According to the guy I bought it from (first owner) in 1986 only four 300E manuals were sold in NJ. Not a business success for MB as the yuppies can only drive automatic. My car has 190K miles, about 50% heavy city driving (parked on the street) and I've just came back from Montreal (about 32m x gl)in about 6 1/2 hours (to NYC area). The thing is fast and you have to be careful: 3rd gear goes to about 80 with no vibration at all. I have an excellent mechanic in Montreal where I leave the car for maintenance and repairs and use the metro system. The guy is a doctor when it comes to MB's. My wife drives it through hellish NJ traffic and loves it. In many ways it is like a very fast truck, a very fast one indeed.
By the way Larry Bible in TX has one and has taken it apart a number of times. It seems that he likes it.