CL420 W140; views and comments?

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Sep 11, 2008
2005 Subaru Forester, 1939 Daimler ELS24
Hello all,

Another newbie here, slumming it really as I am a dedicated Rolls Royce man really! (Ducking below parapet now...). But for the real world, only an MB is good enough. I have a W210 E300D which is great if tired and a bit crusty, and am thinking of buying a mid Nineties CL420. (What credit crunch??).

Be grateful for views, comments on these cars and their successors, and what I should be loking for.


Ah sounds like a man of great taste, tell me more about your E300 please as I am interested in buying one,

As for the W140 they are roughly the same price as a W220 now which is a much better car, although that would make a mess of your new name!!!
Hi CL420. Welcome to!

My parents have owned a 1997 example of a CL420 for the past 8 years, in which time they have covered about 46,000 miles. (The car has now covered 66,000 miles)

They have had nothing major go wrong in that time, but I have read that you should check all electrics, as these will expensive to fix. The self closure doors and boot should worked correctly too. Again, these will expensive to fix, if not.

If it hasn't been done recently, the wheels may need a refurb, and it suffers from the old problem, flaking lacquer. Also look for rust of the car. Ours has a tiny bit not becoming evident on the bonnet. The 30 year corrosion warranty WILL ONLY cover structural corrosion, so body panel rust will have to corrected at your expense. Having said that, they appear to be well protected from the factory.
We've also had to have new seals fitted around the windows both sides of the car (This cost around £400 per side).

Seeing as you drive an older Merc already, I guess you have a decent mechanic lined up? To keep costs down, I would always recommend using a decent Merc Specialist.

Finally the engines, I don't believe there are any major problems, but I guess as miles get higher, head gaskets can go, and timing chains would probably need replacing eventually. Can one of our resident mechanics correct me here, as I'm not 100% with this area.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your search!

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Think I'd personally be looking for a 500 ... it's a big old beast, and I doubt the fuel consumption would be significantly worse than the 420.

It's quite a classy car, although the front end is a bit of an acquired taste. I regularly walk past a P-reg CL420 that parks near where I work, and it does look good.

AFAIK the W140 coupe started off as "SEC" (as per the W126), was then badged "S" , then finally "CL". Roughly 2 years as each.
Thanks for the quick responses! I thought a CL420 rather than a CL500 as I don't need outright performance, and owners seem to want unrealistic money for their 500s. PLus the 420 is quite a lot cheaper to insure for me, for some reason. I have looked at the later CL500s, which are a nice shape, but they seem to me much more expensive. About the cheapest was one at Mercland, but that was still £9K. I'm sure it is worth it, but personally I never spend more than £4-5K on an everyday car, it is just money down the drain. Older cars that are appreciating are a different matter.

I do have a specialist near here, Gerry Doverman in Hereford, but so far the E300 has been worked on by me and MB Cheltenham and Gloucester (can't praise them enough, Dean and Richard have been absolute stars). I'm reasonably competent - I do all the work on my 3 Rolls Royces - but wold probably let Gerry take care of any S class I bought!

As to the W210, it's great for what it does. With 166K on the clock the car is still smooth and powerful, cruises well on the motorway, and returns not far shy of 50mpg on a long run. Rust is creeping into the door bottoms and rear arches, but what W210 isn't rusty? It will be for sale very cheaply - pm me if you want to know more detail and some pix, and perhaps you can help fund the CL420!

the old shape CL is fantastic value at the moment, you can get mint examples for under 5K.

Just ensure everything works and do the usual checks and you should be fine.

The one at Mercland has now gone anyway ;)
Had an S500 (1996 just before they changed to calling it a CL) so it had the last version of the gearbox; the latest aircon display but reversing prongs (not sensors).

Watch out for: wheel arch rust; window delamination; air con 'needs regassing' *cough* bull *cough*; seat belt presenters not working; rear headrests going thunk thunk thunk or not working at all.

I had a look at the 420's also and ended up with the 500 - my god, I miss that car: size of a house, went like stink, had the most amazing engine/exhaust roar under full throttle and so incredibly quiet inside my wife would fall asleep.

She hates cars and was gutted when I sold it and asked me why!!

I would buy another one in a second.

Mine is living in France now - the buyer got it for nothing on reflection. Oh well.
Thanks Setanta - I have looked at one which was good but the aircon 'just needs regassing'. Had the same experience as you - it is NEVER just a regas they need!

Correct - allow £1000 to fix air con and you wont be far off - at least it should be good for several years.
If you are in Gloucestershire area I can recommend Masons in Cricklade nr Swindon for a/c - I believe the local MB dealer uses them as well.

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