Remember when you could take people at their word? Yeah, me either. But you get my point. The reason I bring this up is because when someone tells you something about a car you hope you can take their word at it, but ultimately it is your responsibility to do your due diligence. Enter this 2003 Mercedes-Benz C320 SportCoupé.
As you might have noticed, this W203 is far from a stock car with quite a bit of modifications done to it. It has a wing, some 19 inch BBS wheels, a DTM-inspired splitter, a carbon fiber hood and of course some special paint. Inside, the seats have been redone with Mercedes logos stitched in them and if my eyes are correct, an original Xbox gaming system in the passenger foot well. At first glance, I thought it was just a modified car from a private owner. Then I read the eBay description and saw a story with the words ”McLaren” in it. Needless to say, my eyes lit up and I became very excited. Could this car really be associated with the F1 great? Then a few moments later I had to ask myself ”Why did McLaren want an Xbox in a C320 SportCoupé?”
The Mercedes-Benz C32 AMG falls into that category of ”Oh yeah, they made those” probably because of a few reasons. The first one being it wasn’t particularly good or impressive at any one thing. It’s extremely bland, even by conservative Mercedes standards, and you’d be hard-pressed to pick this out of a lineup to recognize it as an AMG car. Aside from some slightly different bumpers and some split spoke AMG wheels, the C32 looked just like every other pre-facelift W203 out there. The power part for this car isn’t anything to write home about with a supercharged M112 V6 that was then shared with the Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6. It did make a respectable 349 horsepower but torque was down with only 322. I think the biggest reason these things are often shoved aside and not really desirable is because the car that replaced it, the W203 C55 AMG, fixed everything that was wrong with this car. The C55 got the big V8 that made almost 400 lb·ft of torque and had a bunch cosmetic updates that made it look different from every other W203 out there. So now that these C32s are 15 years-old, where do they stand?
About a year ago I checked out the Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG and explained that the this car is one of those ”best of the worst” scenarios. In my opinion, the W203 was a pretty terrible product overall for someone like Mercedes to produce and owning one when you have so many other options just doesn’t add up for me. But like anything, when the price gets cheap enough, when does pulling the trigger on one actually make sense? In reality, buying an older, used German car never really makes all that much sense in the big picture, but we all justify our purchases one way or another. But I’ve found 2005 for sale in Florida which is actually cheap enough that it is probably going to make a lot of people consider picking this one up.
Model: C55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 129,400 mi
Price: $7,495 Buy It Now
Up for sale is my 2005, Mercedes AMG C55 with 129K original miles, silver with black interior. 5.4L V8 engine pushing 370hp and 370tq. I have every receipt for any work or maintenance that was done to the car since I have owned it. Very fast car that will put a smile on your face every time you get on the throttle.The car comes equipped with every option including the Harmon Kardon sound system, NAVIGATION, heated front seats, memory front seats, turn signal mirrors, 6 disc CD changer, interior lighting, flood lights, xenon lights, front and rear automatic windows, privacy screen, tinted windows and 2 piece 18″ C55 AMG wheels.The car has been garage kept and the interior and exterior looks like new. The Leather and suede still smells like new. Only reason why I am selling it because I need a truck or SUV.
The next Mercedes-Benz up for our Right Hooker Week is a total odd ball that never made it to North America and thank goodness it didn’t. This is a 2010 CLC180. Mercedes calls it a ”SportCoupé” that was an evolution of the W203 hatchback coupe that we (unfortunately) did get in North America. Naturally, when you look at this car you’d think it was a just W204 hatchback coupe. Not the case. In fact, it wasn’t even made in Germany. Let’s dig deeper.
Engine: 1.8 liter inline-4
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 89,000 mi
Price: GBP 4,990 ($6,469 Buy It Now)
All Finance Facilities Available, AA 5* Warranty Available, 12 Months AA Breakdown Cover Included Free, All Major Debit/Credit Cards Accepted, 1 Former Keeper, MOT 26/10/17, Service History, Previous Receipts and MOT’s, HPI Certificate Supplied, 16″ Alloy Wheels, Park Distance Control Front/Rear, Parktronic – Audible and Visual Parking Aid, Electric Windows, Electric Mirrors, Multi-Functional Steering Wheel, Bluetooth, iPod Connection, Radio/CD, Climate Control, Air Conditioning, Speedtronic Cruise Control, Split Folding Rear Seats, Automatic Headlights, Brushed Aluminium Interior Trim, Tinted Glass All Round – Green, Alarm System, Remote Central Locking, Isofix. 4 seats, Calcite White Half Black Leather, £4,990
This isn’t a W204, it is still a W203. Mercedes did everything in their power to make you think it was a new chassis, but it wasn’t. They tacked on a front and rear clip to make it look like a (then) new W204 but the majority of this car is still the old W203, especially inside. Yes, the car got a slightly tweaked suspension and a bunch of parts bin stuff for the interior, but it is still largely the same old car that launched over 10 years ago in 2000.…
I was making my rounds around the internet looking for interesting cars and was taken back when I saw the photo above. Was it some kind of European Touring Car? A 24-hour endurance car? The next thing that caught my eye was the price of a mere $5,000. Now I started getting excited. A cheap, real race car for sale in the U.S. that is ready to go?
I’m not afraid to say that the W203 is my one of my least favorite Mercedes ever made. The design was soft, the entire interior was a plastic mess and even the wheel design sucked. These were geared towards entry-level buyers and the lease deals on them were targeted towards anyone who had a pulse and a solid proof of couch ownership with coins under the cushions. This left us with a mass sea of used W203s for sale that you can pick up for mere peanuts. Seriously, I think some buyers on Craigslist are accepting bags of peanuts to take away their 2001 C240s. But one model out of all the miserable cars stood out and actually was worth driving and hey, maybe even buying. Allow me to reintroduce the C55 AMG.
Orion Blue Metallic, that’s what the paint is called and the main reason I decided to write up this Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG. One of the other reasons is that I’ve always felt this car was overlooked due to the its successor being the tire slaying C63 AMG. Those cars continue to fall in pice but it will be a few more years before they reach the bottom of the depreciation curve. The C55 is already close and will likely drop down a little further in the next couple of years. If you enjoy the “double bubble” headlight style of the W203 then this car has to be at the top of your list as it is the most aggressive looking one you could buy. What I find appealing is that even in AMG form, it still retains a clean sleeper look. Were it not for the matte black Vertini wheels, I think this car would be able to fly way under the radar, a bonus when you’ve got 362 hp on tap. If I were to take this home I’d probably swap them out the wheels for a nice brushed aluminum multi spoke from the AMG catalog, but I have to admit the concave style does add a certain badass element to the car. I think that has to be one of the most appealing things about the C55 AMG, it can be made to look like a mundane country club classic or a aggressive Autobahn animal. All you need to do is change a few minor things to tip the scales in either direction and I have to say, this car strikes a nice balance between the two.
The Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate was a very short lived offering here in the US market, lasting only four years, with supply cut off two years before the next generation C-class would arrive. In the beginning, two engine choices were offered, a 2.6 liter V6 or 3.2 liter V6, with or without 4Matic all-wheel drive. Later on, the C240 would soldier on as the sole C-class estate, available with or without 4Matic. This 2002 C320 Estate for sale in New Jersey has well under 50,000 miles and wears the five-spoke alloys from the Sport package of the period.
Almost immediately after the C class was introduced for the 1994 model year, plans were being drawn up for its successor, the W203, which wouldn’t appear until the turn of the century. When it debuted, the styling was a bit of a departure from the old W202 C class, with headlamps adapted from the W210 E class style for this smaller package. The car was panned for it’s interior that seemed a bit low-rent in comparison to its predecessor and a level of quality that seemed out of sync with what the marque stood for. Nevertheless, this was a popular car for Mercedes-Benz, with over two million sold over the course of seven model years. In 2003, Mercedes dropped their 1.8 liter supercharged four cylinder into the C class sedan to form this car, the C230 Sport Sedan. This example for sale in Miami is one of the rare ones equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox.
Well, I hope this will stir some interest, as I think this is a bit of an interesting comparison. What level of performance can you buy for $10,000 (give or take) these days? Surprisingly, there are a lot of options – and those options vary pretty seriously in their execution and packages; there’s a wagon and a sports car, two sedan-based coupes and a hatchback. Engines range from a 2 liter turbo to a V8, with a bit of everything in between. Yet, what appears to be a very strange comparison linked only by price is revealed to be much closer when you look at performance figures:
E36 M3: 240 hp, 0-60 6.0 seconds, 3,200 lbs
944 Turbo: 220 hp, 0-60 5.9 seconds, 2,900 lbs
CLK500: 302 hp, 0-60 5.7 seconds, 3,800 lbs
S4 Avant: 250 hp, 0-60 5.6 seconds, 3,700 lbs
GTi: 200 hp, 0-60 6.6 seconds, 3,200 lbs
The range is much closer than you’d expect – especially when you consider that these figures could easily be equaled in margin of error, driver skill and reaction time. In the twisties, the lower powered cars like the GTi catch up to the higher power CLK and S4. All are, in one way or another, practical choices. Some are destined (or already) classics, while others will likely fade away. So what would be your choice? Let’s start with an M3 we’ve already seen: