My new 1986 300SE W126

Today I purchased a 1986 300SE W126.  I needed a car that had room for three child seats when necessary and was eligible for historic rego.  It also couldn’t cost too much money.    Enter the W126.

1986 300SE W126I had originally agreed to buy a 1976 450SE in gold, but that car developed a major engine problem.   I had never owned a W116 and finding nice ones is not easy.   After that car fell through, I was able to find this one instead, and reasonable W126’s for little money are much easier to find than W116s.

The car has three owners before me and feels like it has been well looked after.   It drives nicely, has cold A/C, a new radiator and a very nice interior.   The downside is that the paint job is showing a few areas of poor preparation and the previous owners did not keep the history.  The colour is Signal Red.   Today, you can have your Mercedes in monochrome (white, black, silver or grey), but there was a time when they came with a range of much more interesting colours.

1986 300SE W126

The previous owner had the car since 1999, and was an older gentleman who had to stop driving due to age and health reasons.   He was very sad to see his pride an joy go.     Apparently the previous owner to him had the car repainted and it had around 240,000km at that time.   This owner named the car “Lillian” and the previous owner kept this up.   I am not really one to name cars, but I guess it is part of the cars history now.

Even better for me, the car is nice and basic, no power seats, no sunroof.   It has an indestructible MB-TEX interior, cruise control and self levelling rear suspension.

This car was a huge contrast to a 1987 300SEL I looked at earlier in the day.   There was no comparison driving the two cars.  If you were blindfolded, you would hardly think they came off the same production line 12 months apart.   The SEL had collapsed drivers seat, the engine idled poorly, had an oil leak at the top of the engine that looked like Niagra falls in dirty oil, needed new rear accumulator cells at minimum and was just generally tired.     There was another car on ebay that looked nice, but I wasn’t able to get hold of the owner to go and take a look.

I currently plan to remove the chrome arch trims as I don’t think they really work on the W126.   Tomorrow I will fit child seats.   The car has an indicated 280k km on the odometer.   The odometer is no longer working, but on the W126 this is a simple fix.   Since the car is already past 250k, it deserves an award badge!   Mercedes USA have such a programme for high mileage cars.   I fitted one of the badges I had when living in the USA to the car as I had removed them from the cars I owned over there.

Grill bage

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