You know what, maybe the weather in England isn’t so bad after all. Of course I am saying that solely because of today’s car, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300SL up for sale in Southern England. It is finished in the rare Willow Green with a brown soft top over tan MB-Tex. What I would give if this one was left-hand drive.
Just one time I’d love to get the full story on how these crazy low-production cars actually ended up getting built. Did the board member in charge of production planning buzz off to St. Moritz for three weeks and the guys on the production line throw together some leftover parts until he got back? Then again, these are the Germans here. Nothing is done without a meeting, another meeting, a planning session, a meeting about the planning session, and then a very precise schedule about production but not before having a safety meeting. There is a method to this madness, and madness is what we got with today’s car.
This is 1998 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG. Reportedly there were 59 of these cars produced, which were the then-W202 C-Class AMG but with the 5.4-liter M113 from the E55. Why only 59? Who knows. Although this one has something different about it that you can see through the windshield. It is in fact one of the very few right-hand-drive examples for the UK.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C55 AMG on eBay.UK
The 2019 model year marks the first year that the United States market will receive the new entry-level Mercedes-Benz W177 A-Class. It was a long time coming because there is nothing more American consumers want than luxury products on a low monthly payment. I checked out a new A220 last week at the auto show and I have to admit it was better than the C117 CLA-Class that was introduced to the American market in 2014. That CLA is a sad exercise of how cheap you can make a car and holds the record for the largest ratio of bezel to screen on a dash screen. Thankfully, a new CLA is in the works and should be miles better than the original. Nevertheless, those old cars will hang around on the buy-here, pay-lots until the end of time much like the original cheap Mercedes that started it all, the W168 A-Class.
Launched in 1997, it was Mercedes first dive into the subcompact market that was most infamously noted for failing the Swedish traditional “elk test” and looking like a giant wedge of cheese. The design wasn’t by random chance, Mercedes engineers designed the car this way so encase of a crash, the engine and transmission would slide underneath the floor below the pedals rather straight into the occupants in the front seats. The front wheel drive layout allowed this as well as there was no need to deal with a driveshaft preventing anything from sliding. Still, this car needed to compete in the subcompact market so it couldn’t be twice the price of competitors. That meant making the interior resemble a children’s play-place and passing it off as funky and modern. Those late ’90s were a crazy time after all. These sold reasonably well with 1.1 million units leaving dealer lots between 1997 and 2004 thanks to their small stature ideal for the city streets and tight parking of traditional European cities. Now, over 20 years later, a well-used A-Class can be had for the price of a modest vacation to Ocean City, Maryland and even the nicest examples, like this example for sale up for sale outside of London, don’t command a high asking price. Thing is, are they even worth it?
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz A160 on eBay
I know everyone might be getting just a little sick of all the silver R129 Mercedes-Benz models I’ve been covering as of late, but I promise this one is worth it. This is a 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG up for sale just outside of London. The backstory on the SL60 AMG is a little murky but I’m going to try to explain it the best I can. These cars were officially sold through Mercedes as a SL60 from 1993 to 1998, meaning when you run the VIN it comes back as a SL60 and not just as SL500s that were converted after the fact like we see a lot of times. There wasn’t much fanfare or marketing for these; they made somewhere between 1000 and 1500 with all of them being sold anywhere but North America.
The modifications are what you might have guessed: the 5.0 liter M119 converted to a 6.0 liter that made a conservative 381 horsepower. The rest of the stuff depended on the year and what the AMG factory felt like putting in the car. I don’t have any explanation as to why some cars were sold with Xenon and some weren’t. The same went with the interior changes as some cars got AMG gauge clusters while some didn’t and some interiors were crazy colors but others were just standard R129 interiors from that year. I believe that all the cars, except the very early ones, received the two-piece AMG wheels in the staggered setup. Today’s car is one of the few right hand drive examples that were built and honestly priced pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz SL60 AMG on eBay
I swear I am not on some kind of mission to find every six-wheeled Mercedes-Benz SUV out there — either factory or homemade. Somehow I tend to bump into them out of no where and they are often too unique or interesting to pass up. Today’s vehicle, a 2001 ML320 6×4 up for sale in Central England, qualifies as awfully interesting. As the title states, this W163 is still only a four-wheel drive and not six-wheel drive but that doesn’t make it any less crazy to look at. It looks like they grabbed the fenders, or custom-made them, from the ML55 AMG to cover the massive tires on all three axles. Although that isn’t even the craziest thing they fabricated up to get this ML to look this way.