Junkyard Gem: 1998 Mercedes-Benz S500 Sedan

Two-and-a-half tons of Teutonic luxury in a desert junkyard.

  • Image Credit: Murilee Martin
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class name has been with us since the early 1970s, and the W140 version was the first to be switched to the model-naming system those fun-loving Stuttgarters use on S-Classes to this day. Here we have a second-from-top-of-the-line S-Class from the final model year of the W140, photographed in a self-service wrecking yard in Phoenix, Arizona.

This one is in very nice condition. No rust whatsoever, as you'd expect in Arizona, and the interior looks like a simple cleaning would have it looking decent. Some intimidatingly expensive repair was the likely culprit in sending this car to its doom; it's not cheap keeping a 20-year-old German luxury car on the road.

Power came from a 315-horse 5.0-liter V8 engine, equipped with all the latest high-tech goodies that 1998 had to offer.

White paint makes a lot of sense in a place where summertime temperatures reach 120°F, although the S500's massive-overkill HVAC system had no problem keeping pace with any ambient conditions it might have encountered.

The V12-powered S600 sedan started at $132,250 in 1998, making the $87,500 price tag on the S500 sedan look pretty reasonable. If you convert to inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars, today's Junkyard Gem went for north of $134,000... before options.

There isn't much chance that anyone ever hurled this W140 around the way the one in this German-market television advertisement was abused.

Related Video:

Mercedes-Benz S-Class Information

Mercedes-Benz S-Class

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