Choo Choo: 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG

Why is the W201 generation Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG so cheap?  Sure, this next one comes with a salvaged title and a mysterious SRS light illuminated on the dashboard, but this is a monster V8 powered sedan with AMG street cred and pre-Daimler-Chrysler build quality.  How can this be cheaper than a used Honda Prelude?  Find this 2001 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG here on eBay bidding for $2,900 with 1 day to go located in Portland, OR.

Perhaps the answer to the question is somewhere buried in the deeply complex and crazy car that is the original E55.  It was the first E-class sized Mercedes-Benz to get the AMG treatment for the US market, and paved the way for the maniac E63 AMG that you can plunk down more than six figures at a dealer today.

Under the hood of the 2001 E55 AMG is a 5.5 liter V8 that produces 355 horsepower (up from 349 in the 1999-2000 examples) and 391 ft-lbs of torque without the aid of forced induction. This thing screams old school muscle car and seems to defy the laws of inertia by hitting 60mph from a dead stop in around 5 seconds.  

See a faster beast of a modern muscle car for less?