Proprietor of Coventry Motorcar in scenic Coventry, Conn., Brian Werstak's passion for finding and enjoying intriguing cars has provided him some exhilarating experiences. Having been wowed by a "regular" 500E, he located this Limited in Virginia in 2002. It is believed to be the only example in North America. While fully federalized, the DOT bits were thankfully quickly relegated to attic munchies in tidy boxes, allowing the Limited to let its freak flag fly.

Arguably, Mercedes did the Limited right with its tasteful appointments; however, Werstak's well-honed expertise persuaded him to further endow his with more capability. Maintaining the gentlemanly execution the Limited mandates and keeping within the family, SL65 wheels were added with Michelin Pilot Sports all around. As such wheels can house a lot of brake and will likely demand them, 15-inch front rotors were chosen and Brembo six-piston silver calipers from a Ferrari F50 application were mounted on all four corners. A Renntech EPROM compliments their carbon fiber airbox, and an ASR (traction control) defeat switch allows one-legged exploitative shenanigans. Inside, a pistol grip steering wheel custom made in Europe was incorporated, feeling as if its creators dipped the Hulk's hands into a molten mold for forming.

Having owned a pair of W124s and a 2.3-16 myself, it's easy to appreciate the design, engineering, fit and finish. Many believe this chassis to be the apogee of Mercedes-Benz prowess and that something has been missing ever since. A turn of the key queues the starter to sing its Siren song of enchantment, a fitting soundtrack for what you are about to embark upon. There is nothing like that sound. Clicking the gear lever down to L then back to D engages start-in-first. Then you whomp the go pedal and chuckle audibly. With fourth gear at 1:1 and peak torque at 3900 rpm, it's comical watching the speedometer needle rush through the only digits on the dial that seem to matter-80, 120, 155. Acceleration is prodigious yet composed, dignified, distinguished. Double downshift and torque delivery is overt with immediate grunt. Surprisingly, the Brembos provide an OEM pedal feel, but their capacity is likely beyond your constitution. Seeing this in your garage each day might be like waking up next to the girl (or guy) of your dreams. Wide-open throttle exposure to one of them is a must-do on the enthusi-nut's rite of passage. Limited. In the true sense of the word.

1994 Mercedes-Benz E500 Limited
Layout
Longitudinal front engine, rear-wheel drive

Engine
5.0-liter V8, dohc, 32-valve.
Renntech carbon airbox, Renntech EPROM

Transmission
Four-speed automatic

Suspension
H&R springs with Bilstein sport dampers

Brakes
Six-piston Brembo calipers, 15-inch front rotors

Wheels & Tires
OEM SL65 alloys, 8.5x19 (f), 9.5x19 (r)
Michelin Pilot Sport, 245/40 (f), 275/35 (r)

Interior
Custom "pistol grip" steering wheel, Renntech ASR defeat switch

Performance
Peak Power: 322 hp
Peak Torque: 347 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 5.5 sec.
Top Speed: 178 mph

By Paul Krasusky
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