1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

Update: This car is back up for sale from a new owner with a nice detail and a laundry list of maintenance completed.  Almost no miles were added but the price has been raised to $11,500. Check it out here

It is all about the details for me. I have seen enough of the same cars day after day that all look they pretty much look the same to me. Unless of course a car sticks out for one reason or two. It could be a unique color, it could be a rare-spec with interesting options or it could be the entire car is something I haven’t seen pop up for sale. Today’s car, a European-spec 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE for sale in California, has the entire package of coolness that I just have to take a close look at it. Judging by the photo above, you can tell this one is going to be good.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on eBay

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Right Hooker Week: 1990 Audi 500SE

No, it’s not a typo. And no, it’s not an Audi 5000.

The Audi 500SE won’t be a model that is familiar to pretty much anyone on these pages. But in an interesting side note of history you do know, Audi tried to bring its large sedans to Africa in the late 1980s. After the banning of Group B and the cancellation of Group S, Audi took to Group A with both normally aspirated Coupe Quattros and turbocharged Audi 200s. The 200 was successful at the hands of Hannu Mikkola, winning Rally Safari in 1987. 1988 saw the introduction of the 200 quattro Trans Am to U.S. shores, but few remember that those cars were then used in South Africa in the 1989 Wesbank Modifieds Championship. They would continue on in 1990 and 1991 before being replaced by a rebody of the 90 IMSA GTO car in an S4 chassis – a car which was just on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

But without much need for quattro and without the smaller model range on sale, Audi’s showroom was filled with a rebrand of the Type 44. Produced in Uitenhage, South Africa, it was dubbed the 500SE, and it was available with either turbocharging or a normally aspirated motor. Unlike Europe (and later, the U.S.) the model designations did not change with forced induction. The specification was a bit strange, too; like the 1987 Audi 5000S quattro, the 500SE wore the larger brakes and wheels of the turbocharged model even when it did not have one. But unlike those cars, it also wore the upscale dual-chamber 200 headlights. Models like this particular 1990 were powered by the 2.3 liter NF motor that saw duty post 1987 in the late-5000 and early-100 front-drivers and quattros. They wore the later Type 44 updates like the smooth dash, too. Coupled with Euro bumpers and a luxury-oriented interior, it makes for an interesting Type 44:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Audi 500SE on eBay.co.uk

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE AMG

“Pre-merger” AMG cars date from the period when the company was not yet officially part of Mercedes-Benz and instead existed as an independent tuner (it would be folded into the MB family in the early to mid 1990s). Back then, customers could upgrade their cars with AMG parts by choosing from a menu of cosmetic and mechanical upgrades and having them shipped from the production line to Affalterbach for modification (or, if they were in the US, having those parts installed by a locally authorized dealer, like the storied Beverly Hills Motoring Accessories). Early period AMG cars that show up for sale today offer a neat slice of the exotic 80s tuner world, but they present a number of difficulties when it comes to authentication. This gray market, seemingly AMG modified 500SE is a good case in point.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SE AMG on eBay

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1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

6If you wanted a V8-powered, short wheelbase W126 in America, you had one option: the 380SE. Unfortunately, the 3.8 liter M116 V8 under the hood was a bit of a dud. Thirsty and somewhat underwhelming, it was eventually phased out in 1985. From then on, US-based customers had to buy a long wheelbase 420 or 560 SEL to get a V8 in their S-class. The Europeans, however, got the 500SE, which combined the more impressive 5.0 liter M117 V8 with the shorter and (in my opinion) more attractive chassis. But it was never officially offered over here. Nonetheless, some of them made it to these shores via the gray market. Presumably that’s how this one ended up in Michigan.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on eBay

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

In the wake of the Brexit vote, the British pound has plummeted against the US dollar. This means that importing a car from Britain has suddenly become a bit more affordable. As a Brit living in America, I feel a bit guilty recommending that you take advantage of my home country’s economic plight to get a good deal on a car. But only a bit. Which brings me to today’s car. The 500SE was a V8 powered, short-wheel base version of the W126 S-class. Made for the European market and never offered in the US, it offered the grunt of a larger engine in the slightly smaller and (in my view) better proportioned chassis. This one is for sale on UK eBay. Not only is it reasonably priced, it’s a LHD car. So no need to worry about the steering wheel being on the wrong side if you choose to bring it over.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on UK eBay

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

Two weeks ago, I was taking a stroll around Helsinki on what turned out to be a fine Saturday afternoon. While sitting outside a cafe, an automotive oddity passed by. A short wheelbase Mercedes-Benz W126 with a big engine, in this case the 500SE with its 5.0 liter V8. Here in the US, we received two V8 S-classes from 1986 through 1991, the 420SEL and 560SEL, both long-wheelbase models. Apparently the product planners at Mercedes-Benz didn’t think there was much of a market for a big Benz with a large engine but smaller backseat. I always enjoyed the proportions of the 300SE that we received, the short-wheelbase W126 with the venerable M103 inline-6. But who doesn’t like a little bit more juice? This 500SE for sale in The Netherlands in Nelken (Willow) Green over green leather is cresting 40,000 miles and is the perfect cure for someone who still pines for the good old days of Mercedes-Benz.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on Mobile.de

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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

Have you ever fallen in love with a car instantly? Is it sometimes completely irrational? I am somewhat ashamed to admit I let out a low sigh accompanied by an “Oh, man!” when I first came across this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE. Perhaps my wife is too accustomed to me doing so, because she didn’t even direct her stare in my direction – instead simply saying “What now?” Expecting to see some exotic Ferrari or Lamborghini, it was instead a rather boring looking Mercedes-Benz. And it was green. Really, really green. She also emitted a low sigh, but coupled it instead with an “Ugh!” That, however, did not dissuade me. I continued to stare at this Euro-spec W126, thinking that all should have come in short wheel base configuration, in Willow Green, and with green cloth interiors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on eBay

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