When this 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 was brand new, it was true to form $40-ish thousand luxury sports coupe that hedge fund investors and .com beneficiaries something pretty gosh darn fantastic to commute to their company-owned Lower Manhattan parking garage.
Many, many years and moons have come and gone since 1998. Five U.S. presidents, a handful of British Prime Ministers, and a couple of unwinnable wars of attrition in the Middle East later, this very same CLK 320 will cost you a cool $995 out the door via Deals on Wheels Auto Sales of Jacksonville, Florida.
With 155,325 miles (249,971.35 km) on the odometer, this Merc’s about three-quarters of the way from the Earth to the surface of the moon in terms of mileage. From the state of the interior, these were hard-driven miles indeed.
German black leather in this interior and hand-polished wood were once the talks of the town in luxury car enthusiast circles back in the day. By 2022, it appears that the foam underneath would very much like to escape and return back to the Earth from which it came.
Under the hood of this clapped-out Merc was a 218 PS (160 kW; 215 bhp) 3.2-liter V6 engine with advanced variable valve timing, electronic fuel injection, and all the overly engineered nonsense that even today, no Merc feels complete without.
That being said, the experience of taking a car like this to a mechanic for repairs must feel a bit like being hit on the hand by a ball-peen hammer a couple of times. If you enjoy the sensation surging through your body after this happens, perhaps this little Merc is the perfect project car for you.
In all seriousness, a German luxury coupe like this is only worth it for skilled European performance car specialists who have the patients and the wherewithal to legitimately perform a repair correctly.
Paying someone your own money to do this on a car like this is only bound to tactically assault your bank account in the same manner as an A-10 Warthog sending high explosive shells through an unarmored VW Beetle. You’ve been warned.