Zuffenhausen Assembled:1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E W124
The W124 E-class was the Mercedes-Benz answer to BMW’s 5-series, but with the success of the E28 M5 and the upcoming E34 M5, the guys at Mercedes-Benz knew they had to respond with something fast. So, they did what any logical German would do and turned to Porsche and pleaded for help. The result was a Mercedes-Benz and Porsche collaboration called the 500E that combined the rock solid W124 chassis with a Porsche tuned engine and suspension. Find this 1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E W124 offered for $16,500 in Holland, PA via craigslist. Tip from FuelTruck.
The guys at Porsche borrowed the M119 5.0 liter V8 from the R129 500SL, added 300mm disc brakes with 4-piston calipers (also from the 500SL), leather sport seats from Recaro (the rear is split in the middle, so it only seats 4), 1.5 inches of track front/rear, flared fenders, aggressive front air dam/side skirts, and 1 inch lower ride height. The result is a mean looking machine, and this one is shod with 18 inch BBS LM rep wheels and looks a skosh lowered from stock.
Performance was impressive for 1991 (when first released) and the 322 horsepower/354 ft-lbs of torque V8 shoved the 3800 lb sedan to 60mph in just under 6 seconds and all the way to a top speed near 160 mph. For some reason the execs at Mercedes-Benz decided that their clientele would prefer that the car shift its own gears, so the only transmission available was a 4-speed auto.
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I really like these cars. This color combo and wheel package make me cry. It is 2K miles away and I'm leaving the country. Normally my wife would handle my business while I'm gone but if task with this I'm sure she would pay the delivery driver to "drop" it off the transport..
Dream car and great to find one that is NOT black on black! I just hate that 4 speed auto tranni which shifts rough and starts from 2nd. I hope it is not like the one in my 190E 2.6.
My problem with this car is as follows:
For me, this is kinda the supermodel-I've-never-humped. It was unobtanium back then, and while I've developed something of an appreciation for the W124 in subsequent years, I've never actually driven one of these.
So if I got in one, I'd either love it and have to sell something I love to make room, or I'd be disappointed because it doesn't line up to the E39 M5 or other, later hardware it'd supplant. Still, there's something to be said for just doing something DIFFERENT even if it isn't necessarily BETTER.
And this really looks to be a nice example of the breed, friendly color (not gray or, ugh, black), nice interior, the wheels look good, etc.
Loving me some sexy flares in the ad's rear 3/4 view. The wheels ain't perfect but I wouldn't kick them out of the garage. Classy color IMO as well.
I've owned three of these, they were great cars in their prime. Now, not so much. Prices are way too high, IMHO.
If you're really interested in these cars, pay for a PPI inspection from the dealer. Best money you'll ever spend.
Big issues with these are: timing chain rails, wiring harnesses, evaporators, and overheating issues.
These cars were driven hard, and then passed on to the next owner. They run strong, but nothing great nowadays.
A large number of these cars have major deferred service issues, that can turn you upside down in short order.
When they are right, great driving experience – when they're not, money pits. Great website for these: 500Eboard.com
The group there knows their stuff, and have records of nearly every one of these previously sold. I've sold all three of mine there, and it's a great resource for 500E enthusiasts.
There appears to be a bunch of old muscle-sedans that are finding a bottom in their pricing, even if the current hardware is much faster – E34 and E39 M5s, first-gen CTS-Vs, early Audi S4/S6, these, etc.
They're all a nice drive, but condition is everything -all of these cars have a few well-characterized problems that need to be dealt with intelligently.