by Adrian Dorofte and Adrian Andronic
e-mail: mercedesbenzblog@gmail.com

Choosing a Modern Classic Mercedes-Benz

Guest Article by Imogen Reed*

While modern Mercedes Benz are at the pinnacle of automotive technology and engineering, for sheer style, elegance and character you can’t beat some of the marque’s classic designs. Buying a classic Mercedes has plenty of advantages. Many Mercedes of old were heavily over-engineered, which means it is easy to find even a thirty-year-old model in perfect working order. Furthermore, unlike the electrical wizardry used in most modern cars, older models are much easier to repair and maintain.


While some classic Mercedes have become legendry cars, such as the 1954 Mercedes W 196, which went on to dominate road racing during the 1950s and the Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster of 1937, of which only 29 were produced, these fetch millions when they come to auction. However, while these may out of the price range of most people, some more contemporary Mercedes are becoming classics in their own right, and these cars are more within the range of people with a few thousand saved up or access to guaranteed car finance. Furthermore, the great thing about these modern classics is that many of them are rising in value, making them a great investment for the future.

W 201/190 E
The W201 built between 1982 and 1993 had a solid reputation and it was perhaps the most overly engineered car Mercedes ever produced. As a result, many of the 1.8 million cars sold globally are still on the road. Because of its build quality and familiar shape, the W201 is fast becoming a desirable classic. Positioned below the E and S Class, the W201 was often marketed as the 190E and came in a wide range of models.

The engine sizes range from the basic 1.8 litre, to the more sporty 2.0 litre four cylinder and 2.6 straight six. While the 2.6 is a little hard to come by, a 2.0 litre 190E automatic is a great all-round car. Well-equipped, with their leather upholstery and air con, the 190E makes a great daily runabout as well providing that touch of style required by all modern classics. It is a good time to buy too, as prices are still affordable, although they are rising all the time.


W 108
For something more distinguished, the W108 built from 1965 to 1972 offers a design classic that harks back to the days of the old fintail. As a predecessor to the S-Class, the W108s offer all the presence of a classic limousine. Engine sizes ranged from the 2.5 litre straight six to a whopping 6.3 litre V8. Anything under 3 litres will feel pretty sedate for such a big car but it is possible to find 3.5 litre V8s that are still in great condition and provide a decent amount of acceleration.

Mint W108s are highly collectable so you may have to pay through the nose for a good one. However, if you have the time and patience, doing up a less than perfect W108 will not only give you a great sense of satisfaction but also prove a decent investment for the future.


R 107
For something more modern, but no less stylish, the R107 is one of Mercedes most successful models ever. Built as a replacement to the SL Class in 1972, Mercedes was still rolling out R107s in 1989. This popularity means it is not hard to find a decent one and as most have been prized possessions they have usually been well looked after. Avoid any with rust, though, as this can be costly to put right.

Perhaps the most sought after version is the C107 SLC, which is essentially a coupe version of the R107 and built as a grand tourer. These are rare, but it is not hard to find a decent R107 300 SL, which is almost as stylish and offers plenty of power. Unlike the V8 models, the straight six 300 is fairly economical too, even by today’s standards.


W 126
For true refinement with the feel of a modern limousine, the W126 introduced in the early eighties is still one of the best luxury saloons ever produced. They came as both a coupe (SEC), which are highly sought after, and a more affordable saloon (SEL and SLC), although their price is rising all the time.

Not only do the SELs offer unrivalled luxury (leather, air con etc), but also with a 5.0 litre V8 under the bonnet they really shift. Perhaps the models that offer the best investment are the 500SEL and 560SEL, good examples of which are not hard to come by and are guaranteed to rise in value over the next few years, or go for the more affordable and later model SLC, which is also bound to become a modern classic.

Practicalities

Of course, buying a modern classic Mercedes does mean that you won’t get a warranty and you will need to be prepared to do some regular maintenance. Fortunately, many garages are familiar with many of these models and they are not as costly to repair as you may think. Spares are readily available through Mercedes owners clubs and even reconditioned engines can be found at fairly reasonable prices. Of course, getting finance for a classic car can be a bit tricky but there are plenty of car finance companies willing to stump up the cash. It is worth searching the internet for phrases such as carloan4u to see what interest rates and deals you can get, but the good news is that some of these models do qualify for classic car insurance (although mileage is limited) and may even be tax exempt (if over 25 years old).


* About the author: Imogen Reed is a young professional writer and researcher with 5-year online experience. Through this period, she has collaborated with several websites and weblogs, such as Black Presence, Geeky Stuffs, Eyebridge Blog, I don't Give A Damn Blog and My Information Security Blog. She has previously wrote another professional guest article for Mercedes-Benz-Blog, which you can read HERE.

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