Understated Unicorn – 1998 Mercedes Benz S210 E55 AMG Estate – SOLD!

by | Nov 2023 | Auction Observations, Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Wagon Wednesday

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December 20, 2023, Update – We confirmed the seller of this “Classifind” deleted their listing, so we’re now 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.

Regarding Mercedes-Benz, very few models make me stop everything to read more about them.  While it is no secret we frequently sing the praises of the brand’s W123 line of virtually indestructible cars, the W210 E55 AMG is an understated “Sleeper” that could hold its own against most high-performance cars of the period.  Launched in Europe in 1998, it took another model year before Mercedes Benz launched the E55 AMG in North America. Unfortunately, our continent only received the four-door sedan; Estate (station wagon) models were never officially imported into the U.S.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has a 25-year exemption rule. Thus, cars built in 1998 and older can be legally imported into the U.S. without needing (often expensive) to be “Federalized.”  Thankfully, this black 1998 Mercedes Benz S210 E55 AMG Estate for sale, last spotted on Craigslist in November 2023 in Surry, British Columbia, Canada (Vancouver), now qualifies for that exemption.

The Canadian seller reports they imported their 1998 E55 AMG Estate from Japan in 2020. Most Japanese Domestic Market (“JDM”) imports are right-hand-drive. However, this example is a much more desirable left-hand-drive model finished in Obsidian Black over Emerald leather upholstery.  Our research confirmed the seller offered their E55 AMG recently on Bring a Trailer.  Contrary to popular belief, not every car listed on Bring a Trailer sells at the end of their auction. As is the case with traditional in-person auctions, timing can be everything.  The fact this car’s auction ended on a Saturday afternoon in November with a high bid of $18,000 did not help generate the buzz needed for this car. Additionally, based on the comments garnered during the auction on that website, some potential buyers may have paused due to the lack of anyone estimating the cost of importing the car to the U.S.

Last offered for $29,000, Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the ask rests at the high end of sales of similar S210 E55 AMG Estates in the past two years. The graph also notes this car did not sell on Bring a Trailer on Saturday, November 11, 2023, with a high bid of $18,000. By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for recently:

As a second data point, the  Hagerty Insurance Online Valuation Guide reveals the seller’s ask falls between this guide’s #3 “Good” estimate of $19,100 and its #2 “Excellent” appraisal of $31,800 for the 1999 sedan version first offered in the U.S. Estate prices are slightly higher due to this body style’s rarity.

The 1998 Mercedes-Benz W210 E55 AMG Estate is a high-performance variant of the E-Class lineup, combining the practicality of an estate (wagon) with the performance prowess of AMG, Mercedes-Benz’s in-house performance division. This model, introduced in the late 1990s, represents a harmonious blend of luxury, versatility, and speed, making it a standout in the automotive landscape.

At the heart of the W210 E55 AMG Estate lies a formidable powerplant. The car is powered by a hand-built 5.4-liter V8 engine, meticulously crafted by AMG engineers. This naturally aspirated engine is a testament to AMG’s commitment to performance, producing an impressive output of around 349 horsepower and 391 lb-ft of torque. This potent engine is mated to a five-speed automatic transmission, providing smooth shifts and optimal power delivery.

The E55 AMG Estate boasts remarkable performance figures for its time. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just over five seconds, showcasing the fusion of AMG’s performance expertise with the elegance of the E-Class platform. The top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, underscoring the car’s sports car credentials.

The W210 E55 AMG Estate features a specially tuned suspension system to harness the impressive power under the hood. AMG engineers have fine-tuned the car’s chassis to balance comfort and performance. The suspension setup includes a four-link front suspension and a five-arm multi-link rear suspension, providing optimal handling and ride comfort.

Larger brakes complement the AMG-tuned suspension to ensure precise and responsive stopping power. The brake system includes oversized discs and calipers, enhancing the overall performance and safety of the vehicle.

Externally, the W210 E55 AMG Estate exudes a subtle yet commanding presence. The estate body style adds a layer of practicality, making it an ideal choice for those prioritizing performance and utility. The AMG treatment includes distinctive styling elements, such as a unique front apron, side skirts, and a rear apron. The quad exhaust tips and the signature AMG alloy wheels contribute to the car’s aggressive and purposeful aesthetic.

Incorporating the classic elegance of the E-Class, the W210 model maintains a timeless design that has aged gracefully. The estate variant adds a touch of versatility, making it suitable for various lifestyles, whether it be daily commuting or long-distance cruising.

The E55 AMG Estate offers a luxurious and well-appointed environment inside the cabin. High-quality materials, including premium leather and wood trim, adorn the interior, creating an ambiance of sophistication. The seats are designed with both comfort and support in mind, making long journeys a pleasurable experience.

The dashboard is equipped with a range of advanced features, considering the technological standards of its time. An infotainment system, climate control, and a premium sound system contribute to the overall comfort and convenience of the occupants.

The 1998 Mercedes-Benz W210 E55 AMG Estate represents a significant chapter in the history of performance-oriented estates. Its power, practicality, and luxury combination set a benchmark for future AMG models. The W210 E55 AMG Estate has become a sought-after classic among automotive enthusiasts, admired for its unique blend of performance and versatility. As a precursor to modern high-performance estate cars, this model has left an indelible mark on the automotive landscape.

The MotorWeek Retro Review Channel features this 1999 test drive when Mercedes Benz first launched the W210 E55 AMG in the U.S.:

This black 1998 W210 E55 AMG Estate for sale represents an incredibly rare opportunity to own a very desirable high-performance E-Class Mercedes-Benz.  The sedan version is a rare site nearly a quarter of a century later, and this 1998 Estate version will really get you noticed at the local Cars & Coffee events.  In their current Craigslist ad, the seller does not list many important details called out in their Bring a Trailer listing.  Most notable are the fact the seller recently replaced the car’s Alcantara headliner. Also noted on several BaT photos is the roof’s faded clear coat paint.

If you are serious about buying this 1998 W210 E55 AMG Estate, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their rare Mercedes Benz station wagon featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“Rare missing AMG in NA!
S210 E55 amg Station Wagon 1998
Clean Title, Clean Carfax, In Perfect condition
Accident-free, Rust Free, fully Serviced
Mercedes never imported AMG Wagons to North America, so this one is the best opportunity to have this rare AMG in a rare color combination in the USA. I imported it from Japan and am now officially eligible to import it to the USA.
 The car is inspected & registered in Vancouver, Canada.
Ready to go..

Show or go: What would you do with this black 1998 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG Estate for sale? Please comment below and let us know!


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