At $7,500, Is This 3-Row 2004 Mercedes E500 A Triple Threat?

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The seller of today’s Nice Price or No Dice E500 claims it to be the “last non-AMG V8 wagon offered by Mercedes” but has still festooned it with AMG badges and wheels. Let’s see if the price has escaped that “AMGification.”

Country Music legend Willie Nelson turned 90 this year. And while most of us would simply be grateful to wake up each morning at such an age, Nelson is amazingly still cranking out music. One of his most enduring hits, Crazy, was written while Nelson was still in his twenties and was working three jobs to support his young family. Crazy was one of a batch of songs that Nelson sold at the time to a Houston record producer, who, in turn, offered it to star-on-the-rise Patsy Cline. It took Cline several weeks to record the song, owing to its unique chord progression and her needing time to recover from injuries suffered in a car accident. Despite those difficult beginnings, it ended up being Cline’s signature song.

The 1974 Plymouth Duster 4X4 we looked at (and were mostly terrified by) last Friday reminds me of Nelson’s gift to Patsy Cline’s career because it’s both old and unabashedly crazy. Based on the comments, many of you agreed. Based on the 92 percent No Dice loss it suffered in our voting, you all thought its $13,500 price to be just as wackadoodle.

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No one ever accuses the Germans of being wacky. Crazy in the pejorative, perhaps, but never nutsy. That’s not to say that the Germans don’t like to cut loose every now and again, and German TV has long been home to numerous shows intended to elicit a chuckle. German cars can also be pretty fun, too, even when the main goal is practicality. Today’s 2004 Mercedes-Benz E500 4Matic wagon is a prime example of such utilitarian fun.

First off, we need to extend kudos to Mercedes for still offering a station wagon model to this very day. That’s a bold statement and a middle finger to the face of our crossover crazy (there’s that word again) world. The mid-size E-Class has been a stalwart of Mercedes’ lineup for decades now, and the earliest editions of the series, the 1970s/80s W123 models, are now reaching uber-collectible status.

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This W211 model, three generations later, has yet to reach that level of appreciation. That’s not to say it might not eventually get there. After all, there’s a lot to like here. First off, this wagon comes with Mercedes’ rockstar M113 V8, here in five-liter displacement, making 302 horsepower and 340 lb-ft of torque. That’s matched to a five-speed electronically-controlled automatic driving all four wheels through the car’s 4Matic AWD system.

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According to the ad, this E500 comes with 175,000 miles on the clock but the seller avers that it drives like a much younger car. That’s partially due to what is touted as proper maintenance and upkeep and part to the heart transplant the car received in 2019. That kicked the car’s original engine to the curb and replaced it with another unit showing only 57K of use. On top of that, the drivetrain has seen more recent maintenance, including belt and pulley replacements, fluid changes as well and a whole new transfer case installed within the last month. Now, the car is touted to need nothing and to run like new.

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Aesthetically, it’s much the same story, although there are some chips and scratches in the bodywork that the seller acknowledges, as well as some badging and lamp tinting shenanigans that might not be everyone’s cup of sauerbraten. There’s also that comically tall roof rack box that appears to have been rattle-canned gold and then festooned with more stickers than a first-grader’s bedroom door. On the plus side, that’s an easy blemish to fix. As another plus, the car comes with both its original wheels and a handsome set of AMG five-spokes. Airmatic suspension ensures that the car can carry a load without complaint or displaying the Carolina Squat.

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The interior looks to be in great shape, too, and features all sorts of comfort and convenience amenities as well as the desirable fold-out kindersitz in the rear.

The seller’s reason for the car appearing on Craigslist is redundancy. They say the Benz was originally intended as a Vay-Cay car, flatbedded behind a motorhome, and to be used when at campgrounds. That whole scenario was found to be too unwieldy (and likely excessively bougie), so the current owner ditched the car/trailer set up for a tow-behind Jeep.

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Now, this clean-title Benz is up for grabs with an asking price of $7,500. What’s your take on that price for this all-season wagon? Does that seem like a deal for a car that can do so much? Or is that price also much too much?

You decide!

Fort Myers, Florida, Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to ReluctantFloridaMan for the hookup!

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