Friday, April 4, 2014

5k: Big Dog: 1999 Mercedes-Benz CL500 C140

The W140 generation S-Class was built from 1991 to 1998 as the flagship Mercedes-Benz luxury vehicle.  The S-Class was available as a sedan, long wheelbase sedan and coupe. Continuing the tradition of confusing nomenclature, the S-Class coupe was badged the CL even though it shared nothing in common with the C-class, (or its variants; CLK, CLC, CLA) or the CLS (E-Class).  Find this 1999 Mercedes-Benz CL500 offered for $6,995 via, located in North Hollywood, CA.  Tip from Tinman.

The big C140 version featured only two doors but tipped the scales at a massive 4750 lbs in CL500 trim, versus 4725 in S500 sedan trim.  Fortunately the coupe version is much better looking and buyers were able to justify and impeded rear seat access, extra few pounds and $4k premium in MSRP.  In 1999 this would have set back a buyer $92k retail, plus options, plus gas guzzler tax, plus sales tax, plus license fees -- easily topping $100k.  Today you can pick it up for the price of the 100k mile service from a dealership.

Under the hood of the CL500 is a 5.0 liter dual-overhead-cam all alloy V8, pushing 315 horsepower and 347 ft-lbs of torque into a 5-speed automatic transmission and to an open differential in the rear.  Off the line acceleration suffers from the sheer bulk of this heavyweight, but freeway speed passing and mid-range punch feels decent even compared to the modern overpowered family sedans that litter the market. 

For now this is a depreciated 15 year old luxury sedan; in the future we will call them classics.

1 comment:

  1. After the C140 starred in the excellent 1995 James Cameron film Strange Days I have always noticed them. It is said Mercedes lent the production a prototype of the upcoming coupe, and we think it had just the right futuristic vibe. Wikipedia says the last year was 1998, but the VIN decoder confirmed 1999. Anyone know what the story is there? It also says the W140 could be found with a manual transmission. Anyone happen to know if there was a US-issues model? Or whether a swap is feasible? I may have to do some research.


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