1993 Mercedes-Benz E-Class


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Exterior brand colour 
  • Interior colour 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 


Previously owned by comedian Red Skelton

Built in a collaboration between Porsche and Mercedes-Benz in limited production

Extremely rare factory black over black specification, believed one of five built

Extensive "Canepa Difference" servicing and mechanical restoration

All original black paint finish, California car since new

Large collection of service documents, includes owner's manual

Canepa upgrades including BBS Aero II wheels

This Mercedes-Benz 500E represents a rare example of the collaboration between Porsche and Mercedes. Color options for 500E were fairly limited, and many of the colors were relegated to the usual suspects of silver, dark grey metallic and some other unusual colors such as Spruce Green metallic. However, if you knew someone within Mercedes-Benz it was possible to check certain boxes and get color options not available to the public. Black is one of those colors, unavailable to the common person without a special connection. This makes a color combination of black over black 500E extremely rare, even more rare that this car retains all of its original factory paint finish. A stunning example, it only adds to its Q-ship status and retains an aggressive presence that is lacking from the rest. Pair that with the visceral exhaust note that encourages you to mash the throttle at all times, this unique Mercedes-Benz 500E is the one to have.

Purchased in October of 1993, the Mercedes was sold by Beverly Hills Mercedes-Benz and was purchased by a high-profile supermodel based in Los Angeles, CA. She owned the car for a few years before the stealthy 500E was purchased by famous comedian Red Skelton and his wife, Lothian Skelton. Red hosted the show The Red Skelton Show from 1951 to 1970, applying his special variety of comedy to television, film and radio. He retired from performing live in 1993 when he celebrated his 80th birthday. He and his wife, Lothian, lived in the Los Angeles area until Red's passing in 1997. Lothian moved to the Palm Springs area a few years later, and would drive the car sparingly. Most of the miles on the car were amassed during the first 8 years of ownership, with the Mercedes-Benz driven less than 3,000 miles between 2001 and 2019. The Mercedes was maintained regularly at the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Palm Springs, California, ensuring that it was in proper driving order if Lothian ever wanted to take the Mercedes out for a drive. When Lothian was thinking about selling the Mercedes, the service manager in Palm Springs Mercedes-Benz recommended that she call Bruce Canepa, saying that he liked these kinds of cars and the quality that it was currently in. Lothian and Bruce struck up a conversation, and shortly afterwards Bruce agreed to purchase her Mercedes.

When the 500E recently arrived at Canepa, there was some disbelief that involved the black over black specification. Supposedly with only a few ever made, seeing one in person was a rare occasion indeed. With not a moment to spare, Bruce Canepa had a vision with the car and immediately entered it into Canepa's system to receive the "Canepa Difference" process. Comprising of a complete mechanical inspection and service with a concours-level detailing, this process is one of the many aspects why Canepa cars are known for their quality.

The Mercedes received a comprehensive servicing that describes the "Canepa Difference" by the level of work done. Every individual system was inspected and gone through if needed. This included replacing both wiring harnesses, replacing the heater core and air conditioning evaporator, updating the factory stereo to accept iPhone connectivity, a new oil pan gasket and PCV tubes, exhaust tips coated in high-temp magnesium color Keracote, fuel pump and filter replaced, transmission pump gaskets and seals replaced, and front shock boots and bump stops replaced.

It was then decided that a set of BBS Aero II wheels, with the centers painted in Liquid Silver metallic with polished rim lips, would give the car a subtle yet updated look along with other subtle Canepa Design visual enhancements. In the meantime, it was given a complete concours detailing, washing the underside of the car, exterior, engine bay, and cleaning every square inch of the interior. The factory black paint finish was polished with only foam pads and polishes, enhancing the deep luster of the Q-ship sedan. The 18" BBS wheels were added and completed with new Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires in 255/40/ZR18, bringing the look of the Mercedes-Benz 500E to be a one-of-a-kind bruiser. In all, the complete servicing and Canepa Design modifications tallied a total of close to $80,000, making this car completely set and worthy of the phrase "needing nothing."

Read about this car's full history on our website at www.canepa.com.