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One of my favorite Mercedes-Benz nerd “fun facts” has to do with the 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300E. This chassis is quite possibly the most basic model you can find, but it is still loved by many due to the fact it will go for nearly forever as long as you take care of it. So what is the trivia about it? Well, in 1993 you could buy the 300E with an M104 2.8-liter inline-6 or an M104 3.2-liter inline-6. Back when numbers on badges meant something, this was a big deal. Not to mention a little bit of a horsepower difference as well.
Today, we have one of those 1993 model years with not the 3.2, but rather the smaller 2.8. M104 is M104, right?
Not that they weren’t valuable before, but it certainly seems like collectors or “want-to-be collectors” are trying to grab every little piece of pre-merger AMG stuff they can get their hands on. The thing is, no one really knows what is all out there and where they are at. Being that they were produced à la carte-style at several different AMG subsidies around the world and record keeping was rather sparse, tracking these cars is difficult at best, and the possibilities were endless in terms of how tame or how crazy you wanted to go. One car might get some bumpers and side skirts, while the one being built beside it might get widebody treatment and a 6.0-liter swap. Once they were finished, off they went to who-knows-where.
Today’s car, a 1992 300CE, is somewhere in the middle. It has the classic AMG bodykit, Monoblock wheels, and an M103 with bumped-up displacement to 3.4 liters. Sadly there is no 6.0 here, but surely it is a great looking automobile and still can be fun. This one is up for sale in central Paris of all places has a fair amount of miles, and is priced somewhat reasonably considering what we saw another 3.4 car sell for back in May.
These are always fun. This is a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 230E with a mere 995 kilometers, or 618 miles for us Americans. The story says that it was used as a dealer demo car for a showroom in Germany then stashed into storage until recently discovered. As crazy as it is to see 618 miles, this is about as basic as a W124 gets. The M102 inline-4 with a cloth interior, no power windows, no air conditioning, and a manual transmission. Puzzling at the time, but now as we are entering an era where some covet for basic models with nothing to go wrong, it is tough to argue against this one. Problem is, this one comes with a massive price tag. Like, nice 500E price tag.
Hug your W124s, treat them well, because they aren’t getting any younger and the surely aren’t making any more of them. As the years grind on, the W124 Mercedes-Benz, especially the coupe, seems to make more and more sense to me. A stately design that isn’t trendy or offensive in any way. The proportions are correct and is it is utilitarian as much as it is styled for the sake of looking good. Inside, everything you need, nothing you don’t. The closest thing for a screen you’ll get are some 8-bit readouts on the radio and temperature display. Under the hood, either the trusty M103 or M104, depending on the year. The 1993, like the one we have here today up for sale in Florida, is a one-off specification for 1993 as it has the pre-facelift body, but the 3.2-liter M104 as opposed to the older 3.0-liter M103. Want the updated engine but like the pre-facelift body? Here ya go.