During my junkyard travels, I see plenty of high–zoot European luxury sedans, as once the owner of one of these complex masterpieces of technology stops getting every problem fixed, they depreciate down to hooptie-Sentra price levels in a hurry.
Today’s Junkyard Find is a fairly clean 21st-century C-Class with some rough edges, discarded because it’s not worth spending $2,500 for some minor mechanical repair on a car that’s worth $1,800.
These “Kompressor” supercharged engines aren’t all that easy to find in wrecking yards, so I didn’t include this blower type in my guide to junkyard superchargers last year. If you want a cheap blower that’s easy to replace when it ingests a peck of road gravel, the GM 3800’s Eaton, the Mazda Millenia’s IHI-built Lysholm, and the Toyota Previa’s Aisin units are much easier to obtain. This engine was rated at 185 horsepower, which was decent for a 3,250-pound car in 2000 (the current C-Class weighs 500-1,000 pounds more).
This car was such a recent yard arrival that it hadn’t been put up on stands yet, which is why this nice interior is still there. Mercedes-Benz seats like this get grabbed right away.
These hood ornaments get pocketed within days of arriving in a wrecking yard, too. There’s probably some guy in Denver with 500 of these in his garage.
The paint is good, indicating that the car spent most of its life garaged, but tape residue indicates that its final owner performed some Field Expedient Repairs on a single-digit-dollars sort of a budget. You can get away with that sort of thing on, say, a Chevy Malibu, but not on a modern Mercedes-Benz.
This car listed new at $31,750, or about $47,400 in 2018 dollars; it was the final year of the W202 C-Class, so perhaps prices dropped as buyers awaited the ’01 W203. A new Daewoo Leganza was just $14,399 that yearâ€¦ and is worth about the same as a 2000 C-Class today.
Let’s imagine this car in happier times, with Mika HÃ¤kkingen at the wheel.
The W202 wasn’t designed to compete with other cars. It was designed to replace them.
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