1986 Mercedes 300SE

About the 300SE

The 300SE is an S-Class of the W126 range (1980-1991), a car that many enthusiasts regard as the last of the classic ‘over engineered’ Mercedes.   Being a 1986 model, it is the first year of the updated Series 2 model, which featured improved engines.   It does not have the interior upgrade, as that did not happen until 1988.     The 300SE was the entry level S class in most markets (including Australia), with the 260SE mostly focused on markets with punitive taxes for engines over 2.8l.     For more information about the W126 in Australia, see this post.

About this car


I bought this car to be my everyday driver.   The 450SLC has in some ways filled this role since I purchased it in 2003, but for nearly all of that time I used public transport for commuting (or had an underground parking garage).   Circumstances changed and I needed a car that could fit 3 child seats across the back and regularly park on the street.    W126’s are still very reasonably priced and fit these requirements.

This 300SE is an entry level model, without many options.   This is perfect for my needs as a simple runabout.    Upholstery is MB-TEX, and there is no sunroof orpower seats to go wrong.    It does have automatic climate control, but this is how they were all ordered by Mercedes Australia unfortunately.   And being a 1986 it can be registered as a classic car if necessary.

The car was purchased from the next suburb to mine and came out of long term ownership.   The Signal red paintwork is a nice change from the mostly champagne or white W126’s that are seen around.   I have since removed the chrome wheel arch trims that were installed on the car at purchase.

Option codes

Option CodeMeaning
233Foglamp wiring for F/CH/AUS/S/N
240Outside temperature indicator
259Becker Radio Grand Prix Cassette Stereo Electronic
286Luggage nets on front seat backrests
420Automatic Transmission (Floor Shift)
430Headrests in the rear
440Tempomat (Cruise Control)
470Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
480Self Leveling Suspension
507Outside rear view mirror left and right heated (Electric adjustment Left)
531Automatic Antenna
543Sun Visors with vanity mirrors, illuminated
551Anti-Theft / Break in warning system
574570: Folding arm rest
571: Front seat left, with height adjustment RHD
588581: Automatic climate control
584: Electric window lifters, front and rear
599Heat Insulated glass, side and rear window panes, windshield clear
615611: Courtesy lamps, front and rear doors
613: Lamp unit, Asymmetrical, LH Traffic
625Version for Australia
677Tropical battery
731Wood trim, burred walnut root
806Model year 1986
812Rear-mounted loudspeakers
877Reading lamp in the rear

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