2009 Mercedes-Benz E63 Estate

I give a lot of credit to Mercedes-Benz for their willingness to let a select group of US buyers special order the last generation E class AMG wagon. The E55, introduced in 2005, featured the 5.5 supercharged AMG V8 that cranked out 469 horsepower. With the phasing out of the 5.5 liter supercharged engine, it made way for the E63, which brought us a family estate with over 500 horsepower.

These are rather unique cars, as only a few hundred were sold new. This 2009 E63 represents the last year for the W211 AMG estate.

2009 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG Estate on AutoTrader

CARFAX Certified one owner. The most rare car on the road, only two for sale in the whole United States for 2009. 507 HP, black on black, leather seats. Third row seating. Low miles. Navigation, Harman-Kardan Sound System, Xenon lights, all service completed. This E63 is immaculate. It is powered by a 6.2L 507 HP engine. No dents, scratches, non-smoker.

Multi-Zone A/C, Adjustable Steering Wheel, Heated Driver Seat, Heated Passenger Seat, Auto-Dimming Rearview Mirror, Adjustable Lumbar Support, Power Door Locks, Heated Power Mirrors, Variable, Rain and Speed Sensing Wipers.

The seller’s description in this ad was so bad that I had to massively edit it for the site. If it’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s dealers that try and sell unique cars like this and try and pass them off as your usual ex-rental Corolla. Also, I’d like to know how the Mercedes emblem on the tailgate was broken (there’s no ring around the three pointed star). All in all, a car of this stature deserves of a better presentation. With issues like these, it makes me wonder what else could have happened in this car’s past. When you spend this kind of money for a used car, you’ve just got to get it right.

-Paul

1972 Saab 95

Following up with our first non-German feature, I came across this very unique and amazingly original Saab 95. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw one of these for sale, especially in this condition. Production of the seven seat, two door wagon began in 1959 and ended in 1978, with the rear facing seat option being dropped in 1976. Originally powered by a three cylinder, two stroke engine with a freewheeling mode, Saab elected to use the V4 engine built by Ford in Cologne, Germany. I guess this Swede does have some Teutonic charm, after all.

The seller states:

Some of you Saab afficianado’s may have seen this car listed recently on Ebay. I acquired the car as part of a larger transaction of classic vehicles.

The winner of this auction will own what nationally recognized Saab expert Chip Lamb called “the most perfect original example known to exist”. Indeed, up until recently, this Saab 95 wagon was part of the General Motors Heritage Collection… the collection being sold off after GM sold the Saab brand in 2010.

A bit of the provenance on this car… picked up at the factory in Sweden in 1972 by a couple from California who used the Euro delivery to drive their new car around Scandinavia. The car still wears two original decals in the rear windows (as shown in the photos) from that trip. The car was factory delivered to San Diego where it remained until 2004, owned, driven and lovingly pampered by the original owners. Two car collectors then owned the car from 2004-2007 before it was added to the Saab Heritage Collection. The 85,000 miles on the odometer are accurate and almost all driven in California. This car is original and not restored- despite the condition which is immaculate, flawless… you choose the word. As serious collectors know- flawless original beats perfectly restored in collectibility and long term appreciation.

The car is finished in the original Ambragul (amber yellow) finish…more of a butterscotch. There is no evidence of any paint work anywhere and all the original stickers and tags are in their proper place and untouched. There is ZERO rust- nothing, nada, it’s perfect. All original factory undercoating is intact. All chrome and brightwork is near flawless with no corrosion of any kind. The only flaw evident on the car is a very small and barely noticeable “star” in the upper part of the front windshield, barely visable from the outside, caused by a stone. A glass expert checked this out and this tiny “star” was repaired and will not spread…and it is highly recommended, this being the original glass, to leave it in place and the driver will hardly even notice it.

Car is fitted with an original factory roof rack (has Saab logo embossed on both sides) that is nearly impossible to find now. The roof rack is probably worth over $1,000 by itself! Fold down third seat is equally flawless in finish and condition…even the hold straps are still in place.

All seals and weatherstripping are tight and flawless. The trunk hatch opens, closes and seals as new. All bodywork is perfect…no dents, dings, scratches etc.

This Saab 95 wears its original wheels, caps and has a very nice set of 165 SR 15 tires.

Interior is all original and perfect…not much more I can say- check out the photo’s. The radio has been removed and replaced with an original cover. I also have the original cut out if the new owner desires to add a factory original radio later. The chrome radio antenna is in place.

Engine- Entire engine bay completely restored and detailed to show quality condition. Over the past few months the following mechanical work was done to bring mechanicals back to perfect condition- all work done by certified Saab classic mechanics:

*engine pulled and cleaned with all new hoses added

*recored radiator

*new transmission mounts

*new clutch with lightened flywheel and strengthened pressure plate

*new fuel pump

*new water pump

*new slave cylinder

*all fluids changed: oil, coolant, brakes and transmission

*complete tune-up

* car previously converted to a one-barrel Weber 34 ICH with pertronix ignitor

*heat wrapped fuel line

*4-new stainless braided brake hoses

*new rear brake cylinders and shoes

*new handbrake lever boot

***This Saab 95 V4 will also be delivered with two sets of keys and the original owners manual…and, if you want it, the original blue California license plate.

How often do you get the chance to get your hands on a car where you can say you own the nicest example on planet earth. Saab fans- don’t miss this opportunity to own a piece of Saab history. I’m pretty confident you’ll win most car shows you attend in your division. Good luck bidding.

This Saab is now garaged in Charlottesville, Va (zip code 22901)…. about 90 minutes southwest of Washington D.C. While this car could be driven anywhere, the rare quality of the car suggests professional transport arrangements unless you are in the area. I would be happy to hold the car up to two weeks so proper shipping arrangements can be made. A non-refundable deposit of $500 is due within 24 hours of the close of the auction.

Saabs are not noteworthy for having high resale value, and $20,000 for an almost 40 year old example steep. I think it’s a bargain, though, given this vehicle’s story and condition. The 95, along with it’s smaller two door sibling, the 93, are the cars that endeared Saab to individualists who appreciated engineering and build quality that reflected why these cars were “born from jets.” The 93’s rallying success was icing on the proverbial cake for buyers. I hope whoever buys this car doesn’t stash it away or hide it in a museum. It’s rare that you see a 93 on the street, let alone the estate version. With regular light use, this car could easily survive for another 40 years, giving people a window into the origins of this marque revered by its owners and enthusiasts alike.

-Paul

1977 Mercedes 450SEL Crayford Estate Wagon

This find comes into us from reader Randal. We have seen some pretty solid prices for factory Benz wagons of late, but here is a chance to get your hands on an earlier conversion.

The Crayford wagons are fairly well known cars in the Mercedes estate circles. I came across one in June of 2009 that was seen on GCFSB. While the car didn’t sell the first time, in January of 2010 BringATrailer found it listed again and ran a post on it. It sold for $23,000.

These conversions were tailored to an owner’s specific tastes and were done to a high standard. From the era before the venerable Mercedes TD & TE, they were unlike anything available directly from the factory. Interestingly Crayford cars retained their original Mercedes warranty.

This particular model comes out of the Texas estate (pun intended) of Eddie Chiles. It has 73,000 miles on the clock and has recently been serviced to bring it back into a daily driver level of service.  It features the U.S. quad, headlights, one of the differences from the previously mentioned car.

This car features a really interesting L shaped third row bench seat, the seller says that this feature is unique to this car only.

The car needs someone to give the inside, outside, under the hood, etc. a good cleaning. I’m actually surprised the current seller did the mechanical work on the car, but decided against cleaning up some of the grime. Some relatively simple elbow grease could pretty easily add a $1,000 to the sale price of this car.

This specimen is not as nice as the one that sold for $23,000, but bidding is already up over $16,000. I suspect we’ll see resistance at just under $20k for this one, but with a car of which less than 20 exist it only takes a few people who want one to do strange things to the auction price.  A neat piece.

~Evan

2000 BMW 540iT

With the popularity of the BMW X3 and X5 these days, the BMW 5 series wagon has taken a backseat to the sport utility vehicle craze and, it was recently announced that the newly revised F10 (we’re not using the E prefix anymore) 5 series wagon will not be coming to the US. Instead, we’ll be left with the newly developed 5 series Gran Turismo, which, from what it appears to me, is trying to be a sedan/SUV/wagon all in one. Whatever it is, when I saw it in person, it just didn’t work for me. It’s too big for my tastes, which is sadly the case with most new cars these days.

Let’s take a look at simpler times, when you could have a good, honest BMW wagon with a V8 and rear wheel drive:

The seller states:

2000 BMW 540iT Wagon, Sunroof, 6-CD Changer, Alloy Wheels, Remote Start, Navigation. 66,992 miles

With no reserve, the bidding is still under $10,000, which is a steal for a car with this much hauling capacity and power. Just the thing for that trip to the Hamptons. And an even bigger question looms: will the Hamptons embrace the Gran Turismo as much as they have the 5 series wagon in the past?

-Paul

1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Estate

In an era of SUVs and minivans, the estate, or station wagon, is fast becoming a less favored mode of transport. One manufacturer has stayed true to this body style since 1978: Mercedes-Benz. This clean, low mileage W124 E320 wagon is my favorite of the breed and perhaps one of the best engineered, as well. Rarely do we see Mercedes-Benz wagons with such low mileage but here’s a chance to bid on a classic.

The seller states:

This is a really nice 1995 E320 wagon that has been in California all its life. It was bought new by an older lady in Los Angeles. She kept the car for just over 11 years and put only about 35,000 miles on it in that time. Her daughter acquired the car in 2007 and it has been in the Bakersfield area since then. This car was built in September of 1995; making it one of the last w224 cars to be built. This was also the year of any U.S. model Mercedes wagon until 1998. Unfortunately, 1998 was also the first year Mercedes began using the new V6 motor. So, 1995 was the last year Mercedes made a wagon with the better in-line 6-cylinder motor. Since a new body style was introduced for 1996, this was also the last of the over-engineered E-Class cars. Just like the 1993 190-Class, the 1999 S-Class, and the 2002 SL-class, this car was the last of its kind, and they truly don’t build them like they used to. By Mercedes’ own admission, they do not over-engineer these cars any more. This car is the last of the best.

This car has as much cargo space as a mid-size SUV with the middle and rear seats folded. It has the third row seat which makes it a true 7 passenger vehicle. However, the back seat is best for kids or adults you don’t like. It has a cargo cover to hide items in the back and a cargo net that can be used as a divider with the rear seats up or when they are folded. It also has a luggage rack, complete with the cross bars. All that combined with the self-leveling rear suspension makes this car really versatile.

The bad:

After sitting for approximately 2 hours, sometimes the car will not start without touching the gas pedal lightly. A little more or less time sitting and it starts up normally.

There is a small oil leak that leaves a pea to dime-size drop on the ground over night. It looks like it is coming from the front of the engine; maybe around the timing chain cover.

The left rear floor mat is missing.

One of the wheels has some curb rash (see pictures).

There are a couple of dings on the tailgate (see pictures).

There is a ding at the bottom of the left quarter panel that caused about a 3/4″ crack in the paint along the bottom edge (see pictures).

The lower panel on the right rear door has some light scratches (see pictures).

The rocker panel on the left side has some scratches (see pictures).

The right rear door had a scrape at the top that has been filled with touch-up paint (see pictures).

There is a scrape over the right rear wheel that has been filled with touch-up paint (see pictures).

The driver’s window regulator will need to be replaced soon as it stops about 1/8″ short at the top of its travel and makes a clicking noise.

The left rear window regulator probably needs to be replaced soon. It is making a noise.

As of 3 days ago, the air conditioning stopped being cold when the car is idling in direct sunlight. It gets very cold at all other times.

The left tail light has a crack in it that has been repaired (see pictures).

The radio is an after market CD unit that cannot be turned off. However, you can turn down the volume all the way or remove the face plate if you don’t want to hear it.

Barring the list of faults, many of which are minor imperfections, this wagon is a solid bet. Besides the W123 wagons, this was perhaps one of MB’s best, in terms of durability. Whoever gets their hands on this low mileage example will enjoy years of utilitarian motoring with a touch of class.

-Paul

2005 Mercedes-Benz E55 wagon

After the glut of minivans and sport utility vehicles that have flooded the automotive landscape over the last two decades or so, the wagon, or estate vehicle, has become an afterthought in many people’s minds. Mercedes, however, has shown a steadfast commitment to the body style, as they have offered a wagon in their lineup every year for the past 32 years. Below is an example of how perfectly Mercedes-Benz blends style, performance and utility in one irresistible package.

The E55 wagon attained almost instant classic status when Mercedes announced they would be selling it here on U.S. shores, because everyone knew it had no equals and was meant as a limited production model. The E55 and E63 which followed accounted for a few hundred sales across the U.S. during it’s production run. Not many family haulers can brag about sharing a supercharged V8 engine with the legendary Mercedes-Benz SL roadster.

The seller states:

One of 129 (verified with Mercedes AMG Private Lounge – I’m a member/AMG nut with 2 other AMG cars) E55 Estates produced for the 2005 model year. In VERY RARE Platinum Blue Metallic with Black/Blue two-tone interior (has subtle blue stitching throughout), light grey headliner. 31.5k miles with 2 owners (AutoCheck is incorrect, 2 of the noted owners are Mercedes dealers).

This has to be one of my favorite Mercedes-Benzes of the last two decades, partly due to its rarity and the Q ship factor. This is a true multipurpose vehicle, as you can find yourself hauling a wardrobe while simultaneously clipping an apex at 75 mph. And if you are a parent and just can’t let go of your youth, this is the best way to have your cake and eat it while on your way to soccer practice.

-Paul