RADWood Approved: 1986 Mercedes-Benz W124 300E – SOLD!

Nov 2020 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Free For All Friday

December 17th Update: We just confirmed the private seller of this ride deleted their Craigslist ad, so we’re now able to call this one “Sold!”  While this one got away, if you have your heart set on something similar, email us the details of what you’re looking for or call Rudy directly at (908)295-7330.

Obviously, the Mercedes-Benz W124 lineup of sedans and wagons needs little in the way of introduction around these parts – but it’s always worth a closer look at one loaded-up with period-correct modifications. This 1986 Mercedes 300E originally listed in November 2020 on Craigslist in Marietta, Georgia, is claimed to be a carefully-maintained example with just over 40,000 miles and an asking price of $15,900.   Comparing this price against the Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Tool makes it obvious the seller considers it one of the best in existence, as a Concours example is priced at $18,600. Given the low mileage and condition on display in the listing, it certainly is one of the better ones we’ve seen.

To me, one of the best qualities of the Radwood era is how easy manufacturers made it to load your vehicle up with period-correct accessories, straight off the showroom floor. The parts counter was a Candyland of add-ons, both cosmetic and performance-oriented, for owners of certain marques and models. The range of customization was broad, from perfectly-fit roof racks to sunroof wind deflectors to the hood and nose bras emblazoned with the model’s name. Mercedes was obviously a bit more understated in the showroom, but its relationship with tuning shop AMG meant owners of otherwise sedate sedans could find endless options for making their commuter car look like a gray-market showstopper. Performance options were a bit more limited, unless, of course, you had the means to have AMG build you a car.

Here’s a thirty-second commercial from 1986 currently posted on YouTube introducing the then-new 300E:

This 1986 300E was, at one time, a standard white-over-blue model with the durable 3.0 liter inline-six cylinder. The car retains that engine with mileage so low that it will likely outlive its next owner. The car belonged to a friend of the seller, who sadly passed away and the friend is now handling this aspect of winding down the estate. His description clearly indicates his colleague was a fanatic, keeping every piece of paperwork from new, along with books, manuals, and even the enrollment paperwork from the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. More importantly, the 300E is fitted with a complete AMG body kit, European headlights, and color-matched AMG wheels – it’s Radwood on acid, if you’re a Mercedes fanatic. Condition looks quite lovely, and the seller notes it runs as good as it looks with a recent fuel system service to smooth out any engine roughness from lack of use. The wood trim is some of the best I’ve seen in a Mercedes of this vintage, and while the price is top of the market, it looks somewhat unrepeatable when you factor in the low miles and the period enhancements. Good luck with the purchase if you take this rad W124 home!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“STUNNING ONE-OWNER 1986 MERCEDES 300E.IMPORTANT: No need to ask “is the car available?”…if you see this ad, it’s available! Also…NO texting due to extensive text scams…if you are interested…please call!

• One meticulous engineer-owner
• Upgraded interior (wood trim)
• Extensive Documentation including original Bill of Sale
• Super low original mileage…40,640 as of photo-session date
• Upgraded wheels
• AMG body accessories
• Mercedes Marketing Materials
• Mercedes Service Materials
• Side window wind deflectors
• Overall…could be the finest example of this year/model/mileage!

THE BEST 4-DOOR SEDAN IN THE WORLD? The 1986 Mercedes 300E is an iconic luxury-performance sedan. Road & Track magazine approvingly stated: “…new, fast, comfortable, and maybe even the best 4-door sedan in the world”. Famed Mercedes engineering, craftsmanship, fit, and finish are evident everywhere you look. And, it is impossible to travel anywhere without getting an admiring glance, thumbs-up, or compliment.

SOUTHERN CAR: One of the best things about this car, is that is documented as a “Southern Car” since new! The South is well-known for having classics with highly desirable solid bodies and undercarriages.

ODOMETER NOTE: The mileage noted on the odometer as of the photo-session (40,640) may change slightly as the car is gently “exercised” from time to time. Today – as of the date of this listing – the mileage is 40,759…so the new owner should anticipate a small increase in the odometer reading.

LOCATION: Marietta, GA

EXCELLENT INVESTMENT – Luxury-performance sedans are among the most enjoyable and collectible of all modern classics. Plus, this could be the lowest mileage example that you will ever find. Finally, no one is more “connected” to a car than the original owner…who paid full-price for the car with hard-earned money and cared for it accordingly for over three decades! All of this adds value and enhances the outlook for maximum future value.

OPERATIONAL REPORT: This Mercedes excellent build quality and engineering are as evident today as when new. Everything has a precision-feel to it, with “bank vault” body feel. It drives beautifully and actually benefits from weekly “exercise”.

IMPORTANT NOTES: the radio is not working, nor is the antenna switch. The Air Conditioner ran “cool” but not “cold”…it could need charging or other attention for maximum performance. The owner was a smoker, but he did so very carefully (and used an effective charcoal type absorber – now discarded), so I did not see any burns or telltale signs. The digital indicator of outside temperature is inaccurate, it was an 85 degree day during the photo-shoot , but 119 degrees was incorrectly indicated. Finally, the key and/or ignition cylinder are a bit worn after 34 years of use, so just be advised that it can take a bit of “wiggling” to get the key to turn the ignition to start the car.

IMPERFECTIONS: As a concours judge at International-level Car Shows, I have never seen the “perfect car”…there is no such thing. This car is a beauty that you can be proud to drive and show, but please expect very minor cosmetic imperfections “here and there”.

PAYMENT TERMS: A $500 non-refundable deposit via PayPal is due immediately to hold the car for 3 business days, by which time full payment via Bank to Bank Wire Transfer must be made.
ABOUT ME: I am an avid Classic Car enthusiast. This classic belonged to a friend who recently passed, and is being sold by the executor of the estate.


NOTE: This car belonged to a car-enthusiast friend of mine who recently passed. It is being sold by the executor of his estate. The Buyer will receive the following documents: Copy of the Owner’s Death Certificate, Copy of the “Letters Testamentary” naming the executor of the estate, the owner’s original Title – signed-off by the Executor of the Estate, and a Bill of Sale – with the Executor’s notarized signature. In the state of Georgia, these are the documents required for the sale of a decedent’s vehicle. If you are from another state, please be sure that these documents will satisfy your state’s requirements for Registration and Titling to the new owner.

Do you have a Mercedes 300E story you’d like to share?  Comment below and let us know!


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