1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

While on a business trip to The Netherlands last month, I happened upon a very clean Mercedes-Benz 560SEL parked on the edge of one of the famous canals of Amsterdam. This car, like much of the older metal tooling around this capitol city, was in quite mint condition. The dedication of the Dutch to classic vehicles is quite impressive and warms my heart, as I find little out there on the new car market these days that I’m interested in. The W126 is one of those cars I wished they still produced to this day, as it just has a timeless air about it. I highly doubt that years from now, the last three generations of S-classes will age quite as graceful as this car has. It was one of Bruno Sacco’s best designs, in my opinion. If you missed your chance at a new 560SEL, this example for sale in New Jersey has covered just over 14,000 miles, making it one of the lowest mileage examples on the marque. It comes, however, with a stiff price tag.

Click for details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

Throughout the years, Mercedes-Benz has dabbled with über sedans to cater to its wealthiest clientele. The 600 was, and still is, considered by many to be a watershed moment in executive motoring. Later on in 1992, the 600SEL was perched atop the S-class range, with it’s 6.0 liter V12 engine and available four-place seating. Their latest chapter saw the revival of a storied name from years past: Maybach. Sadly, the brand lasted but a scant decade, from 2002 to 2012. In the eighties, it was a different story, with the top dog being this car: the 560SEL. From 1986 to 1991, this car was the vehicle of choice for businessmen, celebrities and heads of state the world over. Today, the W126 S-class is still revered for its durability and classic, restrained Mercedes-Benz styling. This 560SEL for sale in California is a minter, with just over 53,000 miles on the clock.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL Estate

Mercedes-Benz is one of those companies that has been consistent in offering estate vehicles, or the station wagon as it is known to those of us in the US. Sometimes the variety of their offerings is less rather than more, but right now, it’s pretty neat that you can order a high horsepower V8 beast under the hood of a W123 E class estate, which has been the staple 5-door offering from Mercedes. We did get the C-class estate in the form of the W203 for a few years, but Mercedes has never dabbled with an estate variant of their big boy, the S-class. Nor, frankly, have any of their competitors. A few determined coachbuilders have set out to make an S-Class estate, such as Crayford back in the 1970s with the W116 S-class. This 560SEL estate for sale in Germany is one of the best executed, most OEM looking of all the coachbuilt estates, but it comes with a hefty asking price.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL Estate on Mobile.de

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Déjà vu: Two more low mileage 560SELs

Last month we featured two very clean Mercedes-Benz 560SELs, the pinnacle of the lineup for Mercedes-Benz at the time. Now another two low mileage examples have come out of the woodwork, for those pining for the good old days. The first 560SEL we’ll take a look at is exactly how I would want mine kitted out, in black over black leather. The W126 design has aged well, blending an even amount of classic and modern touches for a look that would be hard to be improved upon.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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Eighties Flagships: Two clean 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SELs

No matter how many successive generations of S classes pass us by, I always look back to the W126 as the gold standard of executive transport. The W116 of the 1970s was a thoroughly capable car if a bit unloved. The W140 that succeeded the W126 was a technological tour de force but was a bit brutish in terms of its size and complexity. The W220 that came after that was derided as a bit unreliable during the dark days of Mercedes-Benz products in the early part of the 21st century. The last and current generations of S classes have moved the luxury sedan game very much forward, but the technology is a bit over the top for me, which has me going back to the W126 for simpler, albeit capable performance and motoring pleasure.

The two following 560SELs represent the flagship of the lineup for the period between 1986 and 1991. The first one we will look at is a very low mileage example for sale in Arizona in a classic combination of black over parchment leather.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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Tuner Tuesday: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL AMG 6.0

Earlier this year, I struck a few chords with my AMG 500SEC post. The questions of AMG authenticity were once again brought up, reminding us that pre-merger there is still some fuzzy areas regarding these AMGS. As with that SEC, the full documentation of production and maintenance records were key to the value of these boutique cars, and enthusiasts are willing to pay for the right one. Also like that SEC, this later run 1990 560 SEL is fully documented from Japan – but unlike that earlier car, this SEL has the full-fat 6.0 V8 fitted:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL AMG 6.0 on Benzworld.com

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with 50k miles

Like the Porsche 928 we featured yesterday, this 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL for sale in New York brought up memories from my childhood. I remember coming back from an auto show and scanning the pages of the latest Mercedes brochure to come across a picture of a similar black on black 560SEL. The flagship of arguably one of the most revered luxury brands, this was a car with few equals. With a rear seat that measured almost five feet across, this was a conveyance for dignitaries and celebrities. While it started to seem a little bit dated towards the end of the production run in 1991, people still clamored to buy these über sedans and many are still pressed into service today. With only 50,000 miles on the odometer, this is one W126 that has lots of life left to give.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

The W126 S class was one of those cars that defined an era for Mercedes-Benz. A stately sedan, this car had smooth V8 power and impeccable build quality that made it a legend amongst the world’s elite. They are still a common sight on the roads today, even 22 years after the last one rolled off the line in Sindelfingen, Germany. This top of the line, final year 560SEL for sale in California has under 50,000 miles on the clock. While it won’t turn any heads with its popular for the period Smoke Silver paintwork, the beauty of this car lies in its subtlety.

Year: 1991
Model: 560SEL
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 42,000 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

Smoke Silver/Creme leather
42,xxx miles
Single owner California SEL until 4/2013
Handbooks, foot rests.
Original unused spare
Tools
All original sheetmetal stickers
Lovely paint and coachwork
Perfect wheels
Cold AC
Runs and drives beautifully
A collectible Young Classic
NOTE: Original MB radio has been replaced by an in dash CD player. Original radio included in the purchase
Call Tony Spencer @ 408-828-4386

There seems to be a never ending supply of clean, low mileage 560SLs, but mint SELs are harder to come by, making a one-owner example in impeccable condition 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 that failed to meet its reserve at $15,900. There doesn’t seem to be a big differentiation in price between diesel and petrol V8 variants, so I’d suspect bidding will probably wind up somewhere between $12,000 and $14,000, given what we’ve seen in recent months.

-Paul

1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

Sorry Arrested Development fans. This is not George Bluth’s actual Mercedes-Benz S class for sale. But, this low-mileage 1991 560SEL for sale in California sure looks like it. It seems ironic that the producers of this legendary comedy series would pick such a serious vehicle for George Bluth’s mode of transportation, but the W126 has earned a recurring role across episodes. It’s no secret why this S class generation has earned iconic status amongst the Mercedes faithful. Long since production has ceased, people still use these big, tank-like executive sedans as daily runners. But what is it that makes them so special? Delving into the pictures of this mint Smoke Silver example begins to tell that story…

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Year: 1991
Model: 560SEL
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 39,192 miles
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL on eBay

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This is a pristine 1991 (last year in the 126 Body) California 560 SEL. This is a museum/collector quality one owner car with only 39,192 original miles. The car has been garage kept since day one and meticulously serviced at the Mercedes Dealership. The car is spectacular in every way. It runs, looks and drives like it just rolled off the showroom floor. There are no issues whatsoever. Everything works perfectly. The paint and interior are stunning and she even has that new car aroma. This car could quite possibly be the nicest 560SEL available for sale in the entire world. Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. All factory books, stamped maintainence manual, owners manuals, extra keys and leather pouch included for the new owner.

This gorgeous car is also available for sale locally and is subject to removal from the auction at any time should it be sold. Shipping can be arranged worldwide and expedited quickly and inexpensively to your door. If you have any questions contact Evan at 310-594-4224, or email. Absolutely NO dissapointments…..Thanks for looking and good luck!

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Bidding is fairly strong on this one, which is no surprise. This is one of those cars that if they still made new (like the E30 BMW 3 series or an air-cooled Porsche 911), people would snap up in a heartbeat. We’ve seen a few clean 560SECs fetch a decent some, sometimes cresting $20,000. Since this is the top of the range S class sedan, I’d suspect similar money is there to be had. While I don’t particularly mind new Mercedes-Benzes, but there is something captivating about these W126s. Each time one passes me on the street, I can’t help but stop and admire.

-Paul

1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

The Mercedes-Benz S class has long been the bar by which many executive sedans have been judged. Perhaps the most revered S class generation of all is the W126 which premiered in 1979 and was produced until 1991. While the world was busy celebrating Glasnost and listening to Duran Duran, Mercedes-Benz was hard at work doing what it did best: producing some of the best cars on the planet. At the top of the Mercedes-Benz sedan food chain was this car, the V8 engined S class.

When it was revised for the 1986 model year, the new top dog of the range was the 560SEL. Chock full of standard features and powered by a 5.6 liter V8, this long-wheelbase version had self-leveling rear suspension on North American bound cars, heated seats for front and rear passengers, burl walnut interior trim and a two way, power rear bench seat. When the W140 S class arrived in 1992, many lamented the loss of the W126 S class, as the new model was bigger, heavier and more complex.

The following 560SEL comes from our reader John in Florida and is a stunning example of a W126. It serves as an example how well these older Mercedes-Benzes can hold up over time if given the proper care.

Year: 1987
Model: 560SEL
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 83,000 mi
Price: $10,000

1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

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If circa 1985 you had asked Porsche to conceive and build a Rolls-Royce, the Mercedes-Benz 560SEL would have been Zuffenhausen’s answer. Power without temperament. Imperial but measured. Over-engineered and nothing wasted. Germanic to a fault but also elegant in ways that neither its predecessor 6.9 nor successor S600 could manage. The 560SEL represents the best of a platinum era in Stuttgart. Virtually every car since 1981 has been influenced in some way by this model which is why it doesn’t look 25 years old. It also had its first and only upgrade at a point when normal cars are on their third or fourth facelift. An exceptional example from the 1986-92 facelift series must rank as a potential special interest model, if it isn’t already. For many the W126 S-class is the last Mercedes-Benz that looked like a Mercedes-Benz, a marque that now stands accused of producing models, apart from the A-class, that look like everything else. Mercedes-Benz has since struggled to produce a premium model with the same impact and universal appeal as the W126. Could Mercedes-Benz ever deliver another S-class that didn’t require a single sheet metal change in 11 years?

This car was purchased by my father with less than 20,000 miles in 1989 has been in his hands or mine since. Originally a Michigan car that has been in Florida for 22 years. Finished in Schwartz metallic over grey leather with burl walnut trim. The exterior black pearl paint is a spectacular color choice on a large prestigious auto as is the 560SEL. With just over 83,000 miles on the clock, it is just broken in. The paint and interior are original. The lower body cladding panels were sprayed Schwartz to match the car. The leather looks new, the wood has no cracks, the headliner is unblemished and carpets as new. The finish is glossy and shows straight as an arrow body panels and only the usual rock chips at the front edge of the hood and below the headlights.

While the wheels are not original to the car (the original 15” alloys are available) they are OEM 16” from the owner’s 124 series E500 shod with new V rated radials. The euro-spec H4 lamps have been fitted to the car since the early 90’s. Recent maintenance includes, water pump, belts, hoses, plugs & wires, transmission filter and fluid, rear accumulator spheres and fluid, cam cover gaskets, front rotors, front and rear pads, master cylinder and fluid flush, and frequent oil and filter changes (Mann). The window tinting can be removed to return the car to its original specification, but; served well to protect the interior from sun fade. The interior is in exceptional condition.

Service records are available from date of purchase 22 years ago. I also have the original window sticker, manuals and assorted brochures. The car is in amazing time capsule. It is regularly driven so it runs great. The car drives as good as or even better than it looks which is saying a bunch. Very few original 25 year old automobiles can compare to this example.

Generally, I’m not a fan of later model W126 sedans that have their lower body cladding color matched, but on this car, it looks really sleek in black metallic when combined with the euro spec headlamps. While you could spend a bit more money and get a W126 with less miles, it would be tough to find an example that has been loved as much as this one.

If you are interested in this clean 560SEL, you can contact the seller, John, at (561) 376-2106 or via email at john_campbell@bellsouth.net

-Paul