German manufacturers were riding high in the 1980s, solidifying their reputation as makers of some of the world’s best automobiles and introducing new models at a rapid clip. When it was introduced in 1980, the W126 Mercedes-Benz S-class was at the pinnacle of automotive technology. Almost a decade later, it was beginning to show its age but people still loved this car for it’s stately manner and stellar build quality. BMW took the executive car fight right to Stuttgart’s doorstep in 1987 with the introduction of the E32 7 series sedan. Larger and more powerful than its predecessor, this luxury sedan offered V12 power, eclipsing the 5.6 liter V8 at the top of the S-class range.
Today we’ll look at two of the lower-end models in the executive portfolio of Mercedes-Benz and BMW, both with under 30,000 miles on the clock. We’ll start with this 1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL for sale in Arizona.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on Hemmings Motor News
Engine: 4.2 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 26,850 mi
Price: $28,500 Buy It Now
1988 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL, As good as it gets. Sep 2012 Starfest Concours class winner at MBCA meet in Arizona. The absolute best color combo. This car is for the owner who wants the best, Ready too drive or for more show wins, you choose. All of the usual options befitting this motorcar as well as 412 electric sliding roof. I am paring down my collection and need room. Please contact me with any questions. All docs and mileage is correct. Nothing needed for this car, just a new caretaker.
Price: $28,500 401-225-2090
After the W126’s facelift in 1986, there were two V8 models offered stateside, the top of the line 560SEL and this car, with its 4.2 liter V8. Along with six-cylinder and diesel options as well as short and long wheelbase lengths on certain models, the S-class was more customizable than its Bavarian counterpart. We’ve seen a few ultra low mileage W126s pass through GCFSB, but few have managed to break the $20,000 barrier. Last August, we saw a 1989 420SEL with about double the mileage sell for $13,500. Is this car worth more than twice that figure? Time will tell. But I think it’s safe to say with the increase in values of the 560SL roadster, the W126 might gain a bit of ground as well.
Next up, we’ll take a look at a 1989 BMW 735iL for sale in New York, this one being the long-wheelbase model powered by the 3.5 liter inline-6.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 BMW 735iL on eBay
Engine: 3.5 liter inline-6
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 22,062 mi
Price: Reserve auction
Selling this very rare and well preserved 1989 BMW 735il with 22,062 miles, NO accidents, rust or paintwork. 1-owner garage kept car. Interior and exterior are all in great shape. Car is mechanically sound, runs and drives great. No issues/stories.
Questions or concerns please call or text 516-655-0940
I always wonder about low mileage examples of cars that would have otherwise been used as intended. Given it was a one owner car, was it a stockbroker who kept a spare car at his house in the Hamptons? Or perhaps this was a commuter kept in the city for those jaunts down to lower Manhattan to the office. In any case, it would be nice to know more about the servicing history of this car. Not much color was provided by the dealer, but hopefully some history could be tracked down given its one owner history. The E32 7 series trails the W126 S-Class in terms of value. These are fairly complex cars to maintain given the period, no doubt a factor in keeping values a bit low. We haven’t seen many exchange hands at GCFSB, but if I had to hazard a guess, I would suspect a good example like this should bring somewhere around the $9,000 to $12,000 range.