Produced between 1992 and 1994, the W124 model 320CE was built in limited numbers in the traditional manner of classic Mercedes-Benz coupes and convertibles, being the very best specified and most luxuriously equipped model in the range. Outwardly similar to its smaller engined siblings, the 320CE was powered by the 3,199cc, Type M104, 24-valve, twin-overhead-camshaft six producing 220bhp, good enough for a top speed in excess of 145mph in the case of the manual transmission version, with the automatic not far behind.
This immaculate Mercedes was registered to its first owner in Nicosia, on the island of Cyprus for use at his Villa, where he kept it until 1998. He opted for a Sportline spec with a manual gearbox which was a special order item and extremely rare on this model, especially a convertible. He returned the car back to the UK and it was first registered here in 1998 when the mileage was just 3,585. It was purchased by its second owner in 2002 and became part of a large private collection at which point the mileage had risen to 13,045. At just over 18,000 miles the car was stored amongst many other cars of similar quality before the entire collection was sold in 2018 to Jaguar Land Rover. Subsequently JLR disposed of all the vehicles that were not associated with the brand and the third owner purchased the Mercedes at 18,500mls.
Unfortunately he passed away unexpectedly earlier this year and the Mercedes was passed to his 19 year old son who decided to sell the car to fund his University fees. Now with less than 20,000 miles from new this rare manual convertible Mercedes is looking for a new custodian, one who will have the enjoyment of owning what has to be one of the best of its type.
There is a good history accompanying the Mercedes with a full set of Owner’s Manuals and a Service Book. The first service was carried out by Mercedes - Benz in Nicosia, Cyprus at 1,182 miles and there are eight further stamps in the book, the last being at 19,500 miles at Mercedes - Benz Cambridge in August 2019, so less than 500 miles ago. There is also an extra stamped note stating the Mercedes was “fully recommissioned” at 18,812 in May 2018 when it was purchased from JLR. There is a separate sheet in the folder that documents all the owners, services and mileage. Although the V5c states 4 owners, it is actually three; the first owner in Cyprus, the owner of the private collection and JLR briefly and then the last owner and his son. There is a document from his son who states his reason for selling the Mercedes in the file too. There is an old MoT from 2018, and a current one that is valid until 31st March 2022.
It is hard to find fault with the smart light grey check fabric interior. The seats are factory fresh and unmarked - well, we couldn’t find any! The wood facia is equally immaculate, as are the grey carpets and the smart dark blue mohair hood. Have a good look at the photographs and we are sure you’ll agree; the interior is literally as new! The rear headrests/roll protectors deploy correctly, and the hood stows neatly away and fits snugly when up. Ordered new with plenty of options including climate control, electric front seats and headrests, electric windows and mirrors this was a very high specification car from new and it all works beautifully today. The boot area is equally clean with the original Kenwood CD autochanger, unused spare wheel and tools, and the warning triangle still in place.
The Diamond Blue paintwork is exceptionally good, with barely a mark or stone chip to be found. The glass is all clear and unmarked. The factory Sportline Alloy wheels are all fitted with virtually new Michelin Energy tyres. The wheels themselves are all new, except the driver’s side front which has a small kerb mark on the rim. The door shuts are all exceptional, and the doors require a firm push, and close with a reassuring thud, just as they did when new. Again a brief look through the photographs will show the exceptional condition of the exterior, we are sure there can be few that are well preserved.
Under the bonnet the engine bay is as clean as the rest of the car. The engine itself looks like it was only installed yesterday with very little that gives away its age. On the day of our visit we can say that the Mercedes drove beautifully with plenty of power and no rattles or creaks. It is apparent when driving that all those stamps in the Service book combined with such gentle use has preserved the car well.
We think this is a car for the connoisseur, someone who understands the rarity of a twenty eight year old virtually new car. With such a nice spec from new, a manual gearbox and a soft top, the problem will be whether to enjoy the Mercedes and add to the mileage or preserve it as the valuable classic it will surely become?
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