People are usually pretty hot or cold on the Mercedes-Benz W140 Coupe. They followed up the massively successful and popular W126 Coupe and it’s not that these are bad cars at all, but it’s tough to follow-up something that was so great. I think lots of times people even forget about these cars because you don’t see them all that often. Mercedes made just over 8,500 of the V12-powered 600SEC/S600 Coupe/CL600 for worldwide sale over an eight-year production period so they are relatively rare compared to the V12 sedan that was produced to the tune of 36,000. Today’s car, a 1996 up for sale outside of Detroit, is one of the finest S600 Coupes I’ve seen come up for sale. The price? Well worth the asking in my eyes.
The W126 and W140 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL/400SEL/S420 cars have always been lost in the crowd a little bit thanks to big brother 560SEL/500SEL/S500 and even bigger brother 600SEL/S600. There is nothing really wrong with these cars and in the W140s case, the S420 uses the same M119 engine as the five-liter S500. When new, you saved about $13,000 when you selected the S420 over the S500 and in exchange you gave up about 50 horsepower and gained a whopping one mile gallon in fuel economy on the highway. Today, none of this really matters because any car without 500 horsepower might as well not even show up and 22 miles per gallon is considered poor fuel economy. Such is life.
Today, I wanted to look at one of these forgotten S420s and this example in Virginia is one of the better ones I’ve seen over the years. This 1999 checks in with a little over 120,000 with no real issues or anything to be concerned about. The price? Actually pretty reasonable.
After last week’s 22,000 miles Mercedes-Benz E500 that with the bidding ended at $79,800, I figured I’d check out another 90s Mercedes sedan with similar mileage that I happen to run across. This is a 1999 S420 with 24,601 miles located in Chicago. Unlike the E500, the presentation and documentation leave a lot to be desired. The mileage doesn’t lie, but when hit with a big price tag for a not-so-desirable W140, it is a tough sell to anymore who isn’t willing to dive headfirst into finding out what this car is really all about. But I’ll try to do my best with the little information and quick photos that I do have, but I make no promises.
The past few weeks I checked out top of the range Mercedes-Benz S-Class: the S600. Last week it was the W221 and the week before that it was the W220. Naturally, I thought it would be a good idea to seek out the first S-Class with a V12, the W140. Little did I know, a reader passed along not only a W140 S600, but one with much than what you are used to normally seeing.
This car is none other than a S70 AMG. It started out life as a standard S600 then was sent to the crazy folks at AMG Japan where it was converted from a 6.0 liter to a 7.0 liter. On top of that, they added front and rear AMG bumpers, some AMG wheels and enough wood for the interior to wipe out a small forest. It is in every way the most ultimate factory W140. (Well, maybe other than the S72 AMG) Just when I thought I had the whole story of this car, it got even crazier. You might notice that despite this car being listed on New Jersey’s Craigslist, it is still located in the (country of) Georgia. Does anyone remember a certain BMW E34 M5 from there? I promise this will all make sense. Just stick with me.
Some people like to upgrade their cars with aftermarket parts or parts from other vehicles from the same manufacturer. Usually it’s a small part or maybe a set of wheels that satisfies their itch. Other people go a little bigger with maybe custom body work and paint. Then way on another level, we have what was done with this 1997 Mercedes-Benz S600 in Russia. It’s impressive enough to have a Mercedes tweaked by legendary tuner Brabus, that this car is, but it’s a whole other ball of wax once you see what is hiding inside this car and the special surprise hiding in the trunk. Here is a hint: It isn’t subwoofers.
As a send off to the Mercedes-Benz W140 S-Class in 1999, Mercedes gave 600 S500s the treatment of the Grand Edition. All painted black, these cars had 18 inch AMG Monoblock wheels, the same hand stitched seats and steering wheel from the S600, a special birdseye maple woodgrain trim, privacy screens on the rear and back windows and illuminated door sills on top of all the standard things you got on the S500. Sticker price for these 600 cars was $89,500, a mere $2,000 more than the regular S500 — which is totally worth it in my eyes. Most of the time these older Mercedes-Benz ”special edition” cars haven’t had any impact on their value once they are past their warranty limit. But for this W140, it has been just a little different.
Who says you can’t go back in time? I think all of us at one point or another wish we could go back in time. Sure, we’d take care of all the things we regret in life but after taking care of that I think I know where the majority of us would turn: cars. Some might hurry and snag up cars that were cheap for a period of time but now are very expensive (I’m looking at your air-cooled 911s and E30 M3s) while other might go back and experience cars when they were factory fresh. A time when the problems of leaking valve cover gaskets and ripped leather seats didn’t exist. Well today, we are in luck with this car. This is a 1999 Mercedes-Benz S500 with just 6,101 miles. That’s it, an average of a little under 340 miles a year. Some of us drive that in a week. The thing is, this just isn’t a run-of-the-mill W140, the interior in this car is something I very rarely see. What is it?
Last week I checked out a great SL73 AMG which the mad men at AMG took an already hearty 6.0 liter V12 and converted it to a 7.3 liter. Today we have another 7.3 liter 140 chassis, although this one was converted by another tuning house. This 1997 CL600 for sale in Hamburg, Germany was sent to well-known Brabus where it not only underwent the conversion to 7.3 liters, but gained some body work, wheels and giant brakes as well. Because of all this, the price tag steep. But you probably won’t believe how steep it really is.
The W140 S600, in my opinion, is one of those ‘best friend or worst nightmare’ kind of cars. A wonderful example is almost pure bliss but if you end up with a neglected one, you’ll soon be searching the classifieds for a nice Toyota Corolla. Unlike its younger sibling W220 S600, the M120 V12 in the W140 is a great example of a twelve cylinder engine. It’s extremely smooth, makes great power and doesn’t have any real fatal flaws. It’s just everything around it that can be troublesome at times. Throttle actuators, EGAS modules, coolant pipes, breather pipes on top of everything else that normally goes wrong with a 90s Mercedes, will drive you nuts. The thing is, you really have to love the W140 to justify owning one. This isn’t a half-hearted car that you can drive and forget about. Even if you have no interest in maintaining this car by yourself, you really should have someone who knows the M120 look after it as most general mechanics usually don’t have the knowledge and experience to tackle problems as they arise. If you are one of those crazed W140 fans that has been looking for a prime S600, this 1997 in New York might fit the bill.
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 90,000 mi
Price: No Reserve Auction
1997 MERCEDES BENZ S- CLASS S600 V12 W140 IN PRESTINE CONDITION. MERCENDS BENZ FLAGSHIP VEHICLE WITH LOW MILES ONLY 90,000 ORIGINAL MILES.
BLACK ON BLACK BEST COLOR COMBINATION. I HAVE OWNED THIS VEHICLE SINCE 2013 THIS IS MY FOURTH S600 YOU WILL NO BE DISAPPOINTED, ADULT DRIVEN,GARAGE KEPT, MERCEDES BENZ SPECIALIZED MAINTAINED. WILL NOT BE DISSAPOINTED RECLINING HEATED REAR SEATS, DEFROST EXTERIOR MIRRORS, REAR SHADE, AND VERY RARE OEM 19″ AMG MONOBLOCK WHEELS.
The final year of 1999 for the W140 Mercedes-Benz is one of those “hindsight is 20/20” things. At the time, no one probably had any idea that 1999 would be considered by many to be the last of the true over-engineered cars from Mercedes. From the mid-1950s, the S-Class was basically the standard for full-size luxury cars. So the year 2000 rolls around with the launch of the W220 and everything is status quo with the S-Class, right? Not really. I don’t blame Mercedes for going tech heavy with the W220, it is what needed to be done to compete with 7-series, A8 and the real killer, the Lexus LS. The problem was the early W220 didn’t live up to quality and reliability standards that S-Class owners were used to. Combine that with soft styling and a car that didn’t “feel” like a S-Class and you have a real problem. Now it’s 2017 and we look back on the W140 has the last true beacon of hope for feeling that old Mercedes charm while W220s languish for sale on Craiglist for $2,700. But right now these nice W140s aren’t being snagged up like W126 560SELs are and prices reflect that. So when a nice late-model W140 does come up for sale, is it time to buy?
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 154,845 mi
Price: Buy It Now $8,995
Key features: Leather, 6-Disc CD-Changer, Bose Sound, Heated Seats, Moon Roof, Tinted Windows, Xenon Headlights
You are bidding on a 2nd-owner vehicle in excellent condition. The owner is motivated to sell.
This sedan looks stylish and drives nice and smooth. Come take it home! You will be thrilled to own it. Take a look at the detailed series of 36 pictures below.