Mercedes-Benz started using the C-Class designation for the W202, which debuted in 1993 as the successor to the strong-selling W201. For the new century (which officially began in 2001), the second generation of the entry-level Mercedes-Benz, the W203, began to hit showrooms. Today’s Junkyard Gem is one of the later W203 C-Classes, found in a Colorado Springs boneyard a few months back.
For the 2006 model year, the American C-Class lineup got drastically simplified, with the coupe and wagon versions getting the axe. The cheapest ’06 C-Class was the $29,200 C230 Sport Sedan, with the hot-rod $54,450 C55 AMG at the top of the pyramid (those prices would be about $44,671 and $84,299, respectively, in 2023 dollars).
The C280 Luxury Sedan was the next step up from the C230, with a price tag starting at $32,950 (about $50,408 after inflation) for the rear-wheel-drive version. That made it just a few hundred bucks more expensive than the Lexus ES 330.
The C-Class got members of a new family of V6 engines under the hood for 2006. This 3.0-liter was rated at 228 horsepower and 221 pound-feet.
If you wanted a manual transmission in the U.S.-market 2006 C280, you were out of luck. A seven-speed automatic was mandatory equipment (the C230 could be purchased with a six-speed manual that year, though I’ve never seen one).
This one has a pretty decent-looking interior. You’ll find one in every car. You’ll see.
It appears that a fender-bender that wasn’t hard enough to deploy the airbags may have sent this car to its final parking space, though we can’t tell what expensive mechanical maladies it may have been suffering by that time. You can’t skimp on maintenance if you want to keep a European luxury machine on the road.
One Benz gets crushed, another is born. Drive safely!