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1990 Mercedes-Benz 350SDL

As the 1990s dawned, the end of production for the W126 Mercedes-Benz was in sight. In Mercedes’ long and storied history, this model was one of the greats, combining rugged W123 durability with an extra dose of size and luxury for the discerning customer. While a variety of petrol engines were offered in the US, there was but one diesel option for us in the form of a turbocharged, 3.5 liter inline six. This long-wheelbase 300SDL for sale in Washington state has under 70,000 miles on the clock and was a European delivery vehicle.

Year: 1990
Model: 350SDL
Engine: 3.5 liter turbocharged inline-6 diesel
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 67,356 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 350SDL on eBay

The Mercedes Benz W126 body S class sedan is arguably one of the most beautiful MBZ sedans to have ever left Germany. It was far ahead of anything else in the world when it was introduced in 1980. It set the standard for formal luxury sedans for more than a decade and was the benchmark for automotive design during the 1980s. The choice of diplomats, world leaders, and executives worldwide, it became an iconic symbol of understated elegance, quality, and supreme good taste. These factors combined to lead to it’s unprecedented twelve year model run.

The one offering that had been missing for the 1980s was a long wheelbase w126 with Mercedes’ famed diesel engine. For most of the decade the diesel was only available in the short wheelbase version, 300SD. Finally Mercedes offered a larger, more powerful 3.5L turbo diesel mated to it’s flagship bodied long wheelbase S class sedan. The result was the limited production 350SDL built only in 1990-91, with just 2,925 units built for the USA during that two year period.

These cars have become highly sought after due to their low production numbers and legendary bullet proof MBZ diesel power plants. When these cars do show up for sale they typically have 200-300,000+ miles on them. Not so the magnificent example being offered here. Here is a RARE opportunity to acquire a one owner 1990 Mercedes Benz 350SDL Turbo Diesel long wheelbase sedan with incredibly low miles of just 67,306. This is a U.S. specification car that was custom ordered and delivered through MB USA’s European delivery program. The original owner co-owned a Porsche dealership in Los Angeles, CA and used this car sparingly in his retirement in Oregon and Southern California.

This particular Mercedes Benz is finished in stunning optional “Black Pearl Metallic” color code # 199 with a gray full leather upholstery and interior trim. Car is all original and rust free. It has a new set of original OEM alloy wheels with new tires and lug nuts. Being a pampered West Coast garaged Mercedes the DASH IS NOT CRACKED and perfect. Factory paint is as beautiful as it can get and still retains it’s glossy shine. I did have the bumper corners professionally touched up at the best paint shop in Bellevue, WA so it is perfect. Equipped with the all of the standard power equipment you would expect on Mercedes’ flagship plus the RARE options of “Orthopedic Seats” and “Rear Sun Shade.” All options on the car work as they should and the air conditioning blows COLD!!!!

The car recently had a new head gasket and complete service on the engine and it runs, shifts, and drives as smooth as silk; glow plug lights and starts without any hesitation of any type. Really powerful and great fuel economy. Car looks as perfect as it can get for being 23+ years old and shows far less than normal wear. You will never find one again in this condition and miles this low. The car has a clear California title and is located in Bellevue, WA 98005-1620. Car was traded in at a Mercedes Dealer in California and I purchased it from them. This car is 23+ years old, so obviously it is sold as is, with no warranty expressed or implied. I have tried to describe the car in the best detail possible, but I may have missed something important to you. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have BEFORE bidding. In person inspections are welcome and can be arranged.

A $500 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit is due within 24 hours of the end of the auction. The balance is due within 7 days of the end of the auction. Wire transfer for the balance is preferred. Cashiers or personal check is okay, but verification of clearance will delay the release of the car. I am happy to work with your shipper once the car is paid for and I can provide indoor storage for the car up to 30 days after the end of the auction. I reserve the right to cancel all bids and end the auction early for local sale. I am happy to work with International buyers. Please keep in mind car will need to be paid in full and clearance of payment will need to be verified prior to the car being released for transport.

I have had the same eBay id for OVER 10 YEARS; my feedback speaks for itself. I have sold a number of cars over the years and every buyer has been very happy with their purchase. You can buy with confidence. Thanks for Your Interest and Happy Bidding!

Anyone who thinks economy and luxury are mutually exclusive should set their eyes on one of these classic diesel powered S class sedans. They may not be fast by today’s large car standards, but finding a low mileage one like this 350SDL is becoming harder to find, as many of these oil burners had the miles piled on by businessman on long trips and professional drivers shuffling around VIPs. At almost $10,000, the reserve has not been met. The best 560SEL out there may run you around $15,000 to $20,000, so I’d suspect the diesel may pull a little bit less, as buyers who want the economy of this engine typically seek it out in a smaller package. Every time I see one of these black W126 sedans it takes me back to my childhood when I dreamed of owning one. Depreciation is a wonderful thing and now these marvelously engineered wonders are well within reach for ordinary folks like me.



  1. Raymond
    Raymond August 15, 2013

    Beautiful. Have a good MB shop PPI it with a special check to make sure it isn’t suffering from the “rod bender” issue.

  2. Larry
    Larry August 15, 2013

    Great model, in a great color combo, in great condition. Basically, a great opportunity for someone living a few thousand miles closer. Then again, this would be a fantastic car for a cross-country road trip!

  3. John
    John August 15, 2013

    A few years ago, I acquired a beautiful 30,000 mile, 1999 Mercedes-Benz s320 (w140) gasoline sedan after first wanting the s350 (w140) diesel sedan but then finding significant and disturbing information about the OM603.97 diesel engine and what appears to be a known major design flaw that apparently can cause rods to bend and cylinders to oval, essentially causing the engine to fail big time… and not necessarily after hundreds of thousands of miles… possibly the result of cylinders that have larger bores than the 3.0L engine that it is based on…

    The 350sdl (w126) featured here may share the same engine as the s350 diesel (w140)…

    Mercedes-Benz has never come out publicly and acknowledged flaws of this nature with the OM603.97 diesel engine, although they have, in many cases, quietly and reluctantly provided significant repairs / replacement engines to understandably disgruntled owners on a case-by-case basis…

    Not wanting to rain on anyone’s parade, and as a current Mercedes-Benz owner and a previous owner of many, including diesels (1977 300d – normally aspirated, 1983 300d – turbocharged), anyone looking at cars with the OM603.97 diesel engine should do their homework and not take my word for it…

    This particular vehicle up for sale looks to be a stunning example of a well-cared for w126 but is worthy of further scrutiny…

    I remain stunned by the number of folks regularly willing and able to hand over exceedingly high amounts of money for used Mercedes-Benz diesels, while dismissing similar gasoline-engined equivalents (that are usually valued at just a fraction) and doing so under the false impression that million-mile durability is a given, when significant evidence exists to the contrary…

  4. Raymond
    Raymond August 15, 2013

    Well said. There are too many people who seem to think MB diesels of this era are immune to physics. They aren’t, although they are great cars. Value this 126 as you would with any relatively low mileage, excellent condition 126 and get your arms around the rod bender issue via a solid inspection for starters.

    Final thought: the reputation of the Benz diesels relative to the gas engines was made in the 70s and 80s when the gas Benz engines would go about 100k-150k before needing some expensive overhaul. (Mind you this was excellent service life then for what were, again at that time, relatively high output engines.) The diesel motors would last longer. (Today, this distinction is pretty meaningless as diesels are far more complex than they were and gas engines now last far longer if cared for.) Mind you the rest of the car was the same and even the diesels had weak points, like inkection pumps and turbo overhauls on the force fed variants. Fast forward 20 or 30 years, add in loss of the background above via the simple passage of time, and the wild west that is known as ebaymotors and now, presto, Benz diesels are viewed as somehow being the last refuge of those who want a long lasting car. These cars are stull superb cars, but they break, wear out, and require care and feeding just like any other older machine, and that care and feeding can be very expensive.

  5. markiteight
    markiteight August 15, 2013

    I know the seller and I know the car. Yes, the “rod bender” issue has been addressed. However, I think I need to have a word with the seller about some the wording in his ad. “The Mercedes Benz W126 body S class sedan is arguably one of the most beautiful MBZ sedans to have ever left Germany.” Well…no, it just isn’t. “Here is a RARE opportunity to acquire a one owner 1990 Mercedes Benz…” He bought it from the original owner, but that makes him the SECOND owner.

    He does have a tendency to embellish his ad copy a bit. When I put my VW MultiVan up for sale he offered to help me with the ad listings. After a couple weeks with few responses I removed all the fluff, left the facts, and the van sold in a day…for $13,500 more than I paid for it. That being said, I can vouch for the seller and the car. He is a solid, honest guy and the car is even cleaner in person than it appears in the pictures.

  6. […] like this car rather special. We’ve had a few clean W126s here on GCFSB lately, including a 1991 350SDL (diesel) with 67,000 miles that sold for a little bit over $13,200 and a similar Smoke Silver 1991 560SEL […]

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