Myles Means Business
I began my detailing business, T44 Detailing, at the start of 2020. The first mobile detailing unit was the 200 20v Avant, but it unfortunately wasn’t a vehicle I could trust could get me to clients reliably. And when busy season hits mid-Spring, a vehicle that can’t get me there can’t make money! Knowing that mobile detailing is a smaller chunk of detailing jobs I do, I weighed my options for a vehicle that could provide space for equipment, reliability, but also not break the bank and also serve as a general purpose vehicle on non-work days. The choice became immediately clear – a station wagon with the most cargo space and flexibility would be perfect.
2002 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon (S210) (Production 6/01) 3.2L V6 (M112) | 5-Speed Auto
Alabaster White 960 | Ash Leather 218
Origin Dealer: Sears Imported Autos, Minnetonka, MN (Still In Business)
Factory Options: Leather Interior, Preferred Package (Bose Audio, Moonroof)
Dealer Installed Accessories: Roof Rack Cross Bars
Member of T44Brian Since 6/6/2019
Vanity Plate: None
Status: Business Vehicle/Daily Driver
Name Origin: Myles was the suitable name for what I expect to add to this car: lots of miles! My wife and I racked up 343K on a previous W210 so this one has a lot to live up to.
Myles was originally sold in Minnetonka, MN at Sears Imported Autos. Very little is known about ownership history between then and my acquisition, though records do indicate use in Massachusetts and lastly Florida. Myles came up for sale in Pennsylvania through a reputable dealer that has sold many examples. He had three examples on the lot: a ’98 4-Matic, a ’99 4-Matic, and this ’02 RWD and this checked the most boxes.
What is a die-hard Audi guy doing with a Benz in the fleet? Some of you are aware of my prior history with W210s in the form of a ’98 E300 Turbo Diesel sedan – which my wife owned when I met her. It was rusty but an excellent vehicle to drive. It didn’t have too many problems until later in its life – If I remember correctly, we brought it to 343K miles when it started to spill fuel, then was given back to her family where they repaired it, used it for another good chunk of mileage and was taken out of service.
I have always admired any Benz wagon, from the unstoppable S123s to the newest E63 AMGs. But for some reason, the S210s jive with me the most. What always pushed me away from adding one to the fleet wasn’t the mechanicals, it was the poor body work that led to severe corrosion issues and some well-known weak spots of the generation. Here in CT, it’s usually not a question of is it rusting, but where isn’t it? I remember watching spots in the middle of body panels on the wife’s sedan just decide to bubble up and then break through in short order. It was so bad in some places, trying to even wash a panel by hand with a mitt led to pieces of paint and rust showing up in the fibers. I tried to take pride in it but… Yikes. The washes became less frequent as more of the car showed up in the wash bucket.
Letting the rust fear-factor go, I had no reservations about buying Myles. While maybe not a pristine Bring a Trailer example that would go beyond fair market range, I think I got a pretty solid one for the price that I don’t feel bad about using and getting dirty. Obviously not many of these have escaped resprays and other body work, and Myles is no exception. The underside is phenomenally corrosion free, but I see a few bubbles popping up on some original and repainted panels. I keep a bottle of Alabaster touch up paint handy and check for rock chips and nicks every week to keep up with things.
Me being me, I had to make Myles mine by way of a mini mod-and-refresh project during the summer. Overall condition was pretty good, but I wanted to replace a few pieces that were cracked or scuffed. W210s are plentiful in self-service wrecking yards around here, and it seems like the month I bought Myles several of my local yards got inundated with E-Classes, either white or silver with Ash interior. Lucky me! I pulled an astonishing amount of parts for cheap, which meant I still had a good chunk for a couple more extras listed below.
The other good news is that Mercedes Benz has decent support for these cars still. It was no problem for me to get what would be odd/NLA to Audi trim pieces, clips, and genuine accessories through my local dealer or their parts website. Kudos to MB USA for that!
Myles just hit 100K and shows no signs of stopping, so I’m going to keep going and hope for the best. If I get lazy one day and don’t want to pull out one of the Audis for a cars & coffee, the Benz could pass for something to show!
NOTABLE MODS & CHANGES
2020: New Vehicle Purchase and Mini-Refresh Project:
- Powder Coated Set of E55 AMG Staggered Monoblock Wheels
- New Wheel Center Caps
- Genuine White Valve Stem Caps
- New Burl Wood Steering Wheel
- New Clear Front Bumper Parking Lamps
- New Front/Rear Genuine Splash Guards
- European “Avantgarde” Trim Gray Shift Knob
- New Mono-wiper gear seal
- New All-Weather Rubber Floor Mats
- New Windshield Cowl Cover Set
- Additional Washer Fluid Tank
- New Center Cupholder Assembly
- New 2nd Row Upper Plastic Trim Covers
- Replacement Engine Cover
- Replacement Door Sill Plates