We have 15 years of archives. Links older than a year may have been updated to point to similar cars available to bid on eBay.
As time marches on, so does the W126 Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Pick your engine size and you are basically set. The cleanest of the clean examples continue to bring strong money month after month, and the less than desirable examples are dying off as they become not worth it to own or repair anymore.
Today, we have a 1988 300SEL up for sale in Florida finished in the rare Pajett Red with dark gray lower cladding. Even better, it’s covered just 86,000 miles since new. Worth the asking price? Maybe.
No, your eyes aren’t mistaken and my finger didn’t slip up one digit on the number pad. I meant to type 6.6. Let me explain.
What we are looking at today is a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3, a legendary car on its own, that had the M100 engine block opened up to increase the displacement 6.6 liters. Who is responsible for such a thing? Karl Middelhauve, of course. If you aren’t familiar with Karl, he is a man world-renowned for his expertise on M100-powered Mercedes and especially his work on the W100 600. If something can be done with a M100 Mercedes, Karl can do it and probably has already done it. This is just one of his examples. This 1969 up for sale in San Francisco is one of the few ”6.6” W109s in existence and now you can own it for a price. A very high price.
A few weeks ago I checked out a 1969 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL 6.3 that needed some work — a lot of work. Almost every surface of that poor M100-powered W109 needed some kind of attention. The paint was a baked mess, the interior was growing mold at an alarming rate and the mentioned M100 engine was a total unknown if it could actually run or not. Despite all of this, the seller was asking a hefty $14,500 for the privilege of dealing with that literal mess. Today’s car is another 1969 6.3 — although this one is the total opposite of that charity case. But as you might have guessed, this one isn’t going to cost you $14,500. Not even close.
Earlier this week I check out a handsome 1973 Mercedes-Benz 280SE 4.5 that looked to be a great driver and probably not a bad buy for the long run. Today, we have another W109 that has a little bit more risk attached to it. This of course is the king W109, the 300SEL 6.3. I’ve covered these many times before and every time I see one pop up for sale I always try to take a look at them. Unfortunately, this 6.3 needs a lot of help and even more money to make it worth it.
Buying a high mileage car can be a bit scary, even if it’s a Mercedes with a reputation for longevity. Odometer readings can have a profound psychological effect on our perception of a car’s health (and worth), making people leery of high mileage cars. But in truth, at a certain stage in a car’s life, maintenance history and upkeep become far more important than any number on the dash. This is particularly true of the W126. A low mileage car that has been sitting is liable to cause you more problems than a high mileage one that has been driven and cared for by a meticulous owner. The upshot is that if you shop around and choose wisely, you can score a bargain on a high mileage car. This 300SEL, for example, has 286k miles on the odometer and a cheap price tag attached. Offered for sale by a knowledgeable and friendly Benzworld contributor, it offers a budget friendly entry point into W126 ownership backed up by plenty of maintenance history.