We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
Earlier this spring, ESPN released a six-part documentary about the life and legacy of basketball player Michael Jordan that showcased him like we’ve never seen before. Even as someone who is only mildly interested in NBA, it was a fascinating watch. I wasn’t alone in this, as the ratings were off the charts for all six episodes. As a result, anything Michael Jordan related was now on fire in terms of value and people were eating it up. Even the most mundane things were suddenly as hot as can be and everyone was back on Jordan mania. Well, wouldn’t you have it, that includes cars. Even ones h̶e̶ his wife owned over 20 years ago and now are all beat up with a ton of miles on.
I actually looked at another one of his cars a few years ago in the ultra-rare SLR McLaren 722 Edition, which as the time wasn’t a big deal at all. This isn’t an SLR today, this is just an C140 S600 Coupe with some Lorinser bits bolted on and a bunch of miles. The current bid? Well, this is why eBay doesn’t work for cars like these.
Last week I looked at a really exceptional 1997 Mercedes-Benz S500 that looks to have found a new owner at right under $15,000. Probably a fair price for both parties, and I doubt it will lose much as long as the condition stays close to what it is now. Naturally, that got me looking around at other W140s, and wouldn’t you a 1993 600SEL popped up finished in the rare Nautical Blue Metallic. Granted, any color on a W140 that isn’t black, silver, or white is rare, but this one really seems to pop. Match that with the Palomino interior, and this one is well into “classic” status.
In terms of depreciation of the W221 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, we are probably near the bottom. A little bit of a double-edged sword as prices are well in to affordable range, but that means they are also getting into the hands of those who maybe aren’t staying up on the maintenance. On today’s car, a 2007 S600, maintenance is a way of life. Believe it or not, a twin-turbo V12 from 14 years ago isn’t the nightmare fuel you’d guess it to be. Outside of a few small things, Mercedes really did an outstanding job making these V12 durable in terms of what disasters V12 in general can become. However, this isn’t all roses. We are talking about large sums of money to drive a 14 year-ago car that probably isn’t impressing anyone outside of a handful of people and of course, me.
Don’t look now, but it seems like the Mercedes-Benz W140 chassis is finally getting its due. Does that mean go out and buy every Craigslist W140 you can find like people do with the 2.3-16v and W124 500Es? No. Please don’t do that. What I’m trying to say is that the very best of the best W140s are finally selling for prices that I would consider “premium”. Just as an example, a 1996 S600 Coupe with 36,000 sold for $32,500 last week and it looked every bit the part of a new car. The sedan is no different either, although the V12 cars and Grand Edition certainly seem to be the most desirable, and rightfully so. Today, I came across a 1991 600SEL up for sale in Germany with just 15,000 miles. Naturally the car perfect, but this one has a little surprise once you open the doors.
As we are now into a new decade, I figured now is a good a time as any to remind you to never buy the car I’m looking at today. What is it? The 2001 Mercedes-Benz S600. Not just the 2001, but any vehicle that comes with one of the worst engines ever made, the M137. This engine was so bad, that it only lasted three model years the US spanning from 2000-2002 in the S600 and CL600. Mercedes quickly admitted their errors and switched to the M275 in 2003, and that was so durable that iterations of it are still in production today. Why exactly was this thing so bad? Lets refresh our memory.