1995 MERCEDES-BENZ S320 (W140)

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling - Theo Ford-Sagers

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

The straight-six de­liv­ers plenty of power right through the rev range. The ride is re­fined and free from clunks and vi­bra­tions, sug­gest­ing that the sus­pen­sion and run­ning gear are in good health, and au­to­matic gear changes are barely dis­cernible. The brakes are strong but there’s a lit­tle steer­ing wheel wob­ble around 55mph, pos­si­bly as a re­sult of warped brake discs or wheels in need of a re­bal­ance. Gen­er­ally though, it’s a beau­ti­ful drive.

BODY­WORK CHECK

There are no dents or signs of cor­ro­sion and only very light scuffs on the rear bumper, and along the edge of the off­side rear door. Pit­ting and curb­ing on the 16in al­loy wheels is min­i­mal, though a pro­fes­sional re­furb would bring them up to the stan­dard of the rest of the exterior. There’s ev­i­dence on the boot lid of the (now re­moved) S500 badge the car wore in Ja­pan, but fit­ting an S320 one should cover the marks. Tyres are 235/60 Bridge­stones, all with am­ple tread and even wear, though there’s a lit­tle agere­lated crack­ing to the rears.

HOW’S THE IN­TE­RIOR?

There’s some loose trim on the pas­sen­ger door and the cen­tral dash cubby box is re­luc­tant to open, but the im­mac­u­late black leather (with only gen­tle creas­ing on the driver’s seat) and clean car­pets point to a car­ing pre­vi­ous owner. Spec­i­fi­ca­tion is im­pres­sive, in­clud­ing dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, an auto-dim­ming rear view mir­ror, elec­tric steer­ing wheel ad­just­ment, il­lu­mi­nated mir­rors and cig­a­rette lighters for both rear pas­sen­gers, rear pri­vacy glass, an elec­tric rear win­dow blind, orig­i­nal Mercedes ra­dio/cas­sette with CD auto-changer and dou­ble glaz­ing. The cen­tral lock­ing mech­a­nism on the driver’s door is stick­ing and re­quires the key for it to open, but the other doors open as they should.

UN­DER THE BON­NET

There’s not much to see of the straight-six en­gine, lurk­ing as it does be­neath its plas­tic pro­tec­tive cov­ers, but the en­gine bay is clean and leak-free, as be­fit­ting a car with such low mileage. A sticker on the power steer­ing fluid reser­voir in­di­cates that the fluid was last changed in 2014 and the tim­ing belt ap­pears to be a re­cent re­place­ment. Ser­vice his­tory com­prises a stack of Ja­panese in­spec­tion sheets (which are sadly un­de­ci­pher­able for the av­er­age English monoglot), the seller’s own check­list and a stack of photographs of the un­der­side taken by the seller show­ing a re­as­sur­ingly clean and solid un­der­belly.

THE CCW VIEW

Re­me­dial work on a car as ex­trav­a­gant and lux­u­ri­ous as this can be hugely ex­pen­sive, so choos­ing a W140 in such solid, clean con­di­tion as this can of­ten prove to be a wise in­vest­ment. You’re un­likely to find one with lower mileage.

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