Five cool Mercedes Benzes you can buy for under £10 000…

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Five cool Mercedes you can buy for under £10,000

By Matthew 12th August 2012

CL (W140)

We take a look at a few classic Mercs that break the bank to buy.

In my we have need for another At the moment there is my company-supplied Romeo Mito which is for my daily commute to work, and the Daytona which is, well, used at all! That a need for a car for my wife to get around in, and a need for larger capacity the Mito can manage.

Now, I should be doing is looking at new or nearly new cars — the Yeti comes to mind but instead I’ve been the internet classifieds lately, at older Mercedes. Historically, cars have always a limited appeal to me when although some of the more offerings like the SLS have to change that opinion. as they get older Mercedes seem to become more

I suspect that the Mercedes for build quality, combined styling that fits the rather than follows the fashion, has something to do with increased appeal after a few The trouble is, in the early 2000s lost a lot of that reputation, many cars suffering poor build quality and that seemed to rust prematurely. However, if you look across the previous three there are still some Mercedes that could be every day (or at least regularly), and can be easily be brought for sensible Here are my top five presented in order.

1971- 1982 SLC (C107)

The SLC is a rather unusual coupe for Mercedes. Based on the SL roadster, Mercedes stretched the wheelbase by 36cm and added a roof. The resulting coupe is a little awkward from angles but still oozes and is a full four-seater. Initially the car was with either a 200bhp 3.5 V8 in the 350SLC or a 225bhp 4.5 litre V8 in the Later, a 2.8 litre six (280SLC) was and finally the V8 engines were to 3.8 (380SLC) and 5.0 litres (500SLC). before that upgrade the interesting SLC was introduced, the 450SLC This was a car was fitted with aluminium panels to homologate the car as a unlikely rally car. being seemingly totally to its chosen role, the car was quite in endurance events such as the and East Africa rallies.

Today you will probably to find one of these 450SLC as Mercedes only made of them, but for the rest, all are available for than £10,000, and they are always cheaper than open SL equivalents. Not surprisingly the youngest of SLC is thirty years rust is an issue, particularly in the wings and under the windscreen.

The SLC was in 1982, although the roadster SL all the way through to 1989. Mercedes that it would return to a coupe with the introduction of the SEC.

1980 1991 SEC (W126)

There are plenty of W126 saloons still on the today. If ever there was a car epitomised Mercedes’ reputation for build quality, this was it. The SEC versions, which initially ran but quickly replaced the SLC, always much rarer but are still plenty around and a good example should be within the £10,000 budget. All of the SEC came with V8s, the most powerful being the 5.6 litre 560SEC, making the the big an effortless cruiser, ideal for their well-heeled owners to the

Even seemingly well-presented of the SEC are currently available for well £10,000, though it won’t be a car to run. Having said while they were fiendishly complex when they’re relatively simple compared to their modern and your mechanic won’t a degree in electrical engineering.

The SEC is a great car but it is not in the least bit sporty, plenty of tuners of the day attempted to add attitude, with varying of success. For a more enthusiastic Merc of that era you need to to a smaller and cheaper car.

— 1993 Mercedes 2.3 16V and 2.5 16V

Mercedes needed a car to replace the 5.0 in rallying and also in the burgeoning A touring car series. Rather base it on a top-line model, developed a version of the basic saloon. Cosmetically the 190E a typically Eighties bodykit, but the fireworks were under the Mercedes asked legendary engine firm Cosworth to twin cam 16v heads for the humble 2.3 inline four. The result was an 185bhp and a top speed of 143mph. also worked to produce an chassis and the only thing really let the driving experience was the dog-leg manual gearbox is very notchy in operation, you could also have an In 1987 the engine was enlarged to 2.5 to make the 2.5 16V which made when fitted with a converter.

The 2.3 16V had only two real The trouble was, they the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth and the E30 BMW M3. pair of legendary cars up on the track, and the lack of four-wheel meant the Merc was an also-ran in the world too. Later included some very body kits in the evolution and a looser rule book the 190 to find success in the German DTM (as shown in the photo above). the 2.3 16V’s most famous in motorsport came when the car was As something of a PR stunt, Mercedes a one-make race for the car with the field made up of legendary F1 including Stirling Moss, and drivers Alain Prost, Rosberg and Elio De Angelis. were all beaten by a young F1 from Brazil: Ayrton

Today, 190E values lag a way behind those of the E30 M3 and the winged of the Sierra Cosworth, with examples available for well £10,000. Again, rust is an and that Cosworth engine is to this model so expect prices to be on the high side.

the 190E 2.3 and 2.5 16v cars had plenty of for the era, if you want a Mercedes grunt that would be today you’ll need a car is a little bit bigger.

1989 2002 Mercedes SL R129

All the I’ve looked at so far have a air of practicality, with four and usable boot space for a trip. The R129 SL is realistically a two-seater, but of all the cars here it is the one most likely to be used as an everyday car.

The R129 the place of the R107 after its year run, and it was a much sporting car than the wafting with a range of straight six and the new 322bhp four valve per 5.0 V8 in the 500SL. 1992 saw the introduction of the with the V12 as used in the 600SEL below). While it was more the big V12 was a heavy unit and general at the time was that the 500SL was to drive and barely any slower. In the SL badge became a prefix than a suffix with the V8 now known as the SL500. In 1996 a noticeable facelift also saw the upgraded with a five automatic transmission and the straight replaced by V6s. Finally, in a new 32-valve V8 was introduced with a reduction in power to 306bhp.

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More than worthy of for those looking for a more model were the AMG versions. The and tuning company had developed a relationship with Mercedes to the that for the two companies were now developing performance models to be through Mercedes dealers would acquire a controlling of AMG in 1999). This led to four AMG of the R129, firstly the SL60 AMG a 376bhp 6.0 V8. It was highly regarded new but only 633 were made, and less than 50 sold in the UK a rare car and sadly it’s that one can be found for less £10,000 unless it has serious With the revised V8 in 1998 a new AMG version, the SL55. It boasted although only 65 were and I’ve never heard of one in the UK.

officially listed, AMG also performance versions of the V12 with the bonkers SL70 and SL73. at 496bhp for the 7.0 litre and 525bhp for the 7.3 engine, these monster would go on to power the Pagani With less than 200 between the two cars and none in drive, it’s safe to one of these will cost far than the £10,000 budget if you can find one, that is.

As for the versions, while the SL500 is highly regarded the six-cylinder shouldn’t be overlooked, since prefer the handling of the smaller-engined I suspect, however, that people would be attracted by the of the rumbling V8 in the 500. Research on the forums indicates the ’96-’98 years are the most preferred, the five-speed auto and the four-valve while the earlier cars can from electrical issues. The panoramic hard-top is also a option and worth seeking Whichever version you prefer, are plenty available within the budget, and it’s this that keeps prices low and results in the R129 being of a bargain. Older SLs (the especially) are appreciating at the moment and only a matter of time the R129 follows suit.

1992 — 1998 600SEL / S600 / CL600

It takes a lot of time to develop a new which can sometimes mean the market it’s aimed for has or even disappeared before the car is launched. That held for the W140 Mercedes, the replacement for the S-Class. A bigger and more car than its predecessor, it was developed the economic boom of the late but launched in the teeth of the Nineties As with all S-Classes it was brimmed of new technology but the biggest news of all at the top of was a new flagship 6.0 litre V12 version: the 600 SEL and 600 SEC

It was no surprise that Mercedes develop a V12, since BMW had been using a V12 unit in range-topping 7 and 8 Series cars for a few The new Mercedes unit produced and propelled the car to a limited 155mph, when delimited over was possible. Surprisingly, there was to differentiate the 600 from lesser other than a V12 badge on the C After a year of production the car was in line with Mercedes’ new policy, with both again becoming the S600. the coupe version was later again to become the CL600 at top of the page).

The W140 was never a looker, with the coupe in looking rather bloated none of the cool understatement of the W126 version. Personally I prefer one of the later saloon which does without the side cladding of the earlier and maybe mated to a set of AMG rims.

W140s are still a relatively site on UK roads, but with a price when new of £140,000+ not surprising that the 600 version is rarer. Having said both saloon and coupe can be found for less than Obviously running costs are to be expensive but arguably less its closest rival when the Bentley Turbo R. Previous versions of the S-Class — the 300 SE 6.3 and 6.9 — have attained status (and have far greater than £10,000), and it’s not guaranteed that the 600 of the W140 will do the same, perhaps worth watching.

Realistically, none of these fit the bill for what my wife and I require in a car, and as a result I any will find their way our garage in the near future. if you’re looking for a cool car for less than the price of a new any of these cars can make a case for itself. As to which is unless you need the extra space it is hard to look the charms of an R129 Mercedes SL, a car defines the term modern


Picture credits

W140 Jagvar via Wikipedia, all other by the author.

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