Wagons Ho! Super 5-door Roundup

Perusing the classifieds for interesting wagons this week, I came across quite a few and thought it would be a good chance to look at some sporty 5-doors. To level the playing field slightly, all are automatics. While that may cause some of you to groan, they make up for a lack of manual with distinctive styling, plenty of power and rarity that will set you apart from the crowd. Which is the one you’d choose?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 Audi S6 on Portland Craigslist

Continue reading

2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

I’ve written up a couple Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG wagons in my time with GCFSB; even got fooled by a E500 doing a damn good AMG impression on one post. I don’t know what it is about this car that keeps bringing me back to it. I’m not really much of a Mercedes guy. I prefer my fast wagons wearing four interlocked rings. However those three letters found on the trunk (and unfortunately the license plate frame) always catch my eye and earn the car a second glance.

Maybe that’s what I like about these souped up mid-aughts family haulers. If you don’t know what to look for, you don’t know what you’re looking at. That could be said of many wagons with a ferocious power plant but in the case of the E-Class I think it is particularly true. With its country club profile, dopey four headlamp front end and lengthy rear you could be forgiven for thinking these cars were nothing special. I suppose that until they’ve heard the supercharged V8 at wide open throttle most folks wouldn’t think it is, even after you point out the thick AMG steering wheel, quad tip exhuast and AMG wheels. That’s fine as far as I’m concerned, more E55 AMG wagons for those of us in the know. After all, these are rare cars that were only sold through a direct to your driveway order process. It appears that this example which was delivered to Woodland Hills, CA has remained in excellent condition over the 72k miles it has covered so far. The question is, has it been so well cared for that it necessitates the $31,500 asking price?

Year: 2006
Model: E55 AMG wagon
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 72,000 mi
Price: $31,500

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG Wagon on AutoTrader.com

RARE! 2006 AMG E55 WAGON-SUPERCHARGED! Perfect condition. Always garaged. Blue Tooth technology Extended warranty All scheduled maintenance, All records, Always garaged, Excellent condition, Factory GPS system, Fully loaded with all the goodies, Looks & drives great, Mostly highway miles, Must see, Never seen snow, New tires, No accidents, Non-smoker, Seats like new, Still under factory warranty, Title in hand, Very clean interior, Well maintained

Well, the easy answer is no, this car isn’t worth what the seller wants for it. I don’t care how rare sub-100k mile E55s are, I wouldn’t spend over $30k on one. For that kind of money you can get into this car’s successor, the E63, which is said to be more reliable, is certainly more powerful and has more modern creature comforts. It has the vastly superior 7-speed automatic that makes the car quicker than the E55 even though it produces less torque. It also did away with the much maligned Sensotronic braking system in favor of Pre-Safe which caused far fewer headaches for Mercedes. With that in mind, I would approach the seller of this vehicle with an offer of $26 to $27k which will probably be met with a laugh but one must remain steadfast in their bargaining. Unless those awful sheepskin covers are hiding 100% mint condition seats and this car has had absolutely every little thing that goes wrong with a W211 E-Class replaced, I just can’t see how this car is worth what the seller wants for it. Given the interior build quality during this era these cars are quite prone to annoying little failures which add up quick. Can you live with a malfunctioning window regulator or squeaky glove box while hot rodding around town? I couldn’t.

These cars have to be properly sorted to be fully enjoyed and even if this one is, I’m still not convinced it’s worth what the seller is asking. It is all well and good that the car has new tires, has always been garaged and the 72k on the clock has been racked up mostly on the highway (seems like they always are with these cars) but those things don’t add up to more than $28k in my opinion. I can see where the seller is coming from, he has a rare car, beloved my enthusiasts that has lived a pampered life in Southern California. What are not taking into account is that thanks to our old friend depreciation, the heir to the throne is within the same price range and given the choice between the E55 and E63, I’d go E63 every time. Still, if you could get the seller down into the mid to high twenties, I think the E55 is a wonderful option for shocking people who think they’re looking at a ho-hum wagon.

Cheers,

-Andrew

Wagon Week: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate

When I first came across this listing I thought I had found an E55 AMG Estate at an incredible bargain, but after reading through the details (and a heads up from out trusty editor in chief) I found that this car is in fact an E500 wearing big brother’s name tag. I’ve seen E500 AMG Sports before but not ones doing a full on E55 impression. At first I was annoyed and was going to skip writing it up but then after thinking about the rarity of the Dark Green over Tan color way, the great sound of the AMG exhaust hooked up to any V8 and the low mileage, I decided this car deserves a helping hand in its search for a new home. The seller notes that it had  “very interesting prior ownership” and while that may sound ominous to some, I’m actually quite curious to know what it means. Maybe this was a Mercedes Benz exec’s weekend warrior, maybe the previous owner was a celebrity or maybe the car belonged to Guy Fieri. Hard telling not knowing I suppose, though I highly doubt it was the last option, I don’t think Dark Green is his color.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E500 Estate on eBay

Continue reading

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate

EDIT: This is post is being republished because it was lost in transition to our new server. Sorry for the inconvenience! Also, please note the car had some spotty history as noted by a few of our commenters; Jim and Bart both found this Mercedes-Benz Forum link regarding this car – Post #1363
http://mbworld.org/forums/mercedes-vehicles/394687-wtb-e55-amg-wagon-i-know-s-long-shot-55.html#post6357144

The other day I wrote up two S6 Avants, one of which was a nicely presented lower mileage example. However, the asking price on that particular car – nearly $20,000 – had me questioning why you would select the C5 S6. Now, I’m a huge Audi fan, and 340 horsepower is certainly nothing to sneeze at – but for about the same money, I suggested that the E55 AMG Estate was perhaps a better bargain. That’s because the W211’s M113 supercharged 5.4 liter V8 churned out a simply staggering 470 horsepower and 520 lb.ft. of torque – and that was stock, with a warranty. Unlike the Audi, it was channeled completely through the rear wheels. And if anything, the W211 E55 AMG managed to look both really special, really understated and super aggressive at the same time. It signaled the passing of the torch from Audi to Mercedes-Benz for the mega-wagon market (at least, in the U.S.) and remains a seriously potent bit of kit which is available today for only a fraction of its original purchase price:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

Continue reading

Legend or Reality? Mercedes-Benz 500E v. E55 AMG

The Mercedes-Benz 500E is a car which needs no introduction to the fans of GCFSB. We feature the model on a regular basis; as one of the most popular super-sedans produced by Mercedes, we’re always glad to see a very mint condition, low mileage model and hopeful for a steal when we see less pristine examples. The possibility always exists that one will sneak in at a cut-rate – a model that has higher miles and a small list of needs, for example, that will allow for a more reasonable purchase price. But as we pine and search for values on the 500E/E500 market, ironically we seem to ignore the model which replaced it in spirit; the E55 AMG. Part of that comes down to both the real and perceived gap in quality between the W124 and the W210 chassis; however, what is undeniable is what that equates to in the real world. Find a not-perfect, higher mile 500E today and you’ll be looking at around $10,000 or more while a mint condition, low mile E55 AMG is available for around the same amount. Which is the better proposition?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E on eBay

Continue reading

2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 Estate

$_57 (1)

One has to wonder how the product planning session went when Mercedes-Benz green lighted the E class AMG estate. Was management on holiday or did someone lose a bet? Whatever the case, the appearance of the E55 AMG wagon was a definite curiosity when it appeared in US dealers, even in very limited numbers. Who bought these cars? Power hungry soccer moms? Dads who were ticked off they had to surrender the sports car? Parents who couldn’t bear the thought of something that so obviously screamed “I give up?” Whatever the reasoning, there are now a few of these high-powered V8 expresses circulating on the used car market. This sleek silver number is for sale from the same dealer who brought you the E320 Coupe from last week.

Click for more details: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on eBay

Continue reading

2000 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

AMG models underwent an interesting adolescence when they were absorbed into Mercedes-Benz properly. At their birth they were the wild child, making bad boys out of unassuming Benzs by adorning them with spoilers, giant wheels and larger than life motors. But then there was a calming period when Mercedes started offering AMG wheels and body styling on basically every model, making the late 1990s and into 2000s hard to identify a true AMG from the run of the mill cars with big wheels. Since then, AMG has truly blossomed into a full-blown psychopathic anti-social Prius killing Frankenstein maker, but the cars of the early 2000s were more subtle and fly much lower on the radar. One of the best examples of this is the original E55 – a car outshone by both it’s father 500E/E500 and the ubiquitous M5. Consequently, a smart buyer can pick up one of these Autobahn masters for not much money. Today’s example is a perfect case in point:

Year: 2000
Model: E55 AMG
Engine: 5.4 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 85,222 mi
Price: $10,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG on eBay

I spent almost a year looking for the best, low mileage W210 E55 AMG I could find. And found it a few months ago, but sadly a house purchase required far more cash then I expected. So after selling an Alfa, a GTI, I now have to sell my AMG. The car is amazingly clean, and looks as good in person as it does in the photos. Underneath, inside and under the hood all are clean and show how well maintained and pampered this vehicle has been. The exterior and interior of this car are very impressive.

I bought the car from the second owner. The car fax is a little confusing since he leased it as a used vehicle in 2000 then bought it off lease. The paper work that comes with the vehicle will verify that the second owner started ownership in 2000 when the car had around 15k on it. The car has a clean car fax (which I can email to you if you are interested). There are no accidents or issues. I have most of the service records for the vehicle which show that it was usually maintained at the Mercedes Benz dealer. I had Mercedes Benz do a pre-purchase inspection and they found no problems. The brakes are at 50%, the tires are Michelin Pilot Sports all around with good tread. The car does not use any fluids. All the gadgets, buttons, windows, power sunshades, headlight washers, AC and etc all work. The only fault is I only have the one key, and it sometimes says there is a bulb out even though all the lights work. This car was always garaged (and still is), and has never been driven in winter. The wheels have no curb rash. You can tell this car has always been loved.

I do have the car for sale locally and recently had an interested buyer do a thorough inspection of the car. He found a few issues that initially raised some concern on my part. The passenger side valve cover gasket has some very slight oil residue on the front, and when he read the car’s OBD outlet he found the code for a possible oxygen sensor code. I called the Mercedes Benz dealer that did the pre-purchase inspection and voiced my concern about these issues. They expressed that all E55 AMGs of this vintage have some oil residue on the valve cover gaskets and that they were not concerned. As for the oxygen sensor they were not concerned since the car passed emissions with no problems and runs and drives with no issues. I am disclosing everything I know about this vehicle. It looks beautiful, is solid and tight with no rattles, shakes, or noises of any sort. Like everyone says “I would not hesitate to drive this car across the country” and in this case it would be the perfect ride! I am driving the car a few times a week so the miles are going up. If you have a zero rating please contact me before you bid. Please do not hesitate to call or email me with questions or concerns.

On Nov-08-13 at 06:54:47 PST, seller added the following information:

I forgot to ad that the transmission service was just done. There were no issues with the transmission, it shifted smoothly and has no problems. But since I planned on keeping this car for a long time the service was done. Mercedes Benz fluid was used, all the fluid from the pan and converter was drained, new filter, upgraded electrical plug, and filled perfectly using optical thermometer. The oil was just changed at the Mercedes Dealer when they did the pre-purchase inspection.

The other item to clear up is that is says four owners on the car fax when it is only three. The second and third owners are the same person since he leased the vehicle then bought it out at the end of the lease. Then I purchased the car from him.

The car is currently inspected and insured so if you would like to come take a drive please contact me.
Thanks

$11,000 is well shy of what the equivalent M5 would bring, and even in some cases less than E34 M5s. Heck, we’ve even seen original S4s and 200 quattros start to bring this sort of money. With lower miles in the classic and signature silver over black, the seller has been seemingly very up front about the condition of the car and needs – of which it has few. The car looks in very impressive condition and much nicer than the last E55 I found for V8 week a few months back. If you’re looking for a fast executive sedan that you can generally hide pretty well in and afford to keep, this might just be a great option for you.

-Carter

V8 Week: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG

How do you out-AMG AMG? Known for dropping motors out of large cars into small cars, AMG replaced the six cylinder unit in the C36 with a larger M113 4.3 V8 from the E430. Great, right? Well, although it was now plus two cylinders, the new C43 wasn’t really much quicker than the C36 had been. That apparently wouldn’t do for the owner of this particular C43, who decided to AMG up his AMG by dropping an E55 motor in it, and then supercharging it. Well, then. Power isn’t specified, but considering the non-supercharged E55 motor pushed out 70 horsepower more than the 4.3, I think we can lump this one under “a lot”. Take a look at today’s home-brew C43/55:

Year: 1998
Model: C43 AMG
Engine: 5.5 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 60,876 mi
Price: $22,888 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG on eBay

1998 MERCEDES-BENZ C55 AMG

You are looking at a rare C55 AMG with only 60,876 miles. What started as a stock C43 with over $40,000 invested in it is now a rocket. This C43 is already a rocket from the factory but it also has extensive amount of upgrades!!!!!

List of UPGRADES: E55 ENGINE WHICH MAKES IT A C55, HPS GEN II SUPERCHARGER, KW SUSPENTION, KLEEMAN HEADERS, LSD(Limited Slip Differential), CUSTOM SS EXHAUST, CARBON FIBER INTERIOR TRIM, 18″ AMG MONOBLOCK’S, AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!!!!!

NO CALIFORNIA BUYERS…. IT WILL NOT PASS CA SMOG DUE TO MODIFICATIONS!!!!!

For more information feel free to call Private Collection Motors, INC at 949-791-2167. Thank you for viewing.

Sorry California, but at least they’re upfront! There’s a long list of things to love about this car; I think the W202 is a better looking car than the later C-classes, the Monoblocks look particularly awesome on this model with the well polished lips, white is the perfect understated color for this type of car, it will likely outdrag most supercars, and it appears to be in great shape. There are a list of good quality modifications, including the KW suspension and Kleeman headers coupled to stainless exahust. Things I’m not so fond of? Well, that blue and black interior is nowhere near as cool as Audi or Subaru’s Blue/black interior combinations; it looks poorly executed to me, like seat covers you can buy at Autozone. But to me, that’s nothing compared to the concerns I’d have about the long term viability of this swap; the big question is, has it been done correctly? If not, this car could end up being a really expensive IROC-Z sitting on cinder blocks in your driveway, perpetually waiting to be fixed.

Pricing is quite high; higher in fact than many of the much newer and factory built C55s. In fact, for this price you could have your choice 6-7 year newer C55s in just about any color and have money left over to fix it. Granted I do think the W202 is a cleaner, more European looking design than the fried-egg headlight models that followed, but I’m just not sure these modifications would leave me really wanting this particular W202 for this price. It might be nice to take it on one test drive, though…and those wheels!

-Carter

V8 Week: 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

Ever want to own a legend? While the M113 5.5 liter V8 AMG motor has made it into basically every model Mercedes-Benz made for a while, it all started here with the E55 AMG. Mercedes-Benz had aimed the 500E squarely at the M5 market, and the E55 really was the spiritual successor to that car. Though not considered by many as attractive as the earlier E class, the E55 still had an aggressive, understated presence that hinted a monster was under the hood. Since then the AMG division has pumped out some serious iron, so much so that you could almost forget this car. That would be a shame, because like the Audi S8, these were supreme highway cruisers capable of taking down most sports cars in a drag race. Today’s example is a 1999 model of these seldom-seen Autobahn masters:

Year: 1999
Model: E55 AMG
Engine: 5.5 liter V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 168,000 mi
Price: $5,900 Buy It Now

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG on eBay

1999 Mercedes E55 AMG 168K miles. VIN : WDBJF74H7XA905771. Cosmetically it has imperfections : scratches on bumpers and doors,few dings,couple of very small surface rust-well known with these cars. Mechanically this car is perfect! maintained well and with lots of new parts and good to go for a long long time.

Also like the early Audi D2 S8s, depreciation hit these cars quite hard and many have fallen into disrepair or racked up many, many miles. At 170,000 miles, this car is no spring chicken, and the advertisement notes it shows it’s fair share of parking lot memories and even some rust. However, they claim it is mechanically in good shape and reports on these cars is that the engine and drivetrain is pretty stout. Still, that leaves quite a lot of engineered-to-a-pricepoint Mercedes-Benz technology from this generation to go wrong, so tread lightly. While this isn’t the car to keep long term or restore, the price is low enough that this could be an opportunity to grab this as a daily driver for a year and tick that E55 AMG ownership off your bucket list for not too much money.

-Carter

Wagon Week: 2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 Estate

Now that we’re well into wagon week, I know it can be frustrating to look at some of the cars we’ve featured knowing that we may never get to drive, let alone own, one of these cool haulers. But, in 2005, Mercedes-Benz gave five-door fans in the US a breath of fresh air with the E55 AMG Estate. This supercharged V8 wagon was vastly different from anything on Mercedes’ forecourts at the time, as the company was focused heavily on its ever expanding SUV lineup. But somehow, this beast got through a committee and made its way stateside. All the better for us gearheads, then, because the E55 AMG offers up 469 bhp and 516 ft/lbs torque from its 5.5 liter, supercharged V8. That’s plenty of power to catch your carpool mates off guard. This clean E55 AMG Estate is for sale in Austin, Texas and is ready for all your fast hauling needs.

Year: 2006
Model: E55 Estate
Engine: 5.5 liter supercharged V8
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 55,098 miles
Price: $34,950

2006 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate on AutoTrader

Screen Shot 2013-03-23 at 7.09.27 PM

Local trade, black with charcoal leather. Premium package ($3,650), lighting package, keyless go ($1,080), COMAND navigation system, six disc CD changer, Harman-Kardon sound system with Dolby, three zone automatic climate control. Driving dynamic front seats, burl walnut trim, power tilt/slide glass sunroof, bi-xenon active light system, 5-speed automatic transmission. Six twin five spoke AMG aluminum alloy wheels, all books and keys present, 46 point quality inspection completed and maintenance performed with all documentation including oil and filter change and front brake pads plus much more.

Honestly, the E55 AMG Estate is one of my all time favorite Mercedes-Benzes, right up there with the R107 SL and W124 500E/E500. Sure, the later E63 may have added more power and refinement, but I loved the visceral yowl of that supercharger on this engine. It gave these cars character. The price for this E is a little on the high side, as E55s with this kind of mileage are hovering more around the $30,000 mark, with a few dipping into the high $20,000 range. This car does look remarkably mint and unmolested for its age, though, and black is the perfect color for this fast Benz. It adds to its already high stealth factor.

-Paul