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Lower cladding color: leave two-tone or go color match


E500E Newbie
I recently purchased a one owner, 92 in cabernet red w/108k miles. The lower cladding near the rear wheels has lost it's luster and I'm considering paint options.

I'm a two-tone "OE look" kinda guy however, the mono paint treatment does look nice. What are your thoughts?

I purchased the car in Sept. and have been kept busy restoring to her former performance. Many of the usual fixes have been completed, wiring harness, blower motor, and all fluids/filters have been replaced. The AC is weak and there is a diagnosed leak in the evaporator core, wont that be fun to fix!

Over the winter months I'll take time to work on the exterior. The interior is 9/10.

Pics are forthcoming. TIA.

Lee in Chicagoland


E500E Newbie
Welcome to the board, and more importantly, to 500E ownership! I just responded to your e-mail. Hope to see the car soon.


Site Honcho
Staff member


I think the mono looks is great if it's a good quality paint job. Some people think the two-tone is very dated looking. I don't think so -- I like the stock look too. Honestly, I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Cabarnet Red. Great color. My 1987 560SL is same color. Wunderbar !

If you have patience and moderate amount of mechanical expertise, you can do the evaporator yourself. Otherwise get ready to dump your wallet upside down and shake every last bill and coin out of it !!



Active member
Welcome! Congratulations on your new Uber Benz. Another option for a 92/93 would be to match the bumper impact strips to the cladding color. Post some pics. I'll try and find some examples both ways.



.036 Hoonigan™, E500E Boffin
Staff member
Welcome, and congratulations on a purchase of one of the rarest colors for an E500E!

About the evaporator leak: Look into some of the aftermarket leak sealants available. Many 124 evaporators have been successfully repaired using sealant, eliminating a 40+ hour labor repair (plus $$$$ in parts). If it doesn't work, oh well, you're only out a few bucks for trying. There are a couple decent brands on the market, like Cliplight, shown at this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Cliplight-Manufac ... B0002NYBC8

It's an advanced DIY project though, AC service equipment is highly recommended (mostly manifold gauges and an AC-specific deep vacuum pump). I tried this recently on a 1987 300D and it worked GREAT... system is still holding pressure & working fine ~6 months later...




I like non modified cars but in this case I think mono looks greats. It is a subtle and elegant modification. As Gerry says two tone looks dated, very 80's in my opinion. I fact I planning to paint my car soon.


I’ve been pondering about the same mod to my car and just have not come to terms with doing it or not. There were times before I changed the headlights, turn signals (front & rear), grill insert, wider/staggered wheels and bigger brakes; my car in its original form did “at times” looked “dated” with the two-tone cladding's. But now, the two-tone looks great and my monotone color ideas are all but forgotten. I guess I like to retain a classic look with subtle modern changes.

Maybe it’s the color combo that works with the two-tone, cause if I had a black, sliver or red car – painting the lower cladding would be on my mind. I do not think the two-tone color is 80’s in today’s market, hell many new exotics are in two-tones nowadays, so the two-tone car’s are ok imho. I did however had all the lower cladding's including the front and rear spoilers sprayed with clear coat to match the paint gloss finish on the rest of the car, now the car has an even shine all around.

In retrospect, the lighter silver cladding's help to mask light scratches and nicks.


E500E Newbie
It's all about the look you're going for. Personally I love two tone with amber indicators and old school rims. Other people prefer mono tone with clear indicators and more modern looking rims.


having a silver 1992 model I do like the two-tone.
Even when a paint job would be due I would not want it mono.



Active member
Not cabarnet, but close. I don't have any pics of a red car with 2 tone cladding. I am interested to see what yours looks like.

Rudy. I also like the 2 tone on my silver car.[attachment=0:3kz32p14]Kurzes_keyword__441.jpg[/attachment:3kz32p14]