$7,000 doesn’t get you a whole lot of new car these days, but it is surprising just how much old Mercedes it will buy you. In fact that’s the asking price for this W126 S-class. Produced between 1979 and 1991, the W126 represents the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz design and engineering from the period. Penned by the illustrious Bruno Sacco, it remains an extraordinarily handsome car, with taut lines and stately proportions. I saw one parked on the streets of Washington, DC the other day and literally got off my bike to stop and admire it for a few minutes. These cars are timeless and, even today, look perfectly at home parked in front of an embassy, ready to ferry a diplomat to some high level meeting.
All posts tagged 1989
Thanks to a Road & Track tuner feature, AC Schnitzer (along with Ruf, TechArt and HPA) was one of the first tuners to really catch my imagination. Big chunky 5-spokes and wings fore, aft, and midship were plenty to turn middle-school me into a daydreaming Autobahn master. In this day and age and much like the cars they tune or the pop stars we are force-fed, aftermarket design has become a caricature of hyper-stylized aggression. There was a time, however, when bodykits and wheels were subtly aggressive extensions of classic designs. This 325i sedan is exactly that, having received a bodykit, exhaust, wheels, and suspension that make it look more like an appetizing foreign model rather than a crazy tuner cartoon. Originally a Euro model that was imported to Japan and then Florida, it’s covered 43k miles on the road and nearly half that amount in shipping. The automatic is a bummer, but with so few miles and such beautifully restrained modifications it can be forgiven. The exhaust and suspension will help make the drive more exciting (as long as it doesn’t have the sad sound of good exhaust droning across an auto trans’ overly-smooth revs), and the bodykit and wheels will put a smile on any BMW fan’s face. Eventually a manual swap and some engine mods would help it keep up with its appearance, but for now it’s a very cool E30 that won’t break the bank.
Click for details: 1989 BMW 325i AC Schnitzer on eBay
Moving on from the low mileage 560SL we saw yesterday, let’s take a look at that car’s sedan contemporary, the 560SEL. Germany has always been renowned for large luxury sedans, but the standard bearer of this segment for years has been the S-class. Of all the S-classes to have come and gone, my favorite was perhaps the one from the era of my childhood, the W126. Combining the durability of a W123 with the stateliness of a presidential limo, these cars were really in a class of their own for over a decade. Even when production ended in 1991, they were still at the head of the class when it came to safety, performance and luxury. Sure, it might have looked a little dated in the early 1990s, but looking back, this Bruno Sacco design has aged quite well. If I was about to take the W126 plunge, I would probably stick with the ministerial look and choose black. This 1989 560SEL for sale in Florida is quite mint, though, showing only 52,000 miles on the odometer. It does, however, remind me why I would never move to the Sunshine State. I don’t have enough white belts. Or cars.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560EL on eBay
If it was sheer class you were after in the 1980s, there were few better options than the Mercedes-Benz R107 SL. This car lasted in production over an amazing 19 year span and aged rather gracefully, save for perhaps the requisite crash bumpers that appeared in the early 1970s on US models. The close of the 1980s would be the curtain call for this timeless roadster, with the final example, a Signal Red 500SL roadster, rolling off the line in early August of 1989. This 1989 560SL is painted in one of my favorite hues, Bordeaux Red over Parchment leather. With less than 20,000 miles from new, this is a strong candidate for the collector.
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay
I’ve talked a fair bit of trash about right-hand drive cars here, specifically some E30 325i Tourings. A lot of the E30 wagons we’ve seen imported now that their 25-year waiting period has ended have been base- or low-option Brits, bringing along the need to get comfortable hugging the fog line and rowing the gears with your left hand. This longroof has the rare factory M-Tech package as well as some show-stopping 17″ gold BBS rims to help you look like a gangster out of Run Lola Run. Inside, recovered M seats look outstanding, but the ubiquitous cracked dash strikes again, echoing a chipped front spoiler that looks fixable. Wrapped in Alpinweiss, the seller is pretty right as long as you can handle right hand drive – “this is the one you’ve been looking for!”