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I love “special wishes” cars. Something about a private (probably very wealthy) individual asking a major car manufacturer to make a whole bunch of changes to a car that is already incredibility detailed is interesting to me given how dialed-in production can be. You have every car on the line have a pre-determined build process, but then have one come along and have a totally new set of specs you’ve never seen before. I’d love to see the faces of the workers at the Affalterbach factory when they were given the instructions for this 1995 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG up for sale in London.
It was only a matter of time before the Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG became a hot item. The ingredients of a significant history, low production run, and brand status all make for a desirable automobile at any price level. For the past 15 years or so, you could buy these for almost no money at all for well-used examples because they were nothing more than a minor footnote in Mercedes history. Now that AMG is a mega brand both on the street and the race track, people want the originals. Being this was the first official post-merger AMG to grace the US market, collectors are suddenly chasing them down while they still can. Yes, you can still find a decent example for under $10,000, but the perfect example are suddenly pulling big numbers when at the end of the day this is still a W202. So naturally, when one pops up, I always take a look to see if its an example worth lusting after. This 1995 up for sale in California sure looks the part, but once again, we have a dealer that is less than helpful.
I think the days of picking up a nice W124 Mercedes-Benz coupe for very little money is probably over. I remember only a few years ago where a decent example could be had for $4,200 or so and everyone would leave happy. The last year or so? Not so much. Most have been trading in the $10,000 ballpark with some really nice examples selling for much more. Yes, you can probably find a handful of 300CEs that need some love for much less than 10k, but how much as you spending to get it back up to snuff?
That brings me to today’s example, a 1990 up for sale New Jersey that has just over 100,000 miles on the odometer. It looks to be well looked after and not beat up at all. But I think the problem with this car is interesting color scheme of Signal Red with the slightly darker lower cladding. Is it garish? Probably. Is it old enough where a crazy paint scheme is now considered cool? Maybe so.
All of a sudden we are in the middle of October and soon little Spider-Mans with coats on will be banging on your door wondering where the free candy is at. That means convertible season is all but over for most of America. That is, like my father used to yell at me for, unless you are one of those crazy people who puts the top down and blasts the heat which in turn is like trying to heat the whole neighborhood. The other scenario is of course if you live somewhere that doesn’t get snow then go ahead and enjoy your top down weather until the turkey is in the oven. That brings me to today’s car, a 1998 Mercedes-Benz SL320.
The SL320 and the pre-facelift 300SL have always stood deep in the shadow of big brothers V8 and V12 R129s and rightfully so. They are were just powerful enough that the car wasn’t a total dog, and usually they were low on standard features. Mercedes figured this out after eight long years with the inline-six SL and finally killed it off in the US after the 1998 model year. This leaves this example in Greenwich, Connecticut, a place where a four garage costs nearly $600,000, in rare company. The even better part about this car is that it had a pile of repairs and maintenance just competed. The thing is, is the price worthy of the little brother SL?