Mushroom Interior: 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 – SOLD!
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October 14, 2022 Update – Good cars at great prices don’t last long on Craigslist. The seller of this Mercedes deleted their listing just as we went to press, so we’re quickly able to call this one, “Sold!” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.
Older luxury cars are generally seen as extremely risky purchases in second or third-hand form. The complexity of the systems, along with the tendency for subsequent owners to not care as much as the first about upkeep and maintenance, typically sets the stage for a very slippery slope into neglect. The W140 chassis Mercedes-Benz S-Class is often found in this category, and it is surprisingly rare to find one in coupe or sedan form that has been looked after. This 1999 Mercedes S420 was originally listed in October 2022 on Craigslist in Washington, D.C., for $7,500. Comparing that price against the Classic.com model guide shows that the seller is asking for reasonable money, given that the average sale price is just over $15,000.
The W140 chassis S-Class had to follow on the heels of perhaps one of the most overbuilt eras of Mercedes-Benz products. The W126-series was a bank vault on wheels, and the two-door version was one of the prettiest brutes in a suit you ever saw. There was also a simplicity to those cars, with a lack of overly complicated power features and engine management systems that would make the W140 a harder car to love. Still, it was a Mercedes flagship, and like all of the company’s top-shelf models, it was likely a treat to own for the first caretaker. They featured cutting-edge safety features and comfort and convenience enhancements that made riding or driving akin to having your own limousine. The double-paned glass was standard, looking like something found in an armored car rather than a luxury sedan. Engine choices included an inline-six and a V8; a V12 was an option.
The Dean Laumbach YouTube Channel features this modern Point of View (“POV”) test drive of a 1999 S420:
The seller’s car is quite attractive right off the bat, owing to its unique color scheme. While many of these S-Classes were ordered in dull colors like black, white, or silver, this one left the factory wearing a pretty shade known as Forest Green paired with truly gorgeous “Mushroom” leather. The seller is exactly the kind of person you want to buy one of these high-zoot luxury cars from, as he rattles off a significant list of maintenance carried out under his care and also notes the full ownership history since new. The seller is only the third owner, so this is one of those rare cases of a car like this not going into the death spiral of wanton neglect. The mileage is 174,000, but given the $7,000 in repairs the seller has made, they feel confident you could drive this German land yacht across the country tomorrow. Recent repairs include new belts and belt tensioner; new steering rack; new inner and outer tie rods, and more. Good luck with the purchase if you take this gorgeous S-Class home.
Here’s the seller’s description:
“Available now is our 1999 Mercedes-Benz S420 sedan, in a spectacular color combination (Forest Green over M-B “Mushroom” leather). This car was built on 4/15/1998, and its service history begins on 5/22/98. We are the third owners. The first owners leased the car new in Connecticut. After the car was turned in off-lease, the second owners purchased the car from EuroMotorcars of Germantown, MD. We purchased the car from the second owners after years of caring ownership, as evidenced by an extensive service history of work done only at the dealership. Since purchasing the car, we have invested north of $7,000 into essentially restoring/upgrading this vehicle completely.
All functions operate as intended, including the vacuum closing doors. Even the trunk seal works!
Some of the work done to the car during our ownership includes:
-A/C fully upgraded and is ice-cold
-Drivetrain and 4.2 Liter V-8 fully serviced with no known issues
-Original wheels fully refinished
-Newer, low-mileage Michelin Defender tires
-New brakes, pads, and rotors
-New inner and outer tie rods
-New belts and belt tensioner
-Four wheel alignment
-New steering shock
-Rebuilt and retensioned seat belts
-PSE pump replaced
-New trunk actuator
-Hood and front end resprayed in original paint code to eliminate rock chips and road dings
-Entire exterior was clay-barred and a full ceramic coating was applied to protect the paintwork
-New aftermarket touchscreen pop-out radio installed, Apple CarPlay compatible (original head unit included)
-Rearview camera installed
Two key fobs and original valet key are present, along with all manuals, car phone, and original first aid kit.
This is a timeless luxury cruiser, and I would personally feel comfortable driving this car cross-country. I can confirm this car does excellently on road trips, both in driving quality and road noise, thanks to the car’s dual-pane glass windows (pictured).
This car needs nothing, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a W140 Mercedes-Benz in nicer condition!
Only reason for selling this car is so that we can focus more on our other vehicles. We’ve loved having it!.”
The exception to the rule: would you buy a typically risky luxury sedan if it’s been well-maintained?