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1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE

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Have you ever fallen in love with a car instantly? Is it sometimes completely irrational? I am somewhat ashamed to admit I let out a low sigh accompanied by an “Oh, man!” when I first came across this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE. Perhaps my wife is too accustomed to me doing so, because she didn’t even direct her stare in my direction – instead simply saying “What now?” Expecting to see some exotic Ferrari or Lamborghini, it was instead a rather boring looking Mercedes-Benz. And it was green. Really, really green. She also emitted a low sigh, but coupled it instead with an “Ugh!” That, however, did not dissuade me. I continued to stare at this Euro-spec W126, thinking that all should have come in short wheel base configuration, in Willow Green, and with green cloth interiors:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SE on eBay

Year: 1982
Model: 500SE
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 141,386 mi
Price: $5,000 Buy It Now

Please note that the VIN on this car causes a validation error on Ebay. If you check it ( WDB12603612022669 ) on Carfax it will work. I have changed the year of the car to 1980 to get past this bug, but the car year is 1982.

This is a rare 1982 Mercedes Benz 500SE with only 141,000 miles. She’s a looker.

Previously owned by the German Consulate in SF. It has been federalized to US safety and emission standards. The North American market or at least the US never received the 500SE (W126) model but rather the 500SEL model (longer wheelbase, heavier, larger, less horsepower, etc.) which later evolved into the 560SEL model. This model (the 500SE) is difficult to find outside of Europe, and it benefits from smaller bumpers than the clumsy looking American-style bumpers, a more powerful engine, and a velour/plush interior that you can’t find anywhere (check the pictures — it’s like a living room with wheels). Also the radio controls are German.

This car is in truly outstanding condition, and has original ‘willow’ green paint (sort of a light silver green) which is in excellent condition especially considering it is 32 years old. The interior, chrome, and glass are all original and are in very good condition. The headliner is like new. The carpets and dash are in excellent condition. Mechanically, the car runs fantastic and is reliable — performs like a champ on road trips!

The previous owner installed Bilstein struts and shocks as well as H&R springs which lowered the car a bit. Front suspension was also redone – all the control arms, bushings, etc. are new. Also has a flowmaster performance exhaust system & new all-season tires as of Feb 1, 2014.

This car does not sound like most Mercedes, it sounds more like a small block Chevy or Ford.

Recent service:

Brake pads, sensors, and calipers replaced
New Tires
Redone auto lock vacuum pump

I have all receipts from previous owner and my recent repairs.

I’m the type of car owner that quickly repairs any issues with the car. This car has performed better than I could possible have imagined. It’s a reliable, powerful, fun car!


Large electric sunroof, and just about power everything else
Engine is a 5.0 liter SOHC all alloy V8 that puts out more power than the comparable American model and sounds beastly.
Wheels are a BBS style wheel made by Rial.
Lowered suspension

Damage: Scratches on side of car (not deeper than the paint), small tear on left side of driver’s side seat (2″ square), tape player doesn’t work (radio does).

Of course, to me what makes this car special is that not all W126s came in this shade. While it’s not hugely abnormal to see a light green W126, the combination with the green interior and short wheel base really make a statement. Couple that with the cool period Rial wheels and a slightly lowered stance and this car really stands apart from the crowd. I’m aware that not all will love it, but I sure do. If there’s a downside it’s perhaps the Flowmaster exhaust; while I’m sure it sounds good and elicits some smiles it’s hard for me to imagine an American soundtrack tied to the otherwise stately W126. Of course, perhaps it’s more fitting considering the abnormal combination of this striking short wheel base. Regardless, though few obviously selected this color combination and configuration originally this will remain one of my favorite W126s I have ever seen.



  1. Brad
    Brad January 6, 2015

    I’m with you. Radical.

  2. Craig
    Craig January 6, 2015

    Gah that’s really, really nice. If this had been on the market when I bought my w201, I would have bought this instead.

  3. Kenn
    Kenn January 6, 2015

    “…. it’s like a living room with wheels.” LOL, that might not be a selling point for everyone but it had me thinking of the closest route to the bank! I always find myself defending green-on-green vehicles, I actually like that they don’t look modern. Its part of this vehicles unique appeal. Awesome find Carter!

  4. audemars
    audemars January 6, 2015

    I would not buy a Mercedes from someone that states “This car does not sound like most Mercedes, it sounds more like a small block Chevy or Ford”.
    I rather spend 6 times more and get a gem.

  5. Early8q
    Early8q January 6, 2015

    Poof! There it is! Great find! What would Austin Powers say about that beauty?

  6. Todd
    Todd January 7, 2015

    I had a 1990 300 SEL in Sea Foam Green Metallic.
    Parchment leather. Beautiful car. I still have the printed ebay listing with the color photos.
    In all of the years I owned it, I only came across a few cars with this color.
    One was a 560 SL. Another was a 300 TE. Then, there was the 190 E. That’s all I saw in that color.
    I’ll never forget. When I first bought the car, I took my daughter to a local donut shop for breakfast. I parked the car out by itself, away from the riff-raff..=) I was sitting there eating and admiring this beautiful machine when I heard this old bag, I mean lady, say to her friend “Look at that ugly green Mercedes. That’s ugly”. Oh well. Can’t please everyone. She left in a late 90’s Lincoln Town Car. So much for her taste in automobiles. I flew to Palm Beach to pick up the car. The drive back to Oklahoma by myself was a great time. Until I reached Louisiana. On the way, there was an ABS light that was bugging me. I stopped in LA to eat lunch. Came back out and thought to myself “I know! I can unhook the battery and that light will reset itself. Then I’ll know if it’s a real problem or a fluke.” I did this and the light never came back on the rest of the time I owned it. But…it also reset the security coded radio. I did not have the code. It was Sunday. I had to drive all the way from middle Louisiana, across Texas to Dallas, and North to Norman Oklahoma without a radio. This was before smart phones with all that music. What. A. Long. Trip. You sing a lot to keep from going crazy.
    That’s all.

  7. audifan
    audifan January 7, 2015

    I am a big green on green fan. Unfortunately most Americans did not like this color combo, but a few grey market cars made it here.
    This car is NOT willow green (261 nelkengruen) since this color was only available in the 2. generation starting August 1985. It is thistle green (881 silberdistel) which is quite different from willow green. I like both and willow green looks a little bit more modern.
    Too bad it has aftermarket wheels, but it should not be too difficult to find a set of correct 14 inch Bundt wheels.
    About 2.500.– is a realistic price for a first generation W126 with this kind of miles and after getting rid of the flowmaster and the lowered suspension.

  8. Carter
    Carter January 8, 2015

    Thanks for the correction, audifan! Neat color for sure.

  9. Alex
    Alex January 10, 2015

    881 green metallic is quite popular in europe for w123 (I have this color exactly), especially for the later restyled models. And green interior is popular as well, though rarely for an upper range 280’s . This w126 looks great, but it was rather strange to read word ‘only’ for 141k miles. Yes, it’s good old mercedes, but you can’t say ‘only’ for the mileage that many cars don’t even survive

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