E36 AMGs going cheap... for now / #Mercedes-Benz-W210
Market catching on to the almighty bangs-for-bucks Mercedes-Benz W120 ‘six’
Decent Mercedes-Benz-W210 E36 AMGs can still be bought for five grand and I reckon they’re the last of the bargain Nineties AMG Mercs. A West Yorkshire private seller has a ’96 in Brilliant Silver with black leather and 70k for £3995 while the trade in Cheshire has a ’97 in the same colour combo with 92k for £5499. Both cars have plenty of bills, low ownership, fish and are a mighty bang for your buck.
While W124 E36s are climbing over £10k now and #V8
E55s rising too, the similarly competent W210 looks insanely cheap. MB built only 400 between #1996
– all rhd – with most going to Australia. Only 150 were sold in the UK and the DVLA currently records just 11 roadgoing survivors. Compared with the 2870 E55s built, the E36 is one of the rarest AMGs of them all and one the last models to be handassembled at AMG’s plant in Affalterbach.
The dohc M106 six-cylinder is gruff, urgent and bulletproof, pushing out a very respectable 288bhp and the looks are exactly the same as the E55, apart from the boot badge. Even the 18-inch AMG five-spoke alloys and twin exhausts are identical.
New list was £53k and sales were glacial because everybody knew the V8 E55 was waiting in the wings. Buyers were usually middle-aged enthusiasts and the wear patterns and mileages covered by E36s are different from the E55, which was more of a hardcore hooligan’s dragster. Not having a V8 up front means they’re simpler, less strained and use lots of E320 parts, so running costs won’t be ruinous. You’ll find eBay is stuffed with used bits.
Watch for the usual W210 rust round the front wings, rear arches and screens and if the catalytic converters are rattling walk away. A 0-60mph time of 6.7 seconds isn’t lightning fast but the E36 has lighter steering and more front-end poise than the slightly nose-heavy 55, while the top end is limited to the usual 155mph. But speed is what you’ll need to bag one at these low prices. A London trader has just sold a 60,000-miler for £15k. Be quick.
‘Speed is what you’ll need to bag one at these low prices