Today’s Nice Price or No Dice S 500 is a big car. It’s so big, in fact, that it requires seatbelt extenders as well as little pop-up poles atop the rear fenders so drivers will know just where the dang thing ends. Let’s see if a car this big can still come with a small price.
So, I have to admit that I was a little surprised that the majority of you wouldn’t go for the $34,500 that was asked for yesterday’s 2018 Kia Stinger GT. I mean, it had reasonable mileage, a decent color combo, and a rock-em-sock-em twin-turbo V6 under the hood. Still, when the votes were cast and the dust had settled, that price went down in a massive 78 percent No Dice loss. I thought it would have at least been closer.
If you think about being close, you probably don’t think about Mercedes’ W140 edition S-Class as those cars tend to give their passengers room to spare. After all, this was a car that, upon its introduction, found criticism for the substantial size increase it represented over its predecessor, the W126 S-Class. The company’s initial response to this criticism was the specious claim that Germans, on average, were getting taller and hence needed bigger cars.
Whatever the reason, upon its debut, the W140 represented the biggest and most ostentatious S-Class in history, offering such cutting edge features as dual-paned insulating side glass, soft-close boot lids and doors, all wrapped up in subdued but timelessly elegant bodywork.
This 1994 Mercedes S 500 shows off that styling’s take on the two-door coupe form, and there’s lots of room to take it all in so don’t feel the need to crowd around. These cars are so big, in fact, that before sonar parking sensors were a thing, Mercedes used little indicator rods on the rear fenders that would pop up when the car is put in reverse so the rear corners could be clearly seen in the mirrors. On the coupe, the doors are so long that electrically-operated seat belt extenders are needed to keep front-seat occupants from pulling a muscle when attempting to reach the retracted buckle. Overall, it feels something like a throwback to the era when, especially in American cars, size equated to significance.
This particular S 500 comes in black over dark gray lowers and rocks some handsome AMG wheels. Those look to be about a decade or so newer than the car but accent its ’90s styling adeptly. According to the ad, the car was once involved in a minor shunt that required some cosmetic repair but did not affect the car structurally. The documentation of the repair comes with the car and there’s no evidence of any bodywork issues evident in the ad’s pictures. The seller does note that the car has a few other minor cosmetic imperfections, but likewise, those aren’t noticeable in any of the pics.
These once were, and remain to this day pretty luxurious cars, and this model’s cabin bears that mantle of classy comportment extremely well. It’s awash in gray leather which is accented by copious amounts of burl wood across the dash and doors and down the center console. Admittedly, that’s all seen better days as both the leather and the wood shows evidence of crazing on the surface. It’s nothing that couldn’t be lived with, but it does show that even class has an expiration date.
Other issues here include some saggy vanes on the center air vents, a recalcitrant rear window shade, and an aftermarket stereo that has been installed in the dash. The seller does notes that the factory Becker comes with the car. The passenger door card is also damaged, something the seller says happened under a previous owner.
On the plus side, the ad lists a whole slew of maintenance and update work having been undertaken, again seemingly with the receipts as proof. The M119 V8 offers 315 horsepower from its 4,973 ccs, and per the seller, runs “rock solid.” That engine is backed up by Mercedes’ four-speed automatic which has seen a recent fluid change. A lot of work has also been undertaken on the engine, with a cooling system update and the replacement of the awful engine bay wiring harness as the most notable of those efforts.
It’s not all happy little elves keeping the car going, however, as the seller describes a few “known flaws” in the ad. These include the aforementioned rear sunshade, as well as a moonroof that requires lubing or some other sort of work. The climate control is also said to have an issue with the engine heat recirculation button, but that’s claimed to be a moot point since the heater works. There are a few other minor issues, but nothing that might scare a buyer off the deal. The big Benz comes with 111,000 miles on the clock and a clean title awaiting transfer to that lucky and un-fearful buyer.
To make that happen, however, there’s the matter of the $8,499 asking price. The seller claims that to be well below where Hagerty tags the value of this model, a factor that is claimed to have been set to “compensate for the imperfection.”
We’ll just have to see how imperfect — or perfect — that $8,499 asking just might be. What do you say, is this big coupe worth that kind of cash? Or, for that much would you expect perfection?
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