Perusing the classifieds for interesting wagons this week, I came across quite a few and thought it would be a good chance to look at some sporty 5-doors. To level the playing field slightly, all are automatics. While that may cause some of you to groan, they make up for a lack of manual with distinctive styling, plenty of power and rarity that will set you apart from the crowd. Which is the one you’d choose?
Category: Mercedes Benz
Some cars come and go, but the Mercedes-Benz SL has had staying power. Ever since the mid 1950s, this name has been going strong in the lineup, transforming from the original Gullwing coupe to a smaller hardtop two-seater, to the boulevard cruiser of the 1970s and 1980s and into the present day as a refined but capable luxury roadster. One of my favorite SLs was the R129 from the 1990s. It was no easy task taking over from the iconic R107 SL which had an impressive 18 year production run. This car was literally the face of Mercedes throughout the oil crises, recessions and the boom times of the 1980s, yet stayed fashionable all along. However, the new for 1990 300SL brought back an option to US buyers, albeit for a short time, that was lacking throughout the R107 production run: the manual gearbox.
Yes, you could order your 300SL from a US showroom with a 5-speed manual, making the most of a 3.0 liter inline-6 engine that was tasked with moving around 4,000 lbs. of car around. If you’re used to a V8 in your SL, performance is a bit underwhelming in this model, but given that only a few hundred R129s were sold in the US with a manual gearbox, the novelty factor is certainly there. This 300SL-24 for sale in Arizona is one of the nicest 5-speed manual R129s I’ve come across in my time at GCFSB, tempting for someone who absolutely must row their own.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL-24 on Craigslist Phoenix
The “Hammer” was a legend born in top-speed shootouts in magazines. It was the stuff of dreams; a sedate sedan running toe-to-toe with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. At the heart of the this performance was not a high-revving V12 or turbocharged flat-6 with ridiculous boost, but an enlarged version of the M119 motor sporting twin cams and 32 valves. The result? 376 horsepower and 428 ft. lbs of torque, or at least that’s what they reported – the motor ultimately may have exceeded 400 horsepower. In 1990, that was about as close to F40 performance as you could get – and they came with supercar pricetags, sometimes exceeding $200,000 and making them very rare. It was available in many different forms, from the E-Class Coupe to the S-Class in either sedan or coupe, as well as a smattering of early 500SLs. While today’s examples of the AMG 6.0s are both cars we’ve previously written up, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. There’s been a lot of attention focused on not only 1980s tuner cars but in particular limited production AMG models recently, so what has that done to the market?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody on eBay
If the regular CLK63 AMG just wasn’t bonkers enough for you, then AMG offered the “Black Series” – the entire car turned up another notch. But for some, the Black just isn’t bad enough, and this one particular CLK63 AMG Black Series was taken to DTM-race ready levels. Tired of hearing about your neighbor’s M3 or Cayman R lap times? The solution is here. We saw this car in September 2014 with an astounding asking price of $160,000. It’s back at a much more budget-friendly $75,000 today. The best part? This car has a switch labeled “violence”. It’s totally unnecessary, and totally awesome…
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2008 Mercedes-Benz CLK63 AMG Black Series on eBay
The below post originally appeared on our site September 9, 2014:
Starting with the 2015 model year, Mercedes-Benz started producing the Sprinter van with four-wheel drive for the US market. While the Sprinter has been one of the ideal, cost-is-no-object adventure vans for a while, the relative lack of 4WD left Ford Sportsvans and Syncro Westies as the true kings of the go-anywhere home on wheels class. Well, that’s all fixed now, and you can spend scores of thousands of dollars on a Mercedes-built, diesel-powered, all-wheels-driving box. This particular 2015 model is the specification I’d want – the 144-inch wheelbase is more manageable in the real world compared to the 170, while the High Roof makes standing up a reality and storage options plentiful. This couple bought it to install a wheelchair lift (available for extra money if you want it) for their son and drive to the mountains, but the high-top wasn’t the right fit for them so they’re selling it with just 2k miles on it.