With Mercedes seemingly abandoning the coupé market here in the U.S., we’re taking the opportunity to look at a two-door that’s already here. Today’s Good Buy or Goodbye 300CE is an example of how MB did coupés right. Let’s just see how right its price might be.
When considering yesterday’s 2000 BMW Z3 roadster, a number of you posited that a better choice would be a contemporary Miata. Loathe be it for me to denigrate such a personal choice, but there are a number of people for whom the BMW roundel is a swaying factor in that decision. The $11,999 price tag on yesterday’s Z3 proved an even more compelling deciding factor—in the negative—and the car fell in a 67% Goodbye loss.
My goodness, haven’t we been looking at a number of German cars of late? You know what, I think it’s high time we look at another.
Mercedes Benz USA parent, Daimler AG has reportedly decided to kill off a number of their two-door models in this market. It is true that the company’s present lineup has become overburdened with different models. Some of those step on the toes of others, and a few just not selling in enough numbers to warrant dealer space. That being said, it’ll be sad to see the loss of such great cars as the range-topping S-class coupé or the more modestly proportioned two-door E.
Do not fear, however, since there appears to be a fairly substantial selection of such cars in the pre-owned market. Some of those, like this 1993 Mercedes 300CE seem pretty lust-worthy.
Now, it is true that the mid-sized Benz coupés have never engendered the same sort of reverence as have their competitors from BMW, but there’s something to be said about discovering a diamond in the rough that you’ve perhaps never considered before.
This 300CE appears far from rough. It does have a sizable chunk missing from its wonderfully traditional grille, and someone made the questionable choice to paint the wheels black, but it otherwise comes across in a clean and tidy manner.
One of the big attractions of the W124 coupe design is its B-pillar-less greenhouse and fully-retracting windows. To address the lower shoulder-belt position necessitated by the lack of a B-pillar, the W124 coupé has another trick up its sleeve: helper arms that hand you the belt like a dutiful butler.
This one’s Dunkelblau paint is accented by a jaunty double pinstripe down each side and smoked brightwork window trim. There doesn’t seem to be any major issues with the underlying body or those black-painted eight-slot alloys.
There does seem to be some chrome failure on the shell of the grille and frustratingly, one of the euro-lens headlamps has suffered a crack. On the plus side, these cars have Mercedes’ mesmerizing single articulating wiper hiding below the cowl. A roof rack comes along with the sale and is mounted to the factory locators.
The interior appears to have only suffered modestly over the years as well. The lovely biscuit-colored upholstery looks to be leather rather than the indestructible MBTex, but aside from the need for some cleaning seems to have held up well.
Wood trim and a modern Nakamichi radio (when was the last time you saw one of those?) fill the center stack. The ad notes the addition of custom sisal mats and I just have to say I can’t get enough of those. You might even go so far as to say I was crazy for coco mats.
Power comes from the 3.2-litre M104 straight-six. It calls up the Kraken to the tune of 228 horsepower and 229 lb-ft of torque. That gets routed through Mercedes’ 4-speed automatic to the rear wheels. The car has done 188,000 miles and the engine bay shows the evidence of the years and those miles. It’s pretty dirty in there, although it’s mostly dusty and not grimy so it should clean up with little effort.
The title is clean and the asking price is $6,500. We’ll now need to give both the car and that price a bit of consideration.
What do you think, is $6,500 a fair asking to get on the coupé wagon now that Mercedes is apparently jumping off? Or, is that price a good indication of why these cars just don’t sell?
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