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Old 03-18-2003, 08:40 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321

i am thinking of adding to my collection. after lots of looking i have found two well maintained low mileage coupes.

one is a 600. the other a 500.

i have yet to examine either one. are there any areas that deserve special attention when i go over them?

also, my mechanic cautions me to avoid the 600. he relates that it had lots of problems. he feels that the v8 was a much more reliable engine and vehicle.

any comments?


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Old 03-18-2003, 09:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Great White North!!!!
Posts: 400
listen to your mechanic.600's have more specialized parts
'95 s500 (bought for wife but can't bear to share!!!) 125kms
'92 legend 180kms
'88 tbirdturbo(fantastic car-only regular maint.)120kms
'87 mustang gt(gone)
'86 tbirdturbo(gone)
'85 mustang gt(gone-but not forgotten)
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Old 03-19-2003, 07:30 PM
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Location: Southern New Hampshire
Posts: 418
What a dilemma...

What a terrible choice to have to make!

Seriously, bought a 1996 S500 Coupe (W140) in January... couldn't be happier with it. Amazing automobile.
These things are LOADED with options, so be sure to check them all and make sure you know what doesn't work before you put your money down. Many parts on the Coupe are unique and expensive. None of the body parts fit the sedan. Just for fun, call a dealer and price a headlight... :-)
Don't know if you've ever owned a V12 before... I used to have a Jag V12 and the insurance rates are outrageous. You might want to call your insurance company and check at the rate difference.
In my case, it was enough for me to give up my Jag... won't own another V12 due to the expense of insurance.

You didn't mention the years you were looking at, but I'd recommend a '96 or newer.

The cars are basically the same except for the engine. The S600 Coupe had a couple things standard in addition to what came standard on the 500 like a wood steering wheel, etc. Many of the 500s have most of the 600 options.

If you want more specifics on the car.
Hope this helps. KenP
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:28 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 321
very helpful.

i understand about parts and availability. i own a 1979 very cherry 6.9 with 50k miles. a 1995 e320cab with less than 10k. a 1986 560sec with 75k and a 1986 560sel with 248k.

i need another benz like i need a hole in my head, but i do not like the new benzes and i do not like my dealers in the houston area. that has moved me to consider buying one that someone else has used.

i also have this thing for bruno sacco designs. and the 140c is the equal of the 126c in my view.

the v12 as a rarity is appealing, but my research reveals that it has been a problem car.

the two cars that i have been looking at are pre-1996. low miles. great shape. my old ones are in as good a shape[virtually new except for some uv fading of the rear deck fabric on the sec].

as i read the responses, my mechanic has common sense. the v8 is the no brainer.
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Old 03-20-2003, 08:22 AM
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500 vs 600

As the other members have suggested, research all that you can about both models; the appeal of the 600 can be overwhelming, and if your head and your heart are in sync, make a choice that works for you. The consensus (in my mind) of 95% of any forum, anywhere, is that the 600's are expensive to own, operate, and maintain, and problematic, especially if pre 94/95. Having said all that, and knowing what the historical views are on these cars, my wife and I have a 93 600sl and a 93 600sel. These are both daily drivers with the sel averaging 8,000 km/month. At this point in our ownership, both of these cars have been absolutely amazing in their ability to go, and go, and go, without much more than gas, and regular service. The upkeep has been less (for us)on either of these 2 cars than on other vehicles that we have owned thru the years (MBs included). I don't know if we have been extremely fortunate in obtaining 2 early 600s that are "keepers" and bug free, or if there is just an "urban legend" of how expensive and problematic 600s are. The techs that work on the cars have the best insight into actual repair time/costs and complexity of the car. I can only relate to you what our experience has been with the 600s to this point in time, hopefully the excellent experience will continue. If you do decide to entertain the purchase of the 600, absolutely have the car inspected thoroughly by a tech that knows and has experience on the 600s. We had both of ours inspected with a detailed written report on completion, before making the decision to purchase. Best of luck....

93 sl600
93 600sel

A mercedes is an inanimate object and therefore must respond to logic and reason.
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Old 03-20-2003, 09:47 AM
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'94 S500: only 793 sold!
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,924
The coupe is just . . . .

a beautuful body style and has always captured my attention. However, this is not the norm: coupes are not great sellers, to wit, this table of USA sales for the '500':

Yr--- Sales
94 -- 793
95 -- 1,341
96 -- 2,387
97 -- 933
98 -- 342
99 -- 19

Also my '94 coupe has been the cheapest for repairs of all Mercedes that I've owned! So go figure!

If you want to see what the electronic systems are, check out my page (click 'www' house below). Good luck with whatever you choose.
Regards . . . . JimF
'94 S500 Cpe

Visit my Mercedes Web Page
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Old 03-23-2003, 01:54 AM
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thinking about 1994 140c's, with about 60k-70k on them, i tuned into the mbna website on friday night.

just down the road from houston is a reportedly immaculate 1997 s500c with only 20k miles. the colors aren't my favorites, but i telephoned this morning to hold it until i can make the drive on sunday to see it. good thing i did. within an hour of my phone call and deposit, someone else saw it and wanted to buy it. car was on the lot for less than 24 hours.

m-b dealer has starmarked it.

i don't know whether that is a good sign or not, but as sacco classic, if the car is as clean as it should be at 20k miles, it would seem to be a no-brainer.

i must say, however, that i have seen the autonation dealerships in houston starmark cars that did not pass my inspection. hidden alison flood damage was my assessment.

so, what do you guys think of a 1997 w140c with 20k miles? all options.

all ears,

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Old 03-23-2003, 07:19 AM
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Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Check with MB

Albert, could be a real find... but, suggest caution. As I said in my earlier posting, I really love my '96 S500 Coupe. The 96 and 97 are virtually identical.
Anyway, dealer I bought mine from claimed it was Starmarked. I ran a CARFAX report on the VIN... it said Starmark by MB. Dropped by a Mercedes dealer, ran the VIN, and guess what... it was NOT Starmarked. Called the dealer that reportedly Starmarked the car ... gave them the VIN... they never heard of the car and swore it never came thru their dealership. I was able to negotiate the price accordingly.
Bottom line is to check.
To repeat my earlier posting.. make sure everything works!
If all is well, I bet you'll enjoy the car. Let us know what you decide to do.
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Old 03-23-2003, 11:32 PM
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this dealer sold the car originally. took it back in a trade for a new s500. i traveled to examine it today. virtually unused. carfax report is good.

so, i think that i am acquiring it.

dealer offers starmark warranty for 100k in the purchase price. and will offer more warranty as a starmark purchase.

is it worth it?

all i know is that i am going to have to add some garage space. it joins my 1979 6.9, 1986 560sel, 1987 560sec, and e320cab.

it's odd. the literati say that the coupes are unpopular, but i so prefer them to the SL's. my 560sec will run rings around 560sl. and is so much more practical. a real trunk. real leg room. lebensraum. in my view, all things considered, the coupes should be more prized than the SL's.
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Old 03-24-2003, 12:55 AM
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What an awesome collection of cars you have. What's the 6.9 like compared to the SEL?

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Old 03-24-2003, 01:54 AM
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everytime i drive the 6.9 i wish for these things...

1. more seat travel. it is the reason that the 560sel has 248,000 miles. it is a more comfortable car for me.

2. another gear. the 3 speed box is just too noisy. will drive you crazy on the interstate. it needs more. again, the reason that my extraordinarily well-maintained W126 has racked up so many miles.

3. oh the 6.9 is faster than a greased blue snake. but it doesn't have enough brakes for the speeds that it can achieve. scary,really. i have gone to brembo, but as of this date, they tell me they are still studying on it.

all things considered, the 6.9 is a curiosity. i don't think that benz really refined that Q ship. and i don't care what brock adams might say.

over the same road course, i would think the w126 to be provoking less sweat. and maybe even making similar times around a road course with a lot less panic.

the 6.9 needs another gear. needs more brakes. needs more front seat travel[legroom]. if it could get those things, it would be a more user friendly car for this driver.

oddly enough, i ran the e320cab today for a 9 hour, 550 mile run. if it weren't for the wind noise, this is the best balanced car of them all.

everytime i drive it at speed[80mph+] i realize why there is the movement to replace canvas tops with steel. and why sunroofs may have more merit.

so it goes...
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Old 03-24-2003, 01:58 AM
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So really what you want is a removable hardtop 6.9 4spd W126 :-)

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Old 03-24-2003, 03:36 AM
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i couldn't have said it better.

except that a five speed tranny would be better still.
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Old 03-24-2003, 03:52 AM
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oh, though i am a junior member, i know my cars.

and so i want to say this. in a very real sense the w126's pre passenger airbag[1986,1987] were the best production cars ever.

though many didn't like the ride and the road noise - creating the market for lexus - i always considered these the refined versions of my lotus. i used to call them the lotus'es that you could use to take out your customers.

with the introduction of the lexus'es, benzes became japonified. the w140c that i have just acquired is a summation of germans following the japanese.

i wish it didn't have a center console. but it does run. and it runs quietly. a lot more quietly than its predecessor[w126c].

ordinarily, i would not be adding this car to my collection. but i am. because it is the best last work of the best designteam manager in post ww2 automotive history - bruno sacco.

also the most unkown autodesigner of the postwar era.

so it goes.
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Old 03-24-2003, 04:32 AM
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Yeah a 5spd would rule.

You got any pics?

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