Nothing makes me smile more than high performance variants with a bunch of miles on them. Especially when I don’t own them. The supposedly finicky and fragile nature of them sometimes hold true, but for the most part if you just maintain them, you’ll be fine. Granted, today’s car isn’t exactly a Maserati Biturbo when it comes to build quality and complexity, but it is a hand-assembled super sedan from 20 years ago. As always, in full disclosure, I have one of these in my garage sitting under a cover, but that doesn’t mean I’m not realistic about them. That subject is none other than the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG – a car which predates bi-turbo V8s and crackling exhausts. Just a big engine, some subtle body work changes, and some wide tires. That’s it. This example up for in Washington? Thoroughly enjoyed.
Tag: E class
Station wagon, estate, avant, whatever you want to call them, they are still popular. How did I come to that conclusion? Well, take a look at basically any German vehicle that is offered in both sedan and wagon and you’ll see that the wagon transacts at a higher price tag on the used market. This is especially true when it comes to high performance models like an Audi RS or AMG. A lot of that has to do with having your cake and eating it too, along with the exclusivity, as high performance wagons are made in extremely small numbers. However, even in standard base models, the wagons are still bringing premiums over sedans. Today’s car, a 2006 E500 Estate up for sale in California, follows that trend. Who says wagons are uncool?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay
For as bland and as boring as Mercedes-Benz can be with some of the color combinations, every once in awhile they’ll give us something that shows they still have a little bit of style. The W210 E-Class was pretty notorious for being offered in nothing but earth tones, especially the beige on beige examples. What we have here today is a 2001 E430 from the swanky minds at the designo department who offered up a color combination of Mocco Black Metallic over a Nappa Nubuck leather interior with natural elm wood trim. Even better, it has the classic 18″ Monoblock wheels and just 75,000 miles. To top it off, it’s had a single family ownership and service records from new.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E430 on eBay
Not to be the guy who says “I told you so”, but I’ve been singing the praises of the W210 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG for years now. Biased? Of course. I bought two of these cars, one gifted to my father, and one for me, and both remain today. Mine stays tucked under the cover in the garage and maybe sees the light of day once a month while my father, although a retiree, daily drives his and just crossed 205,000 miles on it. Both of them were purchased when they were probably at their lowest point in worth, and as luck would have it, prime examples are starting to pull really strong money. I know that is a little bit of an outlier, but the rising tide lifts all boats unless you are talking about an example that is ready for the junkyard. Are there deals still out there for these cars? Yes, I think so. Higher mileage examples and ones that need a little love can still be had under $10,000, but I think as the years go on, those examples will be put out to pasture and only the strongest will survive. This 1999 up for sale in California sure is a strong example with just 54,000 miles, but are you willing to pay the price now hoping the prices will continue to creep upwards?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG on eBay
I’m sure I’m not the only person who wants both an analog experience in my car along with having the ease of DIY on most everything, but also wants modern tech and these crazy new safety features called airbags. Case in point, my Mercedes-Benz W116 and W123 are both simple enough that I can diagnose and fix almost anything on the entire car in my home garage, but their main safety features are headrests and a padded steering wheel. If you go to the other end with a newer Mercedes-Benz diesel, you see cryptic messages on your infotainment screen saying the car isn’t going to restart unless you fill the tank up with AdBlue fluid, but hey, at least the car will literally steer itself in between the lane lines while you are frantically Googling on your phone what the hell AdBlue fluid is. So is there a happy medium? Well, I think I have one option.
The W210 is a very fine chassis in my eyes. Granted, I’m biased as I own one, but they are seemingly sturdy cars as long as you keep them away from constant moisture and salt. All the gas engines in car are equally as fine, but thankfully the US market was blessed with a gem of a diesel, the OM606. This 3.0 liter inline-six replaced the OM603, which replaced the OM617, so we have good lineage here. It was available in turbo and non-turbo, with today’s car I want to look at, a 1997 E300, being the non-turbo. Much like Mercedes diesels of past, this one has a lot of miles, but probably also has good years left in it as well.