Tag Archives: AMG

amg_roadtrip

A Very German Road Trip: The web2carz.com Team Experiences the Mercedes Benz E63 AMG

Mercedes E63 amg review web2carz
When I saw this article about a cross country road trip in a Mercedes Benz E63 I thought of the DaveKnowsCars readers who might like it. I was also afraid the guys at web2carz.com “The Original Auto & Lifestyle Online Magazine” might be having a little too much fun. How does a cross country road trip to photograph a Porsche collection in a brand new E63 AMG press car sound? Not a bad gig if you can get it.

What I like so much about this article is that it isn’t another review like you see in so many magazines and on so many other websites… this is a real world experience of a few car guys buddies taking a road trip… what’s it like to put in a lot of hours behind the wheel? What’s the interior and trunk space like? This article will shed some light on a real car guy’s real world experience in the legendary Mercedes Benz E63. The article was written by Web2Carz.com Staff Writer Andrew Krok, accompanying photos are by automotive photographer Jeremy Cliff. Reprinted in its entirety with permission.

A Very German Road Trip
A long journey to the heart of driving excitement.

We were somewhere around Fremont on the edge of Indiana when the rain began to take hold. I remember saying something like, “Are we sure these wipers don’t go any faster?” Suddenly, there was a terrible roar all around us, and the sky was full of what looked like rain. And a lot of it, at that. Here we were, no more than three hours into our hastily-planned, yet much-anticipated road trip, and God was already trying to piss us off.

Driving in blinding rain, on a highway with very narrow shoulders, in a $100,000 car that’s not your own, can be quite the harrowing ordeal.

People go on road trips all the time. They even make shitty movies about road trips, featuring Tom Green doing something so incredibly stupid, yet so incredibly expected. But our trip was different. It was a gross, physical salute to the art of driving – but only for those that can afford the cost of entry. Luckily, we sidestepped that last part.

Our faithful steed on this trip was a collection of everything right and beautiful with automobiles, ground up and run through the Mercedes-Benz brand sausage stuffer from hell. The E63 AMG would be Darth Vader’s ride if he traded his job as a Sith Lord for an upper-management position at a Fortune 500 company. 550 horsepower from a twin-turbo V-8 engine, forced into the pavement through all four wheels, burbling and cracking and growling its way across a landscape wrought with fire and death.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit over the top, but the car was painted black, with matching black wheels, and an exhaust note that would send the animal kingdom’s most vicious predators running. It was big. It was angry. And it was about to take us 1,800 miles to the East Coast and back.

On top of being addicted to nicotine, I’m addicted to cars. In order to get my fix above and beyond the nine-to-five, I freelance for a magazine that focuses entirely on the Porsche 911. I’d been sent a mission from the head office – get to Connecticut and write a feature on a handful of incredibly-rare 911s, all currently owned by one of the largest and most highly-celebrated Porsche collectors on the planet, Richard Sloan.

Mercedes E63 amg review web2carz

The E63 is a like a bear, in that it’s pretty cute and cuddly … until it decides to rip your face off.

So, after figuring out dates and securing a car for the trip, I set off on Friday evening to pick up two photographers and a friend. We each had a bag with a weekend’s worth of clothes, along with sleeping bags, pillows, and the like. That fit in the trunk easily. What made it difficult, though, was the tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of camera equipment we also needed to bring. We were professionals, after all, and pros need egregious amounts of lenses, strobes, tripods, camera bodies, and remotes. And we made sure to put that equipment to good use, as you will notice in the wallpapers we’ve included at the end of the story.

The awfully-spacious trunk was packed, quite literally, to the brim. We managed to get the trunk lid closed on just our second re-arrangement of all the items inside, and we were still stuck with two backpacks and two pillows to shove into the passenger compartment. Despite a very full car, the E63’s air suspension kept the vehicle from looking like the rear springs had given out – clearly this car does not screw around. Nearly an hour after we began, it was now time to spend 14 hours staring straight ahead in the pitch black.

The biggest issue leaving Illinois was the traffic. At 8 o’clock on a Friday night, every highway was filled with lazy drivers, shuffling along at whatever speed they deemed appropriate. The laser-guided cruise control in the E63 was getting a workout, speeding up and slowing down for every idiot in the left lane who can’t be bothered to move to the right.

Indiana wasn’t much better. It was still early enough in the night to where some commuters and vacationers were on the road, but once we moved past the cities and out into more sparsely-populated areas, we were able to stretch our legs and let the cruise control do its thing. That’s when our trip was renamed the AMG Inclement Weather Driving Academy.

Driving in blinding rain, on a highway with very narrow shoulders, in a $100,000 car that’s not your own, can be quite the harrowing ordeal. But Mercedes really has their shit together in this regard, because it’s not like they want you to crash the damn thing. Between the Lane Keep Assist and the fat, grippy tires, the E63 pushed forward with nary a complaint.

E63-amg trunk-space web2carz

This is roughly mid-way through packing the trunk. There’s still plenty of space!

We had stopped for gas the first time right before we entered Ohio. Thanks to an obscenely low fuel cost, nearly a full tank’s worth of premium cost us under 60 dollars. Not too shabby, considering a 22-gallon fuel tank translates to a fair chunk of change if you’re not the typical, well-heeled M-B buyer.

I-80 in Ohio, for those of you who haven’t driven it, is boring. Very boring. And there’s almost always some degree of construction that creates miles of backlogged cars and trucks. Thanks to our late departure, though, this wasn’t a problem. It was past midnight, and we were alone, save for the occasional long-haul truckers that do little more than give us reason to change lanes.

The E63 took everything we could throw at it, and it powered through without even a modicum of hesitation. Aside from the rain, which is nobody’s fault, the car exhibited no strange issues. Except for that whistle. That stupid whistle, undoubtedly a loose piece of trim somewhere underhood, which sounded like a pissed-off bird. Who knows, maybe there actually was a bird under there. We were making good time, so we opted not to check.

I never thought I’d catch myself saying, “Oh thank goodness, we’re in Pennsylvania,” but when it’s going on three in the morning on Saturday – and you haven’t slept since Thursday night – you’re thankful for whatever state you’re about to cross into. It’s one step closer to getting some sleep. More than that, I was the one with my name on the papers for the car; anything that happened on the trip was on me. Fear is an excellent stimulant; every time my eyelids got heavy, I imagined my co-drivers Billy or Jeremy careening off the road, sending us all to a Thelma & Louise-style death.

With Pennsylvania came our first relief from the rain. As we moved further into the Appalachian mountain range, however, all the water vapor sitting on the ground turned into fog. Thick, penetrating fog that brought visibility down under 100 feet. With another thin shoulder and a fear of somebody not seeing us, we turned on the rear fog light and pushed forward, driving straight into the literal unknown.

The GPS on the map proved an excellent co-driver, alerting us to slowdowns on the route, as well as zooming in far enough to tell us when sharp curves lay ahead, obscured by the ground-level cloud cover.

E63-amg-roadtrip-interior

Being able to see the road ahead was a luxury, given the awful weather we encountered.

As we made our final push out of Pennsylvania and into New York, both the fog and rain subsided. But it’s not like the car gods were ready to let us have fun. Nope, now it was time for early-morning traffic. Thankfully, we took a bypass around New York City, but even the White Plains congestion proved difficult to manage.

Then we met the worst driver on the planet. This person (because being gender-specific, while accurate, will likely be seen as misogynistic) in a Toyota RAV4 did everything in their power to bounce between the edges of the lane like a bowling ball rolling down an alley with the bumpers up. She even cut off an unmarked police cruiser, but he didn’t pull her over. It made me wonder why I cared about speed limits so much. Thankfully, the E63 didn’t give two shits what the speed limit was, as we made sure to use every inch of available power to move as far away from that RAV4 as possible.

Connecticut, our destination, proved to be the most brilliant part of the entire road trip. For one entire day, we had no rain and no traffic. Combine those factors with hilly terrain and speed limits that were generously high, and we finally got to have some good ol’-fashioned back road fun. The all-wheel-drive did an excellent job of keeping the E63’s shiny side up, and the brilliantly precise steering put the vehicle exactly where we expected it to – not necessarily a trait in every 4,500-pound luxury sedan.

E63-amg-roadtrip-web2carz

We spent most of the photo shoot getting high.

As much as we wanted to spend the whole weekend driving, most of the time in Connecticut was spent facilitating the photo shoot for the magazine feature. After a single night’s sleep at a Days Inn, where we accidentally stole a pillow, we finished up our required photography and set out for Illinois. With significantly more seat time under our belts, and save for a little bit of rain again in Ohio (seriously, screw you, Ohio), we had a clear and straight shot back home.

The E63 kept pushing the entire way, showing absolutely no signs of relenting in its mission to try and earn us all speeding tickets. Even when I made it back home after dropping everybody off, a mere twelve hours after departing New England, I struggled to get any meaningful sleep. I was just too wired up, too excited to drive the car even more. I may have even dreamt about it. The car is just that exemplary; it invades your dream-space. It’s like Freddy Kreuger, minus all the murder.

Did we reach any sort of meaningful level of self-reflection, wherein the trip itself became an allegory for all the great and wonderful things about life? No. Did anything crazy happen to either the car or any of its drivers? No. Did we hit the speed limiter? We wish.

So what, exactly, did the trip teach us then? Well, it taught us that the E63 AMG is one of the best road-trip cars you can buy. It’s everything you need – power, luxuriousness, fun-factor – turned up to 11. The gas mileage isn’t abhorrent (roughly $300 for the entire 1,800-mile trip), it’s so comfortable you want to spend even more time inside it, and there’s enough trunk space for two professional photographers’ worth of equipment.

That’s also what makes it a bit of a sad story. Most E63 owners are well-off enough to the point where a road trip seems foolish compared to round-trip airfare, so the cars will more likely see duty as suburb-crawlers and grocery-getters. I certainly didn’t see any other performance luxury vehicles being driven across the country on my travels, but I’m secretly hoping that they’re out there, somewhere, disregarding efficiency and having an absolute blast in the process.

Here is a link to the original article as it appeared on Web2Carz.com.

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

A Very Merry Christmas! Local Father / Son Duo Pick Up Their New Mercedes Benz C and E Classes in Time For Christmas!

Mercedes E350 and C300 Sedans

It was a good day for these guys on Thursday! This is a local father and son that I met very early this year on the show room floor here at Sears Imports Mercedes-Benz. Alan (the father) purchased this Palladium Silver E350 while his son, Austin, went with this black C300 4matic Sport (Mercedes-Benz demographic engineers are right again… dad gets an E, son gets a C!).

Austin had been looking at brand new cars recently to replace the car that got him through college… and he almost pulled the trigger on a new Volkswagen Passat with front wheel drive when he figured he could get an almost new, Certified Pre Owned C300 4matic all wheel drive car for about the same money.

He wanted a 2012, he wanted a lot of options… the stars aligned and this black car happened to come in to Sears Imports as a one owner lease return. It’s a P1 Package car with Keyless Go and the Multi media package. Austin is one guy who will actually use all the features and options in that Multi Media Package. Congratulations Austin, you weighed your options and made an informed decision. I would imagine this young man has a very bright future indeed!

Alan, Austin’s father, had been watching lightly pre owned E350 4matic inventories for months. A car came in a few months ago that checked every box on his wish list… but he couldn’t live with the interior color. Another potential contender showed up not too much later, but he was set on a silver car (Iridium, Palladium, maybe Steel Grey) so the search continued. He was looking for a highly optioned Certified Pre Owned E class with low miles with a clean history, plenty of warranty left at a fair price. What just about everybody wants, right? If I could have called the ‘Used Car Factory” I would have.

In the end Alan had the patience and diligence to find the right car. He knew it was what he wanted, and he was able to take advantage of aggressive 1.99% APR interest rates for up to 66 months on the purchase. His car is equipped with the P2 Package (Premium 2 Package), the wheel Package which give him those great looking AMG wheels, PARKTRONIC, and a Panorama sunroof among other options.

Alan’s wife Sherri and daughter Ariel (Austin’s mother and sister of course) came down with them to pick up the cars, it was a real family adventure, just in time for the holidays. Thank you gentlemen, it’s been great getting to know you, I hope the whole family enjoys the cars… and I hope we can do it again some time.
dave-tobin-mercedes-customers

2012-Mercedes-SL550-video

Dave Knows Cars Road Trip Video! 2012 Mercedes Benz SL550 Trip to The Dells, WI – Driver Impressions – Ya Mon!

2012-Mercedes-SL550-video

On Wednesday of this week I drove 3 1/2 hours from Minneapolis to The Dells, WI… about the halfway point between Minneapolis and Chicago, to meet the new owner of this lightly used (just over 5,000 miles) 2012 model Mercedes Benz SL550. It’s the longest single stint I’ve put in behind the wheel of an R230 series Mercedes-Benz SL (2003 – 2012). The 2012 model is the last of that series, the most highly evolved of that series, and an absolute joy to drive. Click the YouTube screenshot above or think link to watch the Road Trip Video! (commentary begins at about second 20).

2012-Mercedes-SL550-road-test

The car in the Sears Imports photo booth a few days before my road trip. AMG 19″ wheel package, black exterior, Nappa Leather Interior.

Despite what some people say, what might be printed in the marketing material, these aren’t really ‘sports’ cars in the true sense of the word, not like a Porsche 911 is a sports car or a Ferrari 360 Modena is a ‘sports’ car… sports cars are brutal, uncomfortable things, impractical for every day use, but absolute perfection on a race track. The Mercedes-Benz SL is a grand touring car… it handles beautifully and has plenty of power, but it’s a much more civilized machine. You can get in this car and tool around town at 25 – 35 mph comfortably or you can get on the highway and cruise at 75 mph all day in complete comfort.

You can adjust the Active Body Control suspension to be extremely tight and responsive if you want to really take to the twisties, you can use the steering wheel mounted shifter paddles if you want to decide when to shift gears (even though you’ll never be as quick or smooth as the computer controlled automatic transmission in Sport mode). This is a car to throw an overnight bag in the back of and cruise to a vineyard, the lake house or wherever else you might want to go.. the further away, the better.

The 3 1/2 hours I had behind the wheel of this car were comfortable and fun. I tried to find excuses to get off the highway, just to have another chance to apply the gas, liberally, as I cruised up the on ramp to re-join traffic. I kept the cruise control set at 74mph the whole time, a brisk pace, but I certainly wasn’t the driving faster than everyone on the highway. As I would cruise up on someone going slower, in the fast lane, they would see this low slung, black car with huge the huge three pointed star in the grille, bi-xenon headlamps on and immediately get over in the right lane… even though I was only going a couple of miles per hour faster, I think the car is perceived by other drivers to be going a lot faster than it really is. It is certainly capable of a lot faster… it just looks fast when you see it, but it’s the smoothness of the car that’s so amazing. Heavy and steady as you cruise down the highway.

Starting with the 2009 model year, SL class cars got all the latest electronics from Mercedes-Benz along with a cosmetic refresh. Sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2009 and newer you can’t help but notice the bulges in the aluminum hood, they do add a mystique to the view out the front windshield, and, I suppose, do something for the airflow over the hood, as Mercedes-Benz engineers never do anything without a real functional purpose behind it.

Interior enhancements for 2009 and newer cars include the hard drive based system that runs the navigation, music register, iPod connector, voice control… all the latest stuff, so, I hooked up my iPod, put on some Bob Marley, activated the Harmon/Kardon Logic7 Surround Sound system and daydreamed about green little Caribbean islands, I just watched  a great documentary on PBS about the history of Reggae in Jamaica, so I have been on a bit of a Marley kick the past few weeks.

2012-Mercedes-SL550-road-test-tobin

Nappa leather interior… a great combination with the black exterior.

Perhaps the most amazing thing about this SL road trip was that I was easily achieving just shy of 25mpg with the cruise control set at 74mph. The 382HP engine was much more fuel efficient than I expected in real life. The EPA window sticker says you’ll get considerably less than 25mpg on the highway in this car. While going through a couple of construction zones I reset the cruise control to 60mph… average fuel economy went to 26.2 mpg at that point… so decent gas mileage is certainly possible.

2012-Mercedes-SL550-gas-mileage

Notice the 74mph cruise control setting on the left side, 24.8mpg average on the right, 62mph average (due to some exits and on ramps).

So, I met my customer from Highland Park, IL at a McDonald’s restaurant in The Dells, WI where he bought me a cup of coffee and I laid out the paperwork for the transaction. He signed everything, gave me his check and the keys to the 2009 Mercedes-Benz GL450 he was trading in… this was my ride back home to Minneapolis. The GL450 is certainly a comfortable ride, safe, great visibility… but it’s quite a change from teh fighter plane like handling and low seating position of the SL…. it took some getting used to on the return trip.

We have already seen the first of the R230 cars fall below the $30,000 mark on the used car market. Since the 2013 models have already been release, the new body style, we will soon see the R230s drop in price even further from where they are today. They are very modern cars, light years ahead of the R107 models and much more advanced than even the R129 series SLs from the 1990s and early 2000s. As my customer and new found friend from Highland Park left the McDonald’s parking lot with a wave and a smile I thought… everyone ought to own a Mercedes-Benz SL at some point in their lives… and if you’re going to get one… the R230 series are some of the best.

2013-Mercedes-Benz-GLK rebates

Mercedes Benz Competitor Conquest Program Continues into August, 2013 Models Now Eligible!

2013-Mercedes-Benz-GLK rebates

New August 2012 Sales Programs from Mercedes-Benz were released yesterday and I’m happy to announce that the Mercedes Benz Competitor Conquest Certificate Program incentives have been extended to new 2013 models arriving in dealer showrooms right now! I’ve included a photo of the new 2013 model GLK350 here… it is ELIGIBLE for the incentive

We just got our first shipment of 2013 models, we now have 2013 C class, E class, GLK class and CLS class vehicles in stock. There aren’t many of them.. but they’re beginning to arrive.
Mercedes-Competitor-Conquest-Program-August-2012

The chart above clearly illustrates which models are eligible for the Competitor Conquest Certificate Program discounts… an have a look, 2012 models remain on the list, with deep incentives for the last remaining 2012 E class cars in our inventory… $3,000 per E class! C and M class cars remain at $1,000. Most 2013 models are eligible for the discounts.

Mercedes AMG Red Pig E500 Hammer

Mercedes Benz AMG Celebrates 45th Anniversary

Mercedes AMG Red Pig E500 Hammer

I found this article about the 45th Anniversary of AMG over at the Hemmings Blog… some interesting stuff here. I get the ‘Hemmings
Daily’ e-newsletter sent to my inbox every morning, there is always good stuff in it. Visit the link just below for more and sign up if you’re interested in good vintage and classic car info everyday.

Mercedes Benz AMG Celebrates 45th Anniversary
Written by Terry Shea for Hemmings Daily (July 17th, 2012 at 8:58 am)

Just as BMW’s M division celebrated its 40th anniversary in May, Mercedez-Benz lit a few more candles for its vaunted performance group as AMG marked the 45th anniversary of its founding.

While now a part of Mercedes-Benz as a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler AG, AMG was originally an independent entity, founded in 1967 by two Mercedes engineers, Hans Werner Aufrecht and Erhard Melcher. They started their business in an old mill, in Burgstall An Der Murr, about 20 miles northeast of Stuttgart, to make racing engines. The “A” stood for Aufrecht, the “M” for Melcher and the “G” for Grossaspach, the nearby birthplace of Aufrecht. Although officially a separate entity from the factory until 1990, the firm enjoyed a close relationship with the automaker from the start.

When Mercedes came out with the 250hp 300SEL 6.3 super sedan, AMG built versions making 280, 300 and even 320hp for customers. When it came time to race, AMG built a 6.8-liter version that produced a healthy 428hp. Painted red and entered in the 1971 24-hour race at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, the “Red Pig” won its class and finished an impressive second overall, cementing AMG’s reputation of building high-performance cars. Even today, the Red Pig remains one of the company’s most iconic machines.

In the 1970s, AMG started offering components and modifications for street cars, including exclusive alloy wheel designs, suspension upgrades and, of course, higher performance engines. Busting at the seams of the old mill with 40 employees, AMG moved to nearby Affalterbach in 1976 and began offering body components. Blacked-out chrome trim and five-spoke wheels in body color became signature items for AMG cars and, along with the body kits, practically defined the “Euro” look as it became known in the United States.

In the 1980s, as over-the-top luxury became as important as over-the-top performance, AMG kept pace on both fronts, but in the mechanical department, Melcher and his fellow engineers developed four-valve cylinder heads for the Mercedes-Benz aluminum V-8s, giving them 340hp from the 5.0-liter V-8 at a time when only the most exotic cars made more power, let alone luxury coupes and sedans.

During this time, perhaps their most famous creation was the 5.6-liter, 32-valve V-8-powered E-class sedan from the late 1980s, affectionately known as The Hammer. Its 360hp engine made it capable of 300 KmPH, or 186 MPH, by far the fastest sedan of its day. The final iteration of The Hammer, with a 6.0-liter V-8, was good for 385hp.

Mercedes AMG DTM Touring Car
In 1988, Mercedes-Benz contracted AMG to run their DTM touring car program and AMG rewarded that contract with several titles claimed with the 190E 2.5-16 Evolution model. AMG’s affiliation with Mercedes-Benz helped turn the Stuttgart manufacturer into a touring car juggernaut from the late 1980s through today. In 1998, AMG developed a complete, purpose-built race car (which spawned a handful of homologated models), called the CLK-GTR. Featuring a 612hp, mid-engined, V-12 monster engine, it secured the FIA GT title for the two companies. When the DTM was revived in 2000, AMG returned, again piling up titles for the company.

After more than two decades with an arm’s length understanding, finally, in 1990, Mercedes-Benz and AMG signed an agreement of cooperation, the first joint product of which was the 1993 C36, a 276hp C-class sedan powered by an inline six-cylinder engine, though the agreement also opened up the entire AMG parts catalog to Mercedes-Benz dealers. The C36 was sold in the United States from 1995 through 1997. AMG followed that car up with the 347hp E50 in 1996 and essentially opened the floodgates for virtually every Mercedes-Benz model to have a performance version engineered by the Affalterbach crew.

Since the late 1990s, SUVs and minivans (the R63) have been added to the AMG fray that already included sedans, coupes, roadsters and wagons. AMG engines in the past two decades have included four-cylinder, inline sixes, V-6s, V-8s and V-12s, all with multivalve heads, some normally aspirated, others supercharged and turbocharged, but all with a bottom line of more power. The craziest, over-the-top models, such as the SL65, feature a 612hp, 738-lbs.ft, twin-turbocharged V-12, for which you will pay more than $200,000 to get your hands on, but you will drive away knowing you are in one of the hardest-accelerating roadsters ever made.

AMG makes a big deal – and rightly so – of each engine being hand-assembled by a single, highly trained technician, who then leaves a signature plate atop the completed powerplant before it leaves the factory. They call it “One Man, One Engine” and it delivers the personal touch that the mass production of mainline Mercedes-Benz cars simply can’t offer.

Mercedes-Benz upped the ante in 1999 when they purchased 51 percent of AMG from Aufrecht and then completed the purchase by buying the remaining shares in 2007, renaming the entity Mercedes-AMG, but we all mostly know it by those three letters tacked onto the back of their cars signifying a very fast version of what is already likely a competent and fairly quick car.

In 2009, Mercedes-AMG introduced its first complete car, the SLS AMG, a gull-winged coupe that harks back to the original 300 SL Gullwing from the 1950s, with modern performance, safety, luxury and technology. As modern collectibles go, the SLS AMG is about as blue chip as it gets. (Get your own here at Sears Imports… lightly used low mile, highly optioned 2011 SLS AMG Gullwing Coupe in stock now…!)

For a more detailed and interactive history of AMG, visit Mercedes-AMG.com

Mercedes S500 or S55 AMG with 80k – 100k Miles, Crazy Idea for a Daily Driver? Not Entirely.

I got an email from Dave Knows Cars Blog reader ‘Steve’ in South Florida a couple of weeks ago. He was looking for a late model Mercedes Benz S class in the 80,000 – 100,000 mile range to use as a daily driver for his 40 mile round trip commute for under $10,000, his questions was simple,  Is this a crazy idea. Well, read on and you will see my answer.

It isn’t an entirely crazy idea, you just have to make sure you find the right car… and he did, as I got an update from him this week, the photo accompanying this post (below) is Steve’s black 2004 S430 that he purchased from a Mercedes-Benz Dealer in Miami just the other day. Congratulations Steve! It looks like you paid up for a very good example that should be a good car for you for many years to come.

Here is Steve’s original email to me:

Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 9:30 PM
To: dave knows cars
Subject: can you help
 
Hi Dave
 
I was considering buying a 80-110k mile c 2001 S Class S500 or S55 for under $10k. I will drive it around 40 miles a day, 5 days a week. Is that a crazy idea?
What should I look for or do before I buy?
 
Thanks
Steve
My Answer:

On Jun 25, 2012, at 11:42 PM, Dave Tobin wrote:
Hi Steve,I don’t think it’s a completely crazy idea. I would pass on an S55 though. They’re just wound so tightly, such high performance engines will never last as long as the solid 500 V8 and they’re just that much more expensive to fix.

An S500 of the vintage you’re talking about, even under 10k can still be a very good car. I don’t think there’s anything more comfortable and they’re as safe a car as you can buy.Every once in a while we’ll get that 2002 or 2003 model with 50k or 75k miles… maybe it was an old guy’s second car or something, those are great finds and never last long at dealerships, as there’s a huge market for these cars once they get to be so cheap, but you have to find a good one.I wouldn’t necessarily run from a 90 – 110k car… it just has to be a nice one, well maintained.

There are plenty of one or two owner cars that have been well cared for, dealer serviced by the old guy who brings it in when it needs something, but might keep his cars for 8 – 10 years.We have a lot of those kinds of folks at our dealership.

I don’t know where you live, but if you go to the ‘old money’ dealership… more cars like this show up as opposed to the dealerships in the new money areas that lease more cars than they sell.. if that makes any sense to you. You might need to do some demographic research, or find a car guy like me at one of your local dealers, and just kind of ask him about those kinds of guys. They’re out there… you just need someone to call you when they trade in their car for a new model.

With a car of that age and mileage, lots of stuff will have been replaced and repaired on the car, so you can’t get scared about seeing ‘cam seals replaced’ on a Carfax or vehicle history, or ‘transmission fluid leak’ or something like that, they will have all had such problems and will have had things like that replaced.If you try to buy from a private party, ABSOLUTELY have a pre purchase inspection done, even if you’re buying from a dealer, do that… you can take it to a dealer or reputable indy shop that knows the cars. I’d check with someone in your local MB club chapter, call the president, tell them what you’re considering and ask if he would recommend an individual in the club who you could talk to you about finding a place…. they might even know someone with such a car.

I would try to find a very clean car, cosmetically clean, inside and out.. first impressions mean a lot to me when I’m looking at a used car. if it’s clean, inside and out, chances are it was well cared for… and when I mean clean, I don’t just mean, not dirty… but look at the door sills and jambs for wear, look at the buttons on the dash.. are they all work off, the lettering and icons? are the carpets worn and matted from being wet and dry and wet and dry.. or was this the kind of person who put all season mats on top of the carpet mats to protect them?

You’ll want to make sure the suspension is good… bushings and springs are one thing, but the airmatic shocks in these cars can be quite expensive.

They’re going to have chips and imperfections outside at that mileage… but you’re accepting of that I’m sure… but there are cars that have been better cared for than others, you can just tell. Curb rashed wheels are a tell tale sign of a drive / park by feel… I never like those cars.

Those are some of the things I would look at… I have sold S500s with 175k miles on them… they can be good cars for a long time, but hopefully, with the help of a tech and a ppi, you can get one that doesn’t have a ton of immediate needs. I shipped one to a limo service in Colorado, it was an S430 (just as good as a 500), I shipped another old S class to a guy in AZ. People do travel to get these, or use nationwide searches to find them.

I would find a good indy shop to maintain it for you long term, someone who really knows the cars an is trusted by the local MB club. They will be a great resource. Dealership maintenance at that point can be expensive (of course I didn’t just write that, you didn’t hear that from me).

I always say…. and I say this to customers all the time… In the end.. all old cars are like hand grenades without pins… they all blow up eventually… but with proper maintenance, and if you start with a well cared for, decent example, it might not blow up on your watch.

Don’t be afraid to pay up for a really nice example, remember, ‘there is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes-Benz’

Thanks for the question, thanks for reading the blog. Let me know how it turns out.

Dave

Steve wrote me again this week, with the results of his search.. .and this happened faster than I would have imagined, but when the right car like this comes along, you can’t wait around.

Steve’s 2004 S430, just purchased from a Miami Mercedes dealer.

From: Steve

Sent: Saturday, July 07, 2012 7:03 PM
To: Dave Tobin
Subject: Re: can you help
Hi Dave
 
Picked up my 2004 S420 today. Bought from Miami Merc dealer. I’d been to see him and he said he would call when a good one came in. Sold by them in 2004. 2 owners. Trade in against E 350 Perfect carfax report. They did the brakes, ac, full service, wax etc before I picked it up. 91000 miles. $14,200. 90 days warranty. I narrowly missed it being shipped to Colombia but they couldn’t get the cash fast enough!
 
It’s silent on the road. Auto box is smooth. Engine makes a great purr. Interior spotless. Spare tire never used. Stereo is amazing.
 
Thanks for your help
 
Steve

That’s how easy it can be… and how funny is it… that Colombians in Miami couldn’t come up with the money fast enough!? I guess I was just a big Miami Vice fan when I was a kid, the Colombians in Miami ALWAYS had the cash!

Certified Pre Owned SL550-Red-interior

Certified Pre Owned 2009 Mercedes SL550 Roadster Black w/ Red Premium Leather Interior Just 5,130 One Owner Miles!

Certified Pre Owned SL550-Red-interior

Just arrived! This is a 2009 Mercedes Benz SL550 with just over 5,000 one owner miles. It was purchased by one of our customers who Winters in Arizona, it’s been an AZ car since new, now it’s here at our dealership in Minnesota, ready for the rest of the Summer.

2009-SL550-low miles

Low, original, one owner miles!

This is a well equipped car, costing more than $111,000 when new (see original option list below). A couple of highlights in terms of equipment on the car: Premium I Package (PI Package) including KEYLESS GO, Active Heated and Ventilated seats, AIRSCARF, PARKTRONIC, Panorama Sunroof, and the great looking AMG Wheel Package. It’s got the classic SL color combination of Black exterior over red leather interior which harkens back to the sports car hey days of the 1950s and 60s.
Used-SL550-Black-Red-interior
This SL is a Certified Pre Owned car which means it carries the balance of its 4 year / 50,000 mile warranty. It was put into service very late, August 3, 2009! This is good for the second owner, as it is under factory, new car warranty until the odometer hits 50,000 miles or until August 3, 2013. Once the new car warranty expires, the Certified Pre Owned warranty from Mercedes-Benz begins which is one more year or up to 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. This means the car is essentially under warranty until August of 2014 or until it reaches 100k miles (whichever occurs first). The new owner also has the opportunity to add one more year up to 125k miles to the warranty or two more years up to 135k miles which would give you maximum coverage all the way out to August of 2016 or until the odometer reaches 135,000 miles!

It’s available today for just $72,900, Sears’ Imports Stock#20339. Have a look at the original option list / MSRP information below…
Certified Pre Owned Mercedes SL550 MSRP

 

2011 Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing

Used 2011 SLS AMG Gullwing AMG Alubeam Silver Bang & Olufsen 3,100 One Owner Miles, $220k+ new, now just $185,900

2011 Mercedes SLS AMG Gullwing

This 2011 SLS AMG Gullwing just arrived here at Sears Imported Autos! This is a one owner vehicle that was purchased new here at Sears Imports. Its only owner drove it a total of about 1,300 miles. It is perfect in every respect. This iconic sports car has all the goodies, it was nicely equipped from the factory with an original MSRP of $220,645.

used Mercedes SLS AMG Alubeam Silver

The complete build sheet / option list is below, but a few highlights include AMG Alubeam Silver exterior paint with a contrasting Mercedes designo Light Brown Natural Leather interior. It’s got several carbon fiber trim packages, the mirrors, interior, all the carbon fiber you can get, except for under the hood. It’s also equipped with the awesome Bang & Olufsen 1000 watt sound system.

Mercedes SLS AMG designo

Loaded interior, navigation, voice control, all the transmission and launch settings among the designo leather interior with carbon fiber trim.

This SLS AMG is sitting here, available and seriously for sale at Sears Imported Autos in Minnetonka. It’s Sears Imports’ stock# 20338, priced right for the market today at $185,900.

Mercedes SLS AMG engine

2009-Mercedes-C63-AMG

2009 Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Just 7,000 One Owner Miles! Arctic White w/ Premium II Package, AMG Leather Package, Multimedia Package, All the Options and 481HP!

2009-Mercedes-C63-AMG

Used Mercedes Benz C63 AMG cars don’t come up for sale very often, this one was just traded in yesterday on a pre owned S65 AMG… so, if you’ve ever wondered where you go from a C63.. I guess that’s the answer. This C63 AMG is absolutely loaded… original window sticker / option list is pasted below for your reference.

Finished in Arctic White over Sahara Beige / Black AMG Premium Leather interior, this is a local, one owner vehicle that was purchased here at Sears Imports when it was new. It has just 7,053 original miles, it is essentially perfect in every way. It has the Premium 2 Package (P2 Package) which gives you Bi-Xenon headlamps and cornering fog lamps, it’s also got the Multimedia Package which includes COMAND Navigation, a music register, Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, voice control and a ton of other tech options.
Used Mercedes-C63-AMG-Sears Imports

All of that gadgetry is really secondary to the huge, 6.2 liter, naturally aspirated V8 under the hood… it cranks out 481 Horsepower… making it, in my opinion, the most fun AMG car to drive, the SLS AMG coming in a close second (no joke). Originally over $66,000 new, this vehicle is available today at Sears Imports (stock# 20236A) for $51,900.
Used Mercedes C63-AMG-Prices

Mercedes Benz GLK AMG Styling Package Explained

Mercedes added the AMG Styling Package to the option list for the GLK class SUV this Spring. I remember doing a double take on the first GLK I saw with this cool looking package. Here is what the AMG Styling Package gives you on the GLK, it’s a $1,970 option available on all GLK models.

AMG wheels and LED Daytime Running Lamps on AMG designed bumper.

The AMG Styling Package includes: 20″ twin five-spoke wheels, AMG designed front and rear bumpers with chrome skidplates, Brushed Aluminum Roof Rails, and LED Daytime Running Lamps.

The most noticable differences between a regular GLK and one with the AMG Styling Package are in the front with the bupmer and LED running lamps like you see on P2 package ML and GL class SUVs.