1996 Mercedes-Benz S600 with 243,059 miles

Last week I checked out a 2015 Mercedes-Benz S550 with a little under 112,000 miles and while that number isn’t super high, when broken down by year, it is well above average.  The price of the car reflected the above average mileage, as it should, but it probably wasn’t a great enough deal to be really temping since it still was almost $33,000. Today, I have another S-Class with a bunch of miles and a really attractive price that will probably make anyone consider it just to see what happens. This 1996 S600 with the M120 V12, checks in with a little over 243,000 miles and honestly doesn’t look all that bad considering its age and use. Again, it is all about price when it comes to rolling the dice on this car, but honestly, how can you go wrong?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Mercedes-Benz S600 on Hemmings

Year: 1996
Model: S600
VIN: WDBGA57E2TA314403
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 243,059 mi
Price: $4,295

Location: Brookfield, Wisconsin, 53005
Stock #: 9610
VIN #: WDBGA57E2TA314403
Mileage: 243,030
Transmission: Auto
Exterior: Blue
Interior: Beige/Tan

Seller’s Description: Call or visit our website for more information!
Price: $4,295

If you are eyeing this car and it looks a little different to you, then you aren’t crazy. This car looks to have a Lorinser body kit, door sill kit and if I had to a guess, an exhaust judging how that doesn’t look like the original muffler tip poking out of the rear bumper. The rest of the car looks how you’d expect a 22 year-old Mercedes with 234,000 miles to look. The paint is a little tired, the wheels are faded and needs repainted, the interior has a bunch of wear spots and goodness knows what is hiding under that hood. The fact that this car made it to this mileage tells me that someone probably took care of it, but you just don’t know with these M120s. It just isn’t as simple as driving it around the block and taking a peek under the hood when considering this W140. Do I think you need to go crazy and have a compression test and spend hours inspecting this car? Probably not. Is it worth throwing up on a lift and scanning the car with the STAR software to see all the values? I think so. I know this car is cheap, but money is money.

For $4,300, there isn’t a ton to complain about. Even if you just did the bare minimum to keep this thing running, I’d think you would be happy with it. Of course, this car should be a 3rd, 4th or 10th car in your stable as there is absolutely no way I’d trust this S600 to be my only form for transportation at all. This is a great way to dip your toe into V12 ownership to get a feel for it without going bankrupt in an afternoon on your first service. I personally don’t love the color combination on this one and I am pretty cold on the looks of the Lorinser kit, so I would probably pass if this one was presented to me even with the super low price tag. If none of this bothers you and you feel like gambling a little, go for it, you won’t can’t do too much damage.

– Andrew

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  1. The S600, especially the W140 chassis, is the epitome of the adage, “There is no such thing as a cheap Mercedes.”

    While this looks like a bargain, I can’t begin to imagine how much deferred maintenance there could be piled up on this car with the miles it has on it. That being said, it’s always possible that it was well maintained and that’s how it got this far. I wonder if the seller has any history on it? A VMI might be helpful, or even a CarFax.

    Without it, I would run from this as if my hair was on fire. Knock another thousand off the ask and it could be a good “drive it until it dies” car, and then part out the desirable stuff.

    However, be prepared to pass everything but a gas station. Premium is a must, and on a really good tank with a light foot you’ll be lucky to inch into the upper teens for MPG…

  2. I saw this car in person 3 weeks ago. Apparently traded in by a priest with a claim that it was owned by Mike Tyson by Joe Reina. It was a nice dealership that had some interesting cars for sale.

    This car was repainted in a black opal shade. It was a bit rough, but the leather, dash and many other interior bits were in good shape relative to milage. I did not drive it or start it, but was impressed by the rareity of a w140 V12.

  3. Why so afraid of W140? I’d say a used 220 or 221 or even 222 which are much more complicated and has more sensors and electronics per square inch may be more risky to purchase. I watched few reviews of 222 where they mentioned tons of sensors, electronics, etc etc. Even brand new headlights for 222 cost a lot. You may only guess how much headache you may have when you buy a used 222 10-15 years from now. I.e. S65 or S560. And future Benzes will have even more complicated tech. Of course W124 or W126 are less complicated than W140 but at least I like how W140 looks. Though I agree that V12 is always hungry especially when you floor it but it’s a fun car to drive.

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