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.
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.
The Mercedes-Benz W202 C-Class has very little notoriety outside of the C36 AMG and C43 AMG. Maybe I’m missing something, but there seems to be no desire for a 1994 C220. It doesn’t surprise me as the W202 was an interesting blend of the old school “the best or nothing” and the world entering the booming 1990s where the product line expanded rapidly and the bean counters starting have more say at the table. When you sit in and drive a W202, you do have some feeling of that classic Mercedes magic, but some of stuff you can clearly see they cheaped out on. Even compared to 190E, these felt a little more “plasticy,” but tried their best to still convince you they really went all out with the resources and development of the model. So now that the newest W202 is over 20-year-old, will these non-AMG cars ever have any of demand or collectability? Don’t bet on it.
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.
I did not expect to see this. In a world where all the 1990s Mercedes-Benz AMG cars were painted in some sort of black/white/silver/grey, seeing the rare one in red was a treat. However, I was not expecting a bright blue.
This is a 1999 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG is Lapis Blue. Looking at the build sheet, this one was a Mercedes version of “paint to sample” judging by the ‘Z98 Painting outside the sample card’ entry on the decoder. This color is not to be confused with Porsche’s Lapis Blue which is clearly a much darker blue. Needless to say, a rare example. You know what that means.
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.