Between the late ’80s and early ’90s, European luxury gained popularity in the US. Our confidence in domestic luxury was in tatters during the Malaise Era, so it’s really no surprise; V12 engines, plush leather interiors and high performance were not mutually exclusive, and between Germany and Britain, we were spoiled for choice of alternatives. But seeing as how asking prices may have been out of reach at the time, it would have been understandable to pass up the opportunity to pick up a brand-new Bentley from the dealer back in ’88. Now, though, well-kept examples have tumbled in asking price, so if you missed the Euro-luxe boat three decades ago, you’ve got a reasonably priced second chance.
1995 Mercedes-Benz SL600
What we like: Mercedes V12s are legendary for running as smooth as silk, and having one in a SL600 in as good condition as this one is a luxury all its own.
From the seller: This one-owner 1995 Mercedes-Benz SL600 Convertible is extremely clean. Exquisite color combination, with low miles. Gorgeous, glossy black exterior finish complemented by plush, pleated leather interior and beautiful wood trim.
Location: Delray Beach, Florida
1991 BMW M5
What we like: On design alone, E34 M5s have stolen hearts around the world. This particular example is in such good condition, considering its mileage, you’d be forgiven if you didn’t read this far before bidding on it.
From the seller: This is, hands down, the nicest E34 I have had the pleasure of driving (including the two that I owned!). It also has the distinction of being one of the most expensive that I have been in at $32k, but it would cost a lot more to try to replicate.
Location: Lawrence, Massachusetts
1988 Jaguar XJS Convertible
What we like: V12 engines are admittedly excessive, but that’s why they works so well in luxury convertibles, no matter the era. And how could you turn down that drop-top opulence in a pristine XJS?
From the seller: The vehicle has all its original paperwork from the Jaguar factory as well as Hess and Eisenhardt. Current mileage is genuine, and the car is in superb condition.
Location: Southampton, New York
1988 Bentley Mulsanne S
What we like: You can’t have a list of vintage luxury cars with out a Bentley, and this white Mulsanne S with red leather and raw wood trim definitely fits the bill.
From the seller: This Mulsanne also includes power driver’s seat, digital info center, cruise control, homelink system, remote trunk lid, compass and temperature display.
Location: Addison, Illinois
1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC 6.0 AMG
What we like: When you come across a genuine AMG “Sledgehammer” on eBay, you can’t ignore it.
From the seller: Our subject AMG 6.0 Wide-Body was built under AMG Commission No. 376-6.0 28 as a 6.0-liter, four-cam, four valve wide-body 560 SEC. After initial delivery and road registration to Japan, this example remained carefully conserved and preserved with a single owner over the last 25 years, during which time it covered just over 97,000 kilometers (67,471 miles).
Location: San Diego, California