Sensible family daily wagon - Mercedes Benz S211 E500

Sensible family daily wagon - Mercedes Benz S211 E500

Author
Discussion

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Had I really appreciated this forum within Pistonheads, I may have spent the last ten+ years since joining as a member squatting in here! There are some bloody brilliant threads, with (all paraphrased) 'finally picking up LFA', '124 titivating' and 'SL600 V12' being amongst my favourites (I've only spent the last month or so reading these threads and have yet to discover others!).

Nevertheless, it makes me wish that I had started this thread at the same time that I purchased my most recent personal vehicle, one that I had been eyeing in the classifieds for quite some time; sometimes there is an itch that one must scratch and once you live with a V8 it's very hard to replicate the experience of power and relaxed cruising with another configuration (that is available within my limited budget, I'm sure).

After having sold my BMW E63 645Ci as, despite the large bonnet, front seat area and boot (three hookers), Bangle didn't design it with children and child seats in mind so it had to go. That was a damn shame but having said that, it just didn't really feel like a BMW (as per my E30 325i Sport), though it was a great tourer and a hoot on the Nordschleife with TC off!

In Skenderborg, Denmark:




The 645Ci ownership overlapped with the purchase of an £850 'beater'. A Volvo V70 2.4T (a five cylinder 2.4L turbo, to the unitiated as was I) which I picked up on the basis of an autotrader search for:

'<£1000, >5 seats, 0-60 <8 seconds, petrol, manual'

I ended up in Esher at a house with a gravel drive and a car with a full Volvo service history from new which smelled like damp dog. I have to say that it was so good I didn't miss the 645 at all. Incredible cars with supreme comfort and durability. I hadn't even considered Volvos as a brand prior to that purchase - the stereos in the SE model are fantastic too!

Bertha:


Incidentally, it was the above drive to Suffolk which strengthened my resolve to acquire, ideally, a V8 as I had been undertaken by a st in a BMW diesel thing on a dual carraigeway as he had been impatient and naffed off at my maintaining a reasonable distance from the car in front. Despite my best attempts to out-accelerate him and shut the door (as is my prerogative in MY LANE, I maintain), I couldn't, which just isn't cool. at. all. man.

That adventure ended when my son sat on the partially opened glass sunroof and it smashed - as the car was being loaded to go camping for the weekend!



and my eventual makeshift solution which I considered not bad given my inability to effectively forward plan and execute anything handy, despite my most earnest attempts:



Well, of course, man maths dictated that I start to look for a replacement... car, obviously!

Some of us more in tune with their mysticism like to recognise an opportunity when it arises and sometimes things happen for a reason. So following my brief digression, it brings us to the point where I decide to widen the search for a car that I just liked the look and sound of... an E class estate with a whopping five litre vee-eight. I decide to widen my search, with mainly involves searches on the excellent 'car and classic', 'autotrader' (to which I have an addiction/fetish) and of course, dear ol' reliable pistonheads classifieds with it's terrible search alerts... which always seem to cease working after a few days following activiation/re-activitation/deletion followed by a fresh search of the same terms... I re-selected the criteria for:

'MB>E Class>estate>over five litres<ten thousand pounds'

Now... though Pistonheads isn't a great tool for casual browsing for the infuriatingly inconsistent search alerts, it has proved its worth in the past as it was the medium through which my 645Ci was sold... so I ticked the box in anticipation. I received an alert within 24 hours [insert appropriate jaw open meme here]. Anyone who has hunted these cars may testify that there simply aren't that many in number and that they don't come up too often either, so my belief in man maths and the unfathomable workings of the space/time continuum proved prescient.

The advert was as follows:













I forgot to add, that in addition to the man maths and star trek theories, I had also been training for a number of months in order to participate in and complete the inaugural Velo Birmingham - a one hundred mile cycle to Birmingham, Staffordshire and Worcestershire. I didn't want to take the bike apart and go in the wife's A2, despite the extremely tardis-like nature of the loading configuration and didn't want a roof rack either (what a faff), so I had additional motivation to secure a vehicle.

Well, they say 'buy the seller first', and Matt was a good chap and straightforward. The most reassuring thing to see was that he had invested in getting the car through a point in its life where most owners would have scrimped on the repairs. This chap stuck with a specialist MB indy and invested in genuine MD parts where necessary, to the tune of £6,500 over three years... at least. The big-ticket items included a 2015 service with sixteen new spark plugs, two front struts failing within a few months of each other and the SBC pump which has a limited cycle of around 400,000 applications of the brake pedal before simply expiring. The test drive was nice, no dodginess from the gearbox, air con worked and no unusual noises, apart from the rather 'vocal' exhaust which I didn't really dwell on as I was wearing my rose-tinted ear muffs...

On the downside, there were a few broken bits and bobs - switchgear, handles etc and the car interior clearly lived up/down to the 'shed' moniker - as advertised! Nevertheless the car appeared as honest as the seller and I took a little test drive then sat on it for a few days. Impulse is one of my indulgences, as is procrastination. I live in SW20 and since the vehicle was located just down the road in Surbiton, I indulged in the latter for a few days before being nudged by Matt and making my way over to enjoy a coffee with frothy milk and a bit of horse-trading. We shook hands on a deal which involved a reduced asking price, in exchange for a same-day transaction and a re-assignment of the personalised number plate for him to generate his own additional revenue (I presume). He then invited me to drive us in the E500 the bank in Surbiton where cash was duly withdrawn and palms suitably greased.

My first task was not to clean the interior, but to take a short pilgrimage to order a replacement key. I was asked to kindly bugger off and return with the V5C in my name... data protection bds.





Nevertheless, I took the opportunity to ponder some suitable paraphernalia for the soon-to-be-ordered second key, which I feel wasn't really targetted at me. Still, equality and all that. Fnarr:



I settled on this, being a little more honest and more importantly, having been reduced to a fiver as it was the last of its kind:



Just look at that beaming face, yours truly loves a throbbing V8! On this occassion I drove it to my friend's house with whom we have a long tradition of turning up in our newly acquired vehicles. He had just swapped his 53 plate ML500 with the same M113 engine for a Mitsubishi PHEV.



I've got to say, that I still get a kick from seeing this badge six months later:



The vehicle had covered 114k when I picked up the E500. I'll be retracing my steps slowly through this thread until I eventually catch up to the present day. That's the plan for now, but I may not stick to my own timeline! This post has already taken over an hour, so it'll be a labour of love, for sure!

Edited by bolidemichael on Friday 30th March 10:18


Edited by bolidemichael on Saturday 13th October 21:39

r129sl

8,544 posts

160 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
These are truly under-appreciated cars. The engine is great. 306bhp is a lot, even today, but what it belies is the massive torque plateau from about 2,000rpm through to 4,000rpm. In real world use, I bet this car is very fast. The engines also just don't break, they seem to last forever, a few oil weeps aside.

Keep up the thread. We do read and enjoy them. And I have taken a great deal of solace from the pre-camping trip sunroof disaster. I thought that kind of thing only happened to me.

Jimmy Recard

17,022 posts

136 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Very nice car OP. Also I sniggered at how they labelled that key ring hehe

Mr E

19,324 posts

216 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
I aprrove hugely, having ended up with similar. Ours is called Angela.

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
For the legions of admirers that had yet to consider the purchase pricing of the vehicle, it was advertised as such:



Having studied the invoices that had been provided to me under the seller's stewardship, he had experienced a year of large outlay and I figured that in offering him the same amount would likely to be accepted as a reasonable offer. In addition to that, he had taken delivery of a spanker C350h which looked gleaming, charging on the driveway, whilst the S211 was cast away to a side road, looking lonely and, well, shed-like, as advertised!

Additionally, this is a car that simply does not attract too much interest and he knew that he was onto a good buyer - local and with strong interest, so it was quite an easy conversation. In the end we settled on £3,000 +/- £100 and in addition he remunerated me the fee for the transfer of the private plate as agreed. It was quite a nice experience really and I have to say that the light interior is something that I really appreciate as the feeling of space is fantastic in a voluminous estate.

So, £3,000ish pounds lighter, I drove away (rather loudly hmmm) in an originally-upwards-of-£60k avantgarde spec E500!

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
r129sl said:
These are truly under-appreciated cars. The engine is great. 306bhp is a lot, even today, but what it belies is the massive torque plateau from about 2,000rpm through to 4,000rpm. In real world use, I bet this car is very fast. The engines also just don't break, they seem to last forever, a few oil weeps aside.

Keep up the thread. We do read and enjoy them. And I have taken a great deal of solace from the pre-camping trip sunroof disaster. I thought that kind of thing only happened to me.
As the 'unfolding' of this tale is partly retrospective, I have yet to indulge in interspersing tales of my travels with my de rigeur approach to covering ground - rapidly.

I think that you'll find that we share a few common foibles - liberal application of the throttle being one, a healthy(!) attention to detail being another (though mine is tempered by my spend-now-worry-later legacy of restricted finances) and an over-committed and under-skilled approach to home repairs being another (though my limits are far below the work that you have taken upon yourself) - in this respect, my specialist skill is focused on the snapping of random bits of trim in the quest for instant titivation - followed by a bout of self loathing and fearsome disinterest in titivation. Ho hum.

Edited by bolidemichael on Friday 30th March 11:05

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Jimmy Recard said:
Very nice car OP. Also I sniggered at how they labelled that key ring hehe
Fnarr

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Mr E said:
I aprrove hugely, having ended up with similar. Ours is called Angela.
My wife named ours 'Magnus', which I thought suited it quite well, so Magnus it is! An obligatory arty shot during the honeymoon period:



EDIT: Mr E, you have an S212 E500. Now that's surely a unicorn &#129412;!

Edited by bolidemichael on Friday 30th March 10:59


Edited by bolidemichael on Friday 30th March 11:49

2wheelsjimmy

576 posts

54 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Bargain. Nice motor.

Mr E

19,324 posts

216 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
bolidemichael said:
EDIT: Mr E, you have an S212 E500. Now that's surely a unicorn ??!
Certainly very unusual. I don’t think they made many 212 500’s, and even fewer were W212 estates.

When I was looking, there were 2 petrol W212s in the country for sale.

I’m telling myself that the rarity and “last of the n/a V8’s” mean that it will hold some value.
No, I don’t believe it either.

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Mr E said:
Certainly very unusual. I don’t think they made many 212 500’s, and even fewer were W212 estates.

When I was looking, there were 2 petrol W212s in the country for sale.

I’m telling myself that the rarity and “last of the n/a V8’s” mean that it will hold some value.
No, I don’t believe it either.
I believe that I have only ever seen two for sale, though my searches are capped at £20k. One memorable one was with 20k miles, £19,999 inc VAT and seven seats. Sky blue and a white interior. This was in 2016. Why didn't you choose to upgrade from the 211 in your bio to the 212?

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
I should have added that the seller had given me the number of Colin Ferns so that I could speak with them about the car. The Eastern European chap to whom I spoke in the absence of Colin gave a clean-ish bill of health with a few notes on oil weeping from cam covers and rear brake levels.

Additionally, a prerequisite for a five litre V8 was the inclusion of a third row of seats, which proved invaluable in the V70. I had fond memories myself too of the kiddie seats in a Montego Countryman.

blueb10

139 posts

91 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Hi op;
Very interested to read about your E500 estate, I am presently on the look out for one of these but they really are as rare as can be. Not one for sale anywhere for the last few weeks.

Mr E

19,324 posts

216 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
bolidemichael said:
Why didn't you choose to upgrade from the 211 in your bio to the 212?
Which 211 in my bio?

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Mr E said:
bolidemichael said:
Why didn't you choose to upgrade from the 211 in your bio to the 212?
Which 211 in my bio?
My confusion. I blame my bald patch.

Mr E

19,324 posts

216 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
bolidemichael said:
My confusion. I blame my bald patch.
I sympathise dear chap.

tobinen

6,646 posts

102 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
Excellent value. I look forward to updates

CharlesdeGaulle

13,678 posts

137 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
I really like these - this is a nice purchase and I look forward to more tales.

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
blueb10 said:
Hi op;
Very interested to read about your E500 estate, I am presently on the look out for one of these but they really are as rare as can be. Not one for sale anywhere for the last few weeks.
Do you have a spec list in mind?

bolidemichael

Original Poster:

3,379 posts

158 months

Friday 30th March 2018
quotequote all
tobinen said:
Excellent value. I look forward to updates
I really (with emphasis) like the CL. I loved my 380SEC, the windowless coupe is a beautiful driving experience.