Car shoppers in the United States were able to buy the proto-S-Class W126 Mercedes-Benz beginning in 1980 and continuing through 1991, and I’ve documented quite a few of these luxurious machines in forced retirement. Other than a gray-market 280 SEL and a pair of beat-up 300 SDs with a half-million miles apiece
Keep in mind that “low-mile” me ans something different for an oil-burning W126 than it does for, say, a Hyundai Excel of the same era
The interior is dirty and a bit sun-damaged, almost certainly from long-term outdoor storage in the harsh High Plains climate, but it could have been cleaned up without too much trouble.
The body has some damage, but these dents look like the sort that happen after a car enters the junkyard ecosystem
It’s a good bet that some expensive mechanical problem sidelined this car years ago, and its owner couldn’t or wouldn’t pay to fix it.
250,000 kilometers is a bit over 155,000 miles.
The build tag says it’s a U.S.-market car, not one of the many gray-market W126s bought in Europe and converted to U.S. specifications. Still, the 250000km badge on the grille and this sticker from the Dutch province of Fryslân suggest a European connection to one of this car’s owners.
In 1985, American Mercedes-Benz shoppers could get a new W126 sedan with one of three engines: a 3.8-liter gasoline V8 with 155 horsepower, a 5.0-liter gasoline V8 with 184 horsepower and a 3.0-liter OM617 five-cylinder turbodiesel with 123 horsepower.
Granted, the engine in this car was rated at 184 pound-feet, which was enough to get its 3,605 pounds moving well enough.
Its intimidating price tag of $39,840 (about $115,218 in 2023 dollars) meant that its original buyer must have understood the value of getting one of the most indestructible engines ever put in an automobile. It was
The best or nothing.