1991 MERCEDES 300E-24V (7)

Parking a new C200 saloon in the Garage alongside our W124 has proven rather revealing.

The C200, priced from $73,900, sits on standard 18-inch alloys, illuminates the road with LED headlights and features an all-digital instrument panel with a 10.25in screen for the media display. Niceties include a Nappa leather steering wheel that puts cruise-control at your fingertips and has thumb pads for the control of various screen functions. Ambient interior lighting gives you 64 colours to choose from. There’s the security of nine airbags and endless active safety features.

In its day, the 300E-24v Sportline was exactly double the price of the C200, which makes it incredibly expensive in today’s terms. The top-spec W124 welcomes you with genuine perforated leather, rich wood veneers and thick carpets, while the C-Class presents a very different world of piano black lacquer, aluminium trim and buttons, and Artico (artificial leather) upholstery.

Real leather makes the older car smell especially inviting. That scent defines an analogue environment of terrific substance. And then there are the Sportline extras (inside and out) that set our 300E apart from regular W124s in the days before the AMG tie-up.

If you dress the C200 with an AMG Line Sports kit, you simply get a diamond-look grille and bigger AMG alloys. In other words, a tasting plate compared with the full-fat AMG models further up the C-Class pecking order.

Return serve by rating our fleet: keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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MERCEDES-BENZ 300E-24v

VARIANT W124 Sportline saloon

COLOUR Smoke Silver

UPHOLSTERY Bone leather

ENGINE 2,960cc straight-six

POWER 172kW (231bhp)

TORQUE 265Nm @ 4600rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed auto, RWD

0-100km/h 7.8 secs

WHEELS 17-inch alloy

LENGTH 4.8m

WEIGHT 1480kg

EMAIL keepers@kiwigarage.co.nz

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