If you know what to look for, a used AMG can be more of a bargain supercar than a ticking time bomb.
Here's one of the timeless questions of gearhead life: do you buy lottery tickets or work until that start-up takes off so you can afford a Mercedes-AMG? Or do you bite the bullet and buy a used one, which us a lot like owning a ticking time bomb? That dilemma will always continue, but for those taking the latter route, here's some advice by Fifth Gear, which has decided to take its talent to the classifieds in search of the perfect used AMG. The best part? Some can be had for as little as £3,000 ($3,741).
Depreciation is the key because most cars lose their value at some point, but not all age as well as others. That's why the best tactic is to do some homework and learn what the telltale signs of impending failure are. According to Fifth Gear's Johnny Smith, the bodywork is one important area.
Rust, essentially the equivalent of car cancer, is the main thing to look for. Get the car on a lift and look underneath for telltale signs of oxidation and be prepared to walk away if it's spotted. That goes for all cars, but if the cheapest of the lot, the E55 AMG, isn't to your liking, then maybe the CLK55 AMG is the better choice. Here be weary of stalling or hesitation when the engine is starting to ensure that the crankshaft position sensor is working properly. Don't want to worry about either of these cars? Look towards the SL55 AMG, which now costs a paltry £15,000 ($18,705) down from its £89,000 ($110,983) base price in the early 2000s. Talk about a tanking investment but a solid used car lot find.