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  #1  
Old 05-03-2001, 02:06 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Round Rock, TX
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Is there any way a novice can easily identify whether a 1993 300CE is truly a Sportline model?

I am considering the purchase of a lovely 300CE that is badged as a Sportline (badges behind the front wheels and a Sportline shifter knob). Late in the process, I am realizing I don't know for sure that it truly is a Sportline.

Unfortunately, I am not terribly knowledgeable about the mechanicals of cars, and I do not have the technical expertise to look at the suspension and know for sure. If, for example, you told me to look for a heavier rear sway bar, I would be left staring blankly at you.

The steering wheel LOOKS a bit smaller than I am used to in Mercedes, but it's a tough comparison to eyeball.

The seat bolsters LOOK a bit more built up than I am used to in Mercedes, but, again, that's a tough call.

I haven't given the wheels a hard look, but I am not sure I would know what to look for.

Maybe I could tell something by rotating the steering wheel lock to lock. Isn't a Sportline supposed to be three full rotations, while non-Sportlines are more?

If anyone can offer a simple way that I could walk onto the car lot and easily be sure, I'd be eternally grateful. I certainly don't want to be driving a car that claims to be something it isn't.

Thank you,

Ross Gard
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'92 400E http://www.best.com/~gard/400E.jpg
'92 325is (sold)
'72 250C (sold)
'71 280SE Euro (totalled)
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  #2  
Old 05-04-2001, 03:16 PM
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I found a solution, although not the one I expected.

I called the service department of a Mercedes Benz dealership and gave them the VIN.

They looked the car up on MBNet and confirmed that the car did, indeed, start out life as a Sportline.

Thanks!

Ross Gard
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'92 400E http://www.best.com/~gard/400E.jpg
'92 325is (sold)
'72 250C (sold)
'71 280SE Euro (totalled)
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  #3  
Old 05-04-2001, 04:39 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
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The Sportline will have also have a steering wheel that is shaped differently, as in the "Cars" tab article on Sportline , above. There is usually a split rather than bench rear seat. Also, the options plate under the hood in front of the radiator should have the number code 952 or 953, according to the options codes at: http://www.geocities.com/MotorCity/Speedway/5350/mbcodes.htm

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  #4  
Old 05-04-2001, 07:01 PM
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Thanks, John!

I thought of the rear bucket seats, but, as I understand it, all the 300CEs had the Sportline-style split seats.

The steering wheel shape is a good clue. I'll take the picture from the "Featured Cars" page with me to the lot for comparison.

I'll also also look for the option codes you referenced.

In all, though, I'm pretty comfortable with the VIN trace, as the dealer who did it is unaffiliated with the lot that is selling the car.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Ross
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'92 400E http://www.best.com/~gard/400E.jpg
'92 325is (sold)
'72 250C (sold)
'71 280SE Euro (totalled)
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  #5  
Old 05-07-2001, 05:19 PM
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Just to put an end on the story:

Everything pointed to the 300CE being a true Sportline, but, due to unexpected financial shifts, I settled instead for a beautiful '92 400E.

If anyone is looking for a '93 300CE, green and tan, in good condition, get in touch with Auto Haus Los Gatos (California) at (408) 370-2655. The owner is asking $22,000.

I had two outside mechanics inspect the car, and both were impressed with its condition.

Regards,

Ross Gard
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'92 325is (sold)
'72 250C (sold)
'71 280SE Euro (totalled)
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