Roshake 77 found and posted a car that has never had its 15 minutes of CC fame. I’ve shot one some years back, but it jest ended up as a single shot in my rather emotive W124 CC, where I called it “The Best Car Of The Past Thirty Five Years”. Make that closing in on forty years.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, I could never muster quite as much enthusiasm for the coupe—which arrived three years later—than for the original sedan. Why would that be?
I should clarify that: I was impressed when it first came out. It was slick and finely chiseled. But that initial enthusiasm started to weaken with time. It was a bit too anodyne, and the roof line could have used a bit more verve, or something. It just lacked the visual pizazz one might expect, given its lofty price. I thought the new Honda Accord coupe was just as well designed, if not better.
Given its shorter wheelbase, is rear seat legroom, already none to generous in the sedan, undoubtedly is not very family-friendly, never mind the ingress and .egress
That’s not to say I wouldn’t have happily taken one.
CC Mercedes W124: The Best Car Of The Past Thirty Five Years
This came out a few years earlier. The Mercedes is attractive, but to my eyes, this is just better.
I’m sure it’s partly the angle of the picture in the article but at first glance I saw an early 90’s Thunderbird in the profile.
Yes, the MN12 Tbird definitely has some similarity in profile. I imagine it’s somewhat due to a convergence of aerodynamics.
Lots of people think the MN12 T-bird looks a lot like the BMW 635, however bringing that full circle doesn’t work, as nobody has ever thought the 635 looks like an E-Class Coupe – although it’s far more of an actual competitor in the marketplace.
I was flipping through the cohort the other day and I also thought this was an MN12 T-bird at first glance.
I would like to post a picture of frank Sinatra’s El Camino that is for sale on collector car trader, is this possible?
I’ve owned nine Mercedes-Benz over the last 25 years (1 C-Class, 3 E-Class, 2 S-Class, 1 ML, and two GLKs). Of all my favorite was the 1995 E320 Coupe. Yes my W124 sedan had a stiffer body – you could tell that when you really drove either car hard – and the big sedans had much more room and a smoother ride but, like LBJ in his Lincoln Continentals, I just felt “smart” in my coupe.
While the exterior styling of the coupe did not evoke too much emotion in me either, I liked putting all the windows down and opening the sunroof on crisp autumn days. It was the closest thing to a convertible without the hassles of a convertible. I did like the interior especially the dashboard with everything important right in front of the driver, knobs and switches on the center stack, and no stupid, tacked-on looking touch screen poking up from the dashboard. Who came up with that anyway? It looks cheap on any car but especially one that is priced in the $60,000 range. At least the current E-Class has eschewed (another 50-cent word like “anodyne”) such things.
There is definitely a parking space for this in my enormous fantasy garage.
While I see similarities with the first Accord coupe and the (MN12) T-Bird, it is unmistakingly Mercedes to me. It just owns the look. A look I very much miss on modern roads.
I think the designers wanted to shrink-wrap the C126 into smaller C124 chassis and profile. Then, C124 was stretched and bloated up to fit into larger C140 chassis. Neither looks remarkable with seemingly high roofline.
I think you’ve nailed it – the roofline looks too high.
I have ownership experience now with both the 124 coupe and sedan. Either is superior to anything else when the cars were new (’88 coupe, ’92 sedan and both powered by M103).
For some reason I can’t quite pin down I prefer driving the sedan though it’s look is quite bland. The coupe, with the windows down, looks beautiful parked in the driveway.
Maybe I just have an anodyne personality, but I still like the 300CE – my favorite of all the W124 derivations. Then again, we have an MN-12 Thunderbird – and as the folks above mentioned, they do look somewhat similar.
I found this 1989 300CE a while back, and I remember thinking after finding it that the design is so well-done that it even looks good in bland colors:
Eric – the credit for the design belongs to Bruno Sacco. The 124, 126, 129 and 201 were all Bruno Sacco. From my years of admiring Mercedes and owning some, these were the best. The C124 is the right size (narrow and almost exactly the same size as a ’65 Mustang coupe – but a bit taller). That Mustang has the right visual proportions (despite any bland color) to please all of us; the C124 does too. It looks right.
Maybe I am getting old, the look of Mercedes W124 is just timeless classic and matches its mechanical advancements even by today standard. The coupe is very nice design with no center pilar which offers good visibility for driver and passenger. Such large roof without pilar is not easy to achieve. That design look went into the W140 coupe. It is my understanding today Mercedes is only car maker producing coupe with no center pilar .
The core of the German design is creating something pleasantly “anodyne”. They find the “body beauty pattern” of a product searching for the right proportion of its parts and Mercedes did that superbly until the 90’s.
Agree entirely on this.
The sedan looked, and looks, its own thing – efficient, shaved into shape, a tiny bit cold, but handsome and timeless. The coupe comes across more as a 2-door sedan of the same: perhaps removal of the B-pillar loses a bunch of the Mt Rushmore solidity that the sedan exudes.
The convertible, though, fixes all this, especially with hood up. Suddenly, there is that very cool glamour of old Benz, to me the very last inheritor of such following the W111 convertible.
With just one caveat on any W124: never a four cylinder, as they are all gutless and uncouth jackhammers, and would make even the drop-top a buzzy and dreary machine.
Like the saloon it´s based on, this is one the best cars ever made. There are faster, bigger, sleaker, more economical, better handling cars but few cars reach the balance of compromise this car does. And it looks fabulous.