The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe E55 AMG describes it as being “Insanely RARE.” Of course, rarity doesn’t always translate to value, and hence we’ll still have to decide if you’d need to be insane to pay its asking price.
I have always been impressed by Jeremy Clarkson’s unflagging sense of nationalism. The curmudgeonly car show host almost aways deems Britain’s cars to be a caliber above those of any other nation all the while glossing over their obvious flaws.
Land Rover is one of the marques that Clarkson holds in high esteem, lauding the company’s Range Rover as the pinnacle of luxury off-roader chic. Because of this, Jezza would naturally have approved of yesterday’s 1993 Range Rover LWB. He would have extolled its capabilities both on-road and off, and would have claimed that the retrofitting of steel coils in place of the factory air suspension exemplified Britain’s pluck and resourcefulness.
Of course, at $5,900, Clarkson could easily afford that Range Rover’s asking—he is a celebrity after all. The rest of us may not exactly share the Grand Tour host’s feelings toward Britain’s ultimate off-roader, nor did a majority of you appreciate that price. In the end, the Range Rover fell in a 57 percent Crack Pipe loss. Sorry, Clarkson.
America may not be a global trendsetter, but one such notch we can add to our collective bedpost is the popularization of the modern muscle car. That concept of a big engine in a little car arose out of late 1950s Detroit and has since spread—yes, like a virus—all around the world.
This 2006 Mercedes Benz E55 AMG is a specific example of Germany’s take on the breed. With this model, Mercedes took a hand-built performance V8 and crammed it under the bonnet of their mid-sized E-class sedan. Along with the 5.5-litre supercharged mill, Mercedes also imbued the car with uprated suspension and brakes, some subtle body revisions, and an interior filled with sport seats, a fat steering wheel, but with enough serious styling to make sure you still remember you’re flying in a proper Benz.
The thing of it is, the muscle car ethos usually means that too much can never be enough. That also means that cars of this ilk—which have started out as modified—tend to get further massaged by their owners. I think that’s pretty cool.
This 118,000 mile E55 has seen extensive performance and appearance mods all in the name of making it go faster and look sexier. Let’s dig in and see what wickedness has been wrought.
The ad notes the E55 to be, in the seller’s opinion, “one of the best cars EVER made.” That’s quite the hyperbole but to be fair, they are pretty badass right out of the box. The AMG-built DOHC V8 was factory spec’d at 469 horsepower at the crank which is a pretty sizable stable. The thing of it is, that supercharged mill is stout enough to take on even more, and there exists a sizable industry in performance parts for these cars.
This one has a lot of those mods. A LOT. The supercharger has gained a smaller diameter pulley along with a companion crank pulley to allow it to spin faster. That blower also gains an improved cooling system with a secondary electric pump and heat exchanger. All that feeds a larger intercooler and is paired with a seriously upgraded fueling system that starts with a series of high-flow pumps and culminates at injectors that offer lots more squirt.
The other side of the engine has tubular headers leading to freer-flowing cats and a full aftermarket cat-back exhaust. Cooling seems to have been a primary concern of the present owner as well as not only is the supercharger uprated in its cooling, but there’s also an aftermarket heat dump that has been added to the five-speed automatic. There’s also an ECU tune by a shop I guess we’re supposed to know, and a few other mods that the seller thinks are worthy of note.
All in all the seller claims 500 horsepower… at the wheels. The ad cdescribes the car to be “powerful and dangerous in inexperienced hands” and states that no joy rides will be given. All the original parts that have been replaced/upgraded will come with the car just in case you feel like turning back the clock.
Aesthetically, the car has seen some work as well. The factory black paint is said to be in okay condition, suffering the expected stone chips in the nose and arches. That all has been covered in a titanium vinyl wrap that looks both well-done and appreciably contemporary. The carbon fiber trim accentuates it well.
Downstairs, you get new Michelin Pilots on aftermarket alloys. Those look a little over the top but as the car is being offered in Denver, you also get a set of two studded Nokian Hakkapaletas in the bargain. A Thule roof rack tops it all off.
The interior looks immaculate and appreciably stock other than a pair of A-pillar gauges. Those read boost and fuel pressure and are a good bit of cheek on a car of this caliber.
The car is said to be a daily driver and with gas hovering at around “free” a gallon, you probably wouldn’t mind the 8 to 10 MPG around town it will provide. The title is clean and the seller does a pretty solid job presenting the car in its ad. Let’s see how well it has been priced.
The ad asks $15,000 for the car and if you’ve followed Samcrac’s rebuild of his salvage E55 on YouTube you’ll know that even the shit-upon cars can go for a chunk of change. This one seems to be at the polar opposite end of shit-upon and in fact, is a turn-key muscle car. Do you think it could be worth that $15,000 asking? Or, would that make you feel like you were getting muscled?
H/T to James Wynne for the hookup!
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