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Interestingly, I think the leather was better quality in the early 140's. First thing on my list of upgrades on my 99 CL500 (after junking the plastic center console) will be to redo the leather seats, with something decent from Jaguar... AGH - did he say that? Well, yes I did.

Here's why. I did some extensive research on the leather as it sucks. It is not all leather, it has a plastic coating on it to make it last longer (so they say) or easier to clean. Some peasant reason. Anyway I dont want no petrochemical horse's ass on my cow's ass. All asses... sory, I digress :D

It's a bit similar to the W126 - 86 - 88 - the best seats, after 88 I think they had the darn stupid coating on them too.:surrender:

So Stryke fill us in - I bet the 95 & 92 have better (less shiny) leatherthan the 99 - which smells more like leather up close?
I agree with the pre facelift leather. The seats pre facelift just had more cushion(like a leather seat should!) The leather was soft and supple to the touch, and smelled like a leather should.

The post facelift "leather" is just pathetic. There's hardly any padding so the seats are flat and have no cushion to them, the leather looks and feels like crap, something you would expect from a entry level bmw, not a 90k car.

Speaking from my experience with my S500 here. I was thinking of getting rid of my post facelift seats like you rich and converting to the much superior pre facelift seats, but I just ended up restoring the ones I have. Too late now :(

I can't speak much about the post facelift V12 leather but from the few times I did drive one, they're good quality unlike their lower model post facelift siblings.

The final model years even had Nappa if I remember correctly :)
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Discussion Starter #62
The two-tone leather in my 1999 IS a nappa leather, that MB lists as an 'Exclusiv', an option order item. It is thin, very soft, and surprisingly resilient, with only minor repairs needed to mine.
 

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too funny huh, we go for the later models to get the air bags and to avoid the wiring harness issues and I think 1 or 2 other things are better sorted too - and then we seek out earlier models' interior parts... like the center console, door panels
Yep. First time I sat inside a pre facelift 140, the feeling was indescribable. The vinyl dash and vinyl door panels just felt better(soft, almost like leather) and smelled better and looked better than its post facelift counterparts. The vinyl in the later years was some cheap sh*t that looked like it came from a Camry or Accord.

I remember a veteran member who used to post here (dantefr) had a '93 500SEL and later on bought a '99 Grand Edition thinking it was an "upgrade" to his older 140. It didnt take long and the Grand Edition was up for sale again. Nuff said :eek:

I told z168 before, that I always referred to the pre facelifts as more close resemblance to the W126 as far as the "solid" old school look and feel aswell as the ergonomics. Just looking at the interior with its analog odo, the shift knob, door panels, dash, seats, etc and you can see the influences from its predecessor.

The post facelifts were more akin to a W220. There was an obvious shift in the build quality(though not to the extremities of the W220 mind you), more plastic(cheaper plastic for that matter), cheaper bits and bobs, and the emphasis on more electronics like BAS, ESP, engine management systems, transmission, rain sensing wipers, parktronic, digital odo, digital climate control system, etc.

I think the conclusion we can draw from here is that, if you want the best of both worlds, you'll just have to buy a pre and post facelift LOL :D
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Discussion Starter #64
Here's my conclusion:

The mid-production leather is the best. My 1995 Coupe has this pebbly texture, thicker leather that is nice to touch, nice to sit on.

The 1992, has the same thick leather, but without the pebbly texture which is actually nice. Instead, it's smooth. Like a sofa.

The 1999 has a thin nappa leather that is surprisingly resilient but feels 'cheaper' than the 1995.

But truth be told, they're all terrific. Just a matter of taste which works for whom.

BTW, I may be prejudiced by my first S600, also a 1995 with the same leather as my coupe, but that got traded in on the 'next new thing', the 220-body. What a mistake!
 

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You're not the only one that thinks MY 1995 S600 is the "best". Just ask bayhas or z168 or me ;)

Especially the ones with a build date of '94, which are essentially pre facelift leftovers(better build quality as a result), whilst receiving the post facelift goodies like full leather interior, wooden steering wheel, v12 insignia on the shift knob(though some '95 models still have the '94 shift knob), new audio system, and so forth.

I'm still hoping to find a Black/Black '95 S600 with four place seating someday. We'll see :)

Not to derail the topic, but have you ever owned or been an enthusiast of a W126, Mr. Stryker? I've seen you mention Maybachs and W140's and W220's countless times but I've never heard your opinion about the W126 :dunno:
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Discussion Starter #66
I was a BMW enthusiast before my first MB.

It was only because I couldn't get parts for my beloved 733i, the first one imported into the US, that I became a buyer of my first MB, my 1995 S600 Sedan, purchased new. About 6-years later, the MB salesman servicing my account told me about the 'new and improved' S-class, the 220-body, and how I could get a special AMG version, the S55. Woo-hoo!

This is a classic case of not knowing what I had.

I traded in my S600 on the S55, and was disappointed from the moment I bumped my head entering the S55 for the first time. It went downhill from there. I wound up nearly suing the dealership to give me my money back after about a year, not to return to the MB brand for a few years.

A few years after finally being rid of the nuisance 220, I heard about an available S600 that a friend of a friend was parting with. I bought it (my 1999) and immediately was reminded of what I was missing since getting rid of the 1995. I was so pleased to get back to the S600, I immediately found a coupe to go with it! And that led to more and...here we are.

I never looked at MB's prior to 1995, thinking they were 'old man cars'. BMW were the cooler cars to own! At least for me. My 7 was black with bright red leather, with a stick shift!! Typically Teutonic and way cool!

Would you believe, while I had the first S600, I didn't even know what body designation it was? I wasn't an enthusiast, only a consumer. Now, I guess I'm an enthusiast. And a big booster for the w140 and M120 motor.

All because I just didn't know what I had when I first sat in my first MB.
 

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That explains it then. Did you ever find out what happened to your ex-1995 S600? Like, have you ever ran a carfax and see if its still alive somewhere lol :D
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Actually, I DID! It was totalled 6-months after I traded it in.

RIP.

Great car, that was.
 

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Ouch :( that sucks...

Seeing as you were quite the bimmer enthusiast prior to the 140, what was the reasoning behind picking the W140 over the E38, which came out around the same time?

(Sorry if I sound like I'm conducting an interview. You're always not one to shy about speaking about stuff so I might as well ask now :thumbsup: )
 

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You're not the only one that thinks MY 1995 S600 is the "best". Just ask bayhas or z168 or me ;)

Especially the ones with a build date of '94, which are essentially pre facelift leftovers(better build quality as a result), whilst receiving the post facelift goodies like full leather interior, wooden steering wheel, v12 insignia on the shift knob(though some '95 models still have the '94 shift knob), new audio system, and so forth.

I'm still hoping to find a Black/Black '95 S600 with four place seating someday. We'll see :)

Not to derail the topic, but have you ever owned or been an enthusiast of a W126, Mr. Stryker? I've seen you mention Maybachs and W140's and W220's countless times but I've never heard your opinion about the W126 :dunno:

And MY 96' 600 Coupe! the Best.
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Discussion Starter #72
I surely don't mind your questions.

I keep my cars, usually for a long time. Therefore, I don't lease my cars, I keep them up, to 'as new' conditions. I was disappointed with BMW and their policy of phasing out parts after as little as 15-years. That meant I couldn't keep my BMW 'forever'. Someone told me MB had a different policy, and I learned that MB has resources to keep their cars, literally forever.

I learned that MB has or will make available virtually every part to every car they ever made. That fits my style better than BMW's policy, which has become a mass marketer suited to 'churning' their clientele with newer products.

All car makers stress market to leaseholds. Only MB is proud of their heritage of car manufacturing and supports it to a very high degree.
 

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And MY 96' 600 Coupe! the Best.
Not to sound like a a jerk, but 1996 is the worst year during the 140 production :eek:

Missing features from the 1995 MY and lacking the major upgrades of the 1997 MY, its a bastard child from the mistress I'm afraid :cool:

I guess theres some consolation in that it still has a proper V12 though. Just imagine the suckers who bought the 2000-2002 S/CL600 LOL :yelrotflmao:
 

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yup down with them suckers!! - however.... :- I drove a 2002 CL600 recently. And I have to say it was HUGELY impressive, like a silent (very quick) jet, but somehow not enough intimacy. Not enough feel.... I acknowledge it is weird I'm saying that given the 140 prides itself on silence et al....

Does that make any sense?

Can anyone else knowledgably comment on their experiential differences in V12 coupes between 140 and 215,
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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Discussion Starter #75
Thanks, Haku!

Fu3lFr3nzy: I have a business associate who owns a 2001 CL600. It's immovable. Nobody wants to work on it. He's going to put in on his front lawn, fill it with topsoil through the sunroof and plant tomatoes in the spring.
 

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Thanks, Haku!

Fu3lFr3nzy: I have a business associate who owns a 2001 CL600. It's immovable. Nobody wants to work on it. He's going to put in on his front lawn, fill it with topsoil through the sunroof and plant tomatoes in the spring.
What the hell is wrong with the thing?

If it becomes a planter, you must take pictures for us!
 

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What the hell is wrong with the thing?

If it becomes a planter, you must take pictures for us!
you dont want to know. likely needs a new engine.

best case a few thousands in modules and will fail again in the matter of months

theres a few lawsuits about it actually. im sure olivier will come in and tell us how there is nothing catastrophically wrong with them tho

it is a much more impressive powerplant than what we have in the 140s but a rather problematic one, compared to the m120 (which is mostly messed up by user error and lack of $)
 

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you dont want to know. likely needs a new engine.

best case a few thousands in modules and will fail again in the matter of months

theres a few lawsuits about it actually. im sure olivier will come in and tell us how there is nothing catastrophically wrong with them tho

it is a much more impressive powerplant than what we have in the 140s but a rather problematic one, compared to the m120 (which is mostly messed up by user error and lack of $)
Wow. Just wow. It looks great on paper but i guess reality is a different story. The '03 CLK we had was bar none the worst car I have ever owned. I don't know if it was just our car or representative of all MBs of that era. I sold it before the warranty expired because I was scared to death of owning it without one. never felt that way about a car before.
 

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Also the 215 does not have the solid Mercedes feel that the 140 (especially the early 140's did). The best giveaway of all is the switchgear - nauseatingly cheap. So if they saved money on that stuff, what about the important stuff...?

Going back to pre-face lift vs. post-face lift models; my view is this:

3 schools of thoughts - all good:-

(i) Get a preface lift model (92 - 94) and you have to get the engine issues sorted (wiring harness, AC Evap, vacuum assist, etc etc), but you have the advantage of the no cost cut model years with all bells and whistles in terms of interior aesthetics and overall feel, as Stryker says = SOLID. 94 may be the best of all due to it being last year before cost cut.

(ii) Get a 96. Half the engine issues sorted (wiring harness) and interior not as good but not as cheap as post 97, and the advantage of the newer AC system appearance if you prefer that one. (moot point, for some?)

(iii) 97 - 99 - Side air bags and many, many more issues sorted out reliability wise, although 98 on has the newer electronic transmission (I could be wrong that could be from 96 but I think it is from 98) - and hence a 99 is perfect, but if you dont rate the seats and interior, you will need to reupholster the seats and R & R plastic interior parts like the dreaded center console.

This way any of these routes is good, but you have to invest a bit either way to get it back to "Bruno" quality.

Still there is no other car in the world you can buy for less than 10k and budget another 10k and then have a car for life that is better than virtually everything on the road, for about half the price of a modern plastic, petro chemcial, carcinogenic, noisy, aesthetically offensive, accountant designed, ash tray on wheels.

Jeez, when you really stop and think about it, its an incredible bargain.

And now for some heresay - I bet you the last model year 215 coupe will *almost* fall into the same category, save except for poor structural integrity, so best not to give that to anyone you like!
 

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Wow. Just wow. It looks great on paper but i guess reality is a different story. The '03 CLK we had was bar none the worst car I have ever owned. I don't know if it was just our car or representative of all MBs of that era. I sold it before the warranty expired because I was scared to death of owning it without one. never felt that way about a car before.
Great to see that! I have always tried to tell my sibling that the early CLK is utter rubbish next to a 140 coupe. A hairdresser's car, at best. CL a different cat, but still CLK:-

I sat in one once, vomited and left the dealership with PTSD.
 
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