Hagerty.com

6 Mercedes-Benzes to buy, sell or hold

In late 2013 and early 2014, we noticed the market for Mercedes-Benz cars going off like a rocket. Every auction for the next couple years was packed with more or less every Mercedes sellers could muster. After 2018, many of those cars started to experience a market value correction. The result? Several traditionally collectible cars are now on a downward trend, while new models are emerging as the hot Benzes of tomorrow. Here are six vintage Mercedes to buy, sell, or hold.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/10/17/6-mercedes-benzes-to-buy-sell-or-hold

No mention of an SLC is complete with out mentioning the outstanding 450 SLC 5.0 and the 500 SLC, 1978 through 1981. The 5 liter engines make a surprisingly huge difference in performance. Although never exported to the US and quite rare to begin with - they were homologation specials - they do exist in the US albeit in limited numbers and are cherished by collectors and drivers.

What about the CL55 AMG ? Still one of the best performance-for price 2+2 coups ever.

1986 to 1989 560SL prices are in steep deline from two years ago - as much as 25% - seems these should be a sell recommnedation. In todays market I paid too much for my one previous owner (1986-2018) with only 42k miles on it 560SL

What about the 69,70 and 71 280sl with the pagoda roof, I had the 70 280sl but I believe the 71 is the one keeper, your thoughts

Are you recommending a hold on the S600 140 sedans as well as the coupe you show in the picture?

No mention of the W124.036 aka 92-94 500e. They are on the upswing.

No mention of the 87 sl560, thank you very much. Ours has 37,000 kilometres and is an original, documented car. We don’t plan on selling it for another 20-25 years, so any buy or sell recommendations are moot…

No mention of the market for the 190e 2.3-16. I disagree with the w140 hold recommendation. From personal experience it is an expensive car to keep maintained. I also cannot recall a mass produced Mercedes sedan that’s appreciated in value significantly for collectors. Only the coupes and the convertibles seem to be valued.

Good list and thanks all for the active discussion Curious about the W111/112, the W124 500E, and W126 SEC. all cars I love and would love to own (in that order)…Any thoughts?

I think that Johnny Carson used to drive a 450SLC - for what that’s worth.

I used to park next to him at NBC in the 1980’s and he had a white Corvette back then. Maybe he had the SLC as well.

Seems like maybe I saw the SLC on his show back in the middle-to-late-1970’s, but I am not certain.

I suppose you can’t get every MB permutation on a short list such as this As a long time MB driver and collector, the cars mentioned are in alignment with my observations.

I’ll throw in a couple of others as well.

W123 chassis: The long run up of diesel models seems to have peaked, only the 300TD (wagon) seems to have kept some momentum. The W123 series is loved by enthusiasts as it is considered the last of the “built to be repaired, last forever” models.

W124 chassis: 500Es are growing, as is interest in previous MB Q ships, the 6.3 and the 6.9. The cabriolet version is being touted as the next one on the rise, as well. Last 4 place cab was the W111 from the early 60s to early 70s. Look how that one is rising. W124s are good deal more complex than the W123, and were the last of the “E” class models designed to a standard, not a price.

As you move into the newer models, only the top tier condition cars seem to be going anywhere. High mileage cars, and those with deferred maintenance, both cosmetic and mechanical, are still in freefall pricing wise.

With regard to the W140, I agree that the coupes will some day be collectible but really doubt anyone is going to pay up for an S320, S420 or even an S500 four door. You can get these for dirt cheap right now, even with low miles. I think the S600 or the Grand Edition in 1999 might be desirable as well. I own an S420 and love it, but really wish I had a 98 or 99 CL600 coupe. Another car that I would add as a “buy” would be a 2005/2006 CL55 or CL600. One of the best looking coupes made in the past 40 years and the design is timeless. Just make sure someone already dealt with the air suspension issue. I own a few Mercedes and my key to having minimal issues is to buy from the original owner…you know, the guy that could afford to buy it in the first place and could also afford the upkeep. Deferred maintenance (oil changes, etc) destroys the cars.

1 Like

The first Mercedes was 1969 280 SE & have had 25 M.B. in my lifetime . Was even driven to school carpool with 300 Gullwing he added A/C to it !(neighbor ) I have has a 1999 CL 500 sense new now 60K miles I have pictures of it rolling of the trailer at the dealer in Atlanta . It has Napa leather seats and the steering wheel & shift knob was all that I could add as options ,( More wood ). I chose the 8 vs the 12(drove both ) as then the 12 made no sense to buy as it would only open up at about 65 MPH with the V-12 and Transmission was not really geared for 12 . The 12 had a swade lined roof other than that interior was the same .The Queen Benz 4 seater .I call it . I had a 2004 SL600 twin turbo & that is the 12 to buy & fly with .