1987 Mercedes 420SEL parts

About the 420SEL

The 420SEL is a long wheelbase S-Class of the W126 range (1980-1991), a car that many enthusiasts regard as the last of the classic ‘over engineered’ Mercedes.   The 420SEL was a very popular model in Australia with strong sales throughout its life.   It was offered from 1986-1991.  It sat in the middle of the range of the W126 offered in Australia, with the 300 being the entry level model and the 560 being the range topper.   Unlike in many other countries, the 420SELs sold in Australia were very well equipped.

The 420SEL with its tall gearing and quiet refined ride is in its element as a highway cruiser.   For more details on the model and how it fits in the range, please see my W126 buyers guide.

For more information about the W126 in Australia, see this post.

About this car

1987 420SEL parts car

I bought this car as a parts car.    The W126 is becoming more and more popular as a classic car.   The really rough examples are getting thinner on the ground, so inexpensive parts cars are harder to find.  I was not interested in buying an otherwise nice car that had one big repair required and wrecking it.   This happens all too often and they are not making any more of these cars.   This car fit my bill because its was really rough, and was unlikely to ever go back on the road again.

I know very little about the history of the car other than it was complianced 1/87 and it was originally Champagne metallic (473U).   It has a beige leather interior (275) and it it is a pretty standard 420SEL in Australian specifications.   I don’t recall if the sunroof was standard on the 420 in 1987.  If not, that seems like the only option it has.    The main reason for that is that the 420SELs were so well equipped in Australia that there were few other options needed.    I don’t think it originally had alloy wheels.

The official option codes are listed below, and there are a lot of them for a car that had no real options ticked.   This is because Mercedes-Benz Australia ordered them this way.   the 420SEL was a premium and expensive car in the line up and they came equipped with pretty much everything.   The 500 was not sold in Australia.   In other countries you could order a very basic 420SEL with manual windows etc.

At some point this car was painted white.  I can only assume it was pressed into service as a hire car or limo.    It has 497,000km on the clock.   Its a shame it never got to roll over to 500k.   The previous owner purchased it in country NSW and brought it back to Sydney with the aim of fixing it up.    He spent a considerable amount of money but the car would never get back on the road.    I’m not sure what happened but it was returned to him with the job half done.

I am also assuming it was later vandalized as it sat for months out the front of his house, probably unlocked.   Certainly the exhaust system is now gone, probably for the catalytic converter.  It looks like somebody tried to rip the grille off, and the jack, first aid kit and spare wheel are all missing.

Its going to be a great source of parts for me.   My goal is to keep some parts I am looking for and sell the rest.   I aim to at least break even on the endeavor.

Option codes

Option codeMeaning
221Left front seat, electrically adjustable
222Right front seat, electrically adjustable
233Foglamp wiring for F/CH/AUS/S/N
240Outside temperature indicator
280Leather steering wheel and leather gear shift knob
412Electric sliding roof with tilting device
440Tempomat (Cruise Control)
480Self Leveling Suspension
507Outside rear view mirror left and right heated (Electric adjustment Left)
543Sun Visors with vanity mirrors, illuminated
570Folding arm rest, front
588581: Automatic climate control
584: Electric window lifters, front and rear
599Heat Insulated glass, side and rear window panes, windshield clear
600Headlamp wiper/washer
615611: Courtesy lamps, front and rear doors
613: Lamp unit, Asymmetrical, LH Traffic
625Version for Australia
674High-capacity battery, tropical version
731Wood trim, burred walnut root
807Model year 1987
877Reading lamp in the rear

Related posts

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  5. February 2023 - 420SEL parts car update