FVC booster shot. The dealer wasn't marketing the car terribly aggressively and it was still there when I arrived at the lot on August 6. A thorough inspection and a fair price later, and on August 7, we caravanned back to Oakland in two cars.
It's a '93 300TE wagon. Late '90s and later e320s feel like much smaller and faster cars. That's dangerous for an impulsive driver like me. Mid-90s e320s feel like boats and I am a land guy. This one feels like a tank. It feels massive and ponderous and stable and incredibly secure. It's not that much fun to drive, but it's a hell of a lot of fun to own. It's a perfect car for family trips -- my Mazda 6, which we drove many times to Santa Barbara and Palm Springs, and to many double centuries, is not a great road trip car. I am looking forward to more comfortable and easier-on-the-body long trips with and without my bike.
The car isn't perfect, but the imperfections are cosmetic and minor. There are some discretionary things I will do: replace the tape deck (remember those?) with a CD player and get the windows tinted for more privacy and cooler environment. Otherwise, I'm thrilled with the car. As for its name, it's a tank, it's red, and I'm from Kharkov -- it must be "T-34!"