Depreciation King – 1989 Mercedes 300CE

If you’re looking for a youngtimer, to borrow the German term, that will remind you what made Mercedes great, pulls off the coupe transition far better than some of its contemporaries (here’s looking at you, Bertone Volvos), and will not inconvenience you with the ailments of a pre-emissions, carbureted car, it’s hard to go wrong with the Mercedes W124 coupes. Their sedan siblings have a durable if rather stodgy reputation, and while the driving experience doesn’t change with the transition to two door hardtop, the style certainly changes for the better. There is a surprising number of these available in the $5000-10,000 range, but what about something more accessible? How about this 1989 Mercedes Benz 300CE for sale for $3495 in Providence, RI?

1989 Mercedes 300CE left front

Though not the best color for this body, charcoal grey is certainly elegant and helps minimize the visual impact of the lower cladding. The body looks generally straight, with glossy paint, and it would be surprising if this car were driven in winter. The semi-retracted antenna means you already have a task on the to-do list, but the car is said to be a great-running daily driver.

1989 Mercedes 300CE right side

The stance is a little weird, and hopefully just due to uneven pavement. Everything else looks really good, and with 145,000 indicated miles, you can fairly expect at least another 100,000 given good maintenance. Being an early W124, you can forget about the internet legends regarding bio-degradable wiring harnesses – that only applies to later cars. The car is said to have been well maintained, and confusingly, the seller says it’s overlooked because of the general condition – which seems good, so what gives?

1989 Mercedes 300CE interior

The 1989 MSRP of $54,000 equates to just over $100,000 in today’s dollars. Don’t kid yourself into thinking you’re getting a $100K car for $3495, but you’ll still get most of the experience if you’re willing to put in some effort. And the interior helps the car’s case, looking rather clean for its pale dove grey color, and equipped with functioning belt retractors, as well as the factory radio and floor mats. The dash doesn’t look to have any cracks either, perhaps the benefit of looking at an east coast car.

1989 Mercedes 300CE engine

There doesn’t seem to be any northeastern bare metal corrosion under the hood either – even the armor all treatment the seller has given the hoses couldn’t cover that up. The battery looks new, as does the coolant cap, and it’s said to be well-maintained. The seller’s statement of “value goes up every year!!” is dubious at best – look at the W114 and W123 coupes as precedent – but nonetheless, this car looks to be a great value as a family-friendly classic.


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