The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice Mercedes claims to have a number of interesting cars on the chopping block, but only seems to be listing this one at the moment. The reason given for the sale is a move, and we’re going to determine if this Benz is right-priced to move.
It has been said that the candle that burns twice as bright only burns half as long. At $7,000, yesterday’s 2003 Ford Ranger Edge 4X4 burned very brightly indeed, and thus its ad was pulled — indicating a sale — before our voting was even complete. Fully 88 percent of you concurred with that outcome, giving the Ford a rare overwhelming Nice Price win.
There’s this idea that many Americans hold that certain things from other places are inherently better than similar items that can be found here. That’s the case with French food, Scandinavian furniture designs, and Belgian beer. That’s also while some people choose to undertake the private importation of European-spec models of cars, even when there are official models available that have been built specifically for the U.S. market.
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Today’s 1992 Mercedes-Benz 300 CE is just such a car. This edition of the W124 was made available by Mercedes as a U.S.-spec model, complete with domestic market headlamps, an instrument cluster that contains a speedometer that reads in miles-per-hour, and a temperature gauge marked in Fahrenheit, as well as upholstery that was typically either leather or MB Tex leatherette.
This coupe has none of those features. Instead, the speedo reads in those voodoo metric units known as kilometers, the temperature gauge is likewise in Celsius and the headlamps are the smooth single-lens H4 jobs. Also, as way of eschewing U.S. market norms, the seats are wrapped in wonderful patterned cloth upholstery. This 300 CE has a four-speed stick behind its torquey 177 horsepower 3-liter straight-six engine, making for one more significant differentiator rom your average U.S. market machine. Being a Sportline, it has wider wheels and tires than a standard 300, as well as a faster ratio for the steering and some suspension tweaks that should make it more fun through the bends.
Those are all interesting attributes, but do they make this car any more desirable than a U.S. model? Does that make it seem worth the expense of importation from Spain as described in the ad? Let’s do a little more investigation.
According to the ad, the car was imported from Spain by a prior owner about a year back and has done a total of 202,428 kilometers since new. That sounds like a ton but that’s only a little over 125,000 miles to us Yankees. The seller describes the car as being in excellent shape, saying it “starts runs drives every time,” and that the “transmission shifts well with plenty of life in the clutch.” The A/C is said to also work and to have had a servicing just last year. Considering the age, that’s probably an R12 system which, while better than R134 for cooling and the environment, is pretty expensive to maintain if you don’t have a refrigeration contractor in the family.
The window setup is another interesting Euro-market feature not typically found on U.S. models. That’s power windows in front and manual cranks for the movable glass in the back. Americans usually expect consistency and hence want one or the other on both ends.
On the downside, the seller notes a few flaws in the paint and some broken vent controls on the dash. Otherwise, there doesn’t seem to be anything this clean-title and Arizona-registered 300 CE needs other than a new owner to drive and enjoy it.
For that honor, a buyer will need to come up with $13,000 as that’s the asking price for the bespoke Benz. That potential buyer might want to bring some more cash to the meet-up since the seller says they also have a VW Passat W8 six-speed wagon for sale as well. Maybe a package deal could be negotiated?
We’re going to stick with just the Mercedes, and as such, it’s now time for you all to weigh in on whether it’s worth that $13,000 asking as it sits. What do you say, is that a fair price for a car that’s interesting owing to its not-offered-here accouterments? Or, does that price make this a Benz of little import?
Phoenix, Arizona, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.
H/T to Phil R. for the hookup!
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