The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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At $1,000, Would You Take A Chance On This Misbehaving 1993 Mercedes 400 E?

The seller claims the car is in good shape but warns that the engine has an intermittent miss.

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Nice Price or No Dice Mercedes-Benz 400 E
Photo: Craigslist

With its smaller V8 engine, today’s Nice Price or No Dice 400 E could be considered the Hammer’s little brother. Let’s see if this TLC-needing little bro has a price that might make it worth adding to the family.

We recently reported that, at least based on initial reports of 2021 model year sales, Toyota snatched the sales crown from General Motors, dethroning the American company after decades of sales dominance. GM reportedly attributed the loss to the ongoing chip shortage and claimed the company would bounce back as the supply chain improved. That sounds like something a loser would say.


Toyota built its sales dominance on the backs of RAV4s and Camrys, both mid-sized models that for years have seemed to strike a chord (not an Accord) with the car-buying public. The 2012 Scion iQ we looked at yesterday was never a model that contributed much to Toyota’s bottom line. As small in sales numbers as it was in stature, the iQ wasn’t what you’d call mainstream. That’s just what a lot of owners like about it. Unfortunately for the seller of yesterday’s car, you all felt that so small a car demanded an equally diminutive price tag. That ended up with the $9,100 the seller asked falling down hard in a 93 percent No Dice loss.

Today we’re going to look at a car from a company that has (probably) never wanted to sell the most cars, but at one time was determined to sell what it considered to be the best cars. This 1993 Mercedes-Benz 400 E is a bit of a rare duck, only having been offered for two model years before being supplanted by the E420. Of course, that’s really just semantics since both models used the W124 platform and both were powered by the same 4.2 liter version of the M119 V8 engine.


Having a V8 in a W124 is a bit of a big deal. We all know the five-liter edition; first offered as the AMG Hammer and then as the factory-built and Porsche-engineered 500 E. The 400 E uses the same Porsche-punched-out engine bay, however, the engine occupying that space is the less raucous 4.2 rather than the fire breathing 5.0. That means 282 horsepower instead of 316 and 295 lb-ft of torque in place of the larger engine’s 354.

The seller of this 147,000 mile 400 E says its engine has an intermittent miss. Now, you might think that’s a reference to a single woman with punctuality problems, but in this case, it means the engine needs a thorough going over with special focus probably given to the ignition system. That should be fun since this is a pre-OBDII car.

Image for article titled At $1,000, Would You Take A Chance On This Misbehaving 1993 Mercedes 400 E?
Photo: Craigslist

There’s not much else for us to go on here. The seller claims that despite the engine miss, the car runs. According to the ad, it also has new tires, brakes and a battery. There are only two pictures offered, one of the exterior and another of the back seat, with the latter looking as though it has never been used. The exterior, in bottle green, seems to be in decent shape and the seller says the car has never been in an accident. The title is clean and the asking price is $1,000.


Yes, I said, $1,000.

Okay, you know what to do. Get down there and vote your conscience. What do you think, is this V8-powered W124 (that’s not a 500 E) worth that $1,000 even though it suffers from some undisclosed misfire malady? Or, is that still too much cash for so much unknown?


You decide!


Corvallis, Oregon, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

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