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

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody

There are many legends from the 1980s tuning scene, and probably if you were to single out one single car as the most famous it would be the Ruf CTR “Yellowbird” that stunned magazines with its 200+ m.p.h. top speed and created one of the first internet sensations with its slithering sideways lap of the ‘Ring. But near equal to the yellow 911 is the widebody bad boys from Affalterbach. With their four cam V8s churning supercar power levels and their widened flanks, they were a favorite poster subjects and still draw adoring crowds today. A steady stream of AMGs from Japan have been making their way across the ocean to the U.S., and this one is reported to be one of the original 6 widebody 560SECs made for the Japanese market:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC AMG 6.0 Widebody on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday AMG 6.0 Double Take: 1990 560SEC 6.0 and 500SL 6.0

The “Hammer” was a legend born in top-speed shootouts in magazines. It was the stuff of dreams; a sedate sedan running toe-to-toe with Lamborghinis, Ferraris and Porsches. At the heart of the this performance was not a high-revving V12 or turbocharged flat-6 with ridiculous boost, but an enlarged version of the M119 motor sporting twin cams and 32 valves. The result? 376 horsepower and 428 ft. lbs of torque, or at least that’s what they reported – the motor ultimately may have exceeded 400 horsepower. In 1990, that was about as close to F40 performance as you could get – and they came with supercar pricetags, sometimes exceeding $200,000 and making them very rare. It was available in many different forms, from the E-Class Coupe to the S-Class in either sedan or coupe, as well as a smattering of early 500SLs. While today’s examples of the AMG 6.0s are both cars we’ve previously written up, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. There’s been a lot of attention focused on not only 1980s tuner cars but in particular limited production AMG models recently, so what has that done to the market?

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

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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.

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Tuner Tuesday: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG

Yesterday I pulled up behind a lightly modded 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC in my Audi Coupe. It was interesting, having them parked together and considering that they were produced only 1 year apart, yet the target audience for each was so vastly different. The Audi, steeped in modernity and full of angles, appeared short and lithe next to the Leviathan Mercedes. It was the last of the 1970s dinosaurs that somehow was still roaming the earth in the early 1990s, shouting and stomping around the land that time forgot. Yet there’s an inherent appeal in these cars too; beyond build quality and luxury, even beyond the fluid design of the pillarless coupe. There’s just something that is right about the C126, and pop some period AMG bits on and roll it in the period drug of choice, all that is missing is the Miami Vice soundtrack and some rolled up white sport coat sleeves:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC AMG on eBay

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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

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Honorable Mention Roundup

We get a lot of submissions from readers – something we greatly appreciate! But the reality is that we don’t get the chance to write up all of these cars, and some deserving examples slip through the cracks. For some time I’ve wanted to do a roundup of all the examples we missed out on, so today I’m doing just that. Here’s a group of neat cars that we didn’t get a chance to look at in more depth. Thanks again to all of our devoted readers who have sent in some of these suggestions – we really do love getting your suggestions, so keep sending them and tell us if this “Honorable Mention Roundup is a good idea!

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC on eBay

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Euro Big Coupe Showdown: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC v. 1984 BMW 635CSi

In the early 1980s, both BMW and Mercedes-Benz offered big coupes based upon sedan brethren. But to get the performance that matched their looks, before 1985-1986 you needed to look towards the “Grey Market” to get the hotter original specification motors. For the BMW 6-series, that meant the 635CSi jumped from 182 horsepower to 218, with 10 lb.ft more torque, too. But the Mercedes-Benz SEC was the big jump in power, with 27 horsepower more than the 380SEC but a massive 67 lb.ft of torque added. Coupled with lower weight, better headlights and slimmer bumpers, today these Euro editions are still quite popular and highly sought. Today I have two to face off; are either worth the high asking price for the ticket of admission?

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

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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?

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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

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