Cheap at Mercedes-Benz W140 £6k... but no diplomatic immunity from costs

Cheap at Mercedes-Benz W140 £6k... but no diplomatic immunity from costs

I have happy recollections of smoking a Mercedes-Benz W140 S500 for two years and loving every mile. They’ve never captured the hearts of enthusiasts like the S-Class models that preceded them, but the slab-sided W140 was a M-B build-quality high point with literally a billion spent on development. Which is why Brightwells’ silver ’98 S500 with 56,000 miles, history, and ex-diplomat ownership for £6160 seemed eminently reasonable. Like the E34 above, W140s were bought to be worked hard so sensible mileage examples are a very rare sight now. And this one had 12 stamps in the service history, MoT until March next year, recent bills for new front springs, dampers, and a throttle sensor along with a strong spec of grey leather, heated/massaging seats, sunroof, and remote boot opening. There was a time when something as impressive and wellkept would have commanded a greater perceived value than six-and-a-bit grand, but repair, maintenance, VED and fuel costs have all conspired to dampen this limo’s allure.


Back in September, Brightwells sold another W140 S500, a ’96 with 87,000 miles for £5040, and in February last year Historics dispatched a ’96 500 LWB with 75,000 for £6792, so perhaps this one was the right money after all. But I can’t help thinking what sterling value this represents as a head turning, rare, and completely glorious limousine. And there’s the rub – do you let emotion run ahead of practicalities like accurate market value, or simply resign yourself to losing a couple of grand just for sheer joy of ownership? I have to say that I’m firmly in the joy division.


  • VALUE 2020 £7500
  • VALUE NOW £6000
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