DSinger writes: "...I disagree. As far as the 90 model goes, it had the lower axle with 2nd gear start...."
Actually, I have to wonder where you heard this myth. I know that the '88 and '90 300E has the same axle ratio because I have two 300Es, a 1988 and a 1990, both with the same tires in the same proper OE size (195/65-15) and they have the same mph/rpm ratio. Frankly, I wish I did have a slightly higher axle ratio, especially in my '90 (my favorite for trips) -- I'd get a little more fuel economy and distance (miles per tank), less engine wear, and never miss the acceleration (it has more than enough for me -- maybe I just appreciate it more than other people, since another one of my MBs is a Gelaendewagen (280GE/LWB) ... which I sometimes think doesn't mean "cross country car" as much as it means "real slow car" :-).
Anyway, best regards, even if we can't settle this difference.