These are strange times for the Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG. Once the breakthrough car of the official Mercedes-Benz AMG vehicles launch in North America, this is now a car that maybe isn’t quite a full blown collectible for what it is, but has some pedigree to be one. The problem with the C36 is that it didn’t have much fan fare when it launched because of its extremely conservative styling as well as the minor bump in power and performance. This led it to be forgotten about and ultimately into the hands of wrong people. You could find a well used example for well under $10,000 and if it was really beat up and rusty, $5,000 might take one home. Now, people want old performance cars with brand caché, even through their performance leaves much to be desired. The thing is, what happens to the examples that still have a ton of life left in them, but are far from the best example remaining? I’m curious to find that out with this 1995 up for sale in California.
Please note: We have corrected this post to note that it is fitted with a 4.3L from the factory, not the 5.4L. Our apologies for the mistake. -dc
“Buy one now while you still can.”
How many times have you heard this over the years? We’ve seen it with all the cars that used to be not-so expensive and now are basically so crazy that it is cheaper just to build and buy replicas. Case in point, the E30 M3. I remember back in the early 2000s, staring into a monitor that was so heavy it would bow my desk, only dreaming of how I could get together $9,500 to buy one of those. Now? A 1988 with that’s been painted twice, has a non-original motor, and 240,000 miles sells for $30,000 all-in. Same goes for the 190e-16v. One used to be able to snag a decent one for under $10,000 without issue. Now, anything in that $10,000 range is going to be a serious project. Carter just featured a non-original Quattro that’s very much the same case. These cars come in waves as the years go on, only that wave never crashes and just stays high the entire time. Today’s car, a 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG, is starting to jump on a wave.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG on eBay
Last week I checked out an interesting Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG that needed some help up for sale in Canada. It seems like no one wanted to give a helping hand for this car as it ended with no bids even at it’s reasonable $2,500 US starting price. Today, I ran across another C36 AMG up for sale in Canada although this one has a much different story. This 1995 is actually a Japanese-spec car that has a few little touches that set it apart from the North American-spec cars. Unlike last week’s example, this one isn’t a basket case that needs thousands of dollars to make it presentable again. In fact, it is actually pretty clean. The price? Not all that bad in my eyes.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1995 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG on eBay
The W202 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG has gone from being a neat little footnote in Mercedes-Benz and AMG history as being the first post-acquisition AMG car to a car that collectors are now seeking out to add them to their stable. They aren’t at the level of the 190E 2.3-16v, nor do I think they will ever be, but the demand has definitely picked up over the past year or two. Because of these cars being unloved and overlooked for as many years as they were, lots of them fell into the hands of people who used and abused them then moved on to the next cheap car. At the end of the day, this is still a W202, so its tenancy to rust is always a major issue as well as some other things that plague the chassis such as the tendency for head gasket in the M104 engine to leak oil from the back of the head. Sadly, this 1997 C36 up for sale in Canada, seems to suffer from both of these mentioned things. Although if you do the math on the purchase price plus potential repair costs, maybe you could come out ahead and have yourself a really cool car that the value is slowly rising on.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz C36 AMG on eBay
The majority of the wagons were feature around here are of the Audi variety.Â For good reason, of course. They look good, they are all-wheel-drive, come in manual transmission and usually they have the potential to be pretty quick. But every once in awhile I pull out a Mercedes-Benz wagon that can run with the four rings. Usually it’s an E55 or E63 AMG Estate that not only looks great, but hauls ass and literally everything else. Although this time around, I have something much more rare and it’s actually on North American soil ready to be snagged up by our Canadian friends.
The W202 C43 AMG Estate is a rare bird. Only 717 of these were built between 1998-2000 and thanks to the rust monster that the W202 usually succumbs to, that number is decreasing faster than you think. Nearly a year ago, I actually checked one of these out in right-hand drive specÂ that was pretty tidy and what I thought was a reasonable price. But this German-import has it’s flaws and the starting price (with reserve) is pretty reasonable. So is this the one to get?