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'90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule

Old school E320 wagon on air suspension and rebuilt BBS wheels cruises SoCal in style.

Sam Du
Jul 13, 2020
Photographer: Darren Martin

If you don't love an old school Benz, this 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 wagon is about to change your mind. Arman Mariano of Southern California is a Mercedes diehard, having worked as a Mercedes tech for seven years, he's sat behind a desk at corporate Mercedes-Benz USA for the last 14 years. He's owned his fair share of Mercedes project cars which include a bagged 1972 250 and a legit 190E 16V Cosworth, but his latest W124 project of five years is what's really creating a stir in the community today.

1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon BBS Porsche Turbo Fans 02 Photo 32/32   |   '90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule

What's extremely cool about Arman's wagon is its simplicity. You won't find a body kit, engine upgrades or custom interior. It's virtually bone stock—and not in a bad way. The old 3.2-liter straight-six was rebuilt with a new harness to ensure it runs smoothly, just like it did in 1995. The interior is so well maintained that it would be a travesty to throw in anything aftermarket (even has the backwards facing third row seat). The only modifications lie within the suspension and wheels.

Air suspension posed the biggest challenge as there was no off-the-shelf kit for the E-Class wagon. Arman sourced an Air Lift Performance 3P system but needed new brackets, shocks and lower control arms to make it all work properly. For that, he had custom ones made while he also added camber kits from Silver Project, then cleverly hid the tank and compressor in the trunk panels.

1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon BBS RS Wheel Photo 32/32   |   '90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule

Next came trying to decide on the right wheel and luckily Arman knows a thing or two about style. He decided to keep his shoes period correct with the timeless BBS RS. Interestingly, these particular RS wheels came from an old Corvette and had to be redrilled to Mercedes' 5x112 bolt pattern in order to fit. The faces were freshly powdercoated while new barrels converted the 16-inch wheels to 17-inch with polished slant lips.

1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon BBS Wheel Key Photo 32/32   |   '90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule

To trip folks out, he installed Turbo fans on the passenger side of the wagon. Designed for older Porsche racecars to help cool the brakes and improve aerodynamics, the Turbo fans are all-show on Arman's ride, but strangely look at home and pretty badass.

To finish the build, the whole exterior was resprayed using OEM black paint with double PPG clear coat for extra shine... and that's all she wrote! Arman's Mercedes is so clean yet so uncomplicated, it's hard not to have a soft spot for his W124 Estate, even if it is "just" suspension and wheels.

FEATURED IN THE 2020 CALENDAR WITH TOYO TIRES
In case Arman's wagon rings a bell, it was featured in our Toyo Tires calendar with Jadelyn Breier earlier this year.

1995 Mercedes Benz E320 Wagon Rear Hatch 01 Photo 32/32   |   '90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule
By Sam Du
1000 Articles
'90s Mercedes E-Class Is Proof That Wagons Still Rule
Tuning Menu
Car: 1995 Mercedes-Benz E320 Wagon (W124)
Owner: Arman Mariano
Hometown: Cerritos, CA
Occupation: Mercedes-Benz Technician
Instagram: @dj_inch_24
Power: 228hp, 229 lb-ft of torque
Engine: factory 3.2L M104 24-valve straight-six engine with top-end rebuilt
Drivetain: four-speed 722.4 automatic transmission
Footwork & Chassis: Air Lift Performance 3P air suspension kit; Commonwealth custom brackets and control arms; Silver Project front and rear camber kits
Brakes: stock
Wheels & Tires: 17x8.5" front, 17x9.5" rear BBS RS wheels rebuilt by @j_mendieta; BBS Porsche Turbo fans; 205/40R17 front, 205/45R17 rear Toyo Proxes 4 tires
Exterior: PPG 199 paint with double clear coat from AMG Hammer
Interior: stock
Thanks: My wife for letting do what I love to do and my daughters and all the people the involved building the wagon still breaking necks till today.

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