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

Tuner Tuesday: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG 6.0 ‘Hammer’

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You probably know all about the W124 AMG ‘Hammer’ cars by now. A normal 300E that was transformed by then independent company AMG into a four-door monster thanks to the punched-out 6.0 liter M117/9 and various other à la carte options depending on the owners desires. They didn’t call these cars the ‘Hammer’ for nothing with 375-ish horsepower and even more torque. Because of this, the values have held strong at nearly 10 times and sometimes even more than what you’d pay for a normal W124 300E. When one of these cars come up for auction, it’s usually a big deal. This 1988 Hammer heading to the block at the end of the month will probably fetch a pretty penny, despite what Sotheby’s is predicting. So let’s check this monster out:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG ‘6.0 Hammer’ at RM Sotheby’s

1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL

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Last week I checked out a 1978 350SE that was chock-full of little goodies but didn’t really past muster as a good buy. Today we have another W116 that seems to check all the boxes of of what a proper 1970’s S-Class should bring to the table as a nice driver and possible collector car. Located in Switzerland, the black paint is only the tip of the iceberg as to what this 450SEL offers. So let’s check out this blood-red big Benz.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL at Küng Classics

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

1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SL

Over the past few weeks, we’ve covered pretty much the range of SL products from the awesome 300SL Roadster Andrew found through yesterday’s Mineral Green R129 500SL. When it comes to the R107 model, the second longest production cycle for Mercedes-Benz (only outdone by the stone-age G), generally we spend most of our time looking at the more prevalent and popular 560 models. Seemingly synonymous with the 1980s, Signal Red SLs are often flanked by black and white models. But let’s not forget that the R107 was a child of the 1970s, and when you head back to the beginning of the production cycle the colors become fittingly bell-bottomed. Suddenly, the red, black and whites are replaced by cream, browns, and greens – and while the colors can really date the chassis, occasionally they look pretty spectacular. Such is the case with today’s unique U.S. specification 450SL from 1973, only the second year of R107 production. Presented in DB-860 Green with green MB Tex and dash, the only thing missing is Carly Simon’s “You’re so vain” playing in the background:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz 450SL on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

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I’ve voiced my dislike for the R107 in the past. I think they are clichéd, the production ran way too long and are extremely expensive now for what they are. So why am I featuring this 1986 560SL today? Well, this one isn’t extremely overpriced — at least not yet. Even more unique to the R107 is that this car has 284,000 miles which means it’s owner(s) didn’t treat didn’t treat it as a part of their 401k plan. This 560SL was used regularly and according to the sellers description taken care of whenever it need be. So let’s check out this 1986 in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SL on eBay

1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

When the W126 S-class first appeared in the US in the early 80s, the most powerful gasoline model available, the 380SEL, proved a bit of a disappointment. The 3.8 liter V8 engine produced a relatively paltry 155 hp, prompting wealthy American buyers to go to the trouble of importing the more powerful 500SEL from Europe. These cars, initially unavailable in the US, were powered by a 5.0 liter V8 which produced a much more respectable 240 hp. In fact, the gray market demand for the 500SEL turned out to be so strong that ultimately Mercedes-Benz of North America relented, and began officially bringing them to the US from 1984-85 (in 1986 they were phased out in favor of the 560SEL). Still, Euro 500s remained an attractive proposition: making roughly about the same power as the US 560s, they had slimmer bumpers and more attractive glass headlights. That may explain why this ’86 Euro-spec model was imported to the US in 1987, by a high-level German banker no less.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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

Feature Listing: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL

For a few years in the late 1970s, two seeming decapitated dinosaurs roamed the roads of America, the last of a dying breed in the great Convertible Ice Age. First was the now ancient Beetle cabriolet, designed originally in the 1930s and relatively unchanged until production ceased – sort of – in 1980. Your other option if you wanted top-down motoring in the U.S. was the Mercedes-Benz SL, but while it made the Beetle look like a horse-drawn cart, in reality it wasn’t a particularly sporty car at that time. American manufacturers had withdrawn from the market in 1977, and the still relatively small companies of BMW, Audi and Porsche had only tin tops. If you wanted a luxury convertible in 1977, the Mercedes-Benz R107 was your option.

Then the 1980s happened, and suddenly the gas crisis, economic stagnation and concerns over sun exposure suddenly ended. People who liked convertibles were no longer viewed as social pariah with a death wish, and the SL shined as a perfect example of success and excess. Like most V8s from the late 1970s and early 1980s, the SL’s V8 had suffered from environmental restraints which resulted in the 380SL. With a mere 155 horsepower on offer from its engine, the 380SL was hardly the match for its near 3,500 lb. curb weight. That was finally rectified in 1986 with the introduction of the much upgraded 560SL. Now the M117 delivered the power that the prestige of the SL demanded; it gained 72 horsepower and nearly 100 lb.ft. of torque, and gave the model a new lease on life. While the R107’s production cycle lifetime doesn’t scare the likes of the Beetle’s 50 years, in a marque with the storied history of Mercedes-Benz it is the second longest produced model. That alone should lend some credibility to its staying power, and today these models have finally gained the respect they deserve:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SL at Auto Source Group

1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E AMG 6.0

1This car is the very definition of a hot mess, so much so that I almost passed it by. But a V8 powered Baby Benz is such an outrageously fun proposition that I couldn’t resist writing it up anyway. In the 1980s, AMG was still an independent tuner that offered bodykit, engine and suspension upgrades for Mercedes cars. These are known to enthusiasts as the “pre-merger” years; AMG would later be folded into Daimler-Benz in about 1990. While we’re fairly familiar with W124 and W126 AMGs from this period (especially the W124 Hammer, which you can see Chris Harris hooning here), occasionally a 190E will pop up to remind us that the geniuses at Affalterbach also worked their magic on the W201 chassis. At first glance this candy red 190E appears to be an AMG-modded car, but a look beneath the surface reveals that it’s actually a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190E 6.0 V8 on eBay