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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Tuner Tuesday: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 350SL Euro-Spec Lorinser

While there are some great tuners from the 1980s whose designs seems classic and timeless, there seem to be many more whose designs are massively polarizing. For every spectacular Ruf, AMG and Alpina that’s out there, there seem to be an equal or greater amount of Gemballas, Stroseks, DPs, Koenigs and Tresers. The modifications they undertook were expensive and generally outrageous. It also seems that often they were discarded by their deep pocketed builders once they were no longer in fashion – if they ever were. But even if they weren’t the most attractive, they’re still cool timepieces to look back on a decade that defined excess through conspicuous consumption. I can’t help but wonder what the trends of today are that we’ll look back upon with the same attitude as we judge the 1980s. One of the tuners that seems to skirt between garish and great is Lorinser – not so wild as the Testarossa vented Koenigs, but generally I’d say not as good looking as the AMGs, either:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1978 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible “AMG”

If you missed Paul’s MerCamino earlier today, I’ve got another strange conversion for you. The 1980s were a heady time for “tuners”, some of which made some downright odd creations and others of which took existing really good cars and just…well, made them worse. One of the best ways to wreck a good car is to chop the roof off, and making cabriolet or roadster versions of coupes seemed to be a sure tuning bet in the 1980s. We got convertible versions of the Quattro, Porsche 928, BMW 6 series – heck, even the Ferrari Testarossa wasn’t immune. But if you wanted luxury and sun for 4, of course you needed a Mercedes-Benz 500SEC convertible. And while you’re there, why not throw in some AMG bits. “What?”, you say, “But I’ve never seen one!” Search no more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: Anti-AMGs? Lorinser and Zender R107 SLs

Just yesterday, Paul revisited a lovely green 1986 560 SL and reminded us that these cars are at the bottom of the market in terms of classic Mercedes-Benz convertible ownership. It was only a few years ago that the W113 was priced below $20,000; now getting into a good example of that car will set you back the best part of three times that amount if not more. While in my opinion the W113 was a much prettier car than the R107 successor, there’s no denying the presence and value these 1970s and 1980s drop-top Benzs offer. Yet, few of these cars were modified like the sedan counterparts; those that have are usually AMG cars. But today there are two different versions of the R107 that have been modified, showing the alternatives to Affalterbach crowd:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 350SL on eBay

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1990 Mercedes 560SEL AMG & 1988 560SEL Lorinser

Fans of the big body Benz W126 models are in luck with two special models on eBay right now.

First off is a 1988 U.S. spec 560SEL decked out in the Lorinser kit with 110,904 miles. The seller states this is a two owner car that has been well maintained. They have the original sticker with the car and its price is listed as $70,160, not including the $12,000 that the Lorinser body kit and rims added. There isn’t much more info about the car, but it does come with some spare parts. The car looks pretty good, it has tinted tail lights which, along with the color matched rims and grille, help the blacked out effect. There are white face gauge set on the inside with red accents, which stand out. The Lorinser kit is subtly different from the AMG kit; this car comes with the original Lorinser Sport Service badge. The car is begging for someone to toss the sunken U.S. spec headlights. Bidding sits at $3,550 with three days left and the reserve not met.

 

If you like the 560SEL above, but it just doesn’t quite fit the look you like in terms of your Miami Vice style Benz sedans then this following car shows a bit more refinement. This 1990 560SEL AMG is close to the peak in terms of the W126 sedans. Hat tip to reader Andrew for noticing this on Canadian eBay. Comparing this Euro car side by side with the U.S. Lorinser model above you can see how its lines are smoother and the AMG package just seems a bit tighter. The air dams and rocker aero package are a bit better sculpted, the Euro headlights make for a smooth front face, and the blacked out effect is completed with more success with the chrome around the doors being body color as well, though the AMG three piece wheels do retain a chrome lip.

This car has 64,178 miles and a long list of proper modifications. The Japanese market AMG logo “ducktail” spoiler mounted on this car, never all that appealing to me, I prefer the more traditional third brake light AMG straight spoiler, is a rare option. Again comparing this 560 to the one above you can really see how the AMG suspension components this car has gives it a lower wider stance. The seller lists this car as being a 9.8 out of 10 on the outside, with new clear coat and a 10 out of 10 on the inside. The 300 km/h speedo and white face AMG gauge set struck my as different and it took me a second to figure out why. The reason is all the yellow needles have been replaced with blacked out pieces, attention to detail there. The whole car does look fine.

Other parts on this car include the power rear sunshade, the heated power seats, and the 2.65 limited slip diff with second gear start switch, this can be swapped to a numerically higher diff, AMG offered several, for more sporting stop light performance, but you will lose some of the long haul highway munching characteristics this car is built for.
The seller lists the AMG parts as:

AMG paint scheme ( blacked out chrome finish )
AMG suspension [springs and shocks with stamps on them]
AMG complete exhaust system from the down pipes with AMG catalytic converter
AMG spoilers [ Japan version front and the so called “ducktail” ]
AMG 3 pc. 17″ staggered rims
AMG transmission with higher shifting points
AMG steering wheel
AMG cluster with 300 Km with correct reading of speed
AMG door thresholds on all 4 doors
AMG center wooden console
AMG wooden shift knob complete with logo
AMG authentic sticker on glove box wooden trim

I also note there is an AMG badge placed on top of the period car phone. A small Mercedes trophy sits in the console perhaps from a car show the seller took the car to.

This car won’t sell cheaply, but will not bring the same amount as an AMG engine modified car. Heavy bidding has it at $12,000 with reserve not met and five days left.

If you have your own 500 or 560 and want to add some life to it, there is a set of genuine AMG headers for sale right now on eBay for $2,300.

 

~Evan