Mid 2000's Hi end Mb to a late 80's early 90's Mb? Midlife crises's?

merc85

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So has anyone done this? if so how do you find comparing a say 2004 e55 like mine haha to a Late eighties straight 6 E a v8 SL or Sec?

Now i've had alot of Mercedes from the eighties when i was in my 20's now im 42 yes yes midlife crises but im really getting the itch for a SL which i've never had and always wanted must be a 2+2, or another SEC.

The later tbh probably out of my price range now dam i should have kept that c126 haha

Rose tinted spectacles as my late father would probably say, But just wondered if anyone at a similar age had done it and how you found going from a e55 or e500 211 to a old SL or something? or even running both?

Probably just a pipe dream but hey i love the thought.
 

Abb

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Well Gav, I am not sure if I can answer your dilemma fully! ;) Had a few MBs over the years (years ago) the highlight being a 190E 2.6 with the cosworth kit from factory, so nothing as flash as a V8, that was mid 90s. Followed with a few others (CLK 230K 208 cab,
and ML 270 cdi163, CLS 55 219). Currently have the ML 350 166 and the CLS 350 218 and of course the C43 W202.

The old skool 43 is in a different league when comparing it to the others (as you can appreciate) as it is not as refined nor as comfy as the current ones, but I enjoy driving it (when I can) the most!

If you are not going to use it as your daily, I would say go for it! Finding one that will not be a money pit will be your biggest task but I guess you already know that! Having said that my 202 is a 99 so not late 80s but of roughly the same era, as it ancient by todays standards.

If I had the room, a 190E 2.5-16 and C124 320 or 300 24V would definitely be added to the fleet.
 

jukie

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I've generally upgraded my Benz's in terms of age, i.e. always buying younger ones but despite being on the look out for an E63 (2012 or younger) I have, for the last few years, had an increasing desire for a 190E 2.6.

Funny, the first time I was in a 190, I didn't like it at all and decided I'd never buy one!

I'm in my mid-50s and bought my first Benz in 1993.......
 

Jol

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Same boat, considering switching a 2012 CLS V6 for a mid 90s SL i6/V6.

Also thinking the same, that I may be crazy. Mine would definitely be a daily, not a Garage Queen
 

CCAALLVVIINN

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Interesting this.

Due to not driving two cars at the same time, for almost a year now due to changed working patterns, I’ve changed our 2011 BMW 535d for a 1994 w124 e300d estate. Other cars in the family are a 2012 GL 350, w126 300se, 280te (off the road) and a 1974 Land Rover 109 2.6.

I’ve had 90s 500sl and w124 cabs etc etc.

I drove the w124 on a 400 mile trip yesterday, and whilst it was great fun, I made the following observations.

Things I missed on the journey:

Auto wipers
Auto dim side mirrors - never notice them until you don’t have them
Xenon headlamps
Steering wheel controls for radio etc

The car itself is comfy but you’re not cocooned like a modern car, and all of the little bits and advances here and there added up to me being absolutely knackered by the time I got home.

So, the old Merc is a nice thought, and is great for running around locally etc, I wond lose out on depreciation, it should always start when it’s been standing for days, it shouldn’t self destruct with no use, BUT, it ain’t no modern car, which comes with its downsides.

And that’s before you crash it.......😳
 

Cyclone1

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I’d say just do it. More so if you plan to run both cars (current and new one).

This was my original plan when letting the CLS go. The idea of a late 80’s / early 90’s MB appeals so much that I trawl the classifieds and obscure market places daily. For me it would be an SEC or SE/SEL, but now drawn into looking at some 70’s MB’s and cars I owned in the 90’s/00’s as potential classics.

Go for it.....
 

horatio

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Interesting this.

Due to not driving two cars at the same time, for almost a year now due to changed working patterns, I’ve changed our 2011 BMW 535d for a 1994 w124 e300d estate. Other cars in the family are a 2012 GL 350, w126 300se, 280te (off the road) and a 1974 Land Rover 109 2.6.

I’ve had 90s 500sl and w124 cabs etc etc.

I drove the w124 on a 400 mile trip yesterday, and whilst it was great fun, I made the following observations.

Things I missed on the journey:

Auto wipers
Auto dim side mirrors - never notice them until you don’t have them
Xenon headlamps
Steering wheel controls for radio etc

The car itself is comfy but you’re not cocooned like a modern car, and all of the little bits and advances here and there added up to me being absolutely knackered by the time I got home.

So, the old Merc is a nice thought, and is great for running around locally etc, I wond lose out on depreciation, it should always start when it’s been standing for days, it shouldn’t self destruct with no use, BUT, it ain’t no modern car, which comes with its downsides.

And that’s before you crash it.......😳
I think absolutely knackered is a bit strong! You can forget just how soothing a modern Merc is on long drives.

Compared to brand new Peugeot’s etc I have rented recently (hell even Audi’s with rock hard ‘s line’ suspension) the old Merc is so much more relaxing.

It’s mainly the lack of 5th gear on the 190 which I don’t like.
 

ChipChop

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So has anyone done this? if so how do you find comparing a say 2004 e55 like mine haha to a Late eighties straight 6 E a v8 SL or Sec?

Now i've had alot of Mercedes from the eighties when i was in my 20's now im 42 yes yes midlife crises but im really getting the itch for a SL which i've never had and always wanted must be a 2+2, or another SEC.

The later tbh probably out of my price range now dam i should have kept that c126 haha

Rose tinted spectacles as my late father would probably say, But just wondered if anyone at a similar age had done it and how you found going from a e55 or e500 211 to a old SL or something? or even running both?

Probably just a pipe dream but hey i love the thought.
I would have said you already have a s211 that ticks a lot of boxes. Practical, great performance, comfort and a sure fire soon to be modern classic. I would keep hold of it if i was you. You would also have to spend a fair few quid to get an unabused, not rusty w/s124 or r107/ r129.

Personally i have a hankering for a V8 c140. Stunning cars imho and still available at sub 5 grand for a very good example.
 
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CCAALLVVIINN

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I think absolutely knackered is a bit strong!

It’s mainly the lack of 5th gear on the 190 which I don’t like.

It was dark and raining, the concentration required was considerable compared to piloting the GL in the same circumstances.

You’re absolutely right regarding 5th, the car could pull the extra ratio and indeed you get it with the manual version of the same car, the 124 does twice the rpm of the BMW speed for speed.

If the sun was out the drive would have been completely different, but that marks the difference between a hobby car and a daily driver
 

andy27168

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Hi,
I am always on the look out for replacing one of my Merc (currently have a 65 plate E350CDI Cabriolet and a MY 2006 CLS55 AMG), and always find myself looking at W124 Coupes, R129 500 SLs,, W126 SECs and SELs, but I am always conflicted on which car to get rid of for it, and finding the right replacement as I am uber fussy.
Though I think it would have to be a 126 most likely an SEC 500 or 560.
I keep being drawn to this SEL

And this SEC

Though I think this SEC is more me, need some work but a good starting point I think for a rolling restoration to a minter.
 

Will

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I think unless it’s just a car for sunny days and car shows etc more modern MBs are far easier to live with.

I’ve had plenty of 80s and 90s MBs over the years, great cars but rose tinted specs do distort stuff. They’re getting old now, and most will be more restoration projects than just weekend spanner jobs and useable classics unfortunately. And if you do use it as a daily and pile the miles on it’s the wrong sort of car for that purpose anyway (Calvin makes some good observations above)

I had an immaculate 1990 190E 2.5-16 which I sold as I got to the point where I wasn’t using it enough - didn’t want to put the miles on, get it wet in bad weather, careful where I parked it etc.

So that’s why I don’t think you see many older Mercs in regular/daily use. You’ll find a few enthusiasts (eg on here) but otherwise there’s such a great amount of good condition, relatively modern used cars for a fraction of the prices of the classics.

So in my opinion:

Show car for summer drives etc - go for it :cool:
If it’s to be a daily drive all year round - keep the E55 :thumb:
 

horatio

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I would add that it depends what ‘daily driving’ consists of. For nipping around locally I find the 190 an absolute joy. It’s narrow with great visibility so easy to thread around and park. Glides over potholes. When it does break it’s usually cheap and DIY. Insurance is pennies. It’s a totally viable and almost perfect second car if you don’t find a little bit of tinkering - rust prevention, keeping the ignition system tip top, wiper mech lubed etc.

Obviously finding one which doesn’t require wading through many years of neglected maintenance, bodges and RUST (!!) is going to be a serious challenge though.
 

Flyinspanner

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Or just get an achingly beautiful CL500 W215.

V8, super comfortable, Reliable, cavernous boot.
mine is ‘sort of’ up for sale as I’m changing careers and will need to get an estate.... or maybe a van (little bit of sick in back of throat) 😳... just trying to hang on to it for as long as possible atm.
 

Doodle

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FWIW, auto wipers and Xenons are available on the 129. Side dimming mirrors I've had, I can take or leave but 129 has auto dimming centre and tinted sides which works well. Steering wheel stereo controls only matter if you're a compulsive fiddler, for the set and forget people they are irrelevant.

Mine has done duty as daily driver in the past, but I'm not so sure I would anymore - not without the backup of a 2nd vehicle. Parts supply is becoming somewhat unpredictable in terms of pricing and availability. Thankfully I've got a year or 2 left with the Cupra before I have to decide.
 

alabbasi

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So has anyone done this? if so how do you find comparing a say 2004 e55 like mine haha to a Late eighties straight 6 E a v8 SL or Sec?

Yes, I did this about 12 years ago. I sold my 1997 W210 E420 to a friend who really wanted it and bought a 1991 560SEL to daily drive. The 560SEL has that built from granite feel that no longer exists, but it sucked fuel at a ridiculous rate and I was getting about 230 miles out of a tank. That becomes noticeable when you're doing 15k miles/year in it. While I was daily driving it, I rotated in a 560SEC and W115 300D.

People tend to suggest that Mercedes Benz quality went down in the late 90's, early 2000 era. I'd have to disagree. The older cars were made from nicer materials but they did not become Toyota reliable until the W210. My experience with W210 services was mostly tire changes, oil changes and brake pads. The 560SEL, while in good shape, would nickel and dime me on a regular bases. There was always something to work on during the weekend, which is fine if you have a couple of cars to rotate and don't mind your daily driver being your hobby car. But there's nothing more frustrating than running into an issue where your a/c did not work right or a window switch would fail as you're just about to leave for work.

I bought the E420 back about 2 years later from my friend and was happy to be back in it. I bought it originally in 2004 at 70k miles, sold it to my friend at 136k miles and bought it back at 170k miles. 275hp, perfect A/C, everything worked and I was getting better fuel mileage out of it than what I got in the 75 300D. I drove it to about 230k miles before somebody jumped a red light and totaled it. I think that I'd still be driving it today if that didn't happen.

I still own several old Mercedes Benz which are hobby cars. Can they be daily driven? absolutely! But I would not consider driving anything older than a W210 as a daily driver anymore. For daily driving, I just want it to work.
 

Jol

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FWIW, auto wipers and Xenons are available on the 129. Side dimming mirrors I've had, I can take or leave but 129 has auto dimming centre and tinted sides which works well.
This is what I've also been noting, considering the R129 as a daily, heated seats, xenon's, 5 speed auto, cruise control. All seem decent mod cons to me. Having driven one the "progressive" nature of the brakes Vs more modern brakes seemed the main daily driver difference for me.
 

MikeInWimbledon

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You just need to think about what you use a car for, and how much money you want to tie up in "the fleet." Depreciation and insurance can be insignificant but road fund licence can be irritating. We've run six (Mk2.5) Mx5's as a third car on and off for 30 years and it's always been a pleasure to drive as a contrast, at a cost of virtually nothing. But the real work is done by the bigger cars. Just think about how often you really need those rear seats. If you don't have kids or parents to drive around the place, those seats are probably always empty.

I hunted for 'the right" perfect 2007 5.5 SL and gave up after a year, but I'm delighted by the CL I bought instead. It's a way more practical car, even if it isn't as "pretty" as a convertible. I have friends who feel the same about their C215's as well: cars which are seriously undervalued by "the market," because of the size of the engine. 1990's cars are interesting but more challenging, why not think about early Noughties?
 

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