1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

The C126, the coupe based on the W126 S-class, is a firm favorite around here. And for good reason: the lines penned by famed designer Bruno Sacco have aged very well, and these cars still command great road presence even today. With the C126, you get the stately good looks and bank-vault build quality of an S-class, but repackaged into a slinky, pillarless bodyshape. Collectors might want to park their money in ultra low mileage examples. But I think these cars deserve to be driven and enjoyed – they’re wonderful grand tourers, ideal for covering vast distances while keeping the passengers inside cosseted in safety, comfort and style.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

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1992 Mercedes-Benz 500E

The 300k-mile 500E I wrote up last week was a bit of a hot mess. It needed extensive cosmetic work along with who knows what else. But to my surprise, it sold for $7,700. I wish the brave soul who bought it all the luck in the world, whether they restore it to its former glory or use it as a comically powerful beater. The sale price got me thinking: how much would you have to pay for high mileage 500E that wasn’t all torn up? As if on cue, this nice looking example popped up on eBay. The miles are high, but the condition of this Porsche-Mercedes mashup looks great, a testament to the longevity and durability of the W124 platform on which it is based.

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC

Last week I wondered what kind of W126 S-class you could buy if you had an unlimited budget and wanted one in practically brand new condition. That search yielded a gorgeous, pearl black on black, ultra-low mileage ’89 560SEL, which ultimately sold for a very respectable $21k. I thought I’d play the same game this week, only this time I went on the hunt for a coupe. The SEC (or “C126”), designed by legendary Bruno Sacco, was based on a slightly shortened version of the sedan chassis. While the car retains many of the same graceful and elegant lines of its four door sibling, the coupe sports a sexy, pillarless profile that changes the character of the car. If the 80s stock broker was chauffeured to Wall Street in the SEL during the week, he drove the SEC to wild parties in the Hamptons on the weekends.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC 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.

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Uber S-Class: 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

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This site features a fair amount of W126 S-Class. Usually they are the frugal 300SE or the loaded up 560SEL that still make excellent drivers and offer a ton of value. Every once in a blue moon, I come across an S-Class that was a ”money is no object” car. Usually these cars have options that you never seen let alone on a car manufactured 35 years ago. This 1981 500SEL located in the San Francisco area is one of those cars.