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Understated 90's Performance: 1992 400E

Time and time again the 400E is compared to the 500E and always seems to come up short. We need to preface this piece by saying this is not a debate on collectability, rarity, or performance, but rather an honest opinion of an M119 V8-powered E Class that’s sure to deliver ample enjoyment to any driver looking for a daily driver with some attitude. Recently listed on eBay, this 1992 400E is up for auction (with a reserve). It shows 158k miles on the odometer and is accompanied by a clean Carfax showing four previous owners.

According to the seller, this 400E was sold new in Delaware but spent most of its life in Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri- none of which make the list of “states not to buy cars from”. The car came to Ohio in 2017 and the seller has owned for the car for a year, give or take. It’s not been driven in the snow or salt and appears to present nicely for the mileage. Per usual with most Brilliant Silver (744) cars showing any kind of decent mileage from this era, there is some wear to the clear coat in a couple areas. Light wear can be seen on the driver’s side A-pillar and along the bottom of the driver’s window sill. In addition the roof and passenger side rear quarter panel seem to suffer from light clear coat failure as well.

The Orion Grey (268) interior looks great on this example and manages to capture that clinically-German appeal these 90’s Mercedes were so eager to portray. The cabin doesn’t seem to suffer from and fading, stains, or heavy wear and seems to have weathered the last few decades quite nicely. The wood even seems to be relatively intact, save for a few cracks and that’s easily overlooked when you notice the original floor mats and how nicely they’ve been kept. All accessories are reportedly functioning as they should including all of the power windows, the sunroof, power seats, and air conditioning. The seller does note that a previous owner removed the resonator and although the car produces a pleasant V8 rumble, the cabin doesn’t suffer from any droning at speed.

The car comes with decent records and a solid maintenance history including both upper and lower engine wiring harnesses, a new serpentine belt, and new shift bushings. Like we said, this isn’t about finding a better car in a 500E and it’s not about touting market values, it’s about a good, honest 400E that’s bound to make a great driver for the right buyer. These cars were built like Panzers and are bound to outlast most of us with routine maintenance and care.

 


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