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Thread: Contemplating the Cabriolets

  1. #121
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Just curious... what is the advantage of 1997 models over 1998? I thought they were identical. Were some new options introduced (or removed) for 1998 USA model year, last year of the .067 chassis?


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Just curious... what is the advantage of 1997 models over 1998? I thought they were identical. Were some new options introduced (or removed) for 1998 USA model year, last year of the .067 chassis?

    MB introduced a lot of good upgrades for the 1997 model year, which improved it over the 1996 and earlier models.

    For 1998, they had a new alphanumeric display (i.e. added electronic complexity), and the big thing was that they introduced significantly increased "nannification". One thing as part of this was their "predictive" maintenance regimen, in which the computer specified things like OCIs and gave a lot more banal warnings via the display.

    And for 1998, they extended the OCI to about 12,000 miles (depending on the computer's analysis), rather than the previous 7,500 interval. Personally, I don't like a computer telling me everything I don't want or need to know based on when it thinks things should be done.

    1999 was when they really went off the deep end, though....

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  4. #123
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    I've considered the 2002 Silver Arrow thinking it might be a car on the incline, but I don't like the engine or the interior. IMHO it was justMB trying to make a few sales before the new body style came out. I think a low mile 1997 would better suit my tastes and probably hold its value just as much as the SA. I am always on the look out for a nice 1997, but they are few and in between especially on the left coast. It seems the nice one always end up a dealer in Florida.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Maui View Post
    I've considered the 2002 Silver Arrow thinking it might be a car on the incline, but I don't like the engine or the interior. IMHO it was justMB trying to make a few sales before the new body style came out. I think a low mile 1997 would better suit my tastes and probably hold its value just as much as the SA. I am always on the look out for a nice 1997, but they are few and in between especially on the left coast. It seems the nice one always end up a dealer in Florida.
    Those who own them claim the SL600 is the way to go... and, the V12 powertrain remained unchanged from 1996-2002. If I were in the market for an R129, I'd lean heavily towards that M120.

    The nannification may be annoying, but at least with an SDS you should be able to reset pesky reminders and whatnot. Possibly even adjust some of the coding to reduce or eliminate some nannies?


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    IIRC, '96 brought the .6, '97 brought pano and sport package. I might be off on the dates, but I had honed in on '97 or '98 as I want a Sport Pano 600, if any. As much as I love the M120, I'm not a fan of keeping an extra roof. And if I'm gonna do that, it needs to be Pano (market premium). An '02 Silver Arrow 600 Pano would be tops, but good luck. I think at this point I've moved on from the R129, unless something perfect pops up.

    Cheers,

    maw

    P.S. The attached should help... "Thus the best years for drivers are 1996, 1997 and 1998, which have both the quadcam engine and the 5-speed transmission."
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by maw1124; 03-11-2018 at 01:56 PM. Reason: PS

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Last year I was offered 1997 SL600 with pano for even trade for my 1994 E320 cabriolet. Maybe i should have done it.
    1993 500E
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Erik had a beatiful SL600. I wish I had known he was going to sell it.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Roy Spencer has an '01 SL600
    Low miles. No Pano. Condition looks to be top shelf. As is the Ask.

    https://mercedesheritage.com/classified/show-ad?id=524

    img_8451-copy-a07ecb17.jpg


    Presently, on BaT, there are a boatload of Merc drop tops.

    '63 230SL
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...es-benz-230sl/

    '95 SL500
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-sl500-3/

    '95 E320 Cab
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-cabriolet-11/

    '57 190SL
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-190sl-4/

    '98 SL500
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-sl500-8/

    '95 E320 Cab
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-cabriolet-12/


    And that's ignoring the stack of R107s.
    2014 MB E63S, 2008 Tundra, 2006 Lotus Exige S, 1989 FJ62 Land Cruiser, 1996 Ford Bronco, and some other interesting and not so interesting vehicles.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    Roy Spencer has an '01 SL600
    Low miles. No Pano. Condition looks to be top shelf. As is the Ask.

    https://mercedesheritage.com/classified/show-ad?id=524

    img_8451-copy-a07ecb17.jpg


    Presently, on BaT, there are a boatload of Merc drop tops.

    '63 230SL
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...es-benz-230sl/

    '95 SL500
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-sl500-3/

    '95 E320 Cab
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-cabriolet-11/

    '57 190SL
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-190sl-4/

    '98 SL500
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-benz-sl500-8/

    '95 E320 Cab
    https://bringatrailer.com/listing/19...-cabriolet-12/


    And that's ignoring the stack of R107s.
    Great selection. Thanks for posting.

    That '57 just makes my mouth water

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Dario View Post
    Last year I was offered 1997 SL600 with pano for even trade for my 1994 E320 cabriolet. Maybe i should have done it.
    I had been (and probably still am) holding my M3 as “trade bait” for the next thing, a list where the SL600 used to reside. But for what people are asking for good ones, I’ll keep the M3. It’s just more fun to drive, for me. The SL600 is faster and more luxo, but it’s also a much larger headache to take care of, I lose 2 seats in the convertible, and I already have the “faster and more luxo” box checked, in spades (S55). The SL600 is to me, similar enough to the 500E that I just can’t see owning two cars of that same “vintage.” The M3 and the S55 both feel different enough from the 500E to scratch a different itch. If the right SL63 comes along, I’ll not know that MB ever made the R129, and I won’t be storing a car roof either. The words even seem ridiculous to me — “storing the roof of my convertible”...

    In the end, I think your 124 chassis Cabriolet will appreciate more than the 129 chassis for those same reasons: (1) who wants to wrestle with a V12 (Ferrari or not); (2) who wants to store a roof; and (3) 4 seats are better than two, for top down cruising. Maybe I’m wrong.

    maw
    Last edited by maw1124; 03-11-2018 at 07:14 PM.

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  18. #131
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    M120 engines are unbelievably expensive to repair and operate, both from a labor and a parts perspective. It's essentially two complete M104s on a common crankshaft. Everything is duplicated. Everyone I've ever known has said that the SL500 is 80+% what the SL600 is, and oodles cheaper to actually own and keep on the road. Just saying. I know the V-12s are smooth, torquey, yadda yadda. They are not for the faint-hearted when it comes down to the actual practicality of keeping one around and in tip top shape.

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  20. #132
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    I have a 1997 SL500/R129. I bought it in December of 2013 for $4500 from a guy who was getting divorced and had five (5!) girls who were all "Irish twins", that is, within a year or so of each other in age that were transitioning out of high school into college. To say that he was freaking out over finances was an understatement. None of the girls wanted the "old person's car" as they called it, so he had it on the market for $6,000 in December, a lousy time of the year to sell a car, and believe it or not, a bad time of the year to sell a convertible even in Florida. The car had been a midlife crisis purchase.

    I went and looked at it and other than some really awful aftermarket wheels he put on it the car had good bones from what I could tell. I told him I didn't want the wheels and would pay $4500 for the car with the original 16 hole (chromed - yuck!) wheels. He didn't hesitate.

    The car had a little over 70k on the clock and a rather lengthy history. It was sold and delivered at MB of Beverly Hills, after which it went to Sacramento for a a while and then to this guy, who bought it at a salvage auction in SoCal. Yup, it was a salvage. He had it completely gone through by a local dealer in Tampa and got it inspected by the State and obtained a rebuilt title. I went over it in in great detail and could find some very obscure things that told me it had been wrecked, but it was otherwise well done.

    It needed top cylinders, which I did shortly after I bought it courtesy of Klaus at Top Hydraulics, and a few month later I found a set of take-offs from a 2003 SLK for $300 that are bolt up 16" wheels that are staggered. With these on it the car drives like it's on rails.

    As of today it has a touch over 120,000 miles on it, and other than regular maintenance the car has never had so much as a hiccup. The wife hates the drop top so it is driven with the hardtop on it nearly 100% of the time. I replaced the headliner and while doing so laid up several layers of DynaMat in the roof before replacing the headliner. The interior of the car is like a library it's so quiet. I take the top off a couple times a year and run the soft top up and down and let it stretch in the sun.

    My wife wails on cars. Not in a bad way, she just loves to go-go-go and STOP. To give you an idea, my brother in law (her brother) is a hard core Mustang freak and owns a 2008 GT350 that will go ballistic just looking at it. He was riding with her this weekend and he told me that she's, well, "aggressive" when it comes to driving (not towards other drivers, just with the car itself.)

    I put new rotors all around when it needed them along with Akebono ceramic pads and it's been perfect. I feel bad about how hard she drives it, but the car must love it because it never, ever complains. I personally don't like the car as it sits too low and feels claustrophobic to me, but then again, I've been an S-class guy for years so I like my living room couch to drive in. It is a heck of a good performance car and will get up on its hind legs with a minimal amount of throttle. Personally, I would never go with a V12 in the R129 as I don't think the additional cost of the upkeep and maintenance is worth the slight difference in performance you might find. The M119 will make it go plenty fast. Come take a ride with my wife and you'll become a believer.

    Dan

    1997 SL500.jpg

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  22. #133
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets



    Don't get pissed, everybody, I love the M119, but the 129 absolutely LOVED the weight reduction and the more level torque afforded by the M113. In the USA, the '99 on cars also have the vastly better brakes which were adapted from the 220. We all go gaga over them, somewhat mistakenly calling them "SA brakes". The only thing that made them "SA" was the silver paint. They were otherwise simply the MY '99 on 129 V8/12 brakes. The '98 and prior V8 USA version cars have the 6 cylinder "rest of world" brakes, the same sizes and largely the exact same parts that we in yank got on the 500E until 3/93. The only difference was the front calipers were cast iron on the 129, the same iron calipers that were the remedy fitment for the pre-3/93 USA 500E if it had the howling/self-application syndrome, which ALL 500Es with those alloy calipers have. Don’t tell me yours doesn’t. You simply haven’t cruised fast enough for long enough to experience it…

    Would I have a 129 with a M119? Oh, hell yes! Great cars. One of my all-time favorites, but those that dismiss them with a M113 relative to the M119 only because of the engine are working from limited perspective whether they know it or not. Also, so much less goes wrong with a M113, that it can be vastly cheaper to own, and it uses way less fuel...

    Regarding the M120 cars, maybe my favorite MB engine, bar none. That said, take whatever ownership expenses that you know with a V8 car and AT LEAST double it. That IS what you WILL experience. This is also because the V12 cars also have as standard expensive high repair cost chassis systems like all around leveling with ADS as standard, while those were rare extra cost options on the 8 and 6-cylinder cars. And I almost forgot to mention, partly due to the sublime sound and feel of the engine, the heavier front end of the V12 129 is a detriment to vehicle dynamics. The standard ADS does help to compensate, but still, extra weight is extra weight, and contrary to the old Ford Pinto advertisements, that extra weight is not “road hugging“. The V12 USA cars do have the benefit of the “exclusive leather“ interior being standard, so at least you will not get the garbage door panels that detract so much from the 1996 on models should you get one.

    Overall, no question, the 5L. V-8s are the “sweet spots” of 129 ownership, just as they are with my favorite barge, the 140. But if you don’t care what they cost to keep, and/or you can do plenty of your own work and parts sourcing, the V12s are F.M...

    The six-cylinder cars? For my money, you can keep the CIS 104 motor used 1990 through 1993. If it is literally possible for an engine to produce negative torque, this one does. Couldn’t pull a greasy string out of a dogs ass until it is over 4000 RPM. Some compensation for that? It does have a 7000 RPM redline, and at least in the USA, a five speed automatic was standard equipment. For those luddites that like them, it can be found with the rare five speed manual transmission. Oh, I forgot to mention, the 93 did get full-time first gear start. That helped some. Many in Europe actually liked the car better with the single cam two valve M103, which was available there through '93. Far more appealing to me are the 1994 on six cylinder cars. The “plastic manifold” 3.2 L M104 is just a great engine. Adequate torque, six cylinder smoothness and zing, their only detriment is a slightly lumpy power delivery. You can really feel the two-stage intake manifolding and the intake camshaft timing switch. The glorious 7000 RPM redline was reduced to something like 6400, too. That’s not really a detriment considering that every other aspect of performance was hugely improved. For the 1997 model year, it received the electronically controlled 722.6 transmission. I’d have a 1994 on six cylinder 129...
    But remember, the iron block 104 weighs about the same as the all alloy M119, so there’s really no front end weight saving. You get THAT with the M113...


    Last edited by Klink; 03-11-2018 at 11:30 PM.
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  24. #134
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
    IIRC, '96 brought the .6, '97 brought pano and sport package. I might be off on the dates, but I had honed in on '97 or '98 as I want a Sport Pano 600, if any. As much as I love the M120, I'm not a fan of keeping an extra roof. And if I'm gonna do that, it needs to be Pano (market premium). An '02 Silver Arrow 600 Pano would be tops, but good luck. I think at this point I've moved on from the R129, unless something perfect pops up.

    Cheers,

    maw

    P.S. The attached should help... "Thus the best years for drivers are 1996, 1997 and 1998, which have both the quadcam engine and the 5-speed transmission."
    Not car related, but here's the best thing that KW EVER wrote, IMO. Oh, this pisses some people off...
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/audiophile.htm
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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  26. #135
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    Would I have a 129 with a M119? Oh, hell yes! Great cars. One of my all-time favorites
    I feel embarrassed to say this, but I don't think I've ever been in a R129. My curiosity is being peaked.

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  28. #136
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenstevensteven View Post
    I feel embarrassed to say this, but I don't think I've ever been in a R129. My curiosity is being peaked.
    If you like 124s, you'll like 129s. The 201, 124, and 129 are a shared architectural conception. Some even consider them “platform mates“ but that is an oversimplification.
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by sheward View Post
    I watch them as well. If i recall correctly, according to Klink the 97 MY is the one to have. Something about still having the M119 and an improved transmission. There was a 97 with the AMG body add ons, 110,000 miles, selling here recently for $7,500 or so.

    drew
    No, you did not get that from me. I would have the hell out of one, but I would not call it “the one to get” See recent rants for details...
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    Not car related, but here's the best thing that KW EVER wrote, IMO. Oh, this pisses some people off...
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/audiophile.htm
    I remember this one. It made me glad I never had the money to be an audiophile. Although, deep into the ‘90s, I was trying to figure out why only the California Audiolabs CD players could play DDD Pat Metheny CD’s as well as certain turntables could play Sting, Nothing Like The Sun on wax, given the same [crazy expensive amps and speakers placed in the listening room]. I did this at the expense of law school, while studying why the Lexus LS400 was suddenly giving the W140 a really hard time. So much changed in the 90s. I digress. Thanks, Klink.

    maw

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
    I remember this one. It made me glad I never had the money to be an audiophile. Although, deep into the ‘90s, I was trying to figure out why only the California Audiolabs CD players could play DDD Pat Metheny CD’s as well as certain turntables could play Sting, Nothing Like The Sun on wax, given the same [crazy expensive amps and speakers placed in the listening room]. I did this at the expense of law school, while studying why the Lexus LS400 was suddenly giving the W140 a really hard time. So much changed in the 90s. I digress. Thanks, Klink.

    maw
    Since you mentioned it, the Mark Levinson branded upgrade system in the first LS400 was really wonderful, wasn’t it?
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    If you like 124s, you'll like 129s. The 201, 124, and 129 are a shared architectural conception. Some even consider them “platform mates“ but that is an oversimplification.
    Not to stray too far on this thread, but where does the 140 fit in this analogy? A completely different lane? Halfway in 201/124/129 lane on its way to 2xx-ville?


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by a777fan View Post
    Not to stray too far on this thread, but where does the 140 fit in this analogy? A completely different lane? Halfway in 201/124/129 lane on its way to 2xx-ville?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    That’s an excellent and interesting question, at least it is to me. I love the 140 like a syringe loves a vein. It is both everywhere and nowhere when relating to the 124 and 129. More to come...
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  40. #142
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    If you like 124s, you'll like 129s. The 201, 124, and 129 are a shared architectural conception. Some even consider them “platform mates“ but that is an oversimplification.
    I would definitely consider the R129 a "platform mate" of the W124 ... the R129 was derived from the W124 chassis.

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  42. #143
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by gerryvz View Post
    I would definitely consider the R129 a "platform mate" of the W124 ... the R129 was derived from the W124 chassis.
    Indeed, the similarities are undeniable. I suppose the argument comes from this: To some that may use the term, it implies that the so-called “hard points” of the structure are the same. In other words, one could take a axle sub frame from any one of the three and it will fit the other. One of the other things someone may consider is whether or not they can be built on the same line without changing tooling. Obviously, this is from the era where tooling was more fixed then it is in the current robotic age. To the other side of this semantic pendulum swing, when the 129 was introduced, they specifically said that they “considered making it on the same platform as the 124“ but that they decided they would have a better result if they let the 129 have it’s own platform. That seemed to me like an overstatement, as I would think it does to you, too...
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  44. #144
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    Indeed, the similarities are undeniable. I suppose the argument comes from this: To some that may use the term, it implies that the so-called “hard points” of the structure are the same. In other words, one could take a axle sub frame from any one of the three and it will fit the other. One of the other things someone may consider is whether or not they can be built on the same line without changing tooling. Obviously, this is from the era where tooling was more fixed then it is in the current robotic age. To the other side of this semantic pendulum swing, when the 129 was introduced, they specifically said that they “considered making it on the same platform as the 124“ but that they decided they would have a better result if they let the 129 have it’s own platform. That seemed to me like an overstatement, as I would think it does to you, too...
    From what I have read from multiple sources, they used the W124 platform as a base from which they adapted & “derived” the R129. That too could be an over-simplification, but it is the basis for my “derivative” comment above.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    No, you did not get that from me. I would have the hell out of one, but I would not call it “the one to get” See recent rants for details...
    Please excuse my recollection. I found the thread i was recalling. Quite a while back. It was Bing in post no. 6 here https://www.500eboard.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4275 More discussion here as well about the R129.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    Not car related, but here's the best thing that KW EVER wrote, IMO. Oh, this pisses some people off...
    http://www.kenrockwell.com/audio/audiophile.htm
    I don't recall reading that before. Excellent article.

    On a related note, Klink, I have some speakers cables you would love! They are made with a silver/unobtanium alloy from a secret mine in Narnia, and use exotic solder fortified with koala bear nail clippings. The difference in sound is astonishing. I'll trade one cable for your 122 500E... have anything of value to trade for the other cable?


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    Since you mentioned it, the Mark Levinson branded upgrade system in the first LS400 was really wonderful, wasn’t it?
    Oh my God, wasn’t it?!?! Completely revolutionized car audio from the factory in my view. Before then, it was not so much. Mercedes tried, BMW was pathetic, I shan’t mention anyone else. It got better and better after that. Acura followed closely behind. And now it’s a completely different game, and all but dead is the car audiophile. The new Burmeister systems are really nice too, as is the Audi B&O collabo. By the way, my ‘04 Allroad is the only system that came stock in a way that I’ve never felt a desire to change. Just turn it up. It’s a wagon, so the sub is “with the band” in the cabin — changes everything. My daughter’s Beetle came with an optional Fender system — sounds like a Bob Marley concert. Unreal.

    One of the things I love about the W140 is the speaker arrangement in the front. Drop in a 4-way amp and some component speakers and, voila! To me, where the W140comes in between the W124 and R129 is literally the 500E. And that’s intended to be a maximum oversimplification — like the number 1.

    maw

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    I can personally attest that the Mark L. audio systems in current-generation Lexi (that's plural form of Lexus) are still pretty freakin' amazing. At least, the system in my girlfriend's 2017 IS350 AWD F-Sport is....

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    use exotic solder fortified with koala bear nail clippings.
    Really, the crushed koala-claw goo is applicable for solder, too, besides orange cam-solenoid anaerobic sealant? Sweet !!!

    Capture10.JPG

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
    One of the things I love about the W140 is the speaker arrangement in the front.
    Even the stock W140 system is very, VERY good. Better than the best factory systems in the 124 (and, I think, the 210 as well). With a CD head unit and good stock speakers, the 140 system is impressive even today, and back in the early 90's it was amazing. I don't think the E-class received a somewhat-comparable audio system (to the 140) until the 211, maybe.


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
    Oh my God, wasn’t it?!?! Completely revolutionized car audio from the factory in my view. Before then, it was not so much. Mercedes tried, BMW was pathetic, I shan’t mention anyone else. It got better and better after that. Acura followed closely behind. And now it’s a completely different game, and all but dead is the car audiophile. The new Burmeister systems are really nice too, as is the Audi B&O collabo. By the way, my ‘04 Allroad is the only system that came stock in a way that I’ve never felt a desire to change. Just turn it up. It’s a wagon, so the sub is “with the band” in the cabin — changes everything. My daughter’s Beetle came with an optional Fender system — sounds like a Bob Marley concert. Unreal.

    One of the things I love about the W140 is the speaker arrangement in the front. Drop in a 4-way amp and some component speakers and, voila! To me, where the W140comes in between the W124 and R129 is literally the 500E. And that’s intended to be a maximum oversimplification — like the number 1.

    maw
    A guy from Bose car audio design once told me that they were extremely happy with the way the 140 system turned out. He said that there were actually some prolonged arguments about speaker enclosure space requirement inside the door panels, etc., and that MB finally relented and gave them the dimensions that they wanted. Another funny story he told me is that MB at the time he did not want any other manufacturer name or logo anywhere on or in the vehicle, while Bose absolutely insisted that it’s logo be inside the car somewhere. The compromise was that the Bose logo appears on the tiny upper windshield center fill speaker that is obscured by the rear view mirror, unless you intentionally look up under it. The fabulous upgrade that it represented from the previously dismal German designed offerings was so well received worldwide that Benz changed their mind and started displaying the logo prominently on the more visible speakers.

    I know that a number of people scoff at Bose, quite unjustly often, IMO, (I think that Bose is the most unfairly maligned company in the history of earth) but the Bose system in the 240 Maybach is fantastic, too, and the Bose in the 220 is damn good. I’m sure we would still be using them if Harmon International hadn’t bought Becker, thereby enabling them to put the Harman-Kardon name on the Becker systems and branch into supplying auto companies...
    Putting the fun in dysfunction...

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Klink View Post
    A guy from Bose car audio design once told me that they were extremely happy with the way the 140 system turned out. He said that there were actually some prolonged arguments about speaker enclosure space requirement inside the door panels, etc., and that MB finally relented and gave them the dimensions that they wanted. Another funny story he told me is that MB at the time he did not want any other manufacturer name or logo anywhere on or in the vehicle, while Bose absolutely insisted that it’s logo be inside the car somewhere. The compromise was that the Bose logo appears on the tiny upper windshield center fill speaker that is obscured by the rear view mirror, unless you intentionally look up under it. The fabulous upgrade that it represented from the previously dismal German designed offerings was so well received worldwide that Benz changed their mind and started displaying the logo prominently on the more visible speakers.

    I know that a number of people scoff at Bose, quite unjustly often, IMO, (I think that Bose is the most unfairly maligned company in the history of earth) but the Bose system in the 240 Maybach is fantastic, too, and the Bose in the 220 is damn good. I’m sure we would still be using them if Harmon International hadn’t bought Becker, thereby enabling them to put the Harman-Kardon name on the Becker systems and branch into supplying auto companies...
    Yes, to all of this, even though I only now have 2nd hand knowledge. Door speaker depth is the critical dimension. Only now are the aftermarket speaker companies making thin-mount applications to fix this for OEM car companies that don't capitulate the way MB did as you recount.

    The '04 Audi Allroad system, is a Bose system, who I agree are greatly misunderstood for Dr. Bose's groundbreaking work on sound displacement -- getting a MUCH larger sound from a MUCH smaller speaker. He and Carver. The Bose 901 came out in the late '60s, and bringing that technology into a much smaller soundstage, well in retrospect we can all see what that means. It's ubiquitous application does nothing to detract from its space-age sound magic. The analog would be MB's use of fluid hydraulics -- 50 years later, almost nothing can touch it for large car sport handling dynamics.

    The W220 system is right behind that Allroad -- it's so close to being perfect, I haven't dared to touch it. If it breaks, I'll rethink that. And maybe it can use a larger thin mount sub up against the back seat along with an Audison Bit One. But even that seems to take as much as it gives. At least the cabin speakers seem to be of the plug and play variety with no mounting depth constraints. Still, I doubt anyone can do that better than Bose, which is back to your original point.

    And finally, my E46M came stock with the upgraded HK system, which was only really good for top up driving below 4K rpm, which sort of defeated the purpose of both an M car and a convertible. Thank God for BavSound, which did the Dr. Bose thing and came up with worthwhile speakers and a sub that fit in the factory holes, specifically engineered for the car. I gave up the ski pass through the rear seat (which made no sense to me anyway in a rear wheel drive convertible M car, but whatever). And with some cabin sound deadening (and an amp, and a new head unit), now the audio actually works with the car. What a concept. But it took enough work that I'm really not interested in hacking up what MB and Bose gave me in the W220.

    maw

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    This one just popped up on ebay. Pretty sure that I haven't come across is previously, nor have I seen any for sale in this color.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Mercedes-Benz-E-Class/312102876575?hash=item48aac7f59f:g:NtcAAOSwx9ZaxOQ F&vxp=mtr

    triple blue e320.jpg
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    This one just popped up on ebay. Pretty sure that I haven't come across is previously, nor have I seen any for sale in this color.
    Wish they posted the correct VIN so I could see what color it is.
    Last edited by Harv; 2 Weeks Ago at 04:25 PM.
    '00 E55 AMG
    '83 240D
    '80 300SD

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    The VIN is correct, or at least valid. WDBEA66E3RC048840
    The MB Data Card doesn't show color, though
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    The VIN is correct, or at least valid. WDBEA66E3RC048840
    The MB Data Card doesn't show color, though
    Looks like it is. Huh, I thought all of them were WDB124XXXXXXXXX but I guess all the Cabs start WDBBEA for some reason.

    My VIN decoder I use lists one of the codes as 740 BLACK SOFT TOP FABRIC 9001 but that is a blue top.
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Harv View Post
    Looks like it is. Huh, I thought all of them were WDB124XXXXXXXXX but I guess all the Cabs start WDBBEA for some reason.

    My VIN decoder I use lists one of the codes as 740 BLACK SOFT TOP FABRIC 9001 but that is a blue top.
    I can't find another listing for a 94 showing a non-black top in order to compare the data cards. Gonna keep looking.
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Harv View Post
    Looks like it is. Huh, I thought all of them were WDB124XXXXXXXXX but I guess all the Cabs start WDBBEA for some reason.
    North American 124 chassis all have VIN's that start with WDBEA for gas models, and WDBEB for diesels. Outside of North America, they are all WDB124xxx.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harv View Post
    My VIN decoder I use lists one of the codes as 740 BLACK SOFT TOP FABRIC 9001 but that is a blue top.
    VERY strange that both the EPC and DataMB do not show the color code for either interior or exterior. However, it appears to be paint code 348 Ice Blue Metallic (aka Pearl Blue), and the stamped metal tag by the hood latch also appears to show code 348. Really nice color. I'm guessing it was special order, or some other oddity...


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    This one just popped up on ebay. Pretty sure that I haven't come across is previously, nor have I seen any for sale in this color.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Mercedes-Benz-E-Class/312102876575?hash=item48aac7f59f:g:NtcAAOSwx9ZaxOQ F&vxp=mtr

    triple blue e320.jpg
    Very interesting alternative given that the owner for my 1st priority (below) seems to fallen off the grid. I've been hoping to find something under 40K. Interesting this seller isn't taking bids, just buy now or best offer.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenstevensteven View Post
    What do u think ?

    https://www.hemmings.com/classifieds...0/2065246.html

    Attachment 73113


    Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut, 06371
    VIN #: WDBEA66E0SC211577
    Mileage: 30828
    Transmission: Auto
    Condition: Excellent
    Exterior: Black
    Interior: Parchment

    Seller’s Description:1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Cabriolet- Black with Parchment Leather, 30,800 miles,excellent condition, non smoker, needs nothing, One of the lowest mileage E320 Cabriolet's in the country!!!
    Price: $24,500 obo

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    I can't find another listing for a 94 showing a non-black top in order to compare the data cards. Gonna keep looking.

    My cab has blue top from factory
    1993 500E
    1994 E320 cabriolet

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenstevensteven View Post
    Very interesting alternative given that the owner for my 1st priority (below) seems to fallen off the grid. I've been hoping to find something under 40K. Interesting this seller isn't taking bids, just buy now or best offer.
    I'm finding that, in nearly every instance, under 40K miles translates into crack pipe pricing.

    50K miles is where the prices (generally) become realistic. Typically around $15-17K

    This one was an absolute steal. It lasted about one day:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Merced...hato9s&vxp=mtr
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by Dario View Post
    My cab has blue top from factory

    Would you mind looking up your data car to see if it shows 740 BLACK SOFT TOP FABRIC 9001, or perhaps something else?
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    This one just popped up on ebay. Pretty sure that I haven't come across is previously, nor have I seen any for sale in this color.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1994-Mercedes-Benz-E-Class/312102876575?hash=item48aac7f59f:g:NtcAAOSwx9ZaxOQ F&vxp=mtr

    triple blue e320.jpg
    Bun warmers and ASR. Nice.
    Attached Files Attached Files

    1992 500E
    1994 E500
    2011 E550 4Matic

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    I don't exactly love the R230, but this one really is a looker. Could do without all the stereo stuff and the cheapie wheels.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/2005-Merced...53.m1438.l2649


    s-l1600red1.jpgs-l1600red2.jpg

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Although my cab is the identical color combo this is a "crack head" BIN price. And it's not oyster damn it, it's either shroom or parchment.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Merced...r/183174519959

    54kmi, $30k / OBO.
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed View Post
    this is a "crack head" BIN price.
    Here is one that looks like it was owned by a bunch of crack heads.

    http://germancarsforsaleblog.com/rol...320-cabriolet/
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed View Post
    Although my cab is the identical color combo this is a "crack head" BIN price. And it's not oyster damn it, it's either shroom or parchment.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Merced...r/183174519959

    54kmi, $30k / OBO.
    Well, the detail juice applied everywhere probably cost $5k, lol.

    Seems like a lot of surface rust on the undercarriage for a FL car. No pics of the driver seat?


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    My PA E500 looks ten times better underneath than that cab.

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  83. #170
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by gsxr View Post
    Well, the detail juice applied everywhere probably cost $5k, lol.

    Seems like a lot of surface rust on the undercarriage for a FL car. No pics of the driver seat?

    It began it’s life in Wisconsin and was driven it’s first 5,100 miles in the ‘RUST BELT’. Looks like they detailed the surface rust highlights to me. Still it doesn’t appear to be rotted out.

    Not my favorite color combo. I really dislike the interior color. It just looks to blasé to me.
    Terry

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed View Post
    Although my cab is the identical color combo this is a "crack head" BIN price. And it's not oyster damn it, it's either shroom or parchment.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Merced...r/183174519959

    54kmi, $30k / OBO.
    That price is around double what I saw numerous 124 cabs with similar mileage going for in Texas and California.

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryA View Post
    It began it’s life in Wisconsin and was driven it’s first 5,100 miles in the ‘RUST BELT’. Looks like they detailed the surface rust highlights to me. Still it doesn’t appear to be rotted out.

    Not my favorite color combo. I really dislike the interior color. It just looks to blasé to me.
    Ah, I missed the first miles in Wisconsin. But, I figured it could have spent time at the FL coast, which could do the same thing. Definitely no visible rot (not likely any hidden either), but that's still quite a bit on the surface components. More than I'm used to seeing, anyway.

    Parchment interior isn't really my favorite either, but when it's clean and mint condition, it looks pretty sweet. But it's difficult to keep clean. My wife's DD is a '94 E420 with Parchment interior. I'm sure Gerry will start with some unhinged trolling that Oyster is actually a special, limited-edition version of mushroom only available on late cabrios.


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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by vexed View Post
    Although my cab is the identical color combo this is a "crack head" BIN price. And it's not oyster damn it, it's either shroom or parchment.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1995-Merced...r/183174519959

    54kmi, $30k / OBO.
    A 1995 with a 12/95 build? How late were they building and importing these things into the US market?


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    gerryvz's Avatar
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    124 cabrios were produced until late 1996 or even into early 1997, I believe.

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  92. #175
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    2014 MB E63S, 2008 Tundra, 2006 Lotus Exige S, 1989 FJ62 Land Cruiser, 1996 Ford Bronco, and some other interesting and not so interesting vehicles.

  93. #176
    Senior Member a777fan's Avatar
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    And all the wrong designations too. It’s completely snobbish, but when the seller doesn’t understand this simple details (like the nameplate change that occurred in ‘94), I’m always turned off, and begin to suspect there is nothing but a money grab going on.

    Even a complete amateur would understand these sorts of things with a quick google/wiki search prior to posting the ad. 5 minutes, tops!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    2014 MB E63S, 2008 Tundra, 2006 Lotus Exige S, 1989 FJ62 Land Cruiser, 1996 Ford Bronco, and some other interesting and not so interesting vehicles.

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  96. #178
    Zivil Ingenieur Maui's Avatar
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    That is sweet!

    1992 500E
    1994 E500
    2011 E550 4Matic

  97. #179
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    Quote Originally Posted by ace10 View Post
    Triple black?? Why are the seats 'shroom and parts of the interior. The piping on the seats is not factory, door cards should be one color. And if the data card is right this is really funky.


    WDBEA66E5RC090135.pdf

    https://www.datamb.com/vin/NmJWG2p8Ngw2xnkB7

  98. #180
    Zivil Ingenieur Maui's Avatar
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    Re: Contemplating the Cabriolets

    It ain't easy being green.

    1992 500E
    1994 E500
    2011 E550 4Matic

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