1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

Just when you thought you’ve seen it all. Well, this 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL has it all. This W126 had a life of excess and has all the paperwork to prove it. The story goes the car was ordered as a grey market import by a private owner in Chicago with a boat load of options then immediately shipped to AMG for more special touches. Those “special touches” you see above aren’t the work of a 17 year-old who bought this car from a Buy-Here, Pay-Here lot and a couple cans of spray paint. No, that is the work of AMG. I’m sure they were scratching their heads a little when this work order came in, but when someone offers up $20,000 (in 1982 money, mind you), you do what they say. An AMG body kit was added, all the chrome was painted black, the wheels were replaced with Rial alloys, the interior needed more leather, and the engine gained roughly 50 horsepower for the small price of $11,000. Total cost for this entire car, modifications and all? $62,656. For those keeping score at home, that is $164,234 today. I hope this owner loved this car.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1982 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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Feature Listing: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

There is nearly always a “sweet spot” for everything. Not too little, but not too much. That perfect blend of everything. In the car world, having a sweet spot is something we’ve been chasing since Carl Benz back in ’86, 1886, made a little 3-wheel buggy that changed the world forever as we know it. From that point forward, it’s almost always been something that doesn’t make it perfect. It has to be reliable, safe, durable, make good power, look good, return good MPGs, be comfortable, and not cost a million bucks to fix. Well, good luck finding a car to do all that. Unless, of course…

The 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE. The last of the W126. For some, the pinnacle of all cars. Enough power to get out of its own way, won’t kill you in a crash, gets over 20 MPG with ease, and built to last literally a million miles. Nothing on this car will bankrupt you if something fails, none of the parts are too expensive, and basically anyone can work on this car if you are capable enough to actually work on cars. This example up for bid in Arizona is one of the better 300SEs I’ve seen come up for sale in a long time. It has just over 75,000 miles and is clean like you wouldn’t believe. I’m not just talking about the interior, either.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Don’t look now, but the Mercedes-Benz W126 coupe is surging fast in terms of value. A very nice 1991 560SEC painted in Bornite with less than 8,000 miles just sold at Amelia Island for $78,400. Yes, that car is an outlier because of its outstanding condition and rare color (plus some competitive bidders), but it sets an interesting example. For the past decade or so, $10,000 could buy you an average SEC. Not cheap in terms of old German luxury cars, but still reasonable for what it is. Now the big auction houses are touting the ”Youngtimers” from the 80s and 90s, and suddenly everyone is running to Craiglist to see what is out there. Are they suddenly going to be doubling or tripling in price like a 190E 2.3-16v? Probably not. However, find a worthwhile example and you can enjoy it maintaining its value for years to come. Today’s car, a 1990 560SEC painted in the rare Signal Red, seems to still priced competitively but I’m willing to bet that this one won’t last long at all.

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

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE

One of my favorite colors from Mercedes-Benz in the 1980s and early 1990s is Bornite Metallic. It is a wonderful shade of light purple that could maybe pass for grey in the right lighting, but purple is a good general name for it. I don’t think I’m the only person who feels this way, as a 1991 560SEC with 8,000 miles painted in this color sold for a $78,400 at auction recently. Yes, I realize that a lot of that price is due to the fact that is a final year 560SEC with 8,000 miles on it, but compare that to a ’86 560SEC with 10,000 miles and you can see that the paint color surely played a factor in the price. Today, I came across a 1991 300SE painted in Bornite up for sale in North Carolina with just 84,000 km on it. Yes, I said kilometers. Let me explain.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SE on eBay

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Wednesday Wheels: Speedline JDD Twin Tyres

I’m sure you’ve heard the old ”we aren’t trying to reinvent the wheel” in some useless meeting at one point in your life by a guy who is trying to justify his existence at your company when all everyone wants to do is just get back to work. Today, we have an example of someone not trying to reinvent the wheel, but rather slice it in half. Back in the 1980s, a guy named Jerry Juhan came up with the idea that two narrow tires would be much more useful in wet and sloppy conditions than one wider tire. So he put that theory into reality by literally putting two smaller tires on a single rim. He convinced wheel marker Speedline to build him a bunch of sets and went to UK tire manufacturer Avon to produce the tires. Did this work? Well, there probably is a reason why we all aren’t out there driving on eight skinny tires on our cars but I wouldn’t say it was a total failure. I think of it more as a never caught on type of deal. Naturally, a few sets of these wheels still bounce around the internet from time to time as a relic and this set up for sale in Hungary looks to be in decent shape with its original Avon TurboSpeed tires still mounted. They aren’t cheap by any means, but if you want to wow everyone at RADwood 2019, here is your shot.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: Speedline JDD Twin Tyres Wheels on eBay

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1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL 6.0 AMG

One of my new year’s resolutions on this site is to feature less run-of-the-mill common cars and more really special and rare cars. I’m off to a decent start with a 500SEC Koenig Specials Twin-Turbo and a 300SL Gullwing AMG from this past week. Today, I ran across another really cool car and has some awfully cool options. This is a 1991 560SEL 6.0 AMG up for sale in Japan. It looks like it was a normal 560SEL that was converted by AMG Japan into one of the most well-equipped W126s I’ve ever seen. What exactly is so special about it? Wait until you see the rear seats and under the hood.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL 6.0 AMG at Silver Star Japan

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Tuner Tuesday: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Koenig Specials Twin Turbo

Back when the metal was heavy and the hair was high, the cars of Willy König ruled the earth. Koenig Specials GmbH was a German tuning house that took already outrageous cars on their own from Ferrari, Porsche and Mercedes-Benz and turned them up to 11. Unlike the majority of the tuning houses and coachbuilders from the same era, Koeing made cars that matched their bark with an even bigger bite. In addition to outlandish body work and 13 inch wide wheels, Koenig had a tradition of twin-turbocharging cars that made some of them capable of 200 mph and 0-60 runs under 4 seconds. One very special Ferrari Testarossa that was built by Koenig produced 1,000 hp and recorded a top speed of 229 mph. Today, these cars are still admired and now that everything from the 1980s is cool and very collectible. That is what we have with this car today.

This is a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC that received the full Koenig treatment including a twin-turbo kit on the M117 V8. It has a body kit that only the Batmoblie rivals and wheels deep enough to cook chicken soup in. Inside, Recaro C Classic seats only begin the wildness with a second gauge cluster added on the dash and enough wood for a dining room table. I rarely see these Koenig Specials come up for sale and this example in Canada is already pulling in big bids. How high will it go?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC Koenig Specials on eBay

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1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL Limousine

Earlier this month, Carter looked at a 1979 BMW 733i Limousine that was an interesting car to say the least. Like he mentioned, it is really tough to top Mercedes-Benz when it comes to limousines, both aftermarket and factory. I personally think a factory Mercedes Pullman is without question the best limousine in the world, but some aftermarket companies have figured out how to make a nice product as well. Today’s car originally passed muster, but like all things, didn’t age all that well.

This 1987 560SEL up for sale in The Hamptons was converted to a limousine by Carat Duchatelet. Carat Duchatelet was a French company (now Belgian) that converted Mercedes S-Class into limos and other armored vehicles while adding their own special touches. This car was stretched to add a center divider as well as changed out the interior color to something a little more creamy. The entire car screams 1980s and I have come to find out that this car has an option I have never seen before on a Mercedes limousine: a calculator holder!

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

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC

Updated 12/6/18: It looks like this 560SEC we looked at in June is still for sale with an even more attractive of price of $9,990. Check it out here.

About a month ago I checked out a really nice and really gold 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC. That was a European-spec car with all the nice upgrades over the North American-spec’d cars at the time but as you might have guessed, carried a hefty price tag at $35,000. Today, we have another C126 that wasn’t originally destined for American in a 1990 560SEC. This car comes to California from Japan in a non-factory paint color and some other interesting touches. The price? Probably not as high as you might guess.

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

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1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL

When looking at last week’s 1980 Mercedes-Benz 300SD, the claim of it being the best sedan in the world (at the time) came up. Those were someone else’s words, not mine, but I am certainly not going to argue against it because I actually own a 1980 300SD and it is one of my daily drivers. 1980 was also the last year of the W116 and the W126 was already on the roads late in that year in Europe with 1981 being the first model year for the new S-Class in North America. The W126 had to continue on the legacy of being the best luxury sedan in the world and again, at the time, it would tough to say it wasn’t. You could have the efficient OM617 diesel or two V8 options in the Gen 1 W126 with the 380SE/L or the 500SEL. Today’s car I wanted to check out is a 1983 500SEL but it isn’t the standard North American spec cars you are used to seeing. This W126 is a Euro-spec car with some neat options, both inside and out.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1983 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL on eBay

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