Sunday, February 15, 2015

5k: W124 Ragtop: 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Cabriolet

I've had a few people ask me recently for recommendations for a good late model 4-seat convertible in the $5k range, and I typically point them toward BMW's 3-series, any modern Saab (haha, suckers!!), Volvo C70, maybe even the Toyota Solara if they hate driving...but I've never given a recommendation for a Mercedes W124...until now.  Find this 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300CE Convertible offered for$5,900 in San Juan Capistrano via craigslist.  Tip from FuelTruck.

This is your basic W124 E-Class, but without a fixed roof, which is not a common model.  When you think W124, you don't think about the rag top, probably because (according to dailmer) out of the 2.5 million W124s built for worldwide consumption, only 6,000 were made in cabriolet configuration. 

Power in the 300CE comes from a 3.2 liter version of the M104 inline-6 (the same as found in a Ssangyong Korando) that is rated at 220 horsepower and 229 ft-lbs of torque.  It is mated to a 4-speed automatic gearbox and should be great for open top commuting.

The interior of this W124 looks great for a 22 year old convertible, but it only has 115k miles on the odometer.  You should expect the mechanical components to outlast the interior, but with proper car it should continue looking good for years.

See another low production rag top to add to the list of late model convertibles to recommend to strangers?


  1. That's a truly lovely shade of green.

    Which brings me to an adage my father always told me. "If buying a used car, always buy a green one. People who own green cars take better care of them."

    Anyone else ever hear of this?

    1. i wonder how you could test that empirically - search on eBay for cars with over 150k miles - take a couple hundred at random - sort by color - take an average of miles, age and price - would have to be all the same model too - hmmm

    2. On a lark, I tried it with my local CL. Black came back as the most popular color, with white a strong second. Purely unscientific. But, I did run across a sweet convertible Paseo for only $1.7K in good condition. So there's that.

      Hunsbloger's information is interesting. It could indicate a problem, maybe not. The pictures are taken with an MB and an Acura dealership in the background, too. Who knows what any of that means. These cars are not impossible to find. Did a brief search, as I don't keep current pricing or availability in my head. The asking price on this particular 300CE does seem a bit low, though I found a white on blue one with 95K for the same price from a Florida dealer. If I wanted one, I'd take about $17K and head to SoCal. These will most likely always be low-level collectibles that will never skyrocket in value but always give back a good ownership experience, given that it is an MB (i.e. expensive maintenance).

      These convertible 300s are really nice cars to drive. I recently saw a movie featuring one. It was an excellent flick, if extremely (and intentionally) slow paced. Though it seems that DTers are not movie watchers, I highly recommend it if you're looking for something a bit different.


    3. BTW, it's in German and subtitled.

  2. I always run the vin before going to look at a car, seems this car hasn't traveled far since 2012 when the same seller had it for sale for $7,400.

  3. Looks pretty damn good @ this price point !

  4. Whats with all the Washington plates in Cali ?

  5. Sorry, these were the designated wheels of the thirtysomething and fortysomething sub-trophy-wife class. Neither particularly useful, nor very inspiring to drive, but not a station wagon.

    Me, as a male who doesn't GAF about such issues, give me a wagon.

  6. I've owned four of these - currently just bought one with only 30k original miles - you need to check wiring harnesses - two @ about $1500 each and the power top cylinders - up to $3k to repair - been there and done that. Otherwise great for city or highway cruising - If this one checks out mechanically it is at the lower end of the price scale -


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