Which is the slowest W126?

Many people are interested in which cars are the fastest, but perhaps a more interesting question is which is the slowest W126? There were a plethora of W126 models offered from 1979-1991 and not all of them were particularly fast.

For the purposes of this test, I have assembled some contenders, based on data from www.automobile-catalog.com. This comparison assumes the cars are in as-new condition. Obviously a car with low compression and a bad transmission is going to be slower.

Here are the contenders:

280SEL for the Swiss market

The Swiss market had very similar emissions laws to Australia, Japan […]

Mercedes W126 buyers guide

I’m a big fan of the Mercedes-Benz W126. While it might not have the grandeur of the 60’s models, they make a really usable classic. The W126 can even be used as a daily driver. It still has the feel of a classic Mercedes-Benz but you get safety features like ABS, good air conditioning and reasonable fuel economy. When they are looked after they are a a very reliable car that is a delight to drive. I’ve now owned five of them over the years, mostly as daily drivers. Prices are still very reasonable. There are a few other W126 […]

Mercedes-Benz Australia price list – July 1991

In 2020 it is easy to forget just how expensive Mercedes-Benz vehicles were in Australia before the increased competition from brands such as Lexus, Audi and the like. Additionally, Luxury car taxes were much higher in those days. In real terms, the cars were significantly more expensive.

Below is a Mercedes-Benz Australia price list from July 1991. There are a couple of interesting things that can be seen from this list. Firstly, the 190E 1.8 which slotted in below a luxury car tax threshold making it an attractive proposition.

The second is how expensive the high end models were at […]

2400 mile road trip in an eBay 560SEC – Part 3

This is the third and final part of a series on my mad cross country dash in an eBay 560SEC. Part 1 covers the purchase and initial impressions of the car. Part 2 covers the drive from California to Missouri. I picked up my drive in Central Missouri and had about 750 miles to cover on the final day. On the first two days I had great weather but it started to deteriorate and I had on and off rain for the rest of the trip. The 560SEC handled it with aplomb but it made the driving more tiring and […]

2400 mile road trip in an eBay 560SEC – Part 2

This is part 2 of a description of a road trip I took back in March 2009. I was living in Michigan and purchased a 1988 560SEC in the LA area. I had to be out there for work so the plan was to drive the car around for the week to get familiar with it and then drive it back over the weekend. Part 1 covers the purchase, initial impressions and preparation for my 560SEC roadtrip.

At about 3pm on friday afternoon I set out on my 560SEC roadtrip. As I mentioned in the last meeting, I chose the […]

2400 mile road trip in an eBay 560SEC – Part 1

I lived in Michigan between 2007-2011. When I first moved there, I bought a cheap but somewhat rusty 1989 560SEC to be my daily driver. It was already rusty so I was not worried about driving it in the notorious Michigan snow and salt. After about 18 months the original 560SEC had been hit a few times in the snow. It also had a very minor head gasket problem where it would burn coolant only if idling for more than about 10 minutes. I figured the car was on its last legs.

My plan was to buy a nicer car […]

More and more parts for Mercedes modern classics are NLA

Mercedes-Benz have justifiably maintained an excellent reputation for making parts available for their older vehicles. They still do a great job for their ‘halo’ classics like the 300SL gullwing or Pagoda SL. At the same time, I have noticed a big increase in the number of parts No Longer Available (NLA) for the modern classics. I define the modern classics as those made from the early 70s to the early 90s. This includes cars such as the R/C107, W114/115, W116, W123, W124, W126. There are probably others.

I’m really not sure how that extends to the late 60s models such […]

The M117.968 560 Engine

The 560 is the ultimate M117 engine. This family of engines was introduced in 1969 with the 3.5l M116 and was followed in 1972 with the 4.5 M117. The M117 is a longer stroke version of the M116. Both engines share a SOHC design, 2 valves per cylinder and always had fuel injection.

These engines evolved over time with the final iteration coming between 1985 and 1991. The 560 was the largest M117 engine offered, although to be pedantic it is actually 5.5 litres.

M116M117Fuel InjectionOtherApplications 1969-1975: 3.51972-1975: 4.5D-Jet EFIIron BlockW108, W109, W111, W116, W107 1976-1980: 3.51976:1980: 4.5K-Jet (CIS) MFIIron […]

W126 Differential Ratios

The W126 range was in production from 1979-1991. I’ve never seen a comprehensive table of W126 differential ratios, so I have attempted to create my own. Not only did they vary between models and years, but in some cases countries too.

It is possible I have missed a few more country specific ratios. Please indicate in the comments below if I have.

If this table is being referred to for swaps, the first and second generations diffs are not interchangeable. Neither is an ASR diff. LSD was standard on 560s but optional on other cars. The exception is cars equipped […]

The car stylists behind my Garage

Today, I was reading an excellent article on Curbside Classic about the legendary Paul Bracq. Bracq had a long career with Mercedes Benz, BMW, Peugeot. He also worked at an independent styling house. Part one covers his time at Mercedes-Benz and part two the rest of his career. I highly recommend this article.

Bracq was responsible for one of Mercedes-Benz most elegant designs of the post war period, the W111 Coupe/Cabriolet. He was also integral to the W108/W109, W114/W115 and the W113 Pagoda. Later in his career he also styled the E24 6 Series, another favourite of mine.

This article […]