1996 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG

I always considered the C36 AMG a car with a lot of untapped potential. This was a rather innocuous looking machine for being the first AMG car to emerge from the factory after Mercedes absorbed the tuning firm. It appeared right around the same time as the BMW E36 M3. These were cars aimed at two different markets, with the M3 being offered initially only as a coupe. But when the sedan appeared later on, the choice was clear for those who wanted to row their own in a super saloon. Sure, the later C43 and C55 AMG offered V8 grunt, but they were still automatic only.

GCFSB’s own Dan Crouch just purchased a C43 AMG and has been enjoying every minute. However, we were contemplating just how bad this thing would have been with a 5 or 6-speed manual. Likewise, the earlier C36 AMG might have been loved just a little bit more with that third pedal. However, with 5,200 produced, the C36 AMG is a dark horse in the Mercedes-Benz performance portfolio and a great choice for those seeking a bit of brute force enveloped in formal attire.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG on eBay

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2005 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG

Orion Blue Metallic, that’s what the paint is called and the main reason I decided to write up this Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG. One of the other reasons is that I’ve always felt this car was overlooked due to the its successor being the tire slaying C63 AMG. Those cars continue to fall in pice but it will be a few more years before they reach the bottom of the depreciation curve. The C55 is already close and will likely drop down a little further in the next couple of years. If you enjoy the “double bubble” headlight style of the W203 then this car has to be at the top of your list as it is the most aggressive looking one you could buy. What I find appealing is that even in AMG form, it still retains a clean sleeper look. Were it not for the matte black Vertini wheels, I think this car would be able to fly way under the radar, a bonus when you’ve got 362 hp on tap. If I were to take this home I’d probably swap them out the wheels for a nice brushed aluminum multi spoke from the AMG catalog, but I have to admit the concave style does add a certain badass element to the car. I think that has to be one of the most appealing things about the C55 AMG, it can be made to look like a mundane country club classic or a aggressive Autobahn animal. All you need to do is change a few minor things to tip the scales in either direction and I have to say, this car strikes a nice balance between the two.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C280

For all the high end exotics we feature here at GCFSB, there’s a part of us that still appreciate more modest transportation. Outside of the AMG variants, a late model W202 C-class might not be the typical car of choice for the weekly lineup here on our site, but it’s a car I’m intimately familiar with. For six years, I piloted a 1998 C230, the four cylinder variant of the car we see here. My mother has driven a 2000 C280 for 14 years, racking up over 120,000 miles with nary an issue. These small Mercedes sedans are robust machines, and if cared for, have the longevity made famous by Mercedes-Benzes of yore. This 1998 C280 for sale in Florida may not be too arresting in Glacier White over tan MB Tex, but it has only 57,000 miles on the clock. Mint condition W202s are becoming harder to find, so this one is worth a second glance.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C280 on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG is one of those cars that I never cared for all that much. A V8 stuffed under the hood of a compact sedan sounds like fun, but in this case it always seemed like Mercedes failed to execute what was a great idea on paper. Though it was significantly more powerful than the E36 M3, it didn’t garner the same respect in its heyday and not much has changed. I’m fine with the understated appearance, there are few things as fun as driving a sleeper Benz but I think this car is just too bland for my tastes. The most aggressive thing about it is the mono block AMG wheels, the exhaust note is just as toned down as the styling, fine for a normal Benz but this is an AMG, let that V8 sing! I wonder just how much more popular this car would have been if it had a raucous exhaust note like the C63 that eventually followed. Of course a big part of why the M3 was more popular despite being less powerful is that the M3 could be had with a manual where as the C43 was auto only. It was, however, a stout 5-speed gearbox borrowed from V12 models that was supposed to learn a drivers habits and improve the driving experience, so I suppose there is is some credit due there.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG on Cars.com

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C280

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Over the years, we’ve enjoyed showcasing high-performance or rather posh vehicles here at GCFSB. However, we do have an appreciation for the more mundane. These would be your base model or workaday vehicles. Those which are well-preserved especially grab our attention. This 1998 C280 for sale in Missouri represents the first year of the W202 C-class facelift. Two years later, W202 production would cease. Along with the demise of the R129 SL in 2002, a generation of styling language would come to an end.

The W202 C-class is a car I’m quite familiar with. I drove a 1998 C230 for six years and sold it to a friend, who has racked up over 200,000 miles. My mother, to this day, pilots a 2000 C280 in this very color combination. Her car is closing in on 130,000 miles, having bought it as a Starmark certified vehicle with only 7,000 miles on it. There is constant talk about replacing it with a present day Audi A4 or Volvo S60, but the old Benz just keeps going on from strength to strength.

Click for details: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C280 on eBay

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2000 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate

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I was always remorseful that Mercedes-Benz decided not to send it’s W202 C-class estate to the US market. This was a very handsome five-door that was a star amongst taxi drivers the world over. I still see a good number of these trolling the streets in various cities abroad, such was durability of this car. Even during a trip to Lisbon last year, there was a line of W202 diesel estates waiting outside of Portela International Airport. And yes, if speed was your thing, Mercedes-Benz offered an AMG version of this estate, just to make you long roof fans a bit more jealous of other automotive markets. This final year C43 AMG Estate for sale in Switzerland was brought to our attention from our reader Richard in Zurich. With just over 20,000 miles on the clock, this is a dream come true for those into the Youngtimer scene.

Click for details: 2000 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG Estate on AutoScout24

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1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 – REVISIT

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The low-mileage 1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 Feature listing from last December is back up on offer, with a few days before auction end. Surely there is someone out there who would like to put a big red bow on this for someone for the holiday season?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz C220 on eBay

The below post originally appeared on our site December 11, 2013:

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2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport 6-speed manual

Almost immediately after the C class was introduced for the 1994 model year, plans were being drawn up for its successor, the W203, which wouldn’t appear until the turn of the century. When it debuted, the styling was a bit of a departure from the old W202 C class, with headlamps adapted from the W210 E class style for this smaller package. The car was panned for it’s interior that seemed a bit low-rent in comparison to its predecessor and a level of quality that seemed out of sync with what the marque stood for. Nevertheless, this was a popular car for Mercedes-Benz, with over two million sold over the course of seven model years. In 2003, Mercedes dropped their 1.8 liter supercharged four cylinder into the C class sedan to form this car, the C230 Sport Sedan. This example for sale in Miami is one of the rare ones equipped with the 6-speed manual gearbox.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport on eBay

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1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 with 47k miles

When I look back through all of the cars I’ve owned, one car stands out. My 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230. Offered for two model years in the US lineup, this was the entry level Mercedes of its time, powered by a naturally aspirated, 2.3 liter inline-4 producing 148 horsepower. Not an earth shattering figure, but this car wasn’t about horsepower. For me, it represented the last of the old guard for Mercedes, a time when engineering took precedence over budgets. I miss that car to this day, but on a recent trip to Lisbon, Portugal, it was comforting to see a bunch of these W202 C classes pressed into service as taxis. These are cars with staying power. Those in search for a good one should take a look at this 1998 C230 with under 50,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C230 on eBay

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