Tuner Tuesday: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

A few weeks ago I looked at an absolutely pristine 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC with just a little over 10,000 miles. As you might expect, the car was nearly perfect and carried a hefty price tag of $65,000. If you still want it, the car is still for sale and the price has been lowered to $59,000. Personally, I wasn’t a huge fan of the car simply because I think the Champagne gold isn’t very attractive at all, but other than that, the car looks like a real winner.

If you are like me and hated the gold but still want a SEC with 10,000 miles, you are in luck with today’s car. This 1985 500SEC up for sale in Miami comes in with 10,726 miles and if you might have noticed by the photos, has some extra little goodies attached to it. What kind of goodies? None other than a nice helping of AMG parts, of course. The price? Well, you won’t be saving any money by picking this car over the 1986, that is for sure.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

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1996 Mercedes-Benz CL420

The Mercedes-Benz W140 Coupe, or C140, is one of those cars that you might have forgotten about until you see one in the wild or stumble across one for sale. There is good reason for that seeing that Mercedes made a little over 400,000 W140 sedans while only producing 26,000 coupes. You can see that is quite a difference in production numbers and now that the youngest W140 is almost 20 years-old, they are only are getting more rare. Today, I wanted to check out the rarest W140 ever produced, the CL420. Just 2,500 CL420/S420 Coupes were produced from 1994 to 1998 and exactly zero ever made it to America. These Coupes used the 4.2 liter M119 V8 borrowed from the sedan and was the smallest engine choice available in the C140. This 1996 up for sale in Spain is probably one of the most well-preserved CL420s out there despite its 112,000 miles. I just wish I could bring it to America.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1996 Mercedes-Benz CL420 at Classic Driver

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC with 10,369 miles

I’ve lost track at how many Mercedes-Benz W126 Coupes I’ve looked at because frankly, there are a lot of really nice ones out still there. I think maybe that has to do with it somewhat being see as the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz large coupes as it didn’t get much better when you factor everything in. A lot of people don’t really like the next generation W140 Coupe and the prior generation, the R107 SLC, isn’t the prettiest car ever made. If you go even further back with the W111, you start talking about them becoming pretty pricey and they aren’t exactly setup to use on a regular basis because of how old they are. Today’s car, a 1986 560SEC, is probably the nicest W126 Coupe I’ve run across. In case you haven’t noticed, it has just a little over 10,000 miles on it and looks every bit the part. As for the price? Well, what are you expecting for a 560SEC with these circumstances?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

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1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe

One of the things I love about the W124 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is that it came in every shape and size. What I mean by that is that you could buy a sedan, estate, coupe and cabriolet. This is unique because it is the only generation that can boast such a fact. The prior W123 lacked a cabriolet and every generation after lacked the coupe and cabriolet. You might be saying that the CLK-Class is basically the E-Class coupe, but I don’t see it that way because the CLK was a mash-up of a parts both mechanically and cosmetically from the C-Class made to look like an E-Class, not a true E-Class coupe. Even when they literally changed the named to E-Class Coupe in the recent generations, it is still riding on a C-Class chassis. That leads me right into today’s car, a 1994 E320 Coupe up for sale in Connecticut, that has that classic facelift W124 look and checks all the right boxes if you are looking for a sleek and livable daily driver. The best part about it? It looks to be fully sorted and won’t take much to drive home with.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1994 Mercedes-Benz E320 Coupe on eBay

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1992 Porsche 968

In yesterday’s Corrado SLC post, I referenced both how Volkswagen’s coupe was another attempt to create the “poor man’s Porsche”. Of course, at the same time that VW was perfecting its craft with arguably the best of their front-drive creations in the Corrado with the VR6 in the nose, Porsche wasn’t exactly napping at the wheel. They, too, had perfected their own pauper Porsche. The problem was, of course, that not many paupers could afford it.

The 968 stormed out of the gates and straight into the early 1990s recession wielding 236 horsepower from its VarioCam-equipped development of the 3.0 inline-4 from the 944S2. Evolutionary bodywork linked the model more closely with both the 928S4/GT and the 911 range. But with more power on tap than the standard 944 Turbo had in the mid-eighties, the base price was pretty much out of reach for most mortals. In 1992, the MSRP was $39,950 for a stripper Coupe. If you wanted the Cabriolet, you’d pay more than $10,000 additional. And if you opted for a Tiptronic transmission you’d be at $55,000. In 1992, mind you! That’s over $100,000 in today’s buying power and nearly double what a base 718 Boxster stickers for today. Even the basic Coupe in 1992 was double the sticker price of the 968 hardtop.

That made the Corrado a lot more compelling to consider in period, even with the 968’s stellar poise and road manners. It’s no surprise, then, that Porsche only managed to sell 2,234 968 Coupes here – compared to over 14,000 944 Turbos imported. A bulk of the Coupes, 1811, were 6-speed manuals, thankfully. But as we discovered yesterday, just because they were really expensive when new doesn’t mean that holds true today:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Porsche 968 on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 230CE Sportline

Yesterday I looked at 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300E for the pure fact that is it the Sportline option that is pretty rare. Though Mercedes made about four billion W124 300Es, it feels like almost none of them are Sportline. Well, when it rains it pours, because I happen to come across the even rarer 1992 230CE Sportline. Before everyone rushes down to the comments and starts typing ”If only it had a manual transmission!”, hold your fingers, because it does.  We North Americans were not graced with this model and surely never in the 5-speed even if it had come, so this one is a rare bird to say the least. Somehow, this 230CE Sportline is up for bid outside of Chicago. I just wish it was a better example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 230CE Sportline on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

There isn’t a whole lot left to be said about the Mercedes-Benz W126 coupe and especially the 560SEC. But, I keep finding really nice examples of them for sale, so more words are needed. If you at the main body line in the photo above, you see how everything is perfect until you run into that big, clunky door handle. The designer of this car, the legendary Bruno Sacco, said that it is the only flaw in an otherwise nearly perfect design. Those door handles were not his idea, but rather the engineers that focused on safety and all the other stuff that ruins fun. Supposedly whatever the original design on paper was for this coupe wasn’t deemed safe and functional in a crash so they had to go with what you see today. Sacco even went as far as saying he wanted to have those door handles modified on his personal 560SEC just because it bugged him so much. I see his point and who am I to argue with the guy who designed some of the most iconic Mercedes ever?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

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Almost Done: 1982 Audi Coupe

This 1982 Audi Coupe is an interesting counter-point to yesterday’s survivor Scirocco. Obviously, there are the links within the parent company – but beyond that, both the Scirocco and Coupe occupied the same market segement. Audi’s offering went more upscale, with leather interior options, a bit more power and refinement and a host of power equipment. They were styled by the same man, too; Giugiaro’s masterful work on the Scirocco was influenced by his ‘Asso’ designs, but then so was the 2-door Audi. The Coupe’s C-pillar, window silhouettes and lower character lines closely echo the inspired 1973 concept.

There’s another similarity between the two budget 2-doors, though. While both have always had a pretty devoted fan following, the values on each have meant that for a long time you had to hope to find a survivor like yesterday’s. Undergoing a restoration on a car like this has been as unthinkable as restoring a Mazda 626. The market has started to turn the corner, especially on the Scirocco, but the Coupe is holding its own now, too. Still, it would be much easier to jump into a chassis that has had a large amount of the heavy lifting done:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Audi Coupe on eBay

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1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

Last week I checked out a cherry 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD that was had a few small issues, but I felt was worth the money. Sadly, it looks like the seller cut the auction short so we didn’t find out what the final selling price was. Today, I ran across another 300CD, but this one is a few years older and a little different. This 1979 up for sale in California uses the non-turbo OM617, which is a fine enough engine in itself, doesn’t have any rust and by some kind of miracle, has a functioning air condition. It also has a nice touch with the European headlights and the best part? It has quite the attractive price tag.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD

One of the more interesting things about the legendary Mercedes-Benz W123 chassis is the difference between the production numbers for the sedan, estate and coupe bodies. As you might have guessed, the sedan was the most plentiful at just over 75,000 units made from 1981-1985 as the 300D with the OM617 turbo diesel engine. Next up was the 300TD station wagon with a little over 28,000 units. Bringing up the rear is the 300CD with just 7,502 cars. The easy math here says that from every 10 300Ds, there is only one 300CD. That explains why you can go on your local Craigslist and find a handful of 300Ds, but the coupes? No where to be found. As a result, the demand and values for coupes have always been much higher than the sedan not only because of the rarity, but because they are cool cars and a pillar-less coupe is always classic. Today, I managed to find a really nice 1985 300CD up for sale in Florida and luckily, this one is a wonderful example.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 300CD on eBay

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