The seller of today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe AMG-powered W124 says it's unfit for soccer mom duty until Danica Patrick starts popping them out. Misogynistic rabble aside, its C36 drivetrain should make this wagon entertaining, but will you entertain its price?
Speaking of women and German cars, due to its fun in the sun roof and high heel-friendly lack of a third pedal, yesterday's 1998 BMW M3 might have been imagined as something holding appeal for the ladies. If that's the case, then there must have been quite a few hitting the Nice Price button because while comments leaned heavily on the lack of value in an automatic M3, it came away with a 60% win. You go girl!
If you've got to go, along with six of your friends - gender regardless - then today's mile-high Mercedes wagon may be your ticket to ride. The W124 may not maintain the same reputation for hand-built rock-solidness as its predecessor, but then its engineering and styling are at least more contemporary.
This 200K blue bomber shows little evidence of those many miles, either externally or on the inside. Claimed mechanic-owned it is branded as an E 320, but that's just subterfuge to keep what's really under the hood on the DL. Powering this E-class is the AMG imbued 3.6-litre 24V M104 from the smaller C36, rated at 276-bhp. Oh mamma.
The A, M, and G of AMG stand for the initials of its founders - Hans Werner Aufrecht, and Erhard Melcher as well as Großaspach, the city in which Aufrecht was born. I guess you know who wore the pants in that business relationship. Founded in 1967, AMG inched closer and closer to Mercedes Benz, first signing an agreement that allowed the tuner-modded cars to enjoy factory-authorized sales and service at MB dealers, and finally to the Swabians absorbing 51% of the company, making AMG their in-house band.
The C36 was nominally the first product of the initial agreement inked between the companies and served as a salvo across the bow of BMW's heady M3. The enraged 3.6 provided more ponies than did the contemporary M-motor, making the AMG-branded entry level car a serious competitor.
The beating heart of that C-AMG now pumps its power through the larger E-class platform, and while the W124 is larger and - in this case provides for 7 passengers - but is not appreciably heavier than the baller W202. The transmission is also a refugee from the AMG which would make one of the 722 family - in either 4 or 5-speed configuration, depending on the year of the donor.
The seller (who remember is a mechanic) says that the engine swap was done with the utmost of professionalism, with no half-assery involved. He also touts the car's heavily tinted windows as a plus, albeit noting some scratches in that douchy darkness. He also points to the cargo hold netting as a plus, just in case you are jonesing to act out Deathproof II. The 16" wheels are neither AMG nor period correct, but when it comes to the multitude of MB alloys, it's often hard to go wrong, and on this car these look pretty sweet, IMHO.
On the down side, the platform has those 200,000 miles under it, and the w124s, while sturdy in comparison to mere mortal cars, lack the rep for longevity of the earlier executive class Benzes. There's also the fact that in the creation of this aryan race wagon the world is now less one of only 5,200 C36s.
Of course you might just care less about C-class attrition than you do about a hot wagon, in which case you might consider this Benz a beaut. The question is, will buying it break the bank? The seller - who if you recall is a mechanic - is asking $8,000 which is bucks for a W124 that doesn't sport a 500E badge somewhere on it. Still, it's up to you to determine if his price for this wicked-up wagon is worthwhile, or if - in spite of the hot motor - it leaves you cold.