Because they will the second you say you are afraid they will...
Dad was following me in the TrailBlazer back from school. Traffic suddenly stopped, as did I. He could not and pushed me right up underneath the back end of a Jeep Wrangler.
I still shop for the car I already own, lots of people do. Because owning two has to be better than one right? RIGHT!?!?! I’m not serious, before you think that I’ve taken complete leave of my senses. But I’m still not sure how I feel about this. I mean, I think I have it set to a 1000 mile radius of North Carolina and there is one 2004-2006 Mercedes-Benz S600. One. I realize it’s just Cars.com and there are like 3 within 750 miles on Autotrader, but it makes me think. What if, god forbid, something happened to the car? I love the W220 S600. I love my W220 S600. If the car was irreparably totaled (and I mean frame damaged, car crushed under a dump trunk kind of totaled) I would want another one, no questions asked. But if I learned anything from the market value driven payout we had to fight with our insurance company over when they totaled out our old Vanden Plas, they won’t be able to construct an adequate evaluation because there is so little data. They’re going to have as valid a place to argue from as I do. It’s a scary thought. The scarier thought though however is that even if I did get the insurance company to cough up $12-15,000 based on rarity alone, where the hell would I get one? I had to import mine from Dallas, Texas. Of the four on the normal sites, none have my Distronic or my 4 person seating (an exceedingly rare option), half of them have keyless-go.
Where did they all go? I mean, I will never regret buying mine when I did ever again. There were at least 10 on the market on the east coast when I was shopping two years ago, now less than 5 across multiple sites. Have they really all been totaled by insurance companies? Driven into the ground by careless owners who just mothballed them in the garage on burned out ABC pumps and blown turbo seals? I’d hate to think somebody was deterred to that level by coil pack failures. We all joke around here about Tavarish and his advice best taken with a grain of salt, but when you get down to it we can only take that joke so far. Who cares about some languishing E66 745 billowing blue smoke or another W220 S430 bottoming out on collapsed air suspension? They already aren’t sold in great numbers, but what about the 760s and the S600s? They are produced in even fewer numbers and I will always argue that that makes them something special. And that their purchase prices are not actually indicative of their true value. That’s always the perceptual issue for people. They’re cheap because the majority drivers of the values in the used car market, Camry People, want nothing to do with them because they’re old, German and, if they really hate cars, ostentatious and excessive. I have never looked at my repair costs compared to my purchase price as any more than a self deprecating joke. In my mind an S600 never ceases to be a $135,000 car. I’m just lucky I got in for so little. Beyond that, it’s just keeping it going because I won’t let it be another garage case, stored under a tarp sharing a garage with a Honda Pilot while the Avalon that replaced it snickers in the driveway knowing that by the time the owner gets around to “getting the old V12 running again” the sitting for years will have already taken its toll, the car now requiring far more than the crumpled 3 year old estimate thrown on the passenger seat would suggest. It is terrifically sad. I have only ever seen one other S600 out and about on the road. I’ve only ever been in the presence of 3: mine, the one at Wells Fargo about a month ago, and the jade green example I test drove in Charlotte when I was initially shopping.
At least it just confirms what I already know, my car is truly special and unique, and I am unique for wanting to keep her around. Even though my inspection is expired as of today, and I’m going to have to bring her in to the mechanic to fail a new one because my EVAP solenoid is throwing a code and so is my secondary air injection pump and I’m probably going to have to pay $200 for a North Carolina inspection wavier after a partial repair for this year unless it comes out to less than $1,000 which is always unlikely. I can never hold it against the S600. She is a victim of Daimler-Chrysler but at least she wound up in the hands of someone happy to put up with it all.