When presented the choice of repairing a failed head gasket on the stock 3.2 engine or swapping in a C36 AMG engine, I chose the later. Neo in the Matrix chose the red pill and we have been down similar rabbit holes ever since. The 2.8, 3.2, and 3.6 Mercedes M104 straight six engines all have the same exterior dimensions so it was a straight bolt in swap. The 3.6 engine is good for approximately sixty horsepower more than the stock 3.2. For 1995, a small number of factory E36 cars were sold in the United Kingdom. Find my 1995 Mercedes E320 wagon for sale here on eBay in Norwalk, CT for $10,000.
Mercedes W124 E-class models are a tinkerers wet dream as they are infinitely serviceable with only basic hand tools. This great Road and Track article references the W124 in explaining the difference between a durable car and a reliable car. Mercedes cars that came after the W124 were not engineered to the same level and suffer from poor resale value by comparison. The arrival of the Lexus brand put enormous amount of pressure on Mercedes to cut costs.
The interior color was changed from saddle to black to accommodate the acquisition of a pair black 500e front seats. The 500e seats were never available in saddle color so recovering them would have been a pricey proposition. The interior also boasts a 500e 390mm steering wheel and all wood trim has been switched over from Zebrano to Burl wood.
The entire suspension has been rebuilt to either Mercedes Sportline or 500e specs. It now features 500e sway bars, 500e springs, Bilstein Sport front shocks, and all of the rubber bushings (there are a ton) have been replaced. The late model CLK 16″ wheels are prized by those in the know because they only weigh 13 lbs each. The low unsprung weight does wonders for the steering feel.
See a better engineered wagon for sale ? email firstname.lastname@example.org
The wagon is being replaced by a W124 coupe with the same engine swap except
it will be backed up by a 5 speed manual transmission.