As it bowed in 1998, Mercedes promised that only 1,500 units would come stateside, starting at $52,750, which is just shy of $80,000 in today’s money. claims that actual production numbers ended up closer to just 1,100 units.


And yet, less than a day of looking for one of these cars myself has turned out okay-looking (if high mileage) examples for around $4,000 in the east, west, and middle of the country.

The W202 Mercedes definitely doesn’t look new anymore and it might not be a supercar killer in any era, but its simplistic design still looks stately. I think any AMG engine you can find that’s connected to an operational car costing less than $5,000 is worth your attention, but the early C-Classes also represent a pivotal moment in the company’s history.


Even if you end up spending a few thousand dollars to get a well-worn example sorted out, it’s not like Mercedes is making any more of these. And how much cheaper could they possibly get?

Hell, I might try and buy one myself before too many of you read this article.