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  #1  
Old 10-24-2005, 07:23 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
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Their are so many crap W140's out their.

Good examples of these cars are much harder to track down then I thought. My friend and I spent a good chunk of today driving around looking for a W140 for him. We looked at 3, one was flat out junk:
A 1997 S420 that the dealer said was a perfect 9 out of 10 car. Just walking around the car we found the rear view mirrors broken and one was being held on by a wire. The under body panals were missing and I could see an oil leak coming down from behind the engine and what looked like ATF dripping off the trans pan. The body had a bunch of chips, nicks and marks, the hood star was also missing. the interior was pretty dirty and beat. Without even driving the car I would give it a 5 out of 10. $17k
The next was a 1995 S320 for $10,995. It was actually in pretty good shape but the interior was kind of worn and it had a respray that was noticable. For $9k it was probably a decent buy.
The third car was a 300SE and was pretty decent but it was older then my friend wanted to consider.
Their is also a 1995 S500 local car that is completly shot. The suspension sags and the interior and exterior are beat.

Another downside is since all these cars were at used car lots their were no service records.

So where are all the one owner, mint, full service record W140's found? I am thinking maybe we should talk to the local MB dealer and try and snag a trade in.

I know with W140's you have to be carefull a used car lot pig can get real $$$$ real fast.
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  #2  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:19 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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i am thinking

the good ones are still with the original owners, who should be trading them soon. hang in there.

tom w
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:35 PM
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It is very interesting to read about your experiences Hatterasguy because there seem to be so many one owner, "mint condition" W140s on eBay. Perhaps they are like so many other cars on eBay: just dressed up for gross misrepresentation.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2005, 09:52 PM
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Built like a tank, but one with a lot of fragile gadgets that break with and without abuse. They are expensive to repair and most have been in the hands of a second owner who didn't have much money or real interest in the car. It is incredible how low the prices are, seemingly headed below 126s and 124s, which are ridiculously low as well. It's a sad situation for a once proud company and I can only think it gets worse for the next generation of cars.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:03 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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true comments

i am stuck with the 123 and 126 cars. the endless gadgets in the 140 and later cars really put me off.

i had two 124s but wont have any more i dont think.

if i get rich sometime soon i might buy a new one, or if they offer mb diesels in dodges i might buy that. the euro mb dashes int he magnum and crossfire have me interested. my 03 dodge cummins with stick reminds me of a large friendly very strong 240d.

i am thinking of the new dodges and chryslers as low end euro spec mbs.

tom w
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deanyel
Built like a tank, but one with a lot of fragile gadgets that break with and without abuse. They are expensive to repair and most have been in the hands of a second owner who didn't have much money or real interest in the car. It is incredible how low the prices are, seemingly headed below 126s and 124s, which are ridiculously low as well. It's a sad situation for a once proud company and I can only think it gets worse for the next generation of cars.
It's one of those things that vary, depending on whom you talk to. My 1995 S350 had nothing go wrong in it for 10 years and 171K - other than the engine of course. All gadgets still work. I met a man that owns a 1992 500SEL with 294K miles. Original engine, transmission. He said he replaced one seat motor but everything else was original. I actually drove the car and it got up to 80mph on the highway in no time at all. Engine was also super smooth. The car drove like a dream. Then I know a guy who after owning a 1998 S420 for 130K miles had only replaced the power steering pump. I've heard many bad stories on W140s online, but I've never met anyone who actually experienced horrific events with his or her W140. Go figure.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:20 PM
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There is a '95 S320 for sale at the local MB dealership here that is in beautiful condition. It has about 100K miles and they want $10K or so for it. I would say that the Mercedes dealer would probably be a safe bet for finding good condition cars. I'm sure they get a lot of trade-ins, and the cars they sell there would have passed some sort of inspection. If a car is in truely bad shape, it is doubtful an MB dealer would attempt to sell it. Also check Lexus, BMW, Audi, and other high-end dealerships- they frequently get MB trade-ins, and they also would not offer a car for sale if it is not in good condition overall. I bought my E320 at a Lexus dealership, where it was a trade-in. It was a one-owner car, and in beautiful condition for the age and mileage. Don't be discouraged, the W140 is a car that is unique enough that there should be many owners who took very good care of them.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2005, 10:38 PM
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Well, it all depends where do you look for them.

If you want a mint condition W140 with a full service history, the only place I would consider would be an authorized M.B. dealer.

The problem is that most W140s were bought on lease agreements, and most of them had already expired (they usually don't last over 3 to 4 years). Hence, most W140s have already been turned in at the dealerships and sold.

The few W140s that would turn up at dealers now are those bought by regular faithful customers who are ready to change into something new, and as bad as the W220 was, I would say most of this owners are waiting for the W221 to show up and trade their mint W140s.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2005, 11:00 PM
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I bought my 96 S320 from a little old lady who only drove it back and forth to church and once a month to the local MB dealer. I have all records. The son made her sell it because her eyes were going bad. He worked for GM and did not want the car. Good cars are out there you just have to wait till it comes around.
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2005, 11:17 PM
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If Hatterasguy's friend bought either

1) a decent W140 with ~115K for $10K.

or

2) a decently optioned Corrola LE (leather, alloys, etc.) for $18,200 out the door. Figure, if he puts down the $10K he'd buy the W140 with and finances the rest over 36 months, he pays another $1,000 in interest - so $19,200 all in all.


Leaving outliers out of it, like perfectly perfect or horribly horrible luck, which scenario do you guys think will end up costing less at the end of 4 years?
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2005, 11:43 PM
t walgamuth's Avatar
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well

probably the corolla, right? but if he is looking at 140s do you think he will be happy driving a corolla?

tom w
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2005, 11:53 PM
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interesting comment

Quote:
I've heard many bad stories on W140s online, but I've never met anyone who actually experienced horrific events with his or her W140. Go figure.
Braverichard, that's very interesting to note, because neither shop foreman at the 2 dealerships where I took my (former) Starmark car for service said they recall having seen any common issues with the early 722.6 trans, either.

I think if people have a problem they are going to be vocal and post it online, but a national sample is going to reflect a lot more issues than individual experiences, which are probably generally more pleasing.
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2005, 02:41 AM
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There are so many crap W140's out there.

Hmmm, time will tell.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2005, 03:07 AM
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W140 vs Corolla LE ???

I think no matter how fully optioned the Corolla, it can't come close to the W140 in terms of ride quality, safety, performance, etc. (well maybe it wins at the pump). So the $ comparison may not be very meaningful ?
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  #15  
Old 10-25-2005, 09:01 AM
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This past spring there was a really nice '93 500SEL for sale at the MB dealership - 71,000 miles, black, black and they wanted $20,000 for it .

I think a lot of the w140s that are crap were original lease cars that were bought by second owners (after the original lease expired) who did not take care of them. They have paid them off and are trading them in for something else now - usually not MB - which is why they also do not have records with them. When something expensive broke that was not detrimental to the actual running of the car they just let it go because, after all, they already had a fairly high car payment to deal with.
I am also really surprised that the MB dealership here does not keep records, tools for locking lug nuts, sheepskin seat covers, etc. that come with the cars when traded. I don't know if this is because they don't know any better or what.
When I found my 420SEL I was actually looking for a W140. I am glad now that I got the 420SEL given my current financial state. I will get a W140 when I am out from under credit card payments, car payment, etc. and can actually come up with a decent size down payment and some $$$ in reserve just in case.
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