My 420SEL

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Styria

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I guess it should come as no surprise that I have acquired a W126 in the shape of a 420SEL, built at the Singelfinden plant in Germany in 1989. Right from the outset, there are two anomalies one would not associate with a car of the implied luxury status (at the time) - the absence of a sliding sunroof (and some might consider this a blessing), and no cruise control module. The absence of the last named is remarkable. It is also supposed to be a series 2 model (whatever that stands for), but it does not have an air bag, nor does it have hydraulic self levelling - certainly not the convential system normally associated with our 116 and also the 126 models.

So, what made me buy this car offered to me on the off chance and mentioned in passing ? Firstly the price - it was very reasonable, even without seeing the car. Secondly, registered for ten months and four brand new "economy" versions of Michelins - the Energy versions that retail at about $140.00 each. I then started thinking about Gleaming Beauty (6.9) and the work I wanted to carry out on both front and rear suspension. Car off the road, no transport........you know what I mean ? I could carry out all this work at my leisure, given my present physical constraints (left shoulder and hip operations - still on mend), therefore I decided to inspect the 420.

Well, the paintwork is definitely off (meaning in need of respray) but I had been warned. Well, 'crappy paint' does not interfere with driving. I noted however, that the body was as straight as a gun barrel, with a total lack of rust (the bane of our 107s and 116s). Big Plus.

Mercedes420SEL001.jpg

Next, a great looking interior, in absolutely excellent condition. This next picture illustrates what I am talking about - note leather dressing ALREADY on front and rear seats in the interests of longevity and preservation of the leather.

Mercedes420SEL002.jpg

Mercedes420SEL003.jpg

Mercedes420SEL006.jpg

The next item to attract my curiosity was the mileage displayed - 85K. plus. Just about too good to be true, and my enthusiasm was somewhat clouded when I subsequently discovered that the odometer on the speedo is not working, and has in fact been inoperative for about six years. I bought the car through an intermediary in the Club, but I was lucky enough to be put in touch with the previous owner (he had bought an S500) who did confirm that he hardly ever used the car (maybe about two to three thousand kilometers each year) and he also gave me a bunch of invoices which confirmed regular six monthly servicing. Thus, I estimate the mileage to be no more than 100K. kilometers - and the car drives accordingly - nice and tight, with just a couple of loose ball joints in the front end.

It is fair to state that this 420 should make an excellent stop-gap performer whilst Gleaming Beauty is convalescing (again), and it is certainly in unmolested condition, as illustrated by the excellent seats and carpets (like new) and also the boot area. There were even the appropriate tools that came with the car.

Mercedes420SEL005.jpg

Driving impressions to follow. Regards Styria

N.B. I should not forget to mention that this 420 has the rare option of a reclining and adjustable rear seat !
 
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260ebenz

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Styria congrats buying the 420SEL.

Good to have another W126 Battleship owner in the Club.

Are you bringing the 420 to the Concours?

May I ask did you buy the 420 locally or Interstate?

Happy motoring!
:D
 

Tony66_au

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Nice work Styria!

Same interior as my 300SEL had although yours seems to be in far better condition than mine was and that was well over 20 years ago.

Shame about the lack of sunroof as the tilt slide from 1985 was a great roof and the car looks the goods in terms of well kept.

SLS delete cars are showing up here and there BTW especially in the second hand market and im guessing this may have been an economy measure considering the very high retail prices they commanded in Australia.

All in all a nice find and what I consider to be the beginning of the great 126's.

Tony
 

260ebenz

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1989 Series 2 no sunroof and no hydraullic suspension unheard of for a 420?

300SE is a 1990 and has all of those features I wonder if it is a Series 1 or Series 2?
 

E200K

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Hi Styria, looks like you've got yourself a nice project there.

Is the car an import? Maybe used as a limo? Would that explain the lack of cruise control and the reclining rear seats?
 

WiSeGuYY

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congrat GODFATHER , the 126 is the real deal specially a 420 LWB but it will benifit the passenger in the back , meaning you need a driver to enjoy this option.

Black on black , awsome colores

REGARDS

TAREK.
 

Helmet

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1989 Series 2 no sunroof and no hydraullic suspension unheard of for a 420?

300SE is a 1990 and has all of those features I wonder if it is a Series 1 or Series 2?

Hi Styria, looks like you've got yourself a nice project there.

Is the car an import? Maybe used as a limo? Would that explain the lack of cruise control and the reclining rear seats?

Yes it is a personally imported example. The reason our w126's are fully optioned is that somebody at MB Australia ordered them that way. In Germany you could personalize the car exactly as you wanted it.

Looks good Styria , enjoy it :)
 

SEL_69L

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The series 1 had fluted lower door panels, the series 2 (as with this one) are plain.

The series 1 has the 3.8 litre alloy V8 motor, the series 2 motor was updated to 4.2 litre alloy V8.
 

Michel

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Well done Godfather.

As someone who physically looked at the 420SEL, I can vouch that it is pretty straight and damn good value! :cool:

When you're ready Godfather, have a chat to Jerry, he'll make a Gleaming Beauty out of it :p
 

Oversize

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So will it be 17"s or 18"s this time?? LOL! Very nice car Styria, I like the colour combo too
 
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Styria

Styria

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Thanks to everyone for their words of encouragement and appreciation. To answer Tim first - I bought the car through an intermediary, but the previous owner (for about ten to twelve years) lives at Balmain. He traded the 420 for an S500. BTW, he has NO garaging facilities, hence the somewhat poor state of the paintwork. Furthermore, he hardly ever used the car. Hence I am confident that this is a real low mileage car.

E200K - I think Helmet has provided the answer. I do know, however, that the car left the Sindelfingen plant in 1989 - thus it is a fairly late model.

Benz Boy - I almost tend to agree with you regarding the sunroof, or deletion thereof. The details may well be on the I.D. plate on the radiator support panel.

Oversize - the colour scheme ? Well yes, the interior is black (seats), but the carpets appear to be anthracite grey ? That's if you go on the pics. Mind you, summertime might just prove to be somewhat uncomfortable heat wise. BTW, exterior colour - still to be determined, but it is not black. Maybe Obisidian Black ?

Tony - yes, I am particularly wrapped with the state of the upholstery. How on earth the leather managed to remain in the condition given the absence of garaging, is a mystery to me - mind you, I am not complaining. Shall we say that it speaks volumes for the quality of German leather.

Michel, I am glad that you agree with my assessment regarding the condition of the body. Nice to get one's hands onto an unmolested example.

Regards Styria
 

E200K

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Isn't it nice that these "older" cars that we all love often have an interesting history.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do to the car, Styria, as it looks like it has real potential. Black leather - very nice. Cheers.
 

260ebenz

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I also look forward to seeing and hearing what the future holds for your 420SEL Styria all the best with the car.

Any pics of the engine?

Hey Styria keep the chrome wheel arches but of course your decision.

Cheers.
 
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Styria

Styria

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So will it be 17"s or 18"s this time?? LOL! Very nice car Styria, I like the colour combo too

Actually Mark, I like the rims that are fitted to the car now. However, what I am looking for are the long, genuine bolts, that Mercedes fitted to the 18 holers rims - not sure if they are eighteen holes though. I am sure you know the ones I am talking about - they are the same rims as the ones on Tim's car. Regards Styria
 

motec 6.9

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Hi Styria nice purchase it should help pass the time in your convalescence.While you work on GB. Geoff:D
 

260ebenz

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Actually Mark, I like the rims that are fitted to the car now. However, what I am looking for are the long, genuine bolts, that Mercedes fitted to the 18 holers rims - not sure if they are eighteen holes though. I am sure you know the ones I am talking about - they are the same rims as the ones on Tim's car. Regards Styria

You mean these rims Styria?

Contact John he has the rims he might even have the bolts you want as well Styria.

I decided to change over from the rims on the car before I bought it.

Thanks to John he changed the rims over for me and fitted the 15" original rims.

Cheers.
 

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