decided against this vehicle
Well, after speaking with my mechanic (Peter at Silver Star Motors in Vienna, VA), I have decided not to purchase this vehicle.
He also indicated that the 1994 and 1995 models have an issue with the evaporator, and that it costs upwards of $3500 to fix because you have to get under the dash. He also mentioned other issues with the 1994 and 1995 model year.
He suggested I look at a 1996 or 1997 where the evaporator issue has been addressed. He also suggested I consider the 1999 E class.
My uncle's getting rid of his 1999 E430 which has recently had some work done (AC compressor replaced, other work done). The vehicle has 70k miles on it. My uncle has sworn off Mercedes, preferring to go with Lexus. His 3 Lexus purchases have been trouble free, while this E430 has given him some grief. I've owned the Lexus RX300, and my wife is buying a Lexus. But to me, it still feels like a Japanese car, and I really like the feel of a Mercedes.
So my search continues. I had looked at a 1997 S500 coupe, but the vehicle didn't give a very smooth ride. I'll consider the E class, but more than likely, I'm going to look for a later edition S class.