SOTW: Mercedes S-class (W140)


The barge-haters among the shed fraternity will no doubt be jumping upon this one as 'yet another example of the sort of German luxobarge we do every other week'. But when I spotted this W140 S-class lurking in the nether regions of the PH classifieds I knew it had to be SOTW. Merc fanboy Garlick would have hidden my car keys if I hadn't, and I wouldn't be going home for the weekend.

But I digress. There is, of course, a proper reason why we are prone to featuring large, luxurious and often German cars on Shed of the Week, one beyond simple predilection. And that is because large, well-built expensive cars can live a long life but, when they get to a certain age, scare Shed-gentiles off with the prospect of large running costs, which depresses the value of them. And makes them prime SOTW-fodder.

Of all these, the W140-era Mercedes S-class must surely be the king of barges and yet, until now, we have never crowned one SOTW.


For starters this is the S320 model and so gets a 220hp and 229lb ft version of Merc's M104 straight six. Although not blessed with quite the grunt of the S500's V8, it's fast enough in the real world, and gratifyingly more powerful than the base-model S280. And besides, in Shed-world, fewer cylinders means fewer things to go wrong.

The W140 S also straddles two Mercedes-Benz eras, being not only possibly the last hewn-from-the-mantle-of-the-earth Mercs, but also suitably high-tech, with double-glazed windows, self-closing doors and the first standard-fit dual-zone climate control on any Mercedes.

This particular car further impresses by dint of being a late-model example (and we all know it's best to get hold of something when all the bugs have been ironed-out - early iPhone users will tell you that).


It ticks plenty of other boxes, too - service history, MOT, new tyres, and full leather. The only worry we have is the admission that 'all four wheel arches have been painted, but not to highest standard'. Hmmm...

But apart from that, this is surely one to get the pulses of all you barge fiends racing. Garlick is no doubt currently trying to work out whether he can justify an S-class and a Lexus...

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P.H. O'meter

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Comments (186) Join the discussion on the forum

  • AUDIHenry 15 Aug 2011

    VeeFour said:
    You'd have an £85k car with plastic seats?

    Pervert.
    Yep, love the stuff. My 1978 has some (in blue, mind) and it looks as good as new. It's some voo doo materials science!

  • VeeFour 14 Aug 2011

    CampDavid said:
    MB Tex is ideal for the suit wearer, it was designed to cause minimal wear to your Hugo Boss trousers (this may be rumour, an ex Merc salesman told me)
    'Taxi leather', as it's sometimes known.

    I believe that Mercedes 'taxi spec' is for leather driver seat and MBTEX for all other seats.

  • CampDavid 14 Aug 2011

    MB Tex is ideal for the suit wearer, it was designed to cause minimal wear to your Hugo Boss trousers (this may be rumour, an ex Merc salesman told me)

  • VeeFour 14 Aug 2011

    AUDIHenry said:
    My guess here, but I' not sure, is that MB Tex is preferred by many for its long life. I don't know if that was offered on the W140, but I would take it over leather.
    You'd have an £85k car with plastic seats?

    Pervert.

  • CampDavid 14 Aug 2011

    A lex said:
    You mean the shut line on the boot? I thought that too - I think its more a case of the boot needs adjusting on the stops. Its completely HPI clear and poking around under carpets in the boot and spare wheel well doesnt show up any accident repair. Everything else on the car seems to be straight and original too.

    Worst car scenario = rear-end shunt = it was only 650 quid and it drives fine smile
    I'd suggest that lid isn't original more by the paint, it's a slightly different shade.

    As you say though, who cares? You'd get about £300 for it as scrap so if it dies tomorrow you're only down 10p a mile in depreciation. Of course it won't blow up and it'll last a fair while longer. Silly, silly cheap

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