I daily drive an E34 525i. I have to admit that while I like the BMW, I don’t love it. What I mean is: I haven’t developed the kind of visceral emotional attachment to it that I shared with my previous car, a 2.6 190E. There’s just something missing, and lately I’ve been thinking about getting back into an older Benz. It would have to be comfortable, safe, have a passenger airbag (a not unreasonable request from my wife), get fair gas mileage (ruling out V8s, sadly) and have that legendary Mercedes build quality that makes the doors close with a reassuring “thunk.” A W124 keeps coming to the top of my list. We went camping last weekend and spent a gorgeous few days out in the far western reaches of Maryland. While the E34 served us well, when I got home I kept thinking about how cool it would have been to have had a Mercedes wagon on the trip.
All posts tagged Wagon
As someone who has led an urban life for most of his existence, owning more than one vehicle at a time can be a challenge. Fear not, as there is a solution. Over the years, I’ve taken to collecting 1:18 scale models. There are a myriad of companies that are producing amazingly accurate scaled down copies of our favorite German machines in die cast. If you aren’t too picky about opening features, a number of smaller manufacturers have recently cropped up offering 1:18 resin models that are sealed. I’ve purchased a number of these resin models and they have proven to be just as, if not more accurate than their die cast counterparts.
Below is a selection of 1:18s that have caught my eye recently, some of which are sealed and others which have opening features. My 1:18 collecting is cresting 100 cars. I could probably sell of part of it and come up with a nice down payment for the next 1:1. Until that happens, I still enjoy pouring over the details of these miniature cars. They have come a long way with the quality on these 1:18s since my childhood, when the Italian manufacturer Bburago ruled the day.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: Mercedes-Benz 300TE AMG by Ottomobile
A good friend of mine who lives on the coast in Massachusetts happens to drive an E91 328i xDrive Touring equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox. This Touring would be the last five-door estate BMW would offer in the US with a manual gearbox. We sat around discussing potential replacements for this machine once the time comes but the only answers seemed to be buy an old car to replace it or become an expatriate. Given he’s married with two kids, the latter option would not be all that convenient. Well, if we want to take the latter route, why not size up this 2000 323i Touring for sale in Florida with the all important third pedal?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 323i Touring on eBay
I feel that many vehicles these days are trying to be something they are not. Take one look at the myriad of crossovers or SUVs based on ordinary sedan chassis. Marketing professionals promise the thrill of escape and adventure but in all honesty, you’re not going anywhere. You’ll just blend right into the suburban landscape upon purchase. Want to stand out? How about driving something that doesn’t put on airs, like this 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate for sale in Vermont. This was the final year for the venerable W124, a car which is still a common sight on streets across the globe today. The estate version of the W124 was for those looking for a family car but wanted just a bit more in terms of luxury and versatility. With a rear-facing third row seat, one could carry up to seven passengers and the self-leveling rear suspension would keep things in check while doing so. If you’ve been looking for a tidy example of the five-door variant of this Benz, you won’t want to miss this one.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate on eBay
The main problem for the Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant is the plethora of other very capable all-wheel drive wagons that ran alongside it. Scratch that. The main problem for the Volkswagen Passat W8 4Motion Variant is that it’s just too damn complicated for its own good. On paper, an 8-cylinder, 270 horsepower all-wheel drive Passat just sounds damn cool. You could even get it with a 6-speed manual, if you could find one. If optioned correctly, the W8 had some pretty trick BBS-made “Madras” 2-piece wheels too, just like the ones we see here. But VAG designs from the early 2000s had a tendency for complicated engineering for complicated engineering’s sake, and it doesn’t get a whole lot more complicated than the timing chain routes on the back of VAG motors. That’s right, the back. Because, of course, if you put a timing chain in, you don’t need to ever service it, right? In the quest for greater performance and numbers, we stumbled through a looking glass of complexity that has rendered an entire generation of cars so massively over-engineered relative to their specific output that it simply makes no sense to even briefly contemplate their ownership: