Generally I’m not a big fan of replica cars. I think there is no biggest waste of money than the Mercedes-Benz SSK Gazelle replicas that you have to spend $13,000 on to get a Ford Pinto engine and a sheet of plywood screwed to the dash. It looks terrible, it drives even worse, and you surely aren’t fooling anyone given a real SSK is well into the eight-figure range. However, there are exceptions to everything and today’s car, a 1991 190E up for sale in England, might be one of them. Just by looking at it, you can probably tell what it is all about.
Don’t look now, but the Mercedes-Benz W126 coupe is surging fast in terms of value. A very nice 1991 560SEC painted in Bornite with less than 8,000 miles just sold at Amelia Island for $78,400. Yes, that car is an outlier because of its outstanding condition and rare color (plus some competitive bidders), but it sets an interesting example. For the past decade or so, $10,000 could buy you an average SEC. Not cheap in terms of old German luxury cars, but still reasonable for what it is. Now the big auction houses are touting the ”Youngtimers” from the 80s and 90s, and suddenly everyone is running to Craiglist to see what is out there. Are they suddenly going to be doubling or tripling in price like a 190E 2.3-16v? Probably not. However, find a worthwhile example and you can enjoy it maintaining its value for years to come. Today’s car, a 1990 560SEC painted in the rare Signal Red, seems to still priced competitively but I’m willing to bet that this one won’t last long at all.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay
One of my favorite colors from Mercedes-Benz in the 1980s and early 1990s is Bornite Metallic. It is a wonderful shade of light purple that could maybe pass for grey in the right lighting, but purple is a good general name for it. I don’t think I’m the only person who feels this way, as a 1991 560SEC with 8,000 miles painted in this color sold for a $78,400 at auction recently. Yes, I realize that a lot of that price is due to the fact that is a final year 560SEC with 8,000 miles on it, but compare that to a ’86 560SEC with 10,000 miles and you can see that the paint color surely played a factor in the price. Today, I came across a 1991 300SE painted in Bornite up for sale in North Carolina with just 84,000 km on it. Yes, I said kilometers. Let me explain.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay
There are luxury cars, then there are luxury cars that are literally a luxury. The Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer is exactly that. It isn’t a car you are driving to work every once in a while because the weather is nice that day. This car is an event. You make plans to drive this car. While this presents itself as a big, stately car, it isn’t as long as you think. It measures 195 inches, which is almost two feet shorter than a standard Mercedes W100 600. Still, driving one of these anywhere makes you stick out from the masses. The best part about these cars is that the buy-in isn’t as costly as you might have guessed by looking at one of them. Compared to its only rival, the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, it is almost half the price. This 1960 Adenauer up for sale in California is exactly that. Best part about it, it sure looks like a turn-key example.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1960 Mercedes-Benz 300d Adenauer on eBay
For all the Mercedes-Benz Pagodas I’ve ever taken a look at, for some reason I’ve never come across the California Coupe. What is the California Coupe? It is a 250SL or 280SL with a folding rear seat in the place of where the soft top would normally be with the hardtop or a tonneau cover as your option to cover the cabin. Comfortable? No. Safe? Even less so. Still, a relatively rare configuration as only around 10% of Pagodas were sold as California Coupes. You can probably guess where the majority of these cars were allocated when new and where you still find them for sale. However, just because these are relatively rare, doesn’t make them all that desirable even with the Pagoda market still being relatively strong. This example up for sale in, you guessed it, California, needs some help.