Mercedes-Benz Australia price list – April 1982

In April 1982 Mercedes-Benz was pretty much king of the hill when it came to mainstream luxury cars. Rolls Royce was in a league of its own, and Jaguar was at its quality nadir. BMW were just releasing the E30 which would propel them to a leadership position in the small, luxury market. They still could not touch Mercedes-Benz in the mid or upper tiers.

As a result, Mercedes were able to charge premium prices for their offerings. This was before the introduction of fringe benefits tax in Australia, so many of these cars were purchased as company cars with […]

Mercedes Club drive to Peats Ridge

The Mercedes Club organized a joint drive with the Rolls Royce Owners club to the Corrugated Cafe in Peats Ridge. Peats Ridge is about 90km north of Sydney. This was one of the first drives after the COVOID19 restrictions were eased. A couple of the members of the club were trying to organize a line up of W126s at the event. The event seemed like a good opportunity to see some Rolls Royces and give the 560SEL a good long drive after I got the car back from some preventative maintenance.

Taking the 560SEL also gave an opportunity to take […]

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 is still quite expensive. It was replaced by the Australia only 180E that slotted in below a luxury car tax threshold making it an […]

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 […]

USA Junkyard Visits

I am currently in the USA and had a few hours to spare in Cincinnati Ohio before I headed out to the airport. When I lived in the USA, I used to go to the self service junkyards to grab bits and pieces. These junkyards are larger in the USA and they have standard price lists for parts, no matter what car you remove it from. Most of the cars I own are too old to turn up in self service junkyards, but the two W126’s just fall into the range where they sometimes come up.

I ended up going […]

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 […]

300SE Odometer Repair Update

Back in early 2017 I fixed my broken odometer. The 300SE odometer repair was successful, but there were two things I needed to follow up on.

The odometer was reading 10% low. I could hear the gears, especially in cold weather.

In addition, some time after I repaired the odometer, one of the bulbs that illuminates the instrument cluster at night failed. The fix for all these things required the removal of the instrument cluster. The procedure to remove the cluster and the speedometer is covered in my previous article.

The low reading was attributed to having the wrong gear. […]

Troubleshooting W126 Climate Control

When I purchased my 300SE, the A/C worked well. I assume the overall Climate Control system did too. I never did test anything more than max A/C as the weather was very hot. Everything seemed fine, except for the little aspirator fan which was noisy. Unfortunately 3 weeks after purchase, the A/C stopped working. I was sitting at red traffic lights and adjusted the settings and it went warm. This indicated that it was probably not a leak in the system somewhere. Just to be sure, I had the system checked and it was not low on refrigerant.

The first […]