When I was younger, I remember thinking the W210-series Mercedes was a distinctly unattractive car. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m now in my mid-30s, or maybe they have just aged well, but as of late I find myself looking at them and entertaining thoughts of what it might be like to have one parked in the drive.

The problem, of course, is that it seems near impossible to find one on a bangernomics budget that has not rotted to pieces. For whatever reason, Mercedes’ of the 1990s and early-2000s, while having largely reliable running gear – there are lots of examples with well over 200,000 miles – seem prone to rust to death. You can search eBay for months on end and find nothing but examples that look something like this.

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So I was surprised this week to see two E280s come up for sale, both in remarkably clean condition. The first was listed on eBay (though is no longer available), and the second on AutoTrader (with remarkably low mileage).

An E280 would be my second choice (I think you’d sacrifice little economy for the improved performance of the E320, and though I’d love an E430, I need to feed my children), but given the infrequency with which clean W210s come up, I’d probably jump at either of these if I was looking to buy.

If nothing else, this is proof that if you really want a W210, and you exercise considerable patience, a nice example will still turn up.

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