1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Based on a slightly shortened version of the W126 S-class sedan, the SEC coupe was introduced in 1981 and sold until the platform was retired in 1991. Retaining the elegant and stately looks of its limousine cousin, as well as its extraordinarily high levels of build quality and safety, the two-door, pillar-less body shape took all the elements that made the S-class such a great car and repackaged them into something a little more rakish and sexy. It’s no accident that ads for these cars often make reference to Miami Vice: the SEC is associated for many with the cocaine fueled excesses of the 1980s. But look past the wide boy image and you’ll find a grand tourer that is more about driving vast distances while riding a wave of torque than racing between stop lights. As with the sedan, values for these are a bit all over the place these days, with mint examples fetching $20k plus. But what if you’re looking for a budget-friendly entry into the SEC world? This high mileage example for sale in Tuscon, AZ with a few disclosed faults may fit the bill.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on Benzworld

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Last week I looked at a low mileage 1991 560SEC and explained while I think they are amazing cars, buying a ultra low mileage one isn’t the best decision if you want to fully enjoy them. Today’s C126 for sale in New York has a little more miles and is a little less pricey that maybe makes it a little better option if you are looking for a great SEC.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on Craigslist

1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

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

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

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I’ve posted a number of W126 sedans over the past few weeks, making no secret of my love for the 80s era S-class. But no less desirable, in my view, is the two-door variant based on the same platform, the C126. These cars offered all the luxury and advanced (for the time) safety features of the sedans, not to mention their elegant and timeless styling, but with the added panache of a sexy, low-slung, pillar-less coupe. As with their four door counterparts, used prices for these cars are a little all over the map these days. This ’90 560SEC is a middle of the market example that appears to be in turn-key condition.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on Boston Craigslist

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

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Unless you buy a new car, you seem to always take some risk as to how a car has been treated, what kind of maintenance it has had and most importantly what kind of service it’s going to give you once you take ownership. Sometimes these risks are small but a lot of times, especially in the case of used German cars, it is a lot of risk if you are spending more than a few thousand dollars. Even with dealer maintained cars, technicians sometimes rush through jobs or lack the attention to detail just to get the car off their rack and move on to else to keep those hours moving. Today’s car has a seller that puts that risk at the very low end of the scale when buying a 26 year-old expensive German car. Enter Kent Bergsma:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC at Mercedes Source

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC with AMG bits

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC with AMG bits

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A couple of years ago this video of a murdered-out 560SEC AMG surfaced on Jalopnik and I fell in love. Not only did the car have tremendous, old-school presence, the film showed an owner who wasn’t afraid to smoke the back tires while driving it quickly and aggressively. Hooning the large, pillar-less brute looked like tremendous fun. Unfortunately, authentic AMG cars from the pre-merger period don’t come to market very frequently. And when they do, they are usually priced well beyond the means of mere mortals like myself (you can see examples we’ve featured before here, here and here). A cheaper alternative would be to find a regular SEC that has had some AMG exterior parts installed, like this one.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Walk around any new car lot these days and one thing seems to be lacking: color. Even scanning the Porsche lot I visited a few days ago, there was not much on hand outside of silver, white and black. Sure, these colors are good for resale, but where’s everyone’s imagination these days? What ever happened to some of the bright colors of yore that graced some of the cars we know and love? Signal Red might not be your typical S-class hue, but it sure makes a statement on this 1989 560SEC. After all, this was a car devised as a personal luxury coupe. Why not personalize it? This 560SEC for sale in Seattle is closing in on 100,000 miles, has been garaged since new and comes replete with service records from the Mercedes-Benz dealer.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

560sec1Mercedes’s C126 coupe first appeared in 1981 and remained in production until 1991. Derived from the W126 platform SE/SEL, the SEC combines the stately grace of the S-class sedan with the sportiness and elegance of a long, pillar-less coupe. These cars still look special today, especially with all the windows down, looking low and mean. The examples that usually catch my eye are either bone stock and completely original, or outrageously modified cars like the AMG wide-bodies which, when they do come to market, are usually priced at a couple of hundred grand. Today’s car, which is mostly stock but has been gently modified with some Euro and Lorinser accessories, represents a nice balance between the two.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

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While 1990 ushered in a new SL roadster, the S-class sedan and SEC coupe would hang on for another two years before their replacements arrived. Considering all generations of S-class over the last 40 years, the W126/C126 is perhaps one of the most timeless. As with every new generation of Mercedes-Benz, new technologies became available and integrated bumpers eliminated the bad proportions which we saw during the crash bumper era of the 1970s. Toward the end, these cars were still a formidable opponent in the luxury class war, standing up in performance and luxury even against some new competition from Japan. This 560SEC for sale in California looks smart in black over palomino livery and has covered less than 80,000 miles in its lifetime.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

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When it comes to cars of the 1980s, some may drool over the side strakes of the Ferrari Testatossa or the scissor doors of the Lamborghini Countach, but one of my favorite styling themes to emerge from this decade was the widebody look. Popularized on cars such as the Porsche 911 Turbo, other vehicles adapted this design cue to mixed reviews. One of my favorites though was the widebody Mercedes-Benz C126 AMG coupe. This 1990 560SEC AMG Widebody for sale in San Diego is the stuff dreams are made of for me, looking mean as ever on those color matched AMG Monoblock alloy wheels. The wheels aren’t the only thing that is mean, though, as the asking price is sure to scare off the casual punter.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody on eBay

Tuner Tuesday Mega Tuner Showdown: Dinan v. AMG v. Treser v. Alpina v. Ruf

Tuner Tuesday Mega Tuner Showdown: Dinan v. AMG v. Treser v. Alpina v. Ruf

I’m always a fan of the showdown posts; no surprise, since I think I’m the only one who does them here! While it’s nice to highlight one car at a time, I’m just a fan of the opportunity costs; considering what my money could go towards otherwise. Plus, though we see comparisons of new cars in magazines and online fora, it’s not often that we have comparos including nearly 40 year old cars. While I usually highlight this type of comparison in my 10K Friday posts, today is a bit different and I believe the first time I have a showdown on Tuner Tuesday. I’ve rounded up a quintet of neat cars that are all modified from stock by some of the most famous tuners of the 1980s; which is the winner?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Audi Quattro on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG Widebody

If you want a recession-proof 1980s investment automobile, you want an E30 M3 or any original 911, right? Well, while that might be a smart idea, there’s consistently been one car that’s been worth even more than those market stars; make that the 3-pointed star. When I was a young man in 1987, Road & Track ran a top speed competition between some poster pinups. At that time, I was a super fan of the Porsche 959 in particular, and I was pretty confident before opening the magazine that the technological wonder from Stuttgart would thoroughly outperform the competition, which included a Lamborghini Countach, a Ferrari Testarossa and twin-turbo GTO, a few modified 911s and…a Mercedes-Benz sedan? Yes, it was that test in that magazine that cemented two names into my brain; one was the stunning and surprise winner of the competition, the illustrious “Yellowbird” Ruf CTR which bested Porsche’s own supercar by an amazing 13 miles an hour, and the boxy E-class from Affalterbach – faster than the pinup Lamborghini Countach and million-dollar GTO and just bested by the Miami-Vice superstar Testarossa. Though I don’t know for sure, I’d wager that single test did more for the reputations of Ruf and AMG than any other single article or event. Since that time, the AMG products from Affalterbach have enjoyed a near-legendary status amongst German car fans, but even amongst them there are special models – the 6.0 “Hammers” and the W124 and W126 Widebody models:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG on eBay

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody

Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody

I was watching a very interesting piece about mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders last night; a trend which started in the 1980s, some people have been thrown into jail quite literally for the rest of their lives for being involved – even in a minor role – in the war on drugs. In drew into sharp contrast the dichotomous nature of the 1980s, where as a society we declared that drugs were a horrible thing while simultaneously celebrating a community of music, art and even Wall Street that was built around them. In some aspects, one can see that dichotomy in some of the tuner cars from the 1980s, and I think that the mega Mercedes-Benz products are a great example. Starchy, upright and conservative, Mercedes-Benz used to be the standard by which engineering was measured; the automotive bar for luxury automobiles. Yet, at the same time, various tuners took them and turned them into monsters; lowering the suspension, fitting giant wheels and motors, they transformed the conservative Republican into a Punk Rock idol. Some of these creations are more celebrated than others; AMG, for example, has a near faultless reputation which is backed even by Mercedes-Benz themselves, who decided to buy them later in life. Others are…well, not so highly regarded, such as the numerous Koenig specials that were created from otherwise unassuming ’80s Benzs:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC Koenig Widebody on Autoscout24.it

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

There were a few things missing from the earlier Alpina E21 post; notably, some of the details of the car were missing like the all important unique engine, suspension, and documentation that would help support the story of its existence. The same cannot be said for this car. Let’s go down the list of what makes this car really and truly special. First, it’s one of the last of the classic 560SECs made. Already these cars are appreciating in value, but this car also has quite low miles at only 37,500 covered since new. That low total is matched by near perfect condition inside and out. But the real value lies in the modifications; super tuner AMG, on its way into the Mercedes-Benz fold, went out with a roar with the M117/9 6.0 32 valve V8 pushing nearly 400 horsepower. While that may seem trite today, the numbers produced by the AMGs in the 1980s were enough to get your into the halls of true supercar royalty. Additionally, this car features with wild widebody kit, massive 3-piece BBS/AMG wheels and some wicked interior alterations. On top of that, there’s documentation to support it – does it get more collectable in the AMG world?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody on eBay

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

While I’m sold that it’s worthwhile in most cases to buy a top condition car from a careful one owner home with a spotless record and no miles on the clock, there’s something that’s at least romantic about the idea of restoring a lesser example back to driving quality. In the case of some older German metal, this is certainly possible; it’s not necessarily the least frustrating way to do things, but one can take a certain amount of pride in resurrecting a car from neglected status back to the road. Today’s example is a great case in point; a W126 Mercedes-Benz is a well build, solidly engineered thing of beauty. Add the pillar-less SEC coupe to the mix and the end of the run 5.6 V8 and it’s a great combination, only heightened by the right sprinkling of AMG and Euro bits. And with a low “Buy It Now” price, this 1988 has me dreaming of a winter project:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay