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

Year: 1986
Model: 500SEL
Engine: 5.0 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 53,775 mi
Price: Reserve auction with $16,995 Buy It Now

You are viewing a Rare Example of this 1986 Mercedes 500 Sel sedan. In 1986-1991 All 126 cars were 560 sel’s for the US market. The euro cars featured a 5 Liter V 8 with more HP and a different gearing to excel this car over a US model. It was made with no Catalytic converters and no emission controls. This car was Originally brought to the US early in 1987 by the Vice President of Duetsche Bank and was in Indiana its whole life. This car was a garage queen and had 2 owners since new. The car has 54,775 miles. I have a clear title from Indiana showing 27 k miles in 2010 when it was purchased by the second owner. The color Combo is Stunning . I have been selling Mercedes Benz for many years. I never seen a Signal red 126 sedan. The paint is all Original and shines like new. There are no dent’s or scratches or imperfections. The chrome around the car is excellent as well. The bumpers and side cladding is all original with no chips or scratches. The black leather interior is also exceptional in every way. The seats are soft and supple and show no major wear. Drivers seats is excellent with no wear in the bolster. The carpet is excellent as is the headliner. The wood is very glossy and crack free. The dash is pristine as well. Inside the car you will find the Climate control to switch from Heat to Ice cold Ac. It was converted to 134 and is all new. The Original Becker radio with cassette works excellent as does the power antenna. The previous owner has a Alpine 6 Disc CD changer added to the original radio and it works amazing. The power window’s all work as does the power sunroof and even the Cruise control works flawless. Power seats front and rear along with heated seats front and rear. You will notice near the shifter it has a E and S mode. That is for the transmission to switch from economy to Sport . This was never offered for a US 560 sel. In sport mode it launches the car from 1 st gear and provides more torque . Mechanically she is amazing. The euro spec car came with a standard suspension with 4 shocks. The Us model 560 sel had Self leveling and is very expensive to maintain. The suspension is super tight and the car holds the road amazing. Now hit the gas and hold on. This car is way faster then a 560 sel. It will spin the tires with ease and it just wants to keep going. It was designed to do 100 plus miles on the Autobahn and yet still have all the comfort features of a Luxury car. The car still has it’s Original Euro bumpers. They are smaller then the US cars. Also Original Bosch euro headlamps which are much brighter and light the road up at night amazing. I just serviced the car . New oil change , 4 new Michelin tires . The brakes are excellent . The engine runs very smooth and operates at 80 Degrees with Ac on . I took photo’s of the undercarriage and you can see how spotless it is.It still has the paint underneath the car and in the wheel wells . The condition of the car speaks for itself, Like I said earlier you will not see a 126 Sedan in signal red with black leather driving down the street anywhere. If you have been looking for a quality 126 sedan and want the power and yet class and luxury then this is the car for you. I am pricing it to sell. Please read my feedback as I take pride in selling great cars. You can call me with any questions you may have. Steve 954-464-3515

Ebay doesn’t Recognize the Euro Vin The Vin Number is WDB1260371A222436 . I have a Car fax report for the car that I can email you. Its clean and show’s no accident history.

I have clear title, All 4 original keys including wallet. Original books with stamped service and Inside the trunk you will find the full size spare and tools and Emergency Triangle that you only get on a Euro car.


I’m used to seeing W126s in somber, stately colors, but never before have I seen one in Signal Red (paint code 568). I think it looks glorious over black leather, as we see here, and I encourage you to click through to the auction to see some lovely high resolution photos of the car gleaming in the Florida sun. The condition of this example looks excellent inside and out, which is I’m sure attributable to the incredibly low 54k miles on the odometer. The exterior displays no apparent flaws and the interior looks like it has barely been used. The car is also nicely equipped, with electric front and rear seats (heated in the front), driver’s airbag and regular (as opposed to the expensive-to-maintain, hydro-pneumatic) suspension.

The $16,995 Buy It Now price is steep, but this is an unusual, low mileage and well-specified car, and that price is not completely out of line with the asking prices we’ve been seeing lately on mint-condition, low mileage W126s (some of which are creeping toward the $20k price point).

– Craig

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Perhaps a silly question, but if this was a German spec car originally, did they have the instruments converted to US spec upon importation?

  2. In answer to your question other Rusty, the car was most likely a 1980’s grey market import that had minimal changes made to meet federal regulation.

  3. Seldom seen color combo, and looks great on the 126! Even better that its a euro model.

  4. Bid to $13,800 but did not break reserve. No sale.

Comments are closed