1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

The Mercedes-Benz 560SEC quickly went from another used, old Mercedes to a modern classic that everyone suddenly wants. Yes, the W126 coupes have always been more desirable than the sedans but recently a huge demand gap has grown between the two. Finding a coupe for sale at typical well-used Mercedes prices is rare or when you do find a really nice one, be prepared to shell out a lot of money. The latter is the case today for this 1991 offered for sale in California.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC at Mercedes Heritage

Year: 1991
Model: 560SEC
Engine: 5.5 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 44,000 mi
Price: $28,900

Black (040)/Black leather

Delivered new from Autobahn Motors in Redwood City California on 1-29-1992.

1st owner through 6-2-2014 at which time it was sold to her next door neighbor.

Breathtaking original paint (as per infra-red paint depth measuring device).
Zero damage ever.
Excellent external bright work.

Exceptional original interior.
Exceptional burlwood.
Full handbooks – Tools. `
Virtually unused spare.

Clean carfax which fully supports the mileage.
All the spare keys – Original key fobs.
Factory Data card.
Factory Bose stereo option.
Crisp clean engine bay.
Crusp ‘California clean’ undercarriage.

Recent preparation included:
New tires – Restored wheels.
Alignment – Fresh lug bolts.
New radiator – Radiator hoses.
New OE steering box – Front shocks
New engine/trans mounts.
Transmission service – All belts.
Distributor cap – Wiper blades.
Fuel pump relay – Idle control Unit.
Front and rear bumper faces restored.

At this point this SEC looks, smells and behaves essentially as new. Silky smooth, powerful and silent.

A potential MBCA preservation class winner.

The finest SEC I’ve owned.

This 560 in 040 black is a stunning example of what the C126 is. It’s handsome without shouting “look at me!”  It’s the little details that make you appreciate how functionally great these cars are and why people are really going nuts over them even 25 years later. This example, having only covered 44,000 miles, is nearly perfect outside of a little wear on the drivers seat side bolster. Being a California car, it was clearly loved. Hiding from the elements did well by this C126.

The asking price is $28,900, and while I think it’s probably worth every penny, in my opinion it’s a terrible buy. Let me explain why.

C126s excel at being drivers. They are nearly the perfect grand tourer and eat up miles effortlessly. You can get in, drive 500 miles and enjoy every single minute you are in the car. So, why would you spend nearly $30,000 on this one when you can spend less than half that on a car with twice the miles and have the exact same enjoyment? The C126 isn’t a garage trophy like the earlier pillar-less coupe W111 has become. While it’s appreciated, it’s not a supermodel. Even if you do have this 44,000 mile car, I don’t think we’ll see a huge spike in value despite prices slowly creeping up because the production numbers of the C126 were so large. So while I adore the big coupes of this generation, I also adore them to be used. Having a low mileage one just because it’s low mileage doesn’t do it for me.

– Andrew

7 thoughts on “1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

  1. My father-in-law’s mechanic has HIS father’s 1-owner Florida garage kept 1987 white over maroon leather for sale. Wants $8k. Could probably get it for $7. 87k miles. Seeing this, it seems like a good buy, no?

  2. Gorgeous car and as you rightly say, increasingly rare at good prices.

    I’m not sure about the value trend of these cars and/or whether this is the right buy: r107s were also produced in large numbers and their value is now starting to take off – I’d be surprised if 45k mile models will be much less than 25k-30k next year – quite a step up from the around 12k-15k they used to sell around here for only 2 years ago. I would imagine these will start to follow suit over the next years.

    On which one to buy, I think the premium of a low-mileage well cared for car could still be worth it – mostly because repairing them gets pricey very fast. Some items have to be replaced purely due to age but a lot is wear. I can see a huge difference in how much work my low-mileage w126 needs compared to a higher mileage car – in terms of body and mechanical work. If you could get this one closer to – say – 23k – it could well be a better buy than a $15k car with 150k miles on it in the mid-term.

  3. J – if you aren’t actually interested in the car your Father-in-law’s mechanic has, I am.

    Andrew – I’m in the unique situation of actually trying to decide whether or not to sell my 3.5 V8 W111 coupe now and replace it with a 126. It’s a tough guess on the appreciation curve between the two: on the one hand, 80’s / 90’s kids are ready to buy their childhood dream cars; (NSX, etc) on the other – the 3.5 liter W111 coupes are so rare and have a halo car (the 111 convertible) that always makes the coupes seem ‘affordable’ in comparison.

  4. Steve – All depends on your situation and what you want out of the car. If I’m a person who does those 500 mile road trips, give me the C126. But if I want a car to have pleasure cruisers around town and like to park and look at it, give me the W111. Personally I think the 111 is a much more special car. The 126 are much more common factoring in there a number of grey-market cars that made it here before MB nixed that. The way I look at it, if I see a C126 out and about, I’ll give it a glance passing by. If I see a W111 coupe, I’m parking the car and going over and poking my head in it.

  5. Steve – I’d love to buy it. Wife would kill me. Currently have a TDI Corrado and a Mitsubishi Delica, neither of which are running. I convinced her to let me pick up a 99 Passat 1.8T wagon (for free from a buddy) so I wouldn’t be asking her for rides all the time. XD Happy to take a look/get some pictures/put you in touch. I’m in the Boston area. (Car came up from Florida and hasn’t been driven in the salt.)

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