This 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL resided in sunny California for almost 30 years beginning in 1986 before it was acquired by the prior owner in 2015. It is finished in Midnight Blue (904) over Palomino (274) leather and powered by a 5.5-liter M117 V8 paired with a four-speed automatic transmission. Features include a power-operated tilting and sliding sunroof, automatic climate control, cruise control, a Becker AM/FM cassette stereo, power-adjustable heated front seats, power-adjustable heated rear reclining seats, 560SEL branded floormats, a two-tone “city/country” horn, and 15″ chrome Gullideckel wheels. Recent service includes a full paint correction and detail, transmission flush and filter replacement, new battery, A/C compressor, A/C clutch, blower motor, exhaust resonator, front brake rotors and pads, OEM Bosch mechanical fuel distributor, ignition switch, and a refurbishment of the original Becker Grand Prix head unit. This W126 now shows 61k original miles and is offered by the seller with service records, original tool roll, a clean Carfax report, and a clean Maryland title in prior owner's name.
The long-wheelbase body of this flagship S-class is finished in Midnight Blue (904) with contrasting lower cladding and retains its original US-market lighting and bumpers front and rear. The body is free of any visible dings or dents and reportedly 100% rust free. Features include a power-operated sunroof, headlight washers and wipers, and bright trim and badges. As indicated by the original sticker in the lower corner of the driver's windshield, this example was sold as a Mercedes-Benz "VPC Quality Control" vehicle while in California. The VPC Quality Control program was a predecessor to the "Certified Pre-Owned" program from the 1980s-1990s and indicated that the car had been inspected for overall quality by a Mercedes-Benz dealer before being sold at the dealership. Wear marks on the rear bumper are highlighted in the gallery.
Factory 15″ Gullideckel chrome alloy wheels are mounted with Arizonian Silver Edition tires showing 2015 date codes. The car is equipped with power-assisted steering and four-wheel disc brakes. The front brake rotors and pads were replaced in 2019.
The cabin is trimmed in Palomino (274) leather upholstery with a matching lower dashboard, door panels, and carpets. The leather wrapped steering wheel and upper dash are finished in Black. Refinished burl wood trim veneer accents the dashboard, center console and door panels and shows no visible cracking or fading. Imperfections in the dash are highlighted in the gallery. Additional equipment includes automatic climate control, cruise control, a Becker Grand Prix AM/FM cassette stereo, power-adjustable heated front seats, heated rear seats, and power windows and locks. The Becker head unit was refurbished by Becker Auto Sound of New Jersey in 2020 although the seller reports it's unable to pick up any stations, likely because the antenna is not hooked up properly. The seats were recently conditioned to remediate creases in the leather. Recent service includes replacement of the A/C compressor, A/C clutch, and blower motor in 2020.
The leather-wrapped airbag steering wheel fronts VDO instrumentation consisting of a 170-mph speedometer, a tachometer with an inset analog clock, and a combination gauge indicating coolant temperature, oil pressure, instant economy, and fuel level. The six-digit odometer shows 61k original miles.
The fuel-injected 5.5-liter M117 V8 was factory rated at 238 horsepower and 288 lb-ft of torque when new. Recent service includes a new OEM Bosch mechanical fuel distributer, new battery, new ignition switch, and new exhaust resonator in 2019.
Power is sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. A transmission fluid and filter change was performed in December 2020.
The Carfax report shows no accidents or other damage, linear mileage updates, and lists registration history in California, New Hampshire, and Maryland.
This 30-year California car presents as rust free and additional underside photos are presented in the gallery below.
A walkaround video and interior tour video are viewable below.
Nothing, again, nothing exemplifies the Sacco-era greatness in our opinion as much as a W126 flagship fresh off the showroom floor. From an era when Mercedes was Mercedes. When there wasn’t a $300/month lease option for a lesser version of your dream car. That is what exemplifies what Mercedes stood for in the 1980s and that is what this particular example rains from the rafters. Finished in the most WASP-ified color combination of Midnight Blue (904) over Palomino (274), the recently restored burl wood veneers look better than they did during the Reagan administration. Allow yourself to be transported to a simpler time when greed was good and a Mercedes-Benz was not one of thirty-five available crossover models. It was an identity – and no such identity resonated more than a 560SEL flagship sedan retailing at the equivalent of approximately $200,000 USD in today’s money. This was the car to have in the 1980s and, in many ways, still is today. If you had the means to acquire one in 1986, you made your presence known from this curbside statement piece. This gorgeous example has been meticulously maintained and lived a pampered 61k-mile existence; allowing its new owner to turn heads just as easily today as in the 80s…at a fraction of the original price. A true example of trickle-down automotive economics at its best (or nothing).
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