Ben Custard profile picture Ben Custard 3 months ago
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This Mercedes 400E 4.2 AMG Is A Surprisingly Rare JDM Beast

An AMG-tuned Merc W124 is up for auction, and it’s hiding a special secret

Remind me later
Mercedes Benz - This Mercedes 400E 4.2 AMG Is A Surprisingly Rare JDM Beast - News

Mercedes was on form in the early 1990s, and its W124 is probably among the most iconic models it’s ever produced - not to mention the one most likely to survive nuclear armageddon. To non-nerds this example will look like any other Merc of that era, but let’s dive a little deeper to see why it’s more exciting than most.

It’s an AMG-tuned Merc for one thing, before the days that AMG was part of Mercedes. So technically all the modifications fitted to this car are aftermarket, including the tuned 4.2-litre V8 engine. While not as powerful as modern AMG sledgehammers, the 400 E is still quick by today’s standards, and this one has the Stage III performance kit.

Mercedes Benz - This Mercedes 400E 4.2 AMG Is A Surprisingly Rare JDM Beast - News

Above it was the even more powerful 500 E, but both cars share the same Porsche-developed chassis. While the 500 E needed to be built on Porsche’s production line as its wheel arches were too wide for Mercedes’ Sindelfingen plant, the 400 E was much more subtle and could be built on the same line as more humble W124s.

This example, currently part of an RM Sotheby’s auction, was a Japanese market car before being exported to the United States in October 2019. That it’s a JDM AMG Mercedes is even more interesting, as it’s thought that fewer than 20 cars with the 4.2 V8 were sold in Japan. As such, it’s one of the rarest cars AMG has ever made.

Mercedes Benz - This Mercedes 400E 4.2 AMG Is A Surprisingly Rare JDM Beast - News

The Japanese spec includes the body kit and fender flares you see on this car, plus the BBS Aero II RT wheels and an upgraded muffler. A previous owner has added a suede headliner, a McIntosh audio system and the tacked-on JBL tweeters. It has 77,246km on the clock, which is a couple of miles shy of 48,000.

Adding to this car’s interesting history, it seems that it has already been sold once in 2021. A black 400 E 4.2 Stage III was listed on Cars & Bids in January, and it looks exactly the same. Given the audio modifications are identical and that the mileage of the two cars is very similar, we’d expect it is the same car that’s come up for sale again.

Mercedes Benz - This Mercedes 400E 4.2 AMG Is A Surprisingly Rare JDM Beast - News

At the start of the year it sold for $36,750 (around £26,500), and the asking price is now $36,000 - although it could sell for much more given that the auction estimate is around double that amount.

Take a look through the photos, and tell us what you think of this AMG-tuned W124.