hadn’t been well maintained?…

Double Dose of Insanity: 1988 BMW M3 v. 1994 BMW 325i

Double Dose of Insanity: 1988 BMW M3 v. 1994 BMW 325i

In my usual searches I had an interesting dichotomous reaction to one number: $16,500.

The first I came across was a 1988 BMW M3 with a no reserve auction bid up to $16,500. “Wow! That’s actually pretty reasonable! I thought. Next, I saw a 1994 BMW 325i with a ‘Buy It Now’ of the exact same $16,500. “What the hell is the seller thinking?!? How absolutely ridiculous!” I scoffed.

Yet, neither car was as it originally seemed once the descriptions were opened, and suddenly a comparison was in order…

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW M3 on eBay

Ending Soon: What We’re Watching

Ending Soon: What We’re Watching

Last week’s What We’re Watching post seemed to be a hit, so I’ve lined up another group of auctions. This time, they’re all affordable no reserve classics (or soon to be?). Care to wager on what each will sell at? Let’s start with a 5-speed Euro Porsche 928.

Click for Details: 1981 Porsche 928

It’s far from perfect, but here’s a 1981 Porsche 928 5-speed in Euro trim. The BBS wheels might look more at home on an early E39 540i, the paint is tired and the engine hasn’t run in some time (and what the heck is up with that shifter surround???) but hey, at time of writing the whole package can you yours for $3,000. Certainly it’s worth at least that in parts?

Click for Details: 1960 Volkswagen Bus

I said “affordable”, right? Well, with VIN tags of 23 Window Sambas selling for upwards of $11,000, this no reserve auction on a lovely restored ’60 seems like a deal. The color combination and condition are spot on, and it will be interesting to see where it ends.

Click for Details: 1993 BMW 740iL

Back to great values, and this 1993 BMW 740iL seems ready to please. It’s got lower mileage, the great E32 shape, a nice color combination and very good overall condition. Usually the big money has been reserved for the follow-up E38, so I think someone will get a great deal on this very nice ’93.

Click for Details: 1988 BMW M5

There’s been a lot of speculation on the 80s BMW M market, so seeing a no reserve auction on an M5 is both rare and offers us the chance to litmus test the market. Usually the cars that come up in no reserve format aren’t the nicest ones out there, but this one generally looks great.…

2006 Mercedes-Benz S430

2006 Mercedes-Benz S430

If you wondering why I am featuring a run-of-the-mill W220 S430 look no further than the words “Almandine Black Metallic”. That’s the name, in my opinion, one of the most wonderful colors Mercedes-Benz has ever produced for its cars. It direct light it looks plum purple only for it to be mistaken for black in the shade and at night. It’s conservative enough to be taken seriously in any setting but still gives off a great shimmer that separates itself from the usual sea of black cars. So when this 2006 S430 4Matic popped up for sale in California, I had to take a closer look at it while trying to restrain myself from getting shipping quotes to bring this thing home to me.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S430 4Matic on eBay

Year: 2006
Model: S430 4Matic
Engine: 4.3 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 186,660 mi
Price: $6,900 Buy It Now

Non Smoker Car – second owner – Delivery in San Jose area – buyer must arrange out of area shipping.

Outside of the paint, this is your fairly standard W220. It’s a nice, clean California car with albeit fairly high miles at almost 187,000, but it looks like it has about half of that. Being this is the last year of the W220 and probably the best year of these cars to purchase as most of the problems that plagued these cars had theoretically been worked through, but at the end of the day it’s still a W220. You’ll occasionally run into Airmatic faults but generally I trust these cars at their core. It’s still just a basic M113 V8 paired to the 722.6 gearbox that has been tested a million times over in every Mercedes from this era. These cars do a pretty good job at being what S-Class are supposed to be: a relaxing, enjoyable place to be.…

1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

I probably don’t feature as many vehicles from the other side of the pond as I should, but today’s car is a great starting point. This 1990 500SEC for sale in London sports the amazing color of Nautical Blue and to make it even better, is for sale at a reasonable cost. But because this is a right hand drive car, there are a couple different things than what you are normally used to seeing on the C126.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

Year: 1990
Model: 500SEC
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 169,021 mi
Price: £6,250 ($7,840)

Flagship from the 90’s Mercedes W126 500 SEC pillar-less Coupe. Finished in Nautical Blue, automatic gearbox. Covered 169,021 documented miles. HPI Clear. Options on this car from new include. Heated seats, electric front memory seats, air conditioning, self levelling steering wheel, electric mirrors, sun roof, cruise control and two tone horn. Tool kit and first aid kit present.

Recently acquired this car however, due to business commitments it has to sell. The previous owner lovingly looked after the car and had it in his ownership for the past 12 years. The vehicle was dry stored in a garage, hence it presents in very good condition with 169,021 miles. It has its original book pack and service book including 3 sets of keys. The service book is fully stamped (Mercedes history up to 96k and independent specialist thereafter) and there are accompanying service invoices to verify the provenance of this outstanding car. In addition, the service file has old MOT certificates.

The Mercedes-Benz W126 was a series of S-Class automobiles manufactured by Mercedes-Benz between 1979 and 1992. Premiering in September 1979 as the successor to the W116 line, the W126 was the second generation to officially bear that prestigious designation, an abbreviation for the German Sonderklasse or “special class.” It introduced many Mercedes-Benz safety innovations, including the first seatbelt pretensioners.

2002 Audi S6 Avant

2002 Audi S6 Avant

Perspective is an interesting thing. Just a few days ago, I looked at an S6 4.2 Avant – a car that never came to the U.S.. It was certainly potent, with 285 stomping V8 horsepower. Even more potent was the Plus version linked in the article, with enough power to match rivals from Mercedes-Benz and BMW. But here in America, we bemoaned the lack of importation of these models; worse still, Audi’s U.S. lineup went decidedly soft following the discontinuation of the 20V turbocharged inline-5 S6 in 1995. Indeed, another S model wouldn’t appear here until 2000.

But only a half decade after the most potent S-car had launched out of quattro GmbH, Audi gave us a reason to celebrate. The S6 Avant returned to U.S. shores, and it was even more powerful than the Plus model had been. Now with 5V technology, the BBD 4.2 V8 cranked out 340 horsepower. Like the 4.2 sedan we just looked at, the flares were widened and door blades made the stance more aggressive. Special interior details abounded; sport seats and steering wheel (comfort seats were a no-cost option), Alcantara headliner, and carbon fiber trim let the driver know they were at the wheel of a special model. Audi’s signature Avus wheel design appeared in 17″, but uniquely 8″ wide and in lower offset than either the S8 or S4 models’ wheels. The 1BE sport suspension was 20mm lower and 30% stiffer than the standard models. And though it looked like the rest of the subdued, understated early 2000s lineup, the Avant scooted; 0-60 was gone in 6.5 seconds, the standing quarter mile in 14.5, and the S6 could pretty effortlessly brush against its electronically limited 155 mph top speed. Reviews and owners alike chime in with the same song: like the E39 M5, this is a car that does everything, and does everything well.…

Brilliant Yellow 1997 Audi S6 4.2 Avant

Brilliant Yellow 1997 Audi S6 4.2 Avant

Ah, the used car market in Europe. It’s the stuff of dreams for U.S. fans. First off, you get cars that were never available to our market. Often, those cars come with colors or options that weren’t offered here. They are usually closer to original specification. Europeans seem to drive less and value their expensive cars more, too – so they turn up with lower than normal mileage and in better than average condition. And, as if to top it off, they’re dangled in front of us at cut-rate pricing. Because of the cost of keeping these cars down stream in Europe with taxes, insurance, and – most importantly for most – the space to keep multiple cars, older cars are often offered at prices that would immediately have several fans on U.S. shores throwing money at the sellers.

Today’s S6 4.2 Avant combines all of those things into one package:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Audi S6 4.2 Avant on Mobile.de

2000 Audi A6 4.2 quattro

2000 Audi A6 4.2 quattro

The A6 4.2 quattro falls into an unappreciated middle ground of typically unappreciated Audis. Unappreciated, that is, for everyone outside of the Vier Ringe, because the C5 has gone down as one of the most devoted fanbase Audi models I can remember, perhaps rivaled only by the B5. But while the cheap speed of the B5 attracted the Volkswagen and BMW crowd, the C5 fans seem to be more traditional Audi folk; offbeat, eclectic and fiercely loyal to their particular model.

Perhaps one of the reasons that the 4.2 gets so thoroughly overlooked by the market in general is due to the depth of the C5 lineup. On the performance end, you had the cool S6 Avant and the outrageous twin-turbocharged RS6. On the practicality end, the standard A6 2.8 and 3.0 models provided Mercedes-Benz like quality and adequate stateliness in both sedan and Avant bodylines. Outdoor adventures and tech-geeks loved the Allroad, which could be had with either a twin-turbocharged 6-speed or the subdued and upscale silky smooth 4.2 V8. And finally, for secret performance lovers, the twin-turbo’d V6 could be mated in narrow-body sedan with a 6-speed manual in the A6 2.7T quattro.

Frankly, it was hard for the 4.2 sedan to stand out in this crowd, yet it managed to appear quite special at the same time. This was the defacto S6 sedan, with aluminum front end and engine, along with wide flares and shark-fin door blades. It was longer, too, to accommodate the V8 tucked in the nose, giving a more menacing appearance overall. Special wider track was met with unique Speedline wheels (later replaced by the forged “Fat Fives”) and meaty 255-40 section tires as an option. And with 300 horsepower, out of the box the 4.2 was the top trump for the 2000 model year in the C5 lineup and would remain so until the 2002 introduction of the S6.…

King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

King’s Ransom: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman

Last week I checked out at a 1972 Mercedes-Benz 600 that looked to be cared for by a wealthy stable owner in north Alabama. Today, we have another W100 to examine, but this one has quite a bit more history to sort through. This 1970 600 for sale in Portland, Oregon isn’t the normal standard wheelbase sedan you are used to seeing but rather it’s the rare Pullman version, which is one of 423 ever produced. Of course, those who ordered these cars usually weren’t your normal private citizens. So who was the original owner of this rolling symbol of power?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1970 Mercedes-Benz 600 Pullman on Hemmings

Year: 1970
Model: 600 Pullman
Engine: 6.3 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 35,000 km (21,747 mi)
Price: $395,000

1970 Mercedes 600 Pullman

Ordered new by King Idris of Libya the same year he was overthrown by Muammar Gaddafi
Award winning restoration (fully documented)
All mechanicals are new or rebuilt
35,000 km’s (300 km since restoration)
Factory 040G black with bamboo leather
Complete set of factory spares kits and tool pouch
Price: $395,000 firm

The owner of this awesome 600 was King Idris of Libya who according to the build sheet, didn’t have possession of the car for too long. This Pullman was built in July of 1969 but unfortunately Idris was deposed a few months later in a coup d’etat by army officers led by a guy you might have heard of named Muammar Gaddafi. I’ve tracked down a photo of Idris getting out of the car attached below and even more amazingly, the Associated Press actually has video footage of Idris in Turkey on September 2nd, 1969 with the car that can be viewed here. That same day is when Libyan Army officers took control of the country.…