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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1998 Mercedes-Benz CL600

If I was going to own a big car, I would want it to make a statement. Even small vehicles seem to get larger as every generation comes along. With the glut of SUVs that have hit the market in the last few decades, the large car is nothing new to the streets, but these trucks and crossovers rarely, if ever, have any grace about their styling. It may not seem so large in comparison to today’s vehicles, but the Mercedes-Benz C140 CL coupe is still and imposing beast to behold. While the styling is far from elegant, it has a classy, conservative air about it. Most of these came equipped with the 5.0 liter V8, but a few well-heeled customers could opt for the 6.0 liter V12 lump, which we see under the hood in this low mileage example for sale in California.

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Year: 1998
Model: CL600
Engine: 6.0 liter V12
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Mileage: 57,613 mi
Price: Reserve auction

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1998 Mercedes-Benz CL600 on eBay

Before you is a 1998 Mercedes Benz CL600 in Black Exterior with Black Leather Interior with 57,613 miles only. It’s been well-maintained, has never been in an accident and spent its life in Southern California.

This CL600 was originally owned by a very successful gentleman who was on the Forbes List. It appears that this car was ordered special because it has full black leather seats, it doesn’t have the wood steering wheel, and the V12 signs are not on the vehicle – all indicating personal preferences as the car was ordered. The car cost approximately $140,000 new. A copy of the window sticker is on TAB 12. AutoCheck Report is on TAB 13 and NMVTIS Report is on TAB15.

Please call if you have any questions: Rick – (805)218-0606.

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You would be hard pressed to find a C140 coupe these days breach $15,000. This car, even considering the mileage, will probably bring somewhere around $12,000 to $14,000, if the seller is lucky. Many of these large German sedans and coupes of this era that sold for over $100,000 have dropped to rock bottom lows in terms of value. Running costs are a big factor, as this V12 has individual ignition modules for each cylinder and put out a lot of heat in an engine bay more akin to housing a smaller V8. In addition, the amount of oil and fuel will be startling to those not familiar with running a high end exotic. That’s before you get into the other complex systems and electrical items (which are numerous) that may go wrong over time. It’s a tempting proposition to think you can get this much low mileage luxury on the cheap, but find a good mechanic and set aside a fund to keep something like this on the road.

-Paul

1999 Mercedes-Benz CL500

Following on to the low mileage 560SEC we featured a short time ago, here is the car’s successor, the C140 CL class. Introduced in 1992 as the 500SEC, the car underwent a mild facelift in 1994 and was renamed the S500 coupe to adhere to Mercedes’ new nomenclature. In 1997, the final evolution in this S class coupe’s life was seen, as it was now called the CL500. Essentially the same car that preceded it, this large two door featured Mercedes-Benz’s venerable M119 5.0 liter V8. Less complex than the V12 version, it was praised for offering more reliability and better handling balance. These coupes were just advanced as their sedan counterparts, with everything from park distance control to double pane window glass. This example for sale outside of Philadelphia has done 77,000 miles and looks to be in good condition, albeit with signs of wear consistent with its age and mileage.

1999 Mercedes-Benz CL500 on eBay

At almost 17 feet long, this is one big imposing brute. But I love it for that reason. It’s true that this could be a potential nightmare in terms of electrics, but with the V8 engine, the running costs would be less than its rarer V12 counterpart. I’d say if one could obtain this car for a bit under $10,000, it would be well bought. It looks as if the front and rear bumpers could use a bit of touch up, but with a little bit of attention and a reasonable mechanic at your disposal, this could be an enjoyable personal luxury vehicle for not a lot of cash.

-Paul