Among the interesting trends we noted at the Essen show last week was very strong asking prices for Mercedes-Benz W124 500Es. Even considering the Essen +/- 10% surcharge, sellers were looking for money starting about $30K for slightly worn cars to at least one decent but not perfect car with an asking price in the neighborhood of $90K. Considering that’s what they sold for new, that one seemed just a tad optimistic to me, but it got me wondering: are the values for clean, original 500Es poised to increase substantially in the next few years, and consequently, should I be buying one now?
Monthly Archives: March 2012
Last week’s trip to Europe has me contemplating all sorts of next moves related to the things automotive in my life. Really, there are 2 considerations: upgrade the Accord Hybrid to something modern and fun with all of the bits and baubles that one expects with a new car, or buy something fun as a weekender – ostensibly in place of the recently-acquired Mercedes 300D Turbodiesel – that may even be well-positioned to start appreciating if looked after. Truth be told, as dull as the Honda is, I cannot deny the benefits of using the carpool lanes to commute from Fairfax, VA to Washington, D.C. every day. It easily saves me an hour a day. That leaves me looking at the classics.
The Mercedes-Benz W123-series cars were originally designed with two headlight configurations: the large rectangular high/low beam units with integrated rectangular foglights, and the flat faced big and little round-style version. Both came with replaceable halogen bulbs and configurations that did a fine job of illuminating the road ahead quite effectively. When tweaking the cars for the US market, archaic laws pertaining to things automotive required ancient (even then) sealed-beam units, so Mercedes adopted the proper flat-faced big and little design to the American market using a large sealed-beam high/low beam unit coupled with a replaceable halogen-bulb fog or driving light. The look was somewhat clumsy, and the effectiveness of the lights was even worse.
It’s been a while since my last Garage Corner post, partly because I, myself, can’t even keep up with the recent changes. Actually, there’s really only been one major change, but it happened so quickly that I’m still not totally sure what I did, or whether I’m happy about it. This week’s trip to Germany and England didn’t help much either, because I seem to have developed a taste for a few cars of a very different breed from my latest acquisition: this Anthracite Grey on Palomino MBTex 1983 Mercedes-Benz 300D Turbodiesel.
This is the obligatory 2013 Techno Classica Essen picture of Hall 10 at the Messe Essen convention center which has housed this event since its inception. But this hall barely scratches the surface. In fact, Techno Classica is comprised of displays in 17 interior halls, 3 outdoor open-air “markets”, and a covered vendor gallery. There is also food. And beer. Both German, and both really very tasty! Try as you might, there is really no way to take in the whole show in just a day (That’s a hint by the way. When you plan to come to next year’s event, plan on at least two days).
My cohort Reed is in Germany this week visiting the holiest of hallowed grounds, the Nürburgring. He’s travelling with fellow car goon Dan Trent, a scribe in England for PistonHeads.com, who has arranged the transportation in the form of a new Porsche 911 Carrera 4 GTS. I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds fast. And expensive. And fun. Even if the steering wheel is on the wrong side. Continue reading