The Mercedes-Benz 400E/E420 is lost in the world of W124s where 500Es and Cabriolets get all the attention with their astronomical asking prices and the lowly 300E/E320 limp along on their 8th owners begging to be put out of their misery. These cars were no slouch and still can hold their own 275 horsepower and 300 ft·lb of torque. They aren’t super sedans by any means, but feel significantly faster than their numbers on paper. Now, the 400E/E420 flys under the radar and is often unloved because if you are going to buy a M119-powered car, the W140 and R129 or maybe even W210 might be better choices in the long run if you are going to put some money into it. Today, we have a 1993 400E up for sale in Tampa, Florida that looks to be one of the best examples I’ve seen come up for sale in a long time. Even better, this one comes in with a price to match it.
This 911 might make for an interesting test case. We’ve featured the 911 RS America a number of times throughout the years. It’s a car I like quite a bit. However, the consistent issue with almost any RS America is pricing relative to a standard 964 Carrera 2. While the RS America is indeed a lightened, more performance-oriented, version of the Carrera 2 the general sentiment has long been that the additional performance has not been worth the premium these cars have commanded in recent years. Like many of the rarer air-cooled 911 models, RS America prices elevated quite a bit and even if they aren’t as high as they once were they remain significant.
These days the actual full-blooded Carrera RS is available to import. On the one hand, given that the car the RS America aspires to be now is available we might see RS America prices take a turn downward. Why pay six figures for the pretender when you can get the real thing? On the other hand, prices for a Carrera RS are still significantly higher than for a RS America. Might this then keep RS America prices fairly strong? While not a true RS, they’re still marginally better than a Carrera 2 and you save quite a bit of money. I don’t know, but I’m interested to see how things play out.
But what about a RS America that tries to exist in a middle ground? That brings us to the example here. Being made available by Don Ahearn at Porsport, this RS America has been upgraded with factory RS parts to help align it more closely with the Carrera RS. It still isn’t to full RS specifications, but it’s closer. Might it have enough additional allure to support its higher price?
During my time writing about 911s I’m sure I’ve stated that quite a few different models might be my favorite. At one time or another certain cars always strike me and remind me of what it is that I love so much about them. Each model has its strengths and pulls at my imagination in varying ways.
Let it be known that this is my actual favorite model: the 1993 Porsche 911 Turbo S Leichtbau (lightweight). It’s the GT2 before the GT2 existed: a stripped out, higher horsepower, version of the standard 911 Turbo produced in limited numbers. Unlike the later ’94 Turbo S this one is based off of the 964’s original 3.3 liter turbocharged flat-6 and produces 381 hp, an increase of 61 hp over the standard Turbo. Weight savings stripped out nearly 430 pounds.
Visually the Turbo S is distinguished by its unique rear spoiler, Speedline wheels, and rear air inlets. There were 86 in total produced, with 67 of those coming in left-hand drive. The one we see here is even further distinguished by utilizing custom coloring throughout and it sits with a scant 95 km on the clock. Needless to say, this is a very rare opportunity to purchase one of the very rarest high-performance Porsches. It will be up for auction March 9 at the Gooding & Company Amelia Island auctions.
The last time I checked out a Mercedes-Benz W124 500E, it was none other than Rowan Atkinson’s that ended up selling for a whopping $86,700. It’s pretty clear his name had some serious value attached to it as not many W124.036s carry that kind of price tag, if any. That is until I came across these two beauties for sale in the Netherlands. One is a 1992 painted in Nautical Blue Metallic with the ultra-rare Alpaca Gray fabric and leather while the other one is a 1993 in Blackberry Bornite Metallic that there are only a handful of out there. Both of these cars are nearly flawless and as you might have guessed, carry some pretty serious price tags. But for these special examples, I can totally understand why.
I believe this is a first for me. While I’ve written about the 968 previously, I’m fairly certain it’s never been the Club Sport. They’re rare so that’s not too surprising, but still given how often I’m on the lookout for early-90s Porsches you’d think at some point it’d have happened.
Like most any Porsche Club Sport model, the 968CS was a lightened and more potent version of the standard 968. While the 968 never was the most popular of Porsches they remain a lovely design even today and the Club Sport itself a highly sought after model. It was one of the favorite cars of our former editor, Paul. He featured them as frequently as was possible given their rare nature and the fact that they couldn’t be imported into the US. With it now being 25 years since they were first produced that problem should be more easily surmountable. If these were one of the cars of your dreams, then here’s your shot at one of these rare machines:
A Speed Yellow 1993 Porsche 968 Club Sport, currently residing in Canada, with 47,224 miles on it. This 968CS originally was delivered in Japan. There’s no word in the ad on when it made its way to North America, but it is said to come with extensive records so hopefully prospective buyers can work out those details.
Most people know him as ‘Mr. Bean’, car enthusiasts know him as the guy to crash his McLaren twice but only the most hardcore Mercedes aficionados will know him as a mutiple Mercedes-Benz W124 500E owner. This man is of course the legendary actor, comedian and screenwriter, Rowan Atkinson. Atkinson has always been known as a ”car guy” with classics like the Acura NSX, Renault 5 GT Turbo, Aston Martin DBS V8, 1939 BMW 328 and the list goes on and on. Surprisingly, he has chosen to give up two of his classic sport saloons at auction next month in England. One being the super rare Lancia Thema 8.32, the car famous for being powered by the Tipo 105L 3.0-liter V8 shared with the Ferrari 308 and Mondial Quattrovalvo and the other being this handsome 1993 500E. The W124.036 has been blue chip vehicle from the 1990s for years now, but one that has the ultra-rare cloth interior and owned by Mr. Bean? This super sedan could end up being pretty pricey once the hammer falls.
Speculation of value is a crazy thing. Some people go conservative while others shoot for the moon and see where they land. The classic European car market over the past five or so years has exploded and there looks to be no slowing down. The big winners in this market are the rare cars with lower mileage that all of a sudden everyone seems to want. Today’s car, a 1993 Mercedes-Benz 500E, is no different. Rare car, lower mileage, mega reputation and street cred leaving everyone all of sudden wanting one, and the Porsche tax added to it for good measure. The thing about this 500E is that I’ve never seen a price tag this high on the legendary W124.036 before and I still really can’t wrap my head around it. How high is it? Are you sitting down?
Looking for a subtle performance sedan? Today’s not your day.
You probably haven’t heard of iDing Power, because odds are that if you’re reading this you don’t live in Japan. And even if you’re an afficiando of M3s, you’d probably dismiss this particular car as a M3 GTR replica for the street like I did. But this car is far more than that, and much more interesting.
The M3 GTR launched in 1994, and the United States did (technically) see it in the form of the Prototype Technology Group-run team in IMSA race series. The same year in Japan, iDing Power revealed the plans for their turned-up E36 M3. They had acquired an early production second generation model; production started for the E36 M3 in February, 1992 – and the particular example you see here was produced on February 3, 1993. iDing then added a plethora of unique touches, from upgraded suspension, wheels and brakes, special interior items, and some body modifications. By “some”, of course it’s hard to look past the W201 190E-Evo inspired rear wing and massive tacked-on flares. iDing also took the S50B30 European motor, rated at 286 horsepower stock, and modified it to a claimed 330 horsepower. iDing widebodies are pretty rare finds, but even among them this one is particularly special. With only 7,600 miles on the odometer, this example appears to be the original prototype and test car:
I’ll say straightaway that I have a couple questions about this 1993 Porsche 911 RS America. I also think it’s priced a good bit too high, though that’s a problem with a lot of RS Americas we see come up for sale. We’ll get to those questions though. First, the good stuff.
As you can probably see this one has received a full wrap in Martini Racing livery. If you were to imagine what a 964 wearing such livery at the track would look like this is probably it. And it looks great! The Martini striping really works well over the curves of the rear quarters. I’d want to remove the stickers for the dealer, but otherwise I think this conveys its intent well. This RS America also is one of the low-option examples. There were only four options available (A/C, sunroof, radio, and limited-slip differential) so none of them have lots of options, but still for a car that’s supposed to be stripped down a lot of them seem to have those things added back. This one clearly does not have the radio or sunroof. We don’t get a clear look at the option sticker and the ad leaves us blind, but I think the only option chosen was the LSD. For those in search of the sportiest RSA out there this one checks those boxes.
I can never really begrudge sellers who are overly effusive about the cars they are selling, but sometimes it does frustrate me. In most cases, this applies to cars I really like, but which I feel are being presented in the wrong way. (I have a similar frustration whenever I see an ad from Toyota talking about how sporty the new Camry feels.) But I do get it, they’re trying to sell something and appeal to certain emotions.
This 964, a Midnight Blue 1993 Porsche 911 Carrera 2 Coupe, falls into this category. I really like this 911; it looks great, the color combination is one that I really enjoy, and with a fairly recent engine rebuild we would hope it’s ready to roll and provide many more miles of excellent motoring. But it also has almost 150K miles on it so why should I care about collector appeal?