It’s no coincidence that two of my favorite German performance cars emerged from the same factory. Both were blessed by the engineers at Porsche, even though neither of them wore the famous Stuttgart crest. One of these cars was the Audi RS2 Avant, which wasn’t sold on US shores. Shortly before production of this super estate commenced at Zuffenhausen, production was ending of another supercar in disguise, the Mercedes-Benz E500. Formerly known as the 500E before Mercedes’ nomenclature switchover in 1994, this sedan pushed the limits of what people thought was possible with a luxury sedan. I haven’t driven one in many years, but I can still remember slipping behind the wheel of this beast and being blown away. This 1994 E500 for sale in California represents the end of the production run for this special E-class. This one has covered a fair amount of miles but from the looks of it, could easily pass for half its age.
All posts tagged w124
Pre-merger AMG products are perhaps the most copied and most sought Mercedes-Benz products from the 1980s. Like many famous works of art, there are plenty of copies, replicas and pieced-together pretenders out there. As with Ruf, Alpina and Hartge – amongst others – you could buy many of the AMG bits originally from authorized dealers and install as many or as few as you’d like. You could also have an authorized dealer install the bits for you. Therefore, the definition of what actually makes a pre-merger AMG a “true” AMG varies depending on interpretation. Most seem to feel that it required at least 3 items to be installed by an authorized dealer of AMG products; a strange definition in some ways, since you could buy, for example, a steering wheel, rear spoiler and wheels – thereby gaining no real performance advantage – but if installed by a dealer, it could be considered an original AMG. Of course, there was much more available than just those items, and the most desirable are the bespoke AMG-engined “Hammer” models with their massive V8s. Not everyone could afford those, so there were lesser models available too:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 3.4 on eBay
Every time I come across a clean 500E it gets the wheels turning in the ‘ol noggin. I find myself wondering if this early 90s tribute to the automotive gods would work as a daily driver. As much as I tell myself I could get by with a sporty coupe, in the end I know my active lifestyle and willingness to shuttle friends around would have me yearning for an extra set of doors. Once I start that internal dialogue I quickly get on the line of thinking that if I’m going to have four doors then I might as well have hatch to access the cargo area. On top of the practical angle there’s the cosmetic angle. Most of the cars I’m a fan of look better as a wagon, rarely does a sedan hold my gaze the way a slick long roof does and it is for that reason that I will always write up a crisp 500E when I come across one.
I have a special place in my heart reserved for these cars, they’re really unlike anything else that I have on my bucket list of cars. The E34 M5 is about as close as it comes for the era but it’s a BMW and BMWs
are were focused on the driver’s experience above all. The 500E isn’t short on driver engagement but one only need look at the heavily bolstered rear bucket seats to see this car was designed to keep everyone comfortable during a proper Bahnstorming. I love a good solo mission up to the canyons where it’s just the car and myself but I also enjoy being the wheelman on a night out with some friends. It’s a different kind of energy in the car for sure but I think it can be equally as enjoyable, provided your friends don’t suck, If they do then riding around in a modern classic like the 500E will surely be lost on them but I know mine would appreciate it, especially when the 5.0L V8 is doing its best Wilhelm Scream impersonation.These days 322hp can be found in many a four door but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that utilizes it with such emotion and grace. Talk to anyone who has owned a 500E and I’m sure they’ll tell you that the car begs for frequent visits to triple digit speeds and will get there without little effort. The question is, would you drop $13,944 for that experience?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes Benz 500E on AutoTrader
Estate cars like the BMW 540i Touring we featured yesterday take a decidedly utilitarian theme and add a performance boost to appeal to those who like the path less traveled. For those who want pure utility but with a bit of luxury thrown in, there’s nothing better than a classic Mercedes-Benz estate. The W124 E-class perhaps epitomizes the breed, bringing the original W123 theme a decade forward in technology while still retaining the durability and restrained styling that buyers had come to love. Unlike many new cars, these cars can go on and on for decades, given proper maintenance. They truly are vehicles for a lifetime. Closing in on 136,000 miles, this 1995 E320 Estate for sale in Philadelphia is just getting into its stride.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate on eBay
When I think German station wagon, one thing comes to mind for yours truly. Mercedes-Benz. Specifically, the E-class T-modell, as it is known in its native Germany. In the late 1970s, the W123 T-modell would be the first factory produced five-door and would prove to be a popular hauler stateside, with production lasting into 1985 and many of these cars still roaming the streets to this day. The W124 300 series would then succeed the W123, which would later be renamed the E-class for the 1994 model year. Thankfully, the E-class estate is still with us to this day in the US marketplace, available either in E350 4Matic form or in bonkersE63 AMG trim like the one we featured on Monday. So if an SUV doesn’t float your boat, then you still have the option of going with a good, old-fashioned wagon. Provided you have the funds. If not, this 1995 E320 estate for sale in Quebec might be more up your alley. Originally a US car, this E320 was imported to Canada three years ago. Sure, it has 150,000 miles on the odometer, but this well-kept example has a lot more life left to give.