1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

When looking at last week’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, the claim of it being the best sedan in the world (at the time) came up. Those were someone else’s words, not mine, but I am certainly not going to argue against it because I actually own a 1980 300SD and it is one of my daily drivers. 1980 was also the last year of the W116 and the W126 was already on the roads late in that year in Europe with 1981 being the first model year for the new S-Class in North America. The W126 had to continue on the legacy of being the best luxury sedan in the world and again, at the time, it would tough to say it wasn’t. You could have the efficient OM617 diesel or two V8 options in the Gen 1 W126 with the 380SE/L or the 500SEL. Today’s car I wanted to check out is a 1983 500SEL but it isn’t the standard North American spec cars you are used to seeing. This W126 is a Euro-spec car with some neat options, both inside and out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

During my daydreams I always try to run through my head what relatively modern Mercedes-Benz is going to desirable and collectible in the near future or beyond. I’ve racked my brain plenty of times and the list I always come up with usually isn’t very long. It is not like there are not a bunch of good cars out there, but almost every one of them is a mass-produced vehicle that was made to be the best for the first few years then discarded quickly for whatever is new. That is how the entire car business is now and I don’t think it is going to change any time soon. It is even more true with newer AMG cars because their astronomical running costs just don’t make it feasible to keep long-term. Of course, there are exceptions to everything and one of those exceptions is the W211 E55 AMG Estate. The combination of the M113K in an estate body, which everyone seems to love, has proven to be one of the most desirable Mercedes of the past dozen years or so. It isn’t just because it is a wagon, because AMG keeps blessing the US market with these super wagons, but rather it is reasonable enough to live with when it comes to repairing and maintaining this estate. Thus, demand stays high, prices stay high and you have a vehicle that will go down as a young classic. This 2006 up for sale in New York is just one of these examples and given its price and mileage, is probably a pretty good deal.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on MB World

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Feature Listing: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500

You’ll be hard pressed to find a more perfect representation of late-1980s and early-1990s Mercedes-Benz than the W124 500E/E500. Mercedes did everything in their power to make the best sports sedan possible and then simply said ”Here you go” to the keen Mercedes buyers who yearned for something as special as the W124.036. No crazy marketing, no limited edition plaque in the center console, no neon colors, just an understated brute of a machine the .036 was and still is. In 1994, the United States market saw the ”E” jump to the front of the line to become the E500 and the front fascia become refreshed with new headlights and a new grille. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think any less of the pre-facelift 500Es, but the 1994 (and handful of 1995s not in North America) looks nearly perfect in my eyes. Not too small, not too large, just the right size. The interior was much of the same story with an array of buttons and switches laid out in just a way that isn’t overwhelming or cluttered. Under the hood was the mighty M119 that made just the right amount of power for this car for its everyday uses. Add all this up and you have classic the day the rolled out of Sindelfingen. (Side note, I love this photo with them in Zuffenhausen next to 964s.)

When you sit down and do the car math on the E500, it adds up to something that no other Mercedes can boast with its low production, Porsche DNA, hand-built status and more than respectable performance numbers. Naturally, this has kept these cars cared for and now as we are into the 25th birthday for some .036s, their prices remain very healthy. This 1994 E500 comes to us from Denver, Colorado with just over 60,000 on the odometer and my favorite wheels of all time, AMG Monoblocks. Yes, I’m biased because I have a set of these wheels, but you aren’t going to find many people that disagree with me when I say that Monoblocks look right at home on E500s. The extra chunky spokes compliment the entire body of the E500 that not many wheels can pulled off.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 on Denver Craigslist

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2002 Mercedes-Benz ML500 with 325,000 miles

Last week I looked at the cleanest 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG that I’ve seen and the comments on it were a mixed bag. We actually had a few owners of ML55s chime in and report their experiences with them. There were no ”Alabama trashcan” comments, but we were awfully close. I thought that would be the end of me looking at the W163s for a while outside of something really crazy and it turns out something crazy did pop up. This 2002 ML500 in California comes with an impressive 325,000 miles and looks like it has about a third of that. Chalk it up to some loving owners and the California climate for keeping this thing looking as nice as it does but maybe it is time to give the W163 some credit. Just a little?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML500 on AutoTrader

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 300TD

 

It has been some time since I’ve looked at the world’s most favorite wagon, the W123 Mercedes-Benz 300TD. We’ve been at the point with them for a while where unless it is an absolute heap, they are all worth saving or at least maintaining to the point of usable service. Sadly, some of the S123s ended up being used as work horses or straight up beater cars that took them to the point of no return. Today’s car, a 1983 in New Jersey, is one of those cars. Cosmetically, this one is pretty far gone and thanks to an odometer that stopped working who knows how many moons ago, mechanically it is a bit of a question mark as well. Question is, if it is cheap enough, is it worth it?

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

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1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD with 8,200 miles

Last week I took a skeptical look at a 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D with a claimed 24,000 miles. I say claimed because either that mileage is incorrect or someone had lots of hard love with it. Somehow I ended up on a tangent on the W123 vs W116, cars I both currently own, and how I much prefer the W116 chassis. I showed this in the 300D listing, but one of the coolest things that was included when I bought my 1980 300SD was a little snippet from a car magazine from sometime when these cars were new in 1978-1980. It reads, ”In the final analysis, that’s what makes the 300SD such a special car. It is prestigious as anything but a Rolls, but also frugal as an economy car and faster over the road than almost anything. It also feels so secure. All things considering, including the fuel economy, the 300SD is the best sedan in the world. Period.” High praise for sure, but you’d expect that level of car from something that cost over $30,000 (roughly $100,000 now) when new. It’s tough to say the W116 300SD didn’t stand the test of time either as nearly 39 years later, I’m still driving mine every day. Not a single thing rattles or shakes in the interior and I get a consistent 27 miles per gallon. Now if I could just find some nice Euro bumpers I’d be all set.

All that brings me to today’s car, a 1980 with just 8,197 miles on it. The story with this car is that the Mercedes-Benz Classic Center in California got it’s hands on it after first servicing with 1,300 miles and then giving it a full reconditioning in 2009. I believe the Classic Center actually bought this car a few years and put it up for sale with 7,900 miles for a tidy sum of $50,000. Now, this car has the nearly 8,200 and the price has gone up even more. How much?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD on eBay

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2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG with B6 Armoring

A number of weeks ago I looked at a heavily armored 1995 Mercedes-Benz S600 that was built for none other than the Sultan of Brunei. It was an 8,700 pound tank of a car that probably is on par with some tanks as to how much combat fire it can withstand. Today, I came across another literally bulletproof Mercedes that can handle everything just short of armor piecing rounds. This 2011 G55 AMG that is built to a B6 level of armoring is originally a vehicle from the Middle East and somehow is now in California. Just like the S600 you would think that this is just another standard G55 that is hopping around Los Angeles. Then you open the doors to see that clearly isn’t the case.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2011 Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D

Update 11/20/18: This 300D sold for $13,700.

On Saturday, I will say goodbye to my 1983 240D that I’ve rehabbed and cared for the past two years. It was a classic Craigslist love story of everything looking great in the photos, but after traveling a long distance to go buy it, the car wasn’t nearly as cherry as the photos showed or the seller described. Funny how that happens. Still, I reluctantly took it home after negotiating a whopping $100 off the asking price. The past two years have been fun as it seems like everyone loves the thing, except my passengers who had to be on time somewhere as 67 horsepower is no match for moms in their 300 horsepower minivans and the concept of time in general. I wouldn’t have bought the car if it wasn’t for the Labrador Blue paint and matching hubcaps, and that is probably why it sold to its new owner. I think the W123 chassis is still brilliant and feels so damn good even after 35 years, but it just can’t keep up with the war that is daily traffic. My W116 300SD is a far better car for that, hence why I chose to keep that one even though it isn’t nearly as handsome. Not a knock of the W123, but the W116 S-Class was made to be the best sedan in the world and at the time it was pretty damn close to being that, even compared to the much more expensive cars from Bentley and Rolls-Royce. I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Today’s car, as you might have noticed, also has a pretty great color. This European-spec Pea Green 1979 300D shows just a hair under 25,000 miles on the odometer and should be a pretty mint example. I was super excited to dig into it to see a time-capsule car, but unfortunately, this falls just a little bit short. Let me explain why.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300D on eBay

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1994 Mercedes-Benz E420

I’ve said numerous times that the W124 Mercedes-Benz 400E/E420 is one of the forgotten gems from Mercedes in the past 35 years or so that won’t cost you a ton of money to buy or live with. It still is modern enough to be a daily driver if you wish and since it is a W124, you won’t hate your life driving it. The .034 E420 offers the punch of the torquey M119 V8 without having to spend $25,000 on a .036 500E. The facelift version, like this 1994 we have today up for bid in New York, is especially attractive with its two-tone paint and really clean appearance for having almost 176,000 miles. This example has some heavy maintenance items already completed and is actually a one-owner car. Question is, are you willing to pay the slightly higher asking price for this example?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E420 on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG

A few weeks ago I checked out a hilariously ostentatious 2014 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG that literally could do almost everything. As head-shaking as the GL63 is, that thing just gets lost in the sea of all the super SUVs out there with 500 horsepower and 325 wide tires that get used, abused and discarded to the Buy-Here, Pay-Here lots of the world right as the warranty runs out. We can say that about a lot of these SUVs all the way back to one of the first super-SUVs to start this power war: the ML55 AMG. It has been a few years since I’ve taken a look at one, but the short of it is AMG borrowed the M113 5.4 V8 from the W210 E55 and somehow squeezed it into the short snout of the W163. They added some different bumpers and them some 285 wide tires to keep this thing from flipping over. It did 60 mph in under 6 seconds and was generally pretty stout outside of the common issues that plagued all W163s. Over 15 years later, these are becoming relatively rare thanks to just a few thousand ever made and well, the W163 not exactly being the most well-built machine ever. This 2002 up for sale in Florida seemed to dodge a life of abuse thanks to the just 16,300 miles on the odometer. Is it time to maybe think about snagging one of these?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML55 AMG on eBay

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