Who says you can’t go home again? It seems like now more than ever the demand for nostalgic cars is thriving. Not just the really good stuff, but seemingly average cars that are extremely clean literally have people flowing in waves to check out and ultimately buy. Maybe because the 1980s and 1990s seemed like a simpler time, or because cars from that era literally were simpler. Combine that with the cars we lusted after growing up suddenly become available again and we don’t want to let this time pass us by. That leads me to an example of that, a 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300TE with just 18,000 miles. Either you grew up in one of these or wanted to grow up in one of these, the want for them is now strong even though it is a seemingly nondescript car in every way. Maybe that is a good thing?
Of the hundreds of Mercedes-Benz I end up looking at a week, you wouldn’t believe how many sellers claim some kind of AMG connection to them. Sometimes they are as simple as someone throwing an AMG badges on the trunk lid (usually crooked), to some kind of dubious bodywork with an AMG logo stamped on it, all the way to just having nothing to do with AMG at all but throwing the association out there because the car is kind of sporty. Very rarely, actually almost never, do I come across a real pre-acquisition AMG car that has all the documentation along with all the parts still actually on the car. Well, never say never, because today we have one of those cars.
This 1991 300TE was built by AMG for subsidiarity AMG Japan as a M103 3.2 liter car with all the goodies, both inside and out. It has all the paperwork and maintenance records you could want. The best part? It’s already in the United States. The not-so best part? It is going to be really expensive.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300TE 3.2 AMG on eBay
Every time I have looked at a pre-merger Mercedes-Benz AMG car it seemed to come to us from AMG Japan. What that means is that car would a leave Germany as a regular Mercedes-Benz until it hit Japan where AMG Japan, LTD. would modify these cars both cosmetically and with performance upgrades. You can always recognize an AMG Japan car by the crazy amount of wood that was added to the car and the AMG Japan plate that riveted in somewhere on the car. Were these”real” AMG cars? Technically, yes. AMG Japan official subsidiary just like AMG North America was. As special as these cars are, I always felt they weren’t as ”true” as the pre-merger cars that were built in Affalterbach. Maybe because I see them come up for sale way more often than cars built in Affalterbach and sometimes they are missing important engine modifications. I don’t know if that means that more were produced or maybe Affalterbach built cars don’t trade publicly as much. Luckily, I ran across one of those Affalterbach built cars for sale and what a car it is.
This is a 1991 E60 AMG Estate. This car started life as your standard W124 300TE until it was sent to AMG not once, but twice, to make it what it is today. This wagon has a M119 6.0 liter V8 and a boatload of other AMG parts to go along with it. The best part about this car? The original VIN was actually X’d out and replaced with an AMG-specific VIN that begins ”AMG124” instead of the standard ”WDB124” that every other W124 begins with. This is quickly shaping up to being my favorite car of the year.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz E60 AMG Estate on Mobile.de
The W124 platform E-class is an unstoppable tank. So you’d think that the addition of an all-wheel drive option would make an excellent car even better. Not so fast. The “4Matic” AWD system offered on the W124 was complex. Using numerous electronic sensors to control the locking central and rear differentials, the automatic system was capable of splitting torque between the front and back axles as required: 100% to the back, 35/65 front/rear, or 50/50 front/rear. When performing properly, this made the W124 a very competent car in inclement weather. However, the complexity of the system meant that if and when it broke, repair costs could quickly become astronomical. For that reason, W124 enthusiasts tend to pass over the 4Matic, regarding it as a rare example of Mercedes’s over-engineering becoming a liability.