1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16v

There isn’t a whole lot more to be said about the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16v. We’ve featured them here from time to time and the general consensus is that is a real winner in terms of actual driving experience vs. the price you pay. The prices have sure shot up over the past decade on them, but there aren’t a lot of cars from this era that are worth a damn that didn’t. I think every one realized that the these cars are from an era that is never coming back and thus, making them collectible. I’m sure everyone regrets not buying one of these went they were $7,500 thinking they’d stay around this price for a while and they’d get one when they made a little more money or when the kids were grown, but at least it isn’t like the Porsche 964 where an average car with over 100,000 miles is now $50,000.

Today’s car, a 1986 up for sale in California, is an interesting example. Is isn’t a garage queen, having just over 100,000 miles, but looking at the condition, you’d swear it had around half that. Naturally, you’d expect a giant price tag trying to catch lightning in a bottle from someone who falls in love with it on a whim, but believe it or not, it really isn’t all that bad compared to the current market for them.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16v on eBay

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2000 Mercedes-Benz SL320 Mille Miglia

Back in the 1990s, Mercedes-Benz really started hitting their stride with producing a bunch of special editions that were all made up whenever they felt they need. Most of the time they just threw whatever they had in the parts bin on the cars when it came to paint colors, wheels, interior trim and then would finish it off by calling up their graphic designers to whip up a unique logo to stick around the car. Today’s car, a 2000 SL320 Mille Miglia, is exactly that.

Back in 1995, Mercedes actually launched a Millie Miglia edition to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Stirling Moss’s and Dennis Jenkinson’s win of the 1955 Mille Miglia road race. A nice gesture for sure, but I’m sure this decision was highly influenced, if not totally, by getting ready to launch a major facelift in 1996 for the R129 and they wanted to move all the old stock out. Offered on the SL280, SL320, and SL500, it was nothing more than some red inserts on the leather seats, carbon fiber trim with some red weave in it and some leftover EVO 2 wheels from, you guessed it, the parts bin. Then in 2000, Mercedes made another Mille Miglia edition, but just made 12 cars. Why 12 cars? Well, that is how many they needed to usher around VIPs at the Rally 1000 Miglia in Italy. In 2001, the final year of the R129, they again made 13 cars all based off the SL600. So what is unique about these cars? Well, it is basically a Silver Arrow with some badges on the outside and a little sticker on the ashtray door. That’s it. Lean manufacturing must be big at Mercedes.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz SL320 Mille Miglia at Mercedes-Benz Classic

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1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline

Following up on the 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Sportline from a few weeks ago, I thought I might look at another chassis that the Sportline option was available on, the W201 190E. For the model years 1992 and 1993, the 190E Sportline featured the M103 2.6 liter, suspension lowered by 21 mm, stiffer springs and shocks, 7 x 15-inch alloy wheels with wider tires (205/55 R15) and the seats from the much more expensive 2.3 16-valve model. Like the W124 Sportlines, a nice little package if you didn’t want to commit to the top of the line models. Even better, the 190E Sportline was offered in a 5-speed manual if you didn’t want the 4-speed automatic. This 1993 up for sale in Texas unfortunately isn’t the manual, but is one of the nicer examples I’ve seen in a while. Problem is, it is mighty expensive.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.6 Sportline on Hemmings

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2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63

I have to give Mercedes-Benz credit, they sure how figured out how to milk a chassis. In 2015, they released the AMG GT Coupe, which was soon followed by the GT S, GT C, GT R and now this, the GT 4-Door Coupe. Unlike all those other models, the GT 4-Door Coupe really isn’t a AMG GT despite Mercedes touting that it is. This car rides on its own chassis, called the X290, and is a mash-up of the GT, E-Class, CLS-Class, S-Class and the S-Class Coupe. Seriously, the parts sharing is crazy on this thing. I can’t even keep track of what is borrowed from other cars and what is new for this model. To go even further, there will be five different models of the GT 4-Door with the GT43, GT53, GT63, GT63S, and upcoming GT73. Are we lost yet?

The first model, the GT63, hit dealer lots last week and the YouTubers are already cooking up their click-bait video titles getting people to think they bought one of these beasts. When I say ”beast”, I actually mean it. Despite it looking like a slightly smaller CLS, the 4-door does 0-60 in 3.3 seconds and has a top speed of 193 mph. The GT63S? 0-60 in 3.1 seconds. That’s as fast as a new Porsche 911 GT3. Goodness knows what kind of the numbers the GT73 will put down. The thing is, all this speed and technology is pricey. Very, very pricey.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2019 Mercedes-AMG GT63 on eBay

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2004 Mercedes-Benz G500 with 298,000 miles

My never-ending quest to replace my aging Land Rover Discovery has yet to reach a conclusion because of a few reasons. First, I haven’t really needed to utilize my Land Rover all that much because it is strictly used for severe snow travel or when I need to haul something that won’t fit inside a Mercedes-Benz W123 or W116. The winter hasn’t been that bad at all and outside of hauling some leaves away in the fall, I haven’t needed to transport anything large. Second, I haven’t found something I’ve fallen in love with yet. Buying a vehicle for tens of thousands of dollars is a big deal for me because when I buy a car, I don’t mosey on down the local dealership and sign on the dotted line for 78 months at 11% interest then act like I just didn’t commit financial suicide. I’m surely not getting a 0% loan on a 10 year-old used SUV, so paying in full at the time of purchase soothes my soul.

Unfortunately, this past week when I went to replace the dead battery (imagine that) in the Land Rover, I noticed something odd dripping from the rear. I held my hand under the dripping fluid hoping it was water leaking from the rusty exhaust, but no, it was gasoline. As I crawled down on the cold ground to get a better look, I see that the leak was spewing from something on the top of the tank, probably from the return line. Thinking I could get a view of this leak from above where you can access the fuel pump, I peeled back the carpet and sound deadening to find that all six screws that hold the access door are rusted into something that once resembled a phillips head. Next course of action is trying to bust the heads off the screws with some force or cut them off with a wheel a few inches away from a pool of gasoline. This has been another episode of This American Land Rover Ownership Life.

Naturally, this has led me back on the hunt for a replacement and over to choice number 1, the G-Wagen. I’m pretty set on a W463, but unless you live in Los Angeles where the person who walks your dog drives one, finding one locally isn’t exactly an easy task. During my nationwide search, I came across this 2004 up for sale in Indianapolis with a monstrous 298,000 miles. I’ve looked at Gs before with a ton of miles on them before, in Los Angeles no less, so seeing one near 300,000 isn’t a total shock to me. The M113 V8 with the 722.6 transmission are tough as nails, so hitting 300,000 isn’t a sweat. What is a shock to me is the condition of this G and of course, the price that is being asked for it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2004 Mercedes-Benz G500 on eBay

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1999 Mercedes-Benz A160

The 2019 model year marks the first year that the United States market will receive the new entry-level Mercedes-Benz W177 A-Class. It was a long time coming because there is nothing more American consumers want than luxury products on a low monthly payment. I checked out a new A220 last week at the auto show and I have to admit it was better than the C117 CLA-Class that was introduced to the American market in 2014. That CLA is a sad exercise of how cheap you can make a car and holds the record for the largest ratio of bezel to screen on a dash screen. Thankfully, a new CLA is in the works and should be miles better than the original. Nevertheless, those old cars will hang around on the buy-here, pay-lots until the end of time much like the original cheap Mercedes that started it all, the W168 A-Class.

Launched in 1997, it was Mercedes first dive into the subcompact market that was most infamously noted for failing the Swedish traditional “elk test” and looking like a giant wedge of cheese. The design wasn’t by random chance, Mercedes engineers designed the car this way so encase of a crash, the engine and transmission would slide underneath the floor below the pedals rather straight into the occupants in the front seats. The front wheel drive layout allowed this as well as there was no need to deal with a driveshaft preventing anything from sliding. Still, this car needed to compete in the subcompact market so it couldn’t be twice the price of competitors. That meant making the interior resemble a children’s play-place and passing it off as funky and modern. Those late ’90s were a crazy time after all. These sold reasonably well with 1.1 million units leaving dealer lots between 1997 and 2004 thanks to their small stature ideal for the city streets and tight parking of traditional European cities. Now, over 20 years later, a well-used A-Class can be had for the price of a modest vacation to Ocean City, Maryland and even the nicest examples, like this example for sale up for sale outside of London, don’t command a high asking price. Thing is, are they even worth it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz A160 on eBay

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Austrian Special Forces 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280GE

Just when I thought I’ve seen everything. Mercedes-Benz G-Wagens have had a long history of use by police and military units, but this one might take the cake as one of the most unusual special builds I’ve seen on one of these. This is a 1984 280GE that was outfitted for the police tactical unit EKO Cobra of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior. Built by the Austrian company Achleitner, this G is not only fully armored and bulletproof, it also has a full 360-degree gunner seat, a roof turret and port holes out of all the pieces of two-inch thick glass. All of this while looking like a somewhat civilian G-Wagen. Whatever EKO Cobra did or planned to do with this thing, they weren’t playing around. Now somehow and someway, this literal tank of a W460 made its way to Massachusetts and is up for sale to the general public. The thing is, this 280GE has to be close useless in most situations and at this asking price, will have even the biggest G fans scratching their heads.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 280GE on Craigslist

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2010 Mercedes-Benz S550

As fun and quirky as my two daily drivers, a 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD and 1983 Mercedes-Benz 240D, are to have, they are borderline miserable to drive in the northeast during the winter months. Since I don’t own a four car garage, they sit in the driveway 99% of the time while my W210 E55 AMG sits under a cover in my garage with empty boxes piled on top of it. As a result, it is always a surprise to see if the locks or door handles are frozen when I walk outside in the morning. From there, the 240D is pretty good about starting in any temperature but the 300SD isn’t having it unless the coolant heater has been plugged in for a while despite me just replacing the glow plugs a few months ago. Once I do get one of them fired up, really hot heat is a pipe dream in the 240D while it’s a crap shoot in the W116 because of the god forsaken Chrysler servo system. Compare all this to a normal car that you simply press a button on a key fob, put it in gear and drive away in total comfort. This all has me dreaming about a more modern daily driver and when you comes to dreams, you know what they say, dream big.

This 2010 S550 4Matic up for sale in Brooklyn might be one of the nicest W221s outside of any S600 or AMG variety. Painted in Designo Magno Platinum Matte Finish on the outside, the inside is even better with Designo Sand Leather seats with Oak Grain Designo Natural Matte wood sprinkled about. Add in some other neat options like the rear seat entertainment package and you have a really loaded up S-Class. But even with the depreciation at around 25% of its original cost, is it worth it?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2010 Mercedes-Benz S550 on eBay

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2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Jurassic Park Replica

Update 3/3/19: Sold for an impressive $20,300!

Last month I did a quick history lesson on the W163 Mercedes-Benz ML-Class and how it came to be made in America. One of the most interesting pieces of the ML story also involved another aspect Americans love: wildly fictional movies. If you are looking at this car, you probably know what I’m talking about. Somehow, Mercedes got in contact with Universal Pictures during the filming of The Lost World: Jurassic Park about using the then pre-production ML in the film. Somewhat ironically, while Ford Explorers had replaced Toyota Land Cruisers used in the Jurassic Park novel, in Lost World it would be the Explorer now being replaced. Somehow, a deal came together and suddenly you were watching a couple of ML320s with a bunch of added on armor roam around a fictional world full of dinosaurs. One of the stars of the film, Jeff Goldblum, was given a free ML320 as part of the deal and the craziest part is that he actually used the ML as his daily driver for over 15 years. He must not be into cars that much.

Unlike other vehicles from the Jurassic Park franchise, the Jeep Wrangler and Ford Explorer, you would never see someone hack up a ML320 to replicate the version from the movie. Probably that’s because it wasn’t very smart to totally destroy a luxury SUV just to pay tribute to a film that was considered a letdown compared to the original. Fortunately, prices of first-generation MLs have hit play money type levels and someone in California took the plunge into full movie mode. Now it is up for sale and ready to be passed on to the next person who constantly wants to be stopped to answer questions about it in the grocery store parking lot.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Mercedes-Benz ML320 Jurassic Park Replica on eBay

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1997 Porsche Boxster with 8,900 miles

A few weeks I took a look at one of the most jarring Porsche interiors I have run across with a 1999 911 up for sale in San Diego. It wasn’t so much that the Jade Green was all that ugly, but rather the Burl Wood that was plastered everywhere clashed so much with the Jade and the rest of the interior. Add in the fact that the car is automatic, has 166,000 miles and isn’t priced all that well, you can probably guess what it is still for sale. Most of you in the comments seemed to agree with my thoughts on that 996 as well judging by the reaction that it got. Although one commenter (Thanks JonnyA) passed along another late ’90s Porsche with a green interior that still has loads of green leather, but isn’t nearly as gaudy or off-putting. This 1997 Boxster up for sale outside of Dallas features Nephrite Green leather and even better, has just 8,900 miles. Is this a better option if you still want an inexpensive Porsche with a wild interior?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Porsche Boxster at True Car

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