Great car if you can find the right fuel
By Peter on
1998 Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG C43 4dr Sedan
This car loses significant power with California RFG II gasoline. Avoid this car if you can't get other fuel. That said, when I can get federal RFG fuel or non-RFG fuel, the car's engine is hampered only by the lame transmission. This car is one of the last (and best) "old school" Mercedes out there. On the used market this car is bargain priced, but I hope you have a skilled and low-cost mechanic to work on it. I lost the transmission at 60k miles ($6000) and the crank shaft rotation sensor at 80k (not expensive, but left me stranded). Avoid this car if you are going to get service at a Mercedes dealer.
Two-tone interior colors are a great special touch. Since I was born and raised on W114 bodies, I appricate the old-school build and ergonomics--love the recirculating ball steering, 80's era cruise control stalk, beefy and heavy steering, and tank-like build.
Absolutely needs stick shift. (The auto transmission is a very weak point.) Would like to fully deactivate electronic nannies and have limited-slip differential as standard. (note: LSD was an Euro option but USA models only had "electronic LSD"; i.e.: electronic nannies with an open differential)