Resource: Mercedes Benz Club of America
According to the Mercedes Benz Club of America, the following cars are some of the most desirable gray market Mercedes.
- R107 Roadsters
- 280SL/SLC: The combination of a 6-cylinder engine and a manual transmission makes this R107 variant more fun than any U.S.-market 107 ever was. Even automatic variants are fun to drive.
- 350SL/SLC: The V-8 350SL could be had with a 4-speed manual.
380SL/SLC: European variants of all 380s had 205 horsepower instead of 155.
- 500SL: This was the fastest W107 produced, with options such as headers or limited-slip differential.
- W123 Sedans and Wagons
- 300D: While these were naturally aspirated, manual transmissions were available.
- 300TD: European wagons were available in turbo and naturally aspirated form. Turbo models had several great options, like 15-inch wheels and trailer hitches. Naturally aspirated vehicles were available with both 4- and 5-speed gearboxes.
- W126 Sedans
- 280E/280CE/280TE/280SE/280SEL: The M110 engine, with 185 horsepower, is fantastic with any transmission choice, manual or automatic.
- 500SE/SEL/SEC: The 5-liter variants were gifted with 235 horsepower. The 500SEL was available with hydraulic suspension. AMG variants are even more fun.
- 560SEL/SEC: The European 560SEL/SEC is even more powerful than the 500. The AMG version, with four valve heads, is the fastest version of the 126 series car.
- W460 Geländewagen
- 240GD/280GE/300GD: The W460 was built with 2.3- and 2.8-liter gasoline engines, and 2.4 and 3.0 diesels. These rugged 4x4s are well known in Europe. All were available with automatic or manual transmissions.
- W201 Sedans
- 190E: The European 2.3-liter, 16-valve produced 185 horsepower and had a better climate-control system.
190D: The most frugal of diesels, a 5-speed 190D 2.0-liter will net 40 mpg.
- W116 Sedans
- 280SE/350SE/450SEL/450SEL 6.9: All European 116 variants were blessed with extra power and did not use the troublesome automatic climate-control system unless optionally equipped.