While for a few generations it’s been fairly predictable that newer used Mercedes-Benz models are cheaper than the older, well kept models, there’s been an interesting turn in the market over the past 6 months. We are witnessing a trend of ever increasing prices on all the 1980s iron, but really specifically in the Mercedes-Benz world the R107 is on the rise fastest of all. In a 5 month period, Hagerty has re-assessed its evaluation of the model’s worth, with most models doubling or tripling in value seemingly overnight. What was, in 2014, a $10,000 – $15,000 example will be on the market for double that today, or more. Is the R107 the next E30, or is this simply a demand spike that recognizes some of the best built and engineered Benz models produced? Well, it certainly does beg the question – if you were going to spend $30,000 on a R107, what other classic Mercedes-Benz models would fall into that range. For comparison, I lined up a lovely W111 coupe to consider – nearly the same miles, condition and asking price, and both are Euro-spec manuals. Which would be your choice?
Tag: Grey Market
The words “authentic” and “original” become quite contested when it comes to 1980s AMG products. That’s mostly because, in truly un-Germanic fashion, most of the records of the early AMG cars were lost in the move from an independent company to incorporation in the Daimler-Benz Goliath. That’s really unfortunate, because it opens the opportunity for interpretation; without documentation, how is one supposed to truly show that their car is an original modified version? There are also questions about what level of modification makes a “authentic” AMG; because, technically, you could buy a steering wheel, wheels and aerobits from an authorized dealer in the 1980s and be able to claim it’s an original car. But the big money tends to be reserved for the cars that were fully modified with upgraded engines, suspension, interior and exterior upgrades. We’ve seen a few of these variously modified SECs cross these pages, and today we get to look at another. This one straddles the middle ground of mods; a steering wheel, reportedly correct “Penta” wheels, and aerodynamic bits adorn this European market 500SEC, but the car also has the correct AMG suspension as well. With lower miles, will this 1980s spectacular dipped white example set the market ablaze?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay
With our resident Mercedes-Benz expert Paul out of the country, we’re going through a bit of a classic Mercedes-Benz drought here at GCFSB. I’ve tried to fill in a few gaps, but the reality is that Paul has a knack for finding the best examples of the stars from Germany. So until he comes back, you’ll have to make due with our admittedly second-tier examples, two of which we’ll feature today and both of which at W116s. Right now I have a one of the lesser examples – a 1979 350SE. It doesn’t have the big 6.9 motor and it’s not the long wheel base, but it’s a slick Euro model which appears clean – so certainly worth a look:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1979 Mercedes-Benz 350SE on eBay
If you missed Paul’s MerCamino earlier today, I’ve got another strange conversion for you. The 1980s were a heady time for “tuners”, some of which made some downright odd creations and others of which took existing really good cars and just…well, made them worse. One of the best ways to wreck a good car is to chop the roof off, and making cabriolet or roadster versions of coupes seemed to be a sure tuning bet in the 1980s. We got convertible versions of the Quattro, Porsche 928, BMW 6 series – heck, even the Ferrari Testarossa wasn’t immune. But if you wanted luxury and sun for 4, of course you needed a Mercedes-Benz 500SEC convertible. And while you’re there, why not throw in some AMG bits. “What?”, you say, “But I’ve never seen one!” Search no more:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible on eBay
About a month ago I wrote up a AMG-modified grey market 500SEC that scared people with it’s chromed Pentas, blacked out windows and questionable history. But perhaps if you can get by the again all-caps ad copy, this cranberry-colored grey market 1983 will be the one for you. Sporting the requisite AMG bits and period correct color-matched wheels, this 500SEC certainly looks the part – and the Moby Dick sized stack of receipts may mean this is the not-so-white whale you’ve been looking for: