A beautiful cosmetic feature of this car’s exterior is the streamlined bumpers, a benefit of the European specifications and a real differentiator from most on North American roads. The headlights are also more sleek and, asymmetric from the factory in terms of where right and left are aimed, have been updated for driving on the right as opposed to the left in Japan. The photographed data sheet appearing in the gallery indicates paint code for this car as 735, Astral Silver. The car was repainted by the owner’s local Mercedes-Benz dealer in the same colour soon after his purchase, in 2005, and this coat retains a consistent colour and lustre throughout. Owner mentions that technicians working on the car are often impressed by the condition of its “original paint”, same for his recent appraiser for insurance purposes, not realizing that the car has been repainted, given the absence of any obvious hints of the past work. The only modification to this car is the change of wheels from stock. Three-piece BBS wheels, a common upgrade in the car’s period, suit the car and are in wonderful condition – mounted V-rated tires are Michelin Sport Pilot A/S3+ measuring P215/55R16 all around and date coded 2016. All lights, lenses and glass are functional and unmarked. Glass is by Sekurit, but for the rear with defrost by SIGLA, all glass shows the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star; power sunroof is metal and matches body panels. Power antenna supporting the stock head unit functions as designed, One feature we noticed that speaks to the cleanliness of this car is what is seen when the fuel door is opened. Two minor flaws noted come in the form of small stone chips – one on the leading edge of the hood and one on the paint just below the grille on the driver’s side. They have been touched up to make them barely noticeable, owner believes the right technician could improve upon this to make them unnoticeable.
This car is very well equipped for its era, heated power front buckets and air bag speak to this – even the headrests are power-operated. The blue velour upholstery is a rarity for an SEC and is subtlely striped in white on seat backs and bottoms. Wood veneer on the dash, door cards and console is in equally nice condition. A second set of Mercedes-Benz-branded floor mats are in place to protect the original set found underneath. Instrumentation is of the period for M-B: 260 km/h speedometer is flanked by fuel, temperature, oil pressure and fuel economy gauges to the left, 7000 RPM tachometer and still-functional analog clock on the right. The six-digit odometer within the speedometer indicates under 98,000 km. As well as warning lights, there is an LCD readout for exterior temperature. Climate control is fully functional, the air conditioning blows cold. Stock Becker “Mexico” AM/FM/cassette head unit remains in place and is complemented by a remote, both are shown in the gallery. Rear buckets are made for two, with a folding armrest in between as for the front occupants. The trunk is appointed in the same luxurious carpet as the cabin, stowed underneath is a fifth BBS wheel with an unused Goodyear Assurance tire mounted, jack and original complete tool roll.
The engine compartment is very clean with very few signs of wear accumulated. The owner swears by a certain cleaner he knows from his motorcycle dealer past. Power is supplied by a 5.6 litre V8, rated at 296 horsepower when new (5000 RPM), with torque at 336 lb.-ft. (3750 RPM). The powerplant is equally at home on city roads or at high speed on a stretch of autobahn in Germany. The four-speed automatic dispatches power to the rear wheels and ABS braking is handled by discs at all four corners. As mentioned, the car was repainted in its entirety in 2005. This was following a minor driveway scrape, the parts for which totaled under $400. Total cost from the Mercedes-Benz dealer, split between insurance company and owner was $7,000 (in 2005 dollars). Noted originally on the Carfax is a $43 claim, updated in 2012, with damage assessed as “Minor”. The paint job is exceptional, and it attracts compliments at shows – the owner is active with the Mercedes-Benz Club of Canada. Mechanical work carried out in the past 3,000 km includes installation of a new Mercedes-Benz battery, new motor mounts, new exhaust manifold gaskets and new oil/hydraulic rear suspension modules. There are some new replacement parts in the trunk, including air filter, touch-up paint, headlight wiper blades and new door gaskets, the latter to address minor tears in the installed rubber. The owner has been fastidious about replacing other rubber subject to decay from age. There is also a custom car cover included, as photographed in the trunk.
Paint code/option codes on the data plate mounted under the hood decode as follows:
735 – paint, Astral Silver
972 – Blue velour
412- hydraulic sliding roof
442 – cloth, blue
498 – Japan version
581 – automatic climate control
253 – Becker Mexico AM/FM/cassette stereo
Other options from data sheet (photo 198):
286 – Baggage netting aft of front seats
873 – Heated seats, Front
597 – Thermos glass with filter
613 – Asymmetric headlamps for RHD (driving on left), since updated for driving on right
442 – Driver air bag
430 – Rear seat headrests
This European Spec 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC W126 Coupe is available from the 18-year owner with three keys, custom Weathershield car cover, service records, original owner’s manual and other M-B documentation, replacement parts as described and photographed, various Mercedes books – hard cover and soft cover – in Crystal Beach, On, just outside of Fort Erie.