1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE with 36,000 miles

Low mileage Mercedes-Benz 560SLs from the late 1980s are fairly commonplace, but the days of locating low mileage W126 sedans with ease are over. Occasionally you find a few examples with under 100,000 miles, but finding one with less than 40,000 miles is like finding the proverbial needle in a haystack. Here is a short wheelbase 300SE for sale with 36,000 miles in the popular shade of Smoke Silver.

1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

Smoke Silver(702) with Burgundy Leather. Six cylinder, short wheelbase 126 series ‘S” Class sedan. US Model delivered new 05-13-1988 from Sutherland Motors in Spokane, WA. Electric Sliding Sunroof. Protected and preserved from the day it was delivered. Currently in spectacular, unaltered museum quality inside and out. An immediate MBCA show winner. Spectacular paint with no evidence of respraying. Spectacular leather with essentiall no evidence of use.

Perfect carpets, perfect headliner, perfect package panel w/original safety kit. Non-smoker car. No interior odors other than that of new leather. Front seat sheepskins virtually since new. Perfect exterior brightwork. As new paint depth and gloss. Spotless engine bay. Spotless undercarriage. Spotless inner wheel arches. Original unused spare tire w/direction card. Tool roll. Recent tires.

All body tags in place, No evidence of hood, door, trunk lid hinge bolt disturbance. Original windshield. Full handbook and literature packet including original window sticker ($50,550 Suggested list). Spare keys. Spotless wheels. Spotless bumper faces. Runs and drives essentially as a new 300SE.

The seller has this S class listed on Mercedes Heritage for $14,900, which is fairly reasonable for an old school, over engineered Mercedes with a lot less mechanical and electronic complexity than later models. Some may consider this a slow car with the M103 inline six engine or rather pedestrian given the car’s color, but I’m attracted to these cars because they are restrained in their styling and have an air of old money about them. I have a feeling that more modern Mercedes-Benzes with their ersatz chrome trim and prodigious use of LED lighting may not stand the test of time as well as modern classics like this 300SE.

-Paul

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

In the aftermath of World War II, Mercedes-Benz was a shining example of the German Economic Miracle. In such a short period of time, Germany mobilized its people and began rebuilding their country from the ground up. From buildings to factories, almost everything had to be rebuilt in the wake of mass destruction. Within ten years of restarting production, Mercedes-Benz had a mixed bag product lineup, consisting of models like the unibody Ponton sedan, 190SL roadster, 300SL sports car and the large 300 sedans, coupes and cabriolets.

The new Heckflosse, or Fintail models, bowed in 1959 and were the beginning of Mercedes-Benz’s push into the modern era. At the top of this range was the 300SE sedan and coupe. These models included more chrome, power steering, pneumatic suspension and automatic transmissions were standard. A little over 5,000 examples of the 300SE emerged from the factory between 1961 and 1965, making these über fintails quite rare, but overshadowed by successors such as the 300SEL 6.3 and later 4.5 models with the new generation V8 engines.

1963 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

If you are looking at this auction you probably already know what this is. The top of the line Mercedes sedan from 1963, the 300SE W112 has a similar body style but a completely different drive train from the W110 and W111 cars. If you are a lover of this body style, this is just about the the best model that you could aspire to own. All aluminum fuel injected 3 liter engine, four wheel disc brakes, four wheel independent air suspension and a multitude of other refinements that distinguish it from the 220S, 220SE and other lower model cars. This particular car is a solid example of the W112 sedan. It is far from perfect, but it has been operated continuously, though sparingly, throughout its life. It has 137,500 miles on it and I have enough history to say that I am confident that this is accurate original mileage.

Though there were many options available for these cars, this one only has a few. Most importantly (a requirement for any serious enthusiast) it has a sunroof. Also, it has the white trim package for the inside, the steering wheel, shifter knob and blinker knob. Also, and very oddly, it has a hydraulic fan clutch. This is an option that one would expect on a car that was not to be sold in America. However, there it is. I had a leak in the unit and put a standard drive fan on. I have since sourced a rebuild fan clutch but have not installed it. The exterior color is DB190g also known as graphite grey. The interior is read leather, with option code 204.

Condition:

The paint work on this car is partly original (I think) and partly respray. It has been fixed here and there over its life so that it continued to be presentable. For a perfectionist, it needs to be repainted. For a driver it is acceptable. It has dings, dents and scratches throughout though no major blemishes. There are two spots where there is rust. One spot on the rear rocker and another spot is just behind the rear passenger door in the inner fender. I will have to send pictures of these as they are pretty impossible to describe. Also, anyone who actually is serious about buying this car had better some see it first!

The interior of the car has what I believe to be the original wool carpet. The doors and seats are original though the back of the drivers seat has been replaced. It was replaced when you could still get the correct stuff from mercedes, so it is perfect factory replacement, but in much better shape. The interior is worn, there are stains, tears and many split seams. However, having owned this car and seen many others like it, it is one of the best preserved original interiors I have seen. Most of these cars end up sitting and as a result the interiors are destroyed. I would NEVER even consider replacing it. That is partly because its still ok and also because the original leather has a smell that could never be duplicated. For someone much more motivated that me, you could probably work wonders on it with the leatherique restoration products. The headliner has bee replaced with something other than original I think. I believe that this would have had a wool headliner. It now has the white with the small perforations. The wood is all in good condition. Some of the wood has been refinished in a color very different from factory, but it goes nice with the red. You can see both the original color and the new color on the picture where the back door is open.

Note on the pictures:

In one photograph the front passenger side blinker lens is broken, this has been replaced. The mechanical parts of this car have had extensive work done by me and my other 300SE loving friends. All the air bags have been replaced, the water pump, replaced the injection pump was rebuilt, the rear axle was removed and all the rubber parts replaced, the drive shaft rebuilt, the radiator boiled, the engine has been out, and in and out (and thankfully in again). I have very extensive documents and notes for the past 14 years, though I have only owned it for ten. The air valves all hold air. This car can sit for EVER and not leak down. All the gauges work, the original radio works. The clock doesnt work anymore, but it used too. It has been converted to pertronix electronic ignition. The transmission has been replaced though I dont have any documents for that. If anyone has any questions about what I have done, please ask. I cant remember everything right now. I have probably spent about $6,000 in parts that I have put on it, not to mention the time that was spent. I took as good of care of this car as I knew how for many years.

Sadly I have lost interest and I have had it parked in the garage for a few years. It needs the touch of a new enthusiast. I have a few parts that I never put on that it needs and it needs a good fine tuning. It runs and drives and can drive anywhere you want it to go. I am VERY reluctant to sell this car. It has been a constant part of my life for ten years and I hope that it goes to a good home. If you are interested, I also have a1964 Long Wheel base 300SE that I am interested in selling.

These 300SE sedans have a cult following amongst Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts, and from the looks of it, it appears the current owner is one of those people, given that he also owns a rare long wheelbase version. The suspension in these cars is complex, so it’s heartening to hear that both that system and the rest of the mechanicals are in good working order. Cosmetically, it leaves a bit to be desired, but as they say, it’s only original once and it appears that most of what we see is how it was when it left the factory. With a little bit of cosmetic refurbishment and elbow grease, this would be a nice, practical classic and would certainly garner interest at the next Mercedes-Benz club meeting.

-Paul

1995 Mercedes-Benz S320

People that know me know that I’m not a fan of large cars. Which is a problem because, living in the United States, it’s the land of big. If, however, I was in the need for a large car, at the top of that list would be the Mercedes-Benz S Class. Big, imposing and powerful, these cars are the go to transport for the rich and famous. Probably the most imposing of all S Classes has to be the 1992-1999 W140 model. Introduced during a global recession, they were derided as brash and unnecessarily large, which is a stigma from which they quite haven’t recovered.

Twenty years on from its introduction, prices are at bargain basement levels, which is a good thing and a bad thing. Good, because these extraordinary machines are within the reach of less than wealthy enthusiasts. Bad, because those who don’t buy wisely could be easily bankrupted in dealing with the car’s complexity. This is precisely why I prefer the smaller engined, less optioned S classes, as the maintenance costs are lower than the bigger engined models. Here is a clean, lower mileage 1995 S320 with the 3.2 liter inline six for $7,995 in California.

1995 Mercedes-Benz S320 on Hemmings Motor News Classifieds

1995 Mercedes-Benz S320 Sedan, 69k actual miles, oil changed every 3k. Californian car, approximately 4k miles per year, possibly one of the lowest mileage cars of this type in the country,
Sparkling unmarked metallic silver, soft gray leather. Fully loaded, tinted windows, alloy wheels, garaged, non-smoker, this car is in 9.5 condition (10 is new). Drives and feels like new, fabulous value,
$7,995, this is the one you’ve been waiting for.

I’m sure there are naysayers out there who would think this buy is way too risky and not worth it, but, well, I’m the kind of person that likes risk. Given the owner is open to negotiations, this represents a lot of car for the money. While you could buy a perfectly good subcompact car for about twice the price, I’d rather take a flyer on this S320 and just figure in the extra cash going forward for the maintenance and repairs and enjoy a big, comfortable, stately cruiser.

-Paul

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

The 1991 model year marked the last year for the W126 Mercedes-Benz S Class. This car was a lot of things to many people. The company car of Wall Street. The choice the world over of diplomats and dictators alike. A star in many Hollywood features and television series. Even though it had many advances over it’s predecessor, the W140 S Class that followed somehow missed garnering the cult following of the W126.

Here’s a low mileage, final year 300SE for sale in Miami.

1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

You are viewing a stunning, low mile 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE. Only 66k miles. Mint condition. Only two owners. Autocheck certified. Clean history. Completely Rust Free. Always garaged kept, original factory paint. Last year of the W126 chassis. It will not be easy to find another one like this. This vehicle is in showroom condition. No dents, dings or visible scratches. Everything works as it should, including A/C. Drives excellent, smooth engine and transmission. Ready to drive anywhere. Don’t let this one pass you by.

This W126 caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it’s the short wheelbase which makes it a little more reasonable size wise for every day use. Second, black is the perfect color for a W126, no matter what the year or model. Third, the 3.0 liter straight six is more reliable and cheaper to run than the bigger V8s. Last but not least, this is the final year for the W126. My current vehicle and the vehicle I owned prior to that are/were final production year models. Even though the W126 S Class had it pretty much together from the get go, the later models with their subtle updates are more desirable to most buyers.

-Paul

1999 Mercedes-Benz S320

The W140 Mercedes-Benz S class couldn’t have been introduced at a worse time, other than in the economic turmoil of present day. In 1991, the world was going through a recession, global warming critics were gaining ground and spreading anti-big car hate and people were looking to start the new decade fresh, breaking clean from excesses and the cocaine induced hangover of the 1980s.

So along came a new generation of S class to replace the beloved W126. The W140 introduced many new technologies such as double window glazing and a heating system that would circulate once the vehicle was turned off. It was also one of the first vehicles to feature Electronic Stability Control as an option. A wide range of engines was available, from a six cylinder diesel to the newly developed 6.0 liter V12.

Here is my favorite of the W140 range. The S320 sedan. 1999 marks the end of the line for the W140 as well as the M104 inline six. I’ve driven an S320 before and while it won’t set your hair on fire, it has adequate power and drives like any big Mercedes sedan should. A tank.

1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 on eBay

Offered for your consideration is this gorgeous and extremely well maintained 1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 SWB luxury sedan with just 48,460 original miles. The vehicle is a carfax certified, two owner that was traded in on a new vehicle. Carfax report also shows complete service history for this car since new (48 service redords). Finished in beautiful Brilliant Silver metallic exterior paint that is matched with a fresh and clean light gray leather interior. Loaded with options like ice cold air conditioning, full power options, electronic stability program, power folding mirrors, factory power moonroof, aluminum alloy wheels, matching set of Michelin tires, two master keyless entry remote keys and the original factory owner’s manuals.

The 3.2L inline six cylinder engine runs strong and smooth with plenty of power. The transmission shifts smoothly through all gears and the ride quality is superb. All power options function properly including all windows and the air conditioning. The vehicle has just been serviced with a fresh oil change and all the fluids being topped off. It has a fresh Virginia State Safety Inspection valid through September 2012 which covers all major safety and emissions items. This vehicle has been road tested and there are no known problems. It has been regularly maintained by Mercedes-Benz since new. The exterior paint is in pristine condition with a gorgeous shine. The body is free of any dents or scratches. There are a few if any stone chips and no door dings to report. The wheels are in wear free condition all the way around.

The interior is in like new condition throughout with no wear to any of the seats. The carpets are spot and stain free from front to back. All door panels are wear free. The dash and console show no wear. All wood is in beautiful shape and the cupholder assembly is intact. Overall this 1999 Mercedes-Benz S320 sedan is a spotless example with extremely low mileage. It shows less than normal wear and should not be missed. We take pride in our vehicles and do our very best to describe every detail of our vehicles accurately so that our customers across the street or across the country will know what they’re buying. The vehicle has been serviced. All miles are the original miles and the title is clean.

The W140s certainly aren’t the most reliable of Mercedes-Benzes and God forbid think twice before buying one with a V12, because, as one Mercedes service advisor once told me, the engine acts like a massive heat sink and cooks the damn wiring harness to hell. The S320 should be the most reliable of the range and with this kind of mileage, it should soldier on for quite some time. As it gets older, electrical gremlins could of course rear their head, but for me, it’s a small price to pay for what is one of the very best in S class history. For me, short of a late model W126 or vintage 300SEL 6.3, this is what the S class is all about.

-Paul

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with 25,000 miles

Growing up, I used to collect car brochures. What started as a hobby turned into a storage nightmare. So as any good librarian would do, I cataloged everything and organized all of them in a file cabinet. I remember the 1989 Mercedes-Benz brochure distinctly. It was about a 50 page booklet, with a two page spread at the end featuring a silver 560SEL. Unlike a lot of other kids who grew up in the 1980s that dreamed of Lamborghini Countaches and Ferrari Testarossas, I dreamt of driving a big, black S class. While I’ve owned two Mercedes so far, I haven’t had my W126 fantasy fulfilled. Which is probably why I was searching around today for clean, unmolested examples. Like this one for sale in California with only 25,000 miles.

1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with 25k miles on eBay

-Smoke Silver(702)/Dark Brown Leather(173)
-25,427 original miles, Single corporate owner until July 2011
-Original sales invoice ($74,233 cost new), original handbooks, original window sticker
-Original unused spare, unused tool roll
-Spotless interior trim, superb burlwood, perfect headliner, rear seat foot rests, non-smoker,
-All original sheetmetal, likely original paint as per electronic paint depth inspection (hood reads higher than other panels although shows no evidence of paintwork)
-Spotless undercarriage/wheel arches and engine bay.
-Every item functions as Mercedes-Benz intended
-A few very minor paint chips
-Superb wheels, recent Michelin ‘Pilot’ tires
-An amazing 126 series ‘survivor’ suitable to win at any Mercedes-Benz Club of America event.
-Major service and careful inspection just completed
-One of the finest 560SELs in the United States

I’m not a big fan of beige cars, but the tobacco leather is in great condition and makes the large interior look rich. Also, with features like dual airbags and anti-lock brakes, this is truly a practical classic that could hold its own against newer vehicles. I happened to peruse the Mercedes-Benz Classic website and they have a 560SEL for sale with a click over 60,000 miles on sale at EUR 36,750, or about $52,000. While that makes this car’s buy it now price seem reasonable, from recent sales I’ve come across it appears a more realistic value would be settling in around the $15,000 to $20,000 mark.

It’s common knowledge that most Mercedes-Benz sedans don’t command the higher prices that coupes and convertibles do. However, if one Mercedes-Benz sedan is going to see values take off in the coming years, it would have to be the W126 S Class. More modern than the W116 without being as complex as the W140 that followed, these cars have withstood the test of time.

-Paul

1983 Mercedes-Benz 300SD with 50k Miles

With the fluctuations in gas prices over the past few years, fuel economy has been at the forefront of public debate and to a degree has dictated consumers’ buying habits. I’ve always had a sweet spot for the W126 S Class Mercedes-Benzes, and in an era of boring hybrids and overweight vehicles that get less miles per gallon than they could, a good old diesel is a pleasant remedy. Especially one with an eye towards luxury, engineering and durability.

The seller states:

Classic 1983 Mercedes Benz 300 SD Turbo Diesel, only 50,209 Miles, in Show Room condition, always garaged, never in snow or rain. All leather in mint condition, no wear or cracks. Power Door locks, seats and sun roof all in working condition, only thing that does not work is the clock and have not investigated the problem. Never opened first-aid kit. Car has AM/FM radio with CD, but original radio comes with car.

This car is fabulous!!! Beautiful black exterior, with tan interior. This is a show car, not another one like it!!!! Ready to cruise to any car show and win each time. Reason for selling; have too many cars, something has to go. This is the actual miles on this car and has a clean title with no liens.

These diesel S classes are usually high mileage propositions on the used market, but high mileage doesn’t mean the end of the road for these engines. $21,500 is quite a chunk of change for an almost 30 year old Mercedes-Benz, even if it was an SL or coupe model. I doubt the seller will achieve such a high price, but nevertheless, this is a stunning example of a car that could last you a lifetime.

-Paul

1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD

Every morning on my way to work I am confronted by the ubiquitous Toyota Prius screwing around in the left lane and holding up traffic. Now, I’m all for more efficient vehicles, but driving a penalty box like this on a daily basis might lead me to mental instability. While this vintage S class isn’t faster than a Prius, it will certainly get you there in style and last a whole lot longer.

The seller states:

This is an exceptionally clean, well cared for, smoke-free Mercedes. Accordingly here is a list of the good and also things needing attention: All the glass is in great shape. The car idles, runs and drives out as I feel it should – strong oil pressure, strong battery and charging system, no overheating, no brake pull or alignment issues! The factory original color gold metallic paint is in great overall condition and still holds quite a shine. I find NO rust spots on the body or door panels. Absolutely superior chrome and exterior trim all around, too! The front fenders, doors, rear quarters and floor pans are all solid; in fact the entire undercarriage is in great condition for a 30 year-old car! The factory wheels are straight and true. They’re wrapped with 205/70R14 radials with at least 80% life remaining.

The upholstery is all-original with the pictures giving a very accurate view of its clean, solid, superb condition. Often, you’ll find worn springs and disintegrating cushion material on these cars. This is NOT the case here. Hop in and feel comfortable sitting on these firm seats for hours. About the only flaw is a worn spot on the driver’s backrest that doesn’t warrant much attention for now, you’ll see it in the pics. The heater and A/C system work, but could use a refrigerant recharge. There’s no evidence of any water leakage on the perfect headliner. All the gauges and exterior lights are bright and true. The former owner switched out the original factory AM-FM Becker stereo for a nice Blaupunkt many years ago. It works great and the low-key appearance keeps the classic vibe in place. The jack, spare and tools are in the trunk.

The W116 S class has never been the most desirable Mercedes out there. This final year W116 with its impeccable condition should bring top value to the right buyer, whether they are a Mercedes-Benz fan or they are looking to avoid the stigma that comes with driving a green vehicle. One thing is certain: whereas the Prius needs a new battery every so often, this S class will surpass the hybrid’s durability and cachet, while the owner can take heart in knowing he’s helping the environment by keeping an old car running, thus saving energy that is exerted during the manufacturing process. You also have to love the fact that the front bumper on this Mercedes probably weighs as much as a Prius!

-Paul