Another Benz that’s screamingly cheap right now is the 1992-1998 C140 coupé. At Classic Car Auctions’s sale at the NEC Restoration Show, a gorgeous Brilliant Silver one-owner CL420 was knocked down for £5772. This was no ordinary W140 two-door but a genuine 79,000-mile car with every invoice from new, 10 MB dealer stamps and a 118-page history file. In March, Historics at Brooklands sold a mint 1993 600CL V12 in white with dark blue leather that had done duty on MB Club stands as one of the best-preserved 600 CLs left for just £7358. And these are rare cars, with only 80 CL420s and 92 CL600s on UK roads.
The 600 was MB’s first production V12 and, for a while, the fastest-accelerating four-seater in the world. Standard kit included double gazing, soft-close doors, rain-sensing wipers, a rear window blind and little chrome flag posts that popped up from each rear wing to help you park. The C140’s other claim to fame was a 1995 demonstration held by Greenpeace on the roof of the Sindelfingen factory against the CL’s sheer unapologetic excess.
Most have disappeared now, but the few survivors are definitely worthy of attention. Find a mint CL 600 with nominal miles and you’ll have one of the rarest, most special and affordable Mercedes dragsters around. Especially when you look at the £30k prices being asked for 6.3s and 6.9s. There will come a day when Stuttgart’s first V12 coupé get’s the recognition it deserves but in the meantime look at the current bargain basement prices and consider if you have enough courage to take the plunge.
VALUE 2012 £6500
VALUE NOW £5750