Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to drive a classic car from Chicago to the Amelia Island Concours. The car in question was a W126 Mercedes-Benz 380SEC, and after more than 1,000 miles behind the wheel, I came away impressed at how exceptional a car it was.
The Mercedes would cruise all day at triple-digit speeds, handle curves effortlessly and deliver a level of comfort that found in few cars even today. I dubbed it The Bentley Built in Stuttgart, and I stand by that statement.
The only thing that the 3.8-liter V8 coupe lacked was low-end torque. Mercedes fixed that with the arrival of the Pick of the Day, a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEC located in San Diego, California. Instead of having only the 155 horsepower of the 380, the 560SEC has a whopping 238, and even more importantly, 287 pound/feet of torque compared with the 380SRCs meager 196.
As a result, the 560SEC had a 0-60 time rated at just 7 seconds, more than 3 seconds faster than the 380SEC’s time. In addition, the 560SEC is an honest to God 150 mph car.
Other differences between the two include an adjustable suspension and a better interior for the 560, though the 380’s interior also is excellent. What did not change are the remarkably comfortable seats, which are better than anything from Rolls or Bentley in the era, in my opinion.
This 560SEC car is finished in the somewhat rare paint color of Dunkel Blau, or dark blue, with a tan leather interior.
A three-owner example, the Mercedes has covered just 64,000 miles from new, according to the seller, a San Diego dealer advertising the car on ClassicCars.com, who adds that it was recently serviced to the tune of $5,000, which included new A/C compressor and accumulator, front brake pads and rotors, spark plugs and wires, ignition coils, an OEM exhaust system, fuel pumps and lines, distributor, accessory drive belts and a new hood pad.
These Mercedes coups put the ‘Grand’ in Grand Touring cars and have to be the finest Gentleman’s Express coupes of the era able to devour miles at high speed and in complete comfort. After driving to Amelia this year in an SEC it has moved way up on my must have list of cars.
Somehow, these cars are still an incredible value, especially when you consider that when new they cost $70,000.
This wonderful example, which would make a perfect car to drive cross-country to a Radwood event, has an asking price of only $19,800. The Mercedes-Benz SEC cars seem ready to pick up steam in the market, and buying one at this price could prove to be a tremendous value in the future.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.