1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC
Following the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Europe’s car industry was decimated. In Germany both Daimler and Benz went back to producing cars post-war, however, times were tough. A merger between Daimler and Benz would ensure that both companies survived and following a technical co-operation agreement in 1924, the companies formally merged on the 1st July 1926. Mercedes-Benz was born!
Subsequently, Mercedes-Benz went on to build some of the greatest cars of all time. The cars from Stuttgart bearing the three-pointed star all had one thing in common . . . they were renowned for their technical innovation, build quality, luxury and performance.
In 1951 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W187 220 Series cars, which was the first model to be powered by a six cylinder engine post World War II. This model was a great success and built in relatively big numbers. In the 1950’s Mercedes-Benz produced one of the greatest cars of all time – the iconic 300SL Gullwing and 300SL Roadster. Whilst fabulous sporting cars, they were very expensive and generally sold to the rich and famous. The Type W186 and Type W189 300 series four door luxury tourers were built alongside the Type W198 300SL Gullwing and Roadster and they were indeed fabulous cars in their own right, though still very expensive. Mercedes-Benz wanted to build full sized luxury cars that were ‘more affordable’ than the Type W186 and Type W189 300 series cars, so the Ponton range of cars (Type W120/W121/W105/W180/W128) filled that void nicely.
In 1959 Mercedes-Benz introduced the Type W111 as a successor to the very successful Ponton. The Type W111 was built as a sedan, coupe and convertible with many different engine configurations. The sedans were sold in big numbers all over the world, however, as has been the tradition with Mercedes-Benz the two door and convertible cars were built in far smaller numbers and carried a significant price premium. The majority of the Type W111 models were powered by a 6 cylinder engine of varying capacity, ranging from 2195cc (220 series) through to 2778cc (280 series). In 1969 Mercedes-Benz introduced a new 3499cc V8 engine which they fitted to the Type W111 coupes and cabriolets.
The Type W111 was succeeded by the Type W116, built from 1972 through until 1980, which was formally recognised as the first series of ‘S’ Class cars built. The Type W126 followed, which was the second series of ‘S’ Class cars. The sedan was first introduced in 1979, followed by the coupe in 1981. As with past models, the Type W126 was offered with many different engine sizes and options.
The top of the range flagship model was the 560 SEC, Type W126.045, which was built from 1985 through until 1991. Powered by a 5.5 litre V8 that puts out 221kw/300hp the car can reach 250km/h while acceleration from 0 -100 km/hr takes less than 7 seconds. It is probably the most comfortable way to travel across the country. In press material, Mercedes-Benz claimed that “ . . . even at 200km/h, you can talk in normal voice or listen to music without being disturbed by wind or road noise”. The high-speed refinement and stability were hardly matched by other cars at the time, let alone one that offered space for four people.
Oldtimer Australia is delighted to offer for sale an Australian delivered, factory right hand drive 1988 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC. The car has a build date of October 1988.
When new, this car cost almost $250,000 including ‘on road’ costs, making it one of the most expensive cars you could purchase back in 1988/1989.
This car has its original book set with a data card and a substantial history file. All of the documentation on file confirms that this highly optioned car was sold new by Mercedes-Benz of Sydney on the 7th November 1989 to its first owner, a Mr Sutton from Berry in NSW. The car was first registered by Mercedes-Benz as PQX290 and changed to ABP17P for Mr Berry. The car was finished in almondine red (colour code 512) with a mushroom leather interior (trim code 265), which is an absolutely spectacular colour combination.
The following option codes are noted on the data tag: 412 = electric tilting/sliding roof steel, 442 = airbag for driver, 581 = automatic climate control, 625 = Australia version and 809 = change of model year, last figure shows new model year. The following additional option codes are noted on the data card: 233 = fog lamp special wiring, 430 = rear head rests left & right, 524 = paint coat preservation, 581 = automatic climate control, 596 = infrared reflecting tinted glass, 601 = oil for limited slip rear axle, 613 = head-lamp unit asymmetrically for left-hand traffic, 664 = tyres 275/65 R17 with rims chromium-plated and 677 = battery for use in tropical countries, higher capacity.
Sutton sold the car to its next owner in Melbourne in October 1998 at which time the odometer was circa 115,000 km. The car passed through two further careful owners before being acquired by the current owner in late 2016.
The service book has been religiously completed, with the last entry on the 21st February 2009 at 200,103 km. There is a subsequent invoice on file dated 27th March 2010 at 216,336 km. The current owner is fastidious to say the least and in early 2017 the car was sent to classic Mercedes-Benz specialists MB Spares in Canberra. The brief was to go through the car to ensure everything was ‘right’ and take an excellent car to the next level. There are invoices on file for in excess of $16,000. At that time the odometer was 226,122 km
This car has been maintained by the Mercedes-Benz dealer network through until 1998 and subsequently by marque specialists, Classique Motors, Jason Purvis and MB Spares.
Today this car presents and drives spectacularly well. It is hard to believe it is a 32 year old car and the odometer reads 226,641 km. You could ‘time warp’ this car back to the Mercedes-Benz show room floor in 1988 and it would look right at home. In fact, it would not look out of place on the Mercedes-Benz showroom in 2021!
The car was repainted in late 2007 and it still presents exceptionally well. There are a few very minor stone chips on the bonnet, but you have to look hard to see them! There is a small paint chip behind the right rear wheel arch, which is almost on the underside of the car and difficult to see. All of the external trim, chrome, glass and even the wheels are in excellent condition. The only exception is the front badge which is worn. Inside the cabin, the car presents magnificently. The leather is clean, fresh and supple. There are no rips, tears or even scuff marks . . . it is pretty much mint. The dash, instruments & controls and even the carpet are also in excellent condition. The timber, which is a real feature on these cars, is also excellent. Everything looks to be in working order, including the sunroof and the seat belt presenters, which was a technological innovation for 1988! The air conditioning system works well and it blows ice cold air.
You open the bonnet to reveal an engine bay that presents consistently with the rest of the car. Everything is clean, neat and tidy. The boot is also in excellent condition. There is a spare wheel, tool kit, jack and safety triangle, all in excellent condition.
The car starts easily at the turn of the key and even though there is a thumping V8 under the bonnet the engine is incredibly quiet. So how does it drive for a 32 year old car? Probably even better than it looks! It is just a superb car to drive and it does everything in that typical Mercedes-Benz ‘Germanic way’. It is comfortable and effortless to drive but if you have the need or are in the mood you have loads of performance on tap. Make no mistake this is a fast car . . . a real ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. On the road the car tracks arrow straight, the brakes pull the car up ‘as required’ and it handles superbly. The car is smooth and whisper quiet inside the cabin. The only anomaly we have identified is a ‘clicking noise’, which most likely emanates from the indicator stalk on the steering column, when you turn the steering wheel.
Accompanying the car are two sets of keys, books (including a fully stamped service book) and a number of services receipts dating back to 2007.
Sometimes it is hard to get a true representation on the condition of a car from photos, however, in this case we think a picture really does say 1,000 words!
These cars were extremely well built, however, the overall condition and presentation of this car today are a credit to its current and previous owners. This car has lived a cherished life and it has clearly been impeccably cared for and maintained.
This Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC will suit a true Mercedes-Benz collector or enthusiast. It would be very hard to find a better example and it could be a serious concours contender. This car is ‘one out of the box’!
- An Australian delivered, factory right hand drive example finished in a stunning colour scheme.
- Matching numbers, as confirmed by the service book and factory data card.
- Impeccably maintained from new.
- Full service history with books, tools and more.
- Just a beautifully presented motor car that is magnificent to drive.
- The ‘best of the best’.
- Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC
- 226,594 km