This car is a unicorn for more than one reason. In fact, I can think of at least five.
First of all, it’s an impeccable example of the W140 generation S-Class with hardly any miles. That’s pretty rare.
Secondly, it’s got the 3.5 liter OM603 inline six engine, which is the most powerful turbodiesel that Benz put in an S-Class (in the US) until the W221 generation S350 in 2012.
Most people avoid the 3.5 liter version of this engine, sometimes known as the “rod-bender” because it has a problem with the head gasket which can result in oil finding its way into the combustion chamber, leading to large oil consumption and eventually bent rods. However, part of what makes this car so very unusual is that it comes from the final year of production for the variant, by which time Mercedes had fitted a new head gasket design to correct the issue.
The other thing that stands out here is that it’s a rare (in the US) standard wheelbase version of the W140, which to my eye has much better proportions than the long wheelbase cars that made up the vast majority of US purchases.
Finally I would note that Garnet Red is quite an uncommon color for the W140 (or any MB really).
This unicorn is offered via eBay auction HERE with bidding currently approaching $4000 and 6 days to go. I suspect this one will see well over ten grand, and I think it’s worth a hefty premium for being such an unusual – and unusually clean – example.