1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 Euro-Spec

While the M5 may have the notoriety of being the first serious super performance sedan, it’s easy to forget that Mercedes-Benz really started the trend. As early as the 1930s, Mercedes-Benz was building some of the fastest large cars in the marketplace. They were expensive, complicated, and beautiful works of engineering. It took a while post-war for both the marketplace and the company to come back to full strength, but two cars created in the midst of an international oil crisis I really think point towards the character of their respective companies. First was BMW’s hard-edged, barely disguised racer for the road, the 3.0CSL – which we sort of just looked at. It was expensive, relatively lightweight, stunning to look at and pretty quick to boot – a sporting nature that would carry through to the current generation of BMWs, still considered the benchmark in sporting sedans. On the other side of the fence was the 450SEL 6.9; who else but Mercedes-Benz would put the largest production V8 into a sedan when there was a gas crisis? If the 3.0 shouted about it’s racing prowess, the Mercedes was subtle and understated. Indeed, option number 261 even removed the displacement badge on the rear, and outside of that you’d only see hints of the car’s performance by the bulging tires and slightly more showy exhaust. But stomp on the loud pedal and the best part of 290 horsepower was on tap for you – and this was 1975. Remember 1975? It was when the base Corvette had 165 horsepower and if you wanted to just break 200, the L-82 was your only option at 205 horsepower. A full 40% more powerful, the Benz was the match for sports cars of the day in a straight line but offered extreme luxury at the same time:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1977 Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6.9 on eBay

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2000 Mercedes-Benz S500

I harp a lot about the W220 Mercedes-Benz S-Class and how it might be the most disappointing flagship the team Stuttgart has ever launched. It was the year 2000 and this car fit in quite well for the time, just like oversized baggy suits and trucker hats. Well, all those were donated to the Goodwill during spring cleaning 2005, but the early W220s lived on and still roam the earth to this date. A lot of these are now on their 12th owner and look like this, but some of these survived, and this is what we have today.

This 2000 is finished in Bordeaux Red Metallic, which is not to be confused with Titanite Red Metallic from a few weeks ago, and inside with find a Java leather interior. It is quintessential early-W220 with the blobby 17″ wheels to match the body. Inside, much of the same with a two-tone dash and that very tiny COMAND navigation system that was a slight upgrade from the maps in The Legend of Zelda. So if no one wants it, is it actually worth anything? Seems to be.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2000 Mercedes-Benz S500 on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL

Fresh off the 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL from a few weeks ago, luck would have it that another nice W126 comes up in a less than common color of Pearl Blue Metallic. This one is in V8 guise with the 4.2-liter of the aptly named 420SEL. Much like the 300SEL, it is a whole lot of everything you need and really nothing you don’t. One of the things that bugged me about the W126 is that heated seats was only offered on the top of the range 560SEL, but seems a little petty for Mercedes to do considering what the S-Class was at the time, but I guess that was the reality of fancy options in the late 1980s. This example from California checks in with a fair 142,000 miles, so not exactly a low mileage example that will burn a bunch of value if you drive it. What’s not to like?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL on eBay

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2006 Mercedes-Benz S500

The W220 Mercedes-Benz S-Class gets a pretty bad rap in the grand scheme of things, and mostly rightfully so. What replaced the W140 chassis was a stark departure from the bank vault-like feel and stately styling, and went into deep into soft lines and subpar materials. It harsher words, it was a blob. It wasn’t until the facelift compare around that the W220 really became a little bit more friendly on the eyes. In additional to the S55 and S65, you could also option the AMG bodywork and wheels on the S500 to give it a little more flash. Today’s car, a 2006 S500 up for in Florida, is exactly that. You might have noticed the color too.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2006 Mercedes-Benz S500 on eBay

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1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL

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.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1988 Mercedes-Benz 300SEL on eBay

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1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SEL

Fresh off last week’s 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL, I happen to run across another European-market example, although this one is already in this US. This is a 1985 380SEL that marked the final year for the 3.8L V8 before switching over the 4.2L V8 in the 420SEL. These are generally forgotten in the W126 world as if you are going to buy one, a diesel or the 560 are the best bang for your buck. So why look at a lowly 380SEL then? How does 2,900 miles since new sound? Well, how does it look is more like it.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1985 Mercedes-Benz 380SEL on eBay

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1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL

Some will argue that the W126 S-Class was one of the finest automobiles ever produced. At the end of the day, it does everything well, and doesn’t complain about it. It has everything you need, but nothing more. The styling is handsome, but can blend into a crowd with ease. Running costs? Outside of a hydraulic rear suspension that is well worth the trouble, it can be fixed by the most average of mechanics. Time has been kind to the W126, and prices reflect that. Finding a nice one under $10,000 is a tough ask, and the nicest 560SELs with low miles will put you into new Honda Accord prices.

Today, we travel to Belgium to look at a European-spec 1989 560SEL that has some miles on it, but taking a look at the condition, you’d swear it has a quarter of that. Worth the asking price?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL at British & Sportscars

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1999 Mercedes-Benz S600

One of the more interesting subsects of the automotive world are cars that seemingly are common, but in reality extremely rare. If you see a Ferrari F40 driving down the street or parked on a lawn somewhere, you have a pretty good idea that is a rare car. A 1999 Mercedes-Benz S600 parked at the grocery store? You can find those anywhere, right? That would be wrong. Very wrong.

The W140 chassis was wrapping up in 1999 as Mercedes already launched their new flagship W220 all over Europe. So whatever leftover cars they had came to the US to sell off. Turns out they didn’t have many of the M120 V12s to offer up. Just 14 S600 sedans and 15 CL600 coupes were produced for the 1999 model year. That is it! A generation that saw 432,732 examples built came down to a final 29 cars. Guess what we have today?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1999 Mercedes-Benz S600 on eBay

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1997 Mercedes-Benz CL600

As the years go on, the W140 Mercedes-Benz coupe is looking more and more appealing to me. The European version, at least. I say that half joking, but it is true. Why? Some very small changes that seem to make all the difference to me. Slightly shorter bumpers and different 18″ wheels as we see here, along with amazing colors like Viola Metallic. As luck would have it, that is what we have with this 1997 CL600 for sale up in Stuttgart, Germany.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1997 Mercedes-Benz CL600 at Bob Forstner

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2014 Mercedes-Benz S550

Last week I took a look at a 2012 Mercedes-Benz S550 and the reaction was well, mixed. I totally agree that it is a nine year-old S-Class and maybe the asking price was a little high at $30,000. It probably has another $5,000 to $10,000 to go in deprecation before the bottom, so it wasn’t like you’ll be even money on it when it comes times to sell. Just for curiosity’s sake, I wanted to see what other S-Class you could snag for $30,000. Hello W222.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550 on eBay

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