Taking the ashtray out is pretty easy.
First, remove the plastic trim around the shift gate (just pulls out, you might need a flathead, but be careful!).
Then pull the center of the wood console up from the front.
Next, pull (and wiggle a little) the little pocket below the ashtray. It should come out with relative ease.
Finally, you should see 2 screws for the ashtray, one on each end, down at the bottom, on the side. Unscrew those and pull the ashtray out! The power cord to the ashtray unplugs too.
For more room, you can take out the cassette holder/storage pocket (whichever applies) that's below the radio too. There are 2 screws holding that in, just look below the radio, they are on top of the sto pkt/cst holder.
Any other questions? Let me know! Good luck!
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)
1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)