1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD

I’ve been using my 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D with a 4-speed manual as my primary driver for over year now and really enjoy almost every aspect of it except for one big thing: It is ungodly slow. The North American spec 240Ds were blessed with a conservative 67 horsepower and 97 lb⋅ft of torque when new and after 35 years I’m going to guess it lost a few precious ponies. This results in me using the accelerator pedal as an on-off switch the majority of the time. Don’t get me wrong, around town the car is totally fine. On the highway? I’m traffic’s worst nightmare. If I am at the front of the line at a stoplight and the speed limit on the road is 55 mph, I might as well be hauling a car full of puppies to the pound because that is how people look at me. It takes somewhere in the 15-20 second range to accelerate to 60 mph depending on the grade of the road and Peggy in her minivan on her way to soccer practice has no patience for me.  Other than that, everyone loves the car. But what if the 240D was even slower? Say hello to the 240TD.

This German-import 1985 240TD up for bid in Arizona is equipped with everything my 240D has, including the same 4-speed manual gearbox, but with the extra weight of the wagon. You can see where I am going with this. Thankfully, this W123 estate is actually nice enough where you can pick and choose your 0-60 mph battles and not feel bad if you hold someone up for an extra second. Although at the current price, is it worth it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 240TD on eBay

Continue reading

1990 Mercedes-Benz 230TE

Last week I looked at a really cool 1992 Mercedes-Benz 250TD that was an European import that I’d love to own to rack up the miles. Today, we have another European-spec W124 estate although this one is still in Europe and has the steering wheel on the other side. This 1990 230TE resides in Northern England and as you might have noticed from the photo, this wagon wasn’t used as the workhorse that most were subjected to.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 230TE on eBay.co.uk

Continue reading

2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

A little over a month ago I looked at a 1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate that, thanks to Canada’s 15-year import law, was ready to be enjoyed by our friends to the north. Today, I have big brother E55 AMG Estate that looks to be literally fresh off the boat from Japan. This 2001 shows 47,000 miles and looks to be missing the most important W210 characteristic: rust. Although much like the W211 AMG Estate, you’ll pay a premium for that extra cargo room.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

Continue reading

1992 Mercedes-Benz 250TD

After Mercedes-Benz blessed us in North America for so many years with the W123 300TD, in both turbo and non-turbo versions, you would think they would do the logical thing and carry that on into the W124 era. Sadly, Mercedes gave us a small taste for one year only in 1987 with the 300TD powered by the OM603 that was a turbocharged inline-6. Little did we know at the time that the 1987 300TD would be the last diesel Mercedes estate that North American would get and probably ever get. We had plenty of options for gas versions, but the oil burners would never return. Thankfully, this seller in California gave us all one more example for us to enjoy and what a treat it is.

This is a 1992 250TD up for bid in California painted in Blackberry Bornite Metallic that was imported from the Netherlands. That color look familiar? It is powered by a naturally-aspirated 2.5 liter inline-5 diesel engine with a 5-speed manual transmission, patterned cloth seats, manual windows and almost zero options. Could there be a more perfect wagon for some?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 250TE on eBay

Continue reading

1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate

The majority of the wagons were feature around here are of the Audi variety. For good reason, of course. They look good, they are all-wheel-drive, come in manual transmission and usually they have the potential to be pretty quick. But every once in awhile I pull out a Mercedes-Benz wagon that can run with the four rings. Usually it’s an E55 or E63 AMG Estate that not only looks great, but hauls ass and literally everything else. Although this time around, I have something much more rare and it’s actually on North American soil ready to be snagged up by our Canadian friends.

The W202 C43 AMG Estate is a rare bird. Only 717 of these were built between 1998-2000 and thanks to the rust monster that the W202 usually succumbs to, that number is decreasing faster than you think. Nearly a year ago, I actually checked one of these out in right-hand drive spec that was pretty tidy and what I thought was a reasonable price. But this German-import has it’s flaws and the starting price (with reserve) is pretty reasonable. So is this the one to get?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate on eBay

Continue reading

2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagon Golf R Conversion

While Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz have all given us superb performance wagons (yes, even in the U.S.!), the German manufacturer with “Wagen” in its name has managed to skirt a really the opportunity to engage 5-door fanatics of ‘Freedom’.

But wait, you say, what about the Passat W8 4Motion Variant 6-speed?

Yeah sure. It was a really cool concept, and with the sport package BBS wheels it even looked really neat. But it wasn’t really a performance wagon. The follow-up 3.6 4Motion Variant actually did offer a bit more sport, but only came in automatic form. The more serious R36 never came here.

However, a few years ago Volkswagen launched an even MORE potent option – the Golf SportWagon R. With a 300 horsepower version of the 2.0 TSFI linked to the 6-speed manual or DSG dual-clutch box and utilizing the same Haldex all-wheel drive as the regular Golf R, the result was no surprise – a slightly bigger Golf R equaled a small performance wagon with few peers. 0-60 could be topped in 4.5 seconds and the quarter was gone in 13.3 seconds with the DSG, it topped out at 155 mph and yet would return 30 mpg on the highway. Eat your cake and have it too, indeed!

Of course, it hasn’t come here. But since it’s a VW and VW enthusiasts are swap-happy….

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagon R on VW Vortex

Continue reading

1999 BMW 540i Touring 6-speed

Back to wagons!

Today’s example is another fan-favorite model, of which it seems surprisingly hard to find a great example. The E39 continued and expanded the 5-series wagon’s popularity by bringing bigger wheels, more power and updated looks to the mid-range Audi-challenger. Like the first generation, these were only available in rear-wheel drive in the U.S., so matching the all-wheel drive variants available from…well, everyone else, required a very good looking and potent package. BMW pulled that off, with the Sport versions of both the 528i and 540i Tourings thoroughly encapsulating the ethos of the great Euro wagons.

But there was a catch.

If you wanted a manual gearbox, you had to select the lower output 528i model. For all its shouty V8-ness, the 282 horsepower 4.4 liter M62-equipped 540i only came with BMW’s Steptronic if you needed to haul ass and a family. Of course, that hasn’t stopped a few enterprising individuals from combining the manual from the sedan with the more desirable wagon:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 BMW 540i Touring 6-speed on eBay

Continue reading

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

It is amazing what a color can do to a car. You could have identical cars, one with a really desirable color and another with a not-so popular color, and have their values be dramatically different. Today’s car, a 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD for sale in California, is a perfect example of that. Regardless of color, the W123 300TD is no slouch in terms of desirability and people willing to do anything to keep them on the road. But paint it in a color that everyone loves and suddenly you’ll be a little shocked to see what kind of money these can bring on the open market. This 1983 painted in Labrador Blue isn’t a perfect example by any means but that is the appeal of an example like this. You can enjoy it without obsessing over every single thing that might happen to it. But seeing as this is a 300TD and it is in Labrador Blue, how high could the price be?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD on eBay

Continue reading

2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Wagon

While I spend most of my early 2000s Volkswagen attention on Passats and GTIs, there was another pretty compelling package in that period. The Jetta Wagon launched in 2002 and brought with it a myriad of engines and transmission options. Finally, the United States had access to the ‘Golf Variant’ that the rest of the world had enjoyed through the 1990s. And, you could have a TDi, a VR6 or even the 1.8T hooked up to a manual. Aside from it being called a Jetta and therefore you had the same car as all of the ‘Jenna’s from ‘Jersey (‘Cause, like, it’s like almost the same like spelling as like my name is like OMG!!!), there weren’t many drawbacks to the small wagon.

Judging from the number of Mk.4 Jetta Wagons that I still see on the road, the TDi was the most successful model sold in this area. Neat – in theory – is the VR6 model with a 5-speed manual, though finding one can be a bit of a trick. And they were pricey; you’d assume the Jetta would be cheaper than the more upscale Passat, right? Not always. While my 1.8T GLS Passat went out the door around $26,000 in 2002, if you opted for a modestly equipped VR6 Jetta you’d pay over $27,000. And while the VR6 may have seemed to be the best bet, I’d argue that the 1.8T was better value.

That’s because for the 2002 model year, Volkswagen reprogrammed the 1.8T to make a bit more twist. The resulting AWW was seen in the GTI and GLI cars, but also carried over unchanged in the Jetta. Rated at 180 horsepower, it produced 10 horsepower more than the Passat and 6 more than the 2.8 liter SOHC 12V VR6. While the GLI package didn’t carry to the wagons, you could still get 17″ wheels, leather interior, a 5-speed manual and some pretty colors, too:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Volkswagen Jetta GLS 1.8T Wagon on eBay

Continue reading

2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate

The company that built the fastest station wagon in the world … is back with the new fastest station wagon in the world. Mercedes-AMG took the updated W213 E-Class Estate and did their magic to the tune of 603 horsepower along with 627 lb-ft of torque. Big power numbers are impressive enough, but it’s the 7:45.19 Nürburgring time that really gets me excited. That’s the same time that the Pagani Zonda S 7.3, Audi R8 5.2 and the 997 Porsche 911 GT3RS. Just to top it all off, this is the same vehicle that has semi-automated driving, brake assist, evasive steering assist, car-to-X communication and remote parking. It’s hard find a thing that this AMG monster doesn’t do well. But of course, this all comes with a price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2018 Mercedes-AMG E63 S Estate on eBay

Continue reading