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Author: Andrew

1992 Mercedes Benz 500E

 

Every time I come across a clean 500E it gets the wheels turning in the ‘ol noggin. I find myself wondering if this early 90s tribute to the automotive gods would work as a daily driver. As much as I tell myself I could get by with a sporty coupe, in the end I know my active lifestyle and willingness to shuttle friends around would have me yearning for an extra set of doors. Once I start that internal dialogue I quickly get on the line of thinking that if I’m going to have four doors then I might as well have hatch to access the cargo area. On top of the practical angle there’s the cosmetic angle. Most of the cars I’m a fan of look better as a wagon, rarely does a sedan hold my gaze the way a slick long roof does and it is for that reason that I will always write up a crisp 500E when I come across one.

I have a special place in my heart reserved for these cars, they’re really unlike anything else that I have on my bucket list of cars. The E34 M5 is about as close as it comes for the era but it’s a BMW and BMWs are were focused on the driver’s experience above all. The 500E isn’t short on driver engagement but one only need look at the heavily bolstered rear bucket seats to see this car was designed to keep everyone comfortable during a proper Bahnstorming. I love a good solo mission up to the canyons where it’s just the car and myself but I also enjoy being the wheelman on a night out with some friends. It’s a different kind of energy in the car for sure but I think it can be equally as enjoyable, provided your friends don’t suck, If they do then riding around in a modern classic like the 500E will surely be lost on them but I know mine would appreciate it, especially when the 5.0L V8 is doing its best Wilhelm Scream impersonation.These days 322hp can be found in many a four door but I think you’d be hard pressed to find one that utilizes it with such emotion and grace. Talk to anyone who has owned a 500E and I’m sure they’ll tell you that the car begs for frequent visits to triple digit speeds and will get there without little effort. The question is, would you drop $13,944 for that experience?

A Brief History of Cars
A Brief History of Cars

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes Benz 500E on AutoTrader

4 Comments

2004 BMW 330i ZHP

It’s always a happy occasion when I come across a ZHP that has been well loved and remains unmolested. In fact I think these cars are more likely to have been left in their original state than an M3 simply because the folks that tended to opt for the ZHP were more “grown up”. All I mean by that is while the E36 3 series was in production there was no four door M3 option so if you were a family man who wanted a go fast BMW, this was your car.

The ZHP only got a 10hp increase over the regular 330i but reprogrammed engine management and a close ratio six speed manual made it feel quite zippy. It’s stiffer and slightly lower too but from what I’ve read the ride quality didn’t suffer and that’s a big plus. I’ve driven a couple of E46 M3s and while they’re fantastic for spirited driving, I don’t cruising around in them on city streets. In this era before adaptive suspension setups you had to decide whether you wanted a performance car that was tolerable in day to day life or a sporty car that was OK when you wanted to get after it a bit. The older I get the more I find myself thinking the latter is the right way to go and I think the 330i ZHP is a near perfect choice for the driver who might go to the track a few times a year but mostly enjoys a spirited canyon run.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP on Pelican Parts

11 Comments