The Mercedes-Benz 300CE: Collectible car of the future
Part of the first generation of the Benz family to be designated as E-Class, the 124 series coupes were produced with exceptional quality and in low numbers, making them the ideal collectible classics of the future. We recently had one of these 124 series coupes come into stock – a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE to be exact.
What makes the 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE so desirable in the car world? Get a snapshot of the history of the 124 coupe, find out what makes the 300CE one collectible car of the future, and check out our own refurbished 300CE.
The Mercedes-Benz 300CE in a snapshot
Modelled after the flagship SEC, the 300CE debuted at the 1987 Geneva Motor Show. For many, this coupe variant of the 124 series was particularly significant given its sleek sports styling and smooth inline six engine.
The more desirable version of the 300CE is the facelift model released in 1990. This version added a new twin-cam multi-valve engine that boosted power from 135kW to 167kW. In old language, that’s an increase from approximately 180 horsepower to 224 horsepower.
The original brochures contained the following description of the Mercedes-Benz 300CE:
“The new coupés of the mid-sized Mercedes class a harmonious blend of exclusive form and powerful performance, ground-breaking technology, high safety and economy. The flair of the exceptional with the relaxing comfort of a vehicle that one drives every day and also uses on long journeys. The external lines: sporty elegance – distinct styling, perfectly designed in every detail.”
Mercedes-Benz vehicles are well-known for their brilliant engineering, fluid driving, and stylish elegance. Many argue that the 124 series represents the last of the old-guard Benzes – when Benz masterpieces were designed by engineers with a no-holds barred approach and a “cost-is-no-object” attitude.
Whilst the 124 series was produced up until 1996, the coupes of the series were designed to be exclusive – with a price tag to match. Of the almost 2.6 million 124 series vehicles produced, just 141,498 were coupes – and only 43,486 were 300CE vehicles. In other words, the 300CE represents less than 2% of all 124 series vehicles produced. This comparatively low production volume means that the 300CE will become increasingly collectible over time.
Did you know? Ssangyong Motor Company licensed the W124 (or saloon car) design and they produce a stretched and remodelled Ssangyong-badged version of the W124, called the Chairman.
Refurbishing our 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE
As mentioned, the more desirable 300CE is the facelift version released in 1990, due to the updated more powerful engine. We recently had a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE come into stock from sunny Queensland.
We refurbished the paintwork to match the original blue. We also refurbished the wheels and sent them out for a custom stretched tyre fitment. The 300CE was tastefully lowered and the guards slightly rolled – enough to give it stance but not to hinder progress over speed bumps. There were new front leather seats and armrests as well as custom side trim inserts installed. Finally, there were various mechanical works completed, including installation of a new sump gasket.
A brand new 300CE was not a car for the masses. It would have set you back almost $130,000.
Nowadays, Cars Guide puts a value on a 1990 Mercedes-Benz 300CE of between $14,850 and $19,580.
A pre-facelift 300CE is slightly less, with a value of between $11,770 and $15,730.
The moral of the story? If you can snag a facelift 300CE in relatively good condition with low kilometres, hang on to it because it will only increase in value over time.