If the BMW M3/M5 market tells us anything, it is that fast, limited edition, German sedans will be worth something in the future. Mercedes starting badging their US bound cars with the AMG logo in 1995 with the big inline-6 powered C36 AMG, but in 1998 they released the V8 powered version called the C43 AMG. Today's feature is a medium mile example offered for a medium price. Find this 1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG W202 offered for $11,900 in Ft Myers, CO here on craigslist.
The C36 may be powered by a smooth inline-6, but the C43
version offered a decent increase in performance due to more power from
the bigger engine, but it also offers a considerable step up in future
maintenance costs. Instead of using a highly strung inline-6 put
together by AMG, it uses a big V8 that was taken from the E430 sedan and
shoehorned into the C-class chassis. It is more of a muscle car, but
when something goes wrong you don't need to contact someone in Germany
for some rare part, you just head to a pick-a-part and get parts from a
E430, CLK430, ML430 or S430. That may not be entirely true because the C43 engines were assembled by the guys at AMG, but many of the parts will be interchangeable.
The C43 is powered by a 4.3 liter M113 V8 that is rated at 302 horsepower and 302 ft-lbs of torque (a bit more than the 279 hp/295 ft-lbs in the non AMG versions). Unfortunately the AMG models were never available with a manual transmission and you'll have to live with the 5-speed slushbox transmission.
While this C43 AMG offers a decent amount of car for the dollar, I did a quick search to see what the overall market looks like.
For almost twice the price ($19,500) you can pickup this 1998 C43 AMG with 20k miles on the odometer in Roanoke, VA. Seems like the perfect car for the guy who wants one in his garage, but you can't put many miles on it if you want to maintain the exclusive price.
Downmarket you find a number of C43 AMGs with 200k miles on the clock, like this 1999 C43 AMG offered for $6,000 in Fremont, CA. This might cost you some money in various wear items, but the buy-in price certainly is tempting.
See a better price/value ratio for a C43 AMG? Send us a tip! firstname.lastname@example.org