10K Friday Sonder Edition: 280s v. 300SEL v. 560SEC v. S420 v. S600 Coupe v. S430 v. CL500

It’s pretty amazing when generations of cars come together in value; right now, there are 4 generations of Mercedes-Benz S-class models that all seem to hit market for around the same amount. From the beginnings of the “Sonder” Class Mercedes with the W116 through the W220 cars that are only just over a generation old, there’s a tremendous amount of luxury available in these super sedans and coupes. So what would be your choice? We’ll go by age this time, starting with the W116:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1975 Mercedes-Benz 280S on eBay

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1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

If you “ran for the hills” screaming “My eyes! My eyes!” after yesterday’s 500SEC Convertible, I wouldn’t blame you. It was a shame what was done to an otherwise classic car, and outside of the AMG body kit and Euro bits it didn’t really look worth salvaging; certainly, not at a quarter million miles for $25,000. In an attempt to redeem the dignity of the stately Mercedes-Benz brand, then, here’s a much better alternative; a completely stock 1986 560SEC in a rare color combination – Smoke Silver with Henna interior:

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

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Tuner Tuesday: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible “AMG”

If you missed Paul’s MerCamino earlier today, I’ve got another strange conversion for you. The 1980s were a heady time for “tuners”, some of which made some downright odd creations and others of which took existing really good cars and just…well, made them worse. One of the best ways to wreck a good car is to chop the roof off, and making cabriolet or roadster versions of coupes seemed to be a sure tuning bet in the 1980s. We got convertible versions of the Quattro, Porsche 928, BMW 6 series – heck, even the Ferrari Testarossa wasn’t immune. But if you wanted luxury and sun for 4, of course you needed a Mercedes-Benz 500SEC convertible. And while you’re there, why not throw in some AMG bits. “What?”, you say, “But I’ve never seen one!” Search no more:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Convertible on eBay

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The Personal S-Class Mercedes-Benz: 1991 560SEC vs. 1996 S600 Coupe

Mercedes coupes have always been an object of desire for me. Sure, they lack a little of the carefree fun factor of their open roofed counterparts, but a lot of the classics coupes have blended the conservative style of the sedans with a bit of verve you would expect with a personal luxury vehicle. A two-door vehicle of this size may seem indulgent, but for me, they are oh so right. One of our favorites here at GCFSB is the C126, more commonly known as the 380SEC and later 560SEC on these shores. For a decade, this car carried the large coupe torch for Mercedes-Benz fairly unchanged and was one of those cars of the 1980s people would instantly associate with the wealthy.

First, let’s take a look at this low mileage 560SEC for sale in New York.

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

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC with 29k miles


The R107 SL was the icon of a generation for Mercedes-Benz. Introduced in 1972, it’s popularity was such that it carried on strong through the end of the 1980s, bringing with it popularity that it’s larger sibling, the C126 SEC just couldn’t match. The SEC was released as a replacement for the R107 based SLC hardtop, which brought the big four place Mercedes coupe within the design language of the newly released W126 S class sedan. AMG would have their way with the SEC throughout the years, creating some really butch looking variants designed specifically for left lane Autobahn antics. The SEC would carry on until 1991, when the larger W140 based SEC would appear, bringing with it design details that were a bit more brutal in nature.

Towards the end of the run, the C126 SEC came equipped with the same 5.6 liter V8 as seen under the hood of the 560SL and 560SEL, but this two-door pillarless coupe would turn out to be the road less traveled for the high end Mercedes customer. Restrained styling, smooth power and impeccable build quality were the order of the day. These cars have a look that doesn’t look terribly outdated today, which is not something you can say for many vehicles from the 1980s. This second to last year 560SEC for sale in New Jersey is one of the lowest mileage examples we’ve seen here at GCFSB with an asking price that is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Click for more details: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC on eBay

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC 6.9 Engine Swap Down Under

Here is an oddity for your consideration. The mighty Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 remains quite a car today and the 560SEC represents some of the best of an old school Benz, however put them together and perhaps you are taking away from each. This isn’t the first time someone has decided to combine 6.9 parts with a W126 chassis, Google Sbarro Mercedes for instance, as with their creations results are mixed.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC 6.9 on eBay Australia

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Back in the late 1980s, the sun was setting on the R107 Roadster as one of the longest lived, most successful models Mercedes-Benz had ever known. But there was another, more incognito way to go if you wanted personal luxury: the SEC coupe. While not as sporty or flash as the SL, the SEC exuded the aura or wealth that so many up and comers were seeking in the eighties. Powered by the same 5.6 liter V8 engine in its four-door counterpart, the 560SEL, this big coupe was optimal transport for those long weekend jaunts not quite worthy of hailing the private jet for. This 560SEC for sale in California has covered a mere 42,000 miles and looks impeccably clean in the de rigeur black over parchment color combination.

Year: 1987
Model: 560SEC
Engine: 5.6 liter V8
Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Mileage: 42,450 mi
Price: $22,900 Buy It Now

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

Two owner California owned rare 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC. Black on parchment with only 42k miles. Is loaded with 15” wheels with brand new tires, heated seats, floor mats, premium sound, tape, CD, AM/FM, book. The car has been serviced, new air filters, oil, tires, all new belts, rear new shocks and more. Found only one scratch on right side door and we have posted picture of it. The car has a Mercedes-Benz 5.6 liter powerful motor that is very tight, fast and smooth. Don’t miss this chance to own this rare beauty with low miles. The car is clean in and out and is loaded with options. The car is very fast and tight, fun to drive. Please view pictures and if you have any questions feel free to contact us @714-415-9144. VIN #WDBCA45D4HA287019

The SEC model wasn’t the most flamboyant coupe design to emerge from Stuttgart, but it was a bit better proportioned than the SLC which preceded it and more lithe than the big bruiser of a coupe W140 that replaced it. The SEC has yet to gain traction in the collector market like the R107 SL, but when you find a good one like this, they can command strong money. The last low mileage SECs we featured were pulling in the $17,000 to $20,000 range, which is a little under where this car is priced. But with some mint W123s pulling near that price, is a similarly priced SEC that out of the question?


1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Straman Convertible

After a 20 year hiatus, Mercedes-Benz reintroduced the four seat cabriolet in late 1991 with the introduction of the W124 E Class Cabriolet. This was a wonderfully engineered piece, with a significantly strengthened chassis and innovative roll hoops that could be manually, or, in the case of an accident, automatically deployed. These open roofed E classes were much admired and this is reflected in their strong resale value to this day. In the 1980s, however, if you wanted an open roofed Mercedes, the R107 was your sole choice from the factory. That didn’t stop coachbuilders from setting their sights on the C126 SEC coupe. One of the most famous coachbuilders to behead this flagship touring vehicle was Richard Straman Coachworks of Newport Beach, California. From the Honda CRX to the Avanti, Straman was known for his high quality conversions.

This 500SEC Straman Convertible comes from our reader Mitchell of Dr. Eurocar in Delray Beach, Florida. Unlike a lot of chop jobs, this SEC retains a lot of stock interior trim and has a top which folds rather neatly for an aftermarket roof, leaving one to ponder why Mercedes-Benz never brought one of these to market themselves.

1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Straman Convertible

1984 Mercedes Benz 500SEC European specifications imported to California in 1985. In 2010 after rebuilding drivetrain I used it between Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA. Currently in Delray Beach, FL, still has Washington State license plates & title. Cylinder heads rebuilt in 2010 along with transmission, timing chain & tensioners replaced at the same time. Front suspension completely redone in 2011 including shocks, strut rods, sway bar bushings, Bilstein shocks tie rods, drag link, steering dampner, gear box rebuilt. Rear Bilstein shocks also redone.

Front brake calipers, rotors, pads,sensors, wheel bearing & seals replaced in 2011. Exhaust system is a straight pipe with new Mercedes Benz rear muffler. This is an R.Straman convertible with fully reinforced frame, under fenders straight through rockers to under quarter panels is a 4×4 steel beam. Power top, German Haartz canvas top in good condition, except rear window in not clear and right side above passenger head has a small rip that has been patched. True Cabriolet top similiar to W124 E320 Cabriolet with headliner.

Interior is very good condition except for dash has about three cracks. Driver seat bolster has some wear. Wood around shifter is not as nice as rest of car. Has lots of options, rear Headrests, front center console glove box, rear center console storage box, heated front seats, power front seats, arm rest, burlwood on dash refinsihed looks great. Hand painted gauges picked up in Germany (smoke gray color). 1991 560SEL door panels with speakers in doors. CD/DVD player with auxilary input. Eight speaker stereo system in all factory opening. Two 10 inch subwoofers in trunk with pioneer amp. Factory tool kit.

Paint has scratches, chips, dings (NO DENTS) polishes and looks great but definately would be on another level with a new paint job. HRE 20×10.5 rear wheels THREE piece-chrome lips with black face 265/35/Zr20 Dunlop tires. HRE 18×9 front wheels Threer Piece chrome lips with black face 245/40/zr20 Bridgestone tires. Front turn signal lens ordered from Germany (smoked with orange shining true) looks stunning in person. Of Course European engine, bumpers, headlights, options.

Two things does not work. Headlight self leveling and vacuum locks. AC is cold converted to R134a. This is a truly rare car with some neat options. Mind you its a 28 year old car, but a modern classic that is often used daily. 147,000 miles and mechanically mint.

626-316-8320. Can view Mon-Friday in Delray Beach,FL 33444. $8500.00 even truly insulting offers considered.

358 NE 4th Street # F
Delray Beach, FL 33444
(561) 907-1636 office/Appt.

European Car Service & Forensic Diagnosis, ASE Certified & Factory Trained

Normally I’m not a big fan of vehicles that have undergone a conversion, but with Straman conversions, I make an exception. In this classic black on tan color combination, this makes for quite a unique and stylish open tourer at a reasonable cost of entry.


1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEC

The 1970s and 1980s saw a lot of gray market Mercedes-Benzes come stateside. Many of these were high performance models, but more pedestrian models were also brought in as well. This was partly a result of the disparity in the Dollar to Deutschemark exchange rate.

The C126 SEC coupes produced from 1981 through 1991 came in two different flavors in the US. The earlier 380SEC and later 560SEC models. One of the rarest SECs sold outside of the US was the 420SEC, with the smaller M116 V8. A little over 3,600 were produced in a six year time span, and few, if any, made their way to the US. Clean, low mileage SEC coupes are becoming rare these days, so this particular coupe is quite unique.

1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEC on eBay

Up for auction is a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 420SEC 2-door coupe. Low 70,000 miles, 4.2L V8 gasoline engine, W126.046. Dark midnight blue (almost black), moon roof, new Michelin tires. Excellent vehicle, inside and out. Everything original. Interior is fawn tan, with leather seats. Interior has no wear at all.

I have been selling on eBay for several years and have over 700 positive feedbacks. This is my personal vehicle. I bought it one year ago from a Tyler business man who special-ordered it for his wife while in Germany. He had it shipped to Houston, Tx., to be delivered to him in Tyler. There is a plate inside the door that states “Damler Benz AG WDB1260461A193845 (VIN) 1986 Imported by (Owner’s Name) Stuttgart, W. Germany.” All maintenance was done at the Mercedes dealership in Tyler, Texas.

1986 was first year the 420-SEC was made, through 1991. There were only 3,680 total made during those years, therefore it is quite collectable. I have the Mercedes-Benz insured for $25,000 with an antique vehicle insurance company.

For pickup only at Holly Lake Ranch, Hawkins, Texas 75765. 30 miles North of Tyler, 100 miles East of Dallas.

With around four days left, bidding hasn’t started at a price of $14,500 with no reserve. The car is now 25 years old, so even though it appears that this car was federalized from the start, any scrutiny by the government would be a moot point since the car’s age exempts it from any emissions or safety standards. Hopefully this car goes to a good home and one more example of Mercedes-Benz’s flagship coupe will be preserved.