The big story

Mercs make money

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

The most pop­u­lar make of­fered at auc­tion isn’t Ford or Jaguar or MG, but Mercedes-Benz. The Ger­man car­maker con­sis­tently out­points other makes when it comes to clas­sics of­fered, with 1960s through to early 1990s mod­els sel­dom fail­ing to sell.

The Mercedes-Benz of­fer­ing cov­ers ev­ery­thing from sport­ing SL and SLK mod­els to lux­ury S-class sa­loons, en­try-level 190s (and early C-classes) through to SL ‘gull­wing’ mod­els and pre-war su­per­charged grand tour­ers.

No auc­tion is com­plete without a Mercedes-Benz and King’s Lynn’s Anglia Car Auc­tions has sold more than any other clas­sic auc­tion­eer. Its Jan­uary sale lined up a 1964 ‘fin­tail’ in bread­line-spec­i­fi­ca­tion 190 form (£9660), a 1957 190SL (sell­ing for £110,245) and a slightly down-at-heel 1964 230 SL au­to­matic that was sold for £43,050.

The most pop­u­lar mod­els are W123 and W124 sa­loons and their coupé and estate de­riv­a­tives (and in W124 form, a con­vert­ible), these con­tin­u­ing to find new own­ers thanks to their de­served rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity and build qual­ity.

While the W123 is some­times seen as the last ‘true’ Benz, the W124 suc­ces­sor has found favour among clas­sic en­thu­si­asts not only for great build qual­ity but spares sup­port and spe­cial­ists to carry out ser­vic­ing and re­pairs. ACA stepped up to the plate again with a 1987 260E in Ger­man taxi cream with cloth trim and ser­vice his­tory. It was sold for £1400. A range-top­ping 1991 300E-24 saloon was smart enough to make £4401, prov­ing that val­ues of good ex­am­ples are firm­ing up.

The W126 S-class of­fers a truly vi­able al­ter­na­tive to Jaguar XJ mod­els and, in top-spec­i­fi­ca­tion 500 and 560 form, takes on the Sil­ver Spirit and its Bent­ley sib­lings. Of­fer­ing equally fine per­for­mance and prac­ti­cal­ity, the two-door SEC is a Cor­niche fixed-head ri­val without the costs: Char­ter­house sold a 1990 500SE in 2/2+ con­di­tion for £7700 and Barons a 1988 420SE for £3850.

Ven­tur­ing off-road, the G-wa­gen has the prac­ti­cal­ity of a Land Rover with bet­ter build qual­ity, and while ear­lier mod­els are fairly ba­sic, later ones of­fer a more gen­er­ous spec­i­fi­ca­tion akin to a Range Rover. Prices can range from £1500 for a rusty project to the £12,100 paid for

a short-wheel­base 1985 280 GE at CCA’s Septem­ber sale.

Ja­nis Jo­plin once sang ‘Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz?’ But with the choice across all prices, there’s no rea­son why any clas­sic en­thu­si­ast shouldn’t own a Benz at least once in their lives.

The Mercedes-Benz SEC ri­vals a Rolls-Royce Cor­niche in ev­ery­thing apart from price.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.