With very few exceptions, new cars start losing their value as soon as you sign the purchase paperwork. While that’s bad news for new-car buyers, it’s good news for used-car shoppers because depreciation eventually makes once insanely expensive cars affordable. This Window Shop episode looks at those kinds of cars, ones with high initial prices that are now available for less than $10,000. We intended to name the person who found the car with the highest original manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP), adjusted for inflation, as our winner. But we got a bit distracted by the opulence of the vehicles. You’ll see.
In searching for these kings of depreciation, we discover that some big Mercedes-Benzes, Bentleys, and Rolls-Royces are readily available for less than $10,000. And we learn that the original $149,500 price of a 1989 Bentley Turbo R is equivalent to about $320,000 in 2020 dollars.
This week, freelancer Basem Wasef joins the Window Shop crew for the first time. Turns out Wasef is perfect for this challenge since he’s seriously considered purchasing an “affordable” Bentley and Rolls-Royce and has researched the many potential problem areas plaguing unloved examples. (For reference, so have we: We studied the potential folly of buying a used Bentley, albeit at a $30,000 price point.) In addition to a slew of superluxe British cars, a V-12-powered Mercedes-Benz S600 that’s a close cousin to the 600SEL we tested back in 1992 makes an appearance, and there’s even a pair of W126 S-classes in a buy-one-get-one-free deal.
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