Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300CE – One cheap, one not so much

Double Take: Mercedes-Benz 300CE – One cheap, one not so much

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300CE on Ft. Myers, FL Craigslist

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE

Recently I took a look at an E39 Touring M-Sport, explaining how I’d finally come to see the appeal of the load lugging variants of my favorite German sedans. I couldn’t possibly leave things there without taking a look at the W124 estate. There’s one parked near where I live that proudly displays Mercedes “high mileage” award emblems in its grille. I’m not surprised. Practical and durable, the W124 possesses the kind of old school Mercedes build quality that leads many of their original owners to hang onto them for as long as possible.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 400E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 400E

The rare, high-performance Porsche-Mercedes 500E continues to garner increasing recognition on the collector’s market, pushing prices for nice examples toward $40k. But if you have champagne tastes on a beer budget and want a V8 in your W124, you’d do well to consider a 400E instead. Produced between 1992 and 1996 (it would be rebadged as the E420 and lightly facelifted in 1994), Mercedes intended for the 400E to sit underneath the 500E in the model range. They created it by dropping the 4.2 liter, 32v version of the M119 block into the W124 chassis, beefing up the brakes and suspension while leaving the exterior identical to the more humble 300E. Power output was a healthy 275 hp. While the car was not in the same league as the 500E, this proved more than adequate for high-speed autobahn cruising, which is what these cars do best.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 400E on Atlanta, GA Craigslist

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon on eBay

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E

3The 500E was an M5-baiting super-sedan built on the W124 platform in joint collaboration with Porsche. Offered between 1991 and 1994 with a 5.0 liter V8 generating 322hp and a subtly flared bodykit, these cars earned the clichéd (but accurate) moniker “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” Somewhat forgotten about until recently, not too long ago neat examples could be had for around $10k. Not so any more. As the market has woken up to these cars we’re increasingly seeing more of them for sale at the $30k price point. This particular example breaks that barrier and then some: the seller is asking for a bold $54k.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

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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.…

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 6.0 ‘Hammer’

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 6.0 ‘Hammer’

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You probably know all about the W124 AMG ‘Hammer’ cars by now. A normal 300E that was transformed by then independent company AMG into a four-door monster thanks to the punched-out 6.0 liter M117/9 and various other à la carte options depending on the owners desires. They didn’t call these cars the ‘Hammer’ for nothing with 375-ish horsepower and even more torque. Because of this, the values have held strong at nearly 10 times and sometimes even more than what you’d pay for a normal W124 300E. When one of these cars come up for auction, it’s usually a big deal. This 1988 Hammer heading to the block at the end of the month will probably fetch a pretty penny, despite what Sotheby’s is predicting. So let’s check this monster out:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG ‘6.0 Hammer’ at RM Sotheby’s

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon with 3.6 AMG swap

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon with 3.6 AMG swap

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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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon 3.6 AMG on eBay

1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body

1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body

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I run across some odd vehicles during my travels around the internet. Today is one of those vehicles. What I thought was a normal taxi cab spec W124 diesel turned out to be an ambulance — at least what used to be an ambulance. This 1989 250D underwent a conversion from Binz, a specialty company in Germany that has been converting Mercedes into limousines, ambulances, fire trucks, hearses and everything else for over 75 years. So lets take a look at this long W124 for sale in New Hampshire.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 250D Ambulance Body on eBay

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1The product of a Porsche-Mercedes collaboration built on the W124 platform E-class, the 500E is a 90s super sedan that tends to fly under the radar (or did, until recently, when the collector market began to take an interest). The flared fenders and squat stance are the only external cues that set these cars apart from your average Stuttgart taxi. But beneath the surface lies a wider track, beefier brakes and a 5.0 liter V8 engine developing about 326 hp. That lump is sufficient to propel the 500E to 60 in just under 6 seconds. While that’s not super impressive by today’s standards, it was quick for the time. And the chief virtue of the 500E was never really its acceleration from a standstill (torquey and quick, though it was). It was its ability to cruise the autobahn at 160 mph all day, every day, while four passengers sat in dignified comfort in the cabin.

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

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Euro-Spec Manual

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TD Euro-Spec Manual

1We’ve posted a few W124 tourings recently, noting the high esteem in which these old wagons are held. A functional and solid mode of transportation for well-to-do families of yesteryear, plenty of these cars have been kept by their original owners well into old age (or passed down to their kids), because people often just can’t bear to part with them. No surprise: like all Mercedes cars from the era, these were built to last forever. This particular example is a 1991 Euro-spec diesel sourced from France. Not only does that make it quite rare  – 300TDs were only ever offered in the US for one year, in 1987 – it also comes equipped with some features not usually seen on US-market cars. And the good news: it’s already here, for sale in Florida.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

1The W124 platform E500 – the product of a joint venture between Mercedes and Porsche – has established itself as a firm favorite among enthusiasts lusting after brawny, fast German steel. Hewing close to the late 80s/early 90s super-sedan recipe – big engine, understated exterior, room for four to travel in comfort with effortless rapidity – these brutes have been rising in value of late, with asking prices on mint, low-mileage examples reaching into the $30k plus territory. Over the summer, Paul and I saw a couple of 500Es hanging out at Katie’s Cars and Coffee, the same place, in fact, where a week later a 380SL would rather infamously collide with a Ferrari 458 Speciale. I hadn’t seen a 500E in the flesh for a while, and I was struck by just how muscled and hunkered-down they look. At the time, Paul said to me that “hunkered-down” is exactly how they feel to drive too. I have to take him at his word; sadly I haven’t had the pleasure.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 on eBay

1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG

1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG

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The E60 AMG is an ultra rare, high-performance version of the W124 E-class dating from the pre-merger era, i.e. before AMG was officially folded into the Mercedes-Benz family. The E60, of which only around 126 were ever built, began life as a 500E, already a rather special car and the product of a Porsche-Mercedes collaboration. Should a buyer select option code 957, their 500E would be sent to the tuners at Affalterbach for further upgrades and come back rebadged as an E60. These upgrades included tweaks to the suspension and a larger, 6.0 liter version of the M119 V8 engine, the same motor as in the famed AMG “Hammer,” pushing power to 376 hp (edit: see the note from Glenn in the comments section re: Hammer).

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG on Classic Driver

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet

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Every now and then, I spot a black W124 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet tooling around the neighborhood. These days, this is a car that sticks out. It doesn’t necessarily look vintage, but has a crisp, stately appearance that is sadly lacking in most new vehicles these days. As we move further towards vehicles with all kinds of computer assistance and, dare I say it, self-driving cars, it’s nice to look back two decades and find a car like this with classic style mixed in with modern convenience. This 1995 E320 Cabriolet for sale in New York represents the final year for the W124 and this one is mint, showing almost 30,000 miles on the odometer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Cabriolet on eBay