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13,800 Miles: 1991 Mercedes 560 SEL

Long considered to be the most durable of Mercedes’ U.S. lineup, the W126 chassis cars are incredibly useful even today: handsome, stately and fantastic highway cruisers, finding one that’s simply been maintained is normally the only bar to clear since racking up big mileage doesn’t phase most owners. This 1991 560 SEL here on eBay raises the bar even further, essentially a new car with just 13,800 original miles. The asking price is $30K, which it just may be worth. 

Why is a decades’ old luxo-barge worth 30 grand? Well, most aren’t – but these were among the legendary class of “bank vault” Mercedes, the ones where the door slam made you feel like you just locked the hatch on a submarine. Strong and overbuilt, they provided all of the luxuries you’d expect in an S- or E-Class grade Mercedes with the durability of a New York City taxicab. This one is the top of the line model, with a brawny V8 up front and tons of leg room inside.

Like the exterior, the interior remains unmarked with leather seats in near-perfect condition. The woodgrain inlays on the dashboard and console are uncracked and still present as new, and the thick carpeting is unstained. The leather on the door cards still puffs up nicely, and factory floor mats are unscathed. On a personal note, my father drove a used 420SEL for several years and didn’t take particularly good care of it; it also served dutifully as the car my brother learned to drive on.

The M117 5.5L V8 did duty in the long-wheelbase 560 cars as well as the gorgeous 560 SEC coupes. As you can see, the engine retains its showroom-fresh appearance, and the seller claims despite the low mileage the Mercedes is up-to-date on all necessary services. This one is worth the cost of entry if you must relive the experience of driving one new; we’d simply replace the headlamps with the European-market glass lenses and drive from here ’til eternity.


  1. Alan

    2 years ago I bought All original survivor 1979 Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 black with bamboo leather interior. Has 59K original miles. Car is almost new condition as was 25 years in storage by previous owner. All books & original owners manual. Car was perfect inside out. I had issues with hydropneumatic suspension & rear differential also. The 6.9 is the True Muscle big sedan from Mercedes. asking price was 40K I paid 38K . My second best must be the 80s 560SEL !

  2. Francisco

    Auction ended.

  3. JRATT 1956

    A quick search on the net and I found this 1986 with 90,320 miles for $3995.
    Plenty of money left for any repairs.

  4. DrinkinGasoline

    Low mileage survivors are a good thing.
    Long term storage survivors…beware.
    Like humans, vehicles are designed to move and not be sedentary. Everything in moderation: Exercise, proper nutrition and rest…..Repeat,repeat,repeat…. Too much time behind a barn door is just as bad as too much time behind a keyboard.
    (just an analogy). :)

    Like 1
  5. DG

    I am drooling over this car. Last year for that chassis too. The only way it could be better is if it was an SEC.

  6. JohnD

    Bank vault indeed. An eternal favorite of mine, probably due to the times I spent behind the wheel of dad’s 500SEL.

    Like 1
  7. will

    From our 36 540K to theE55 Amg’s and every MB in between we’ve found them to be rock solid. And we have TVR’s,Ferrari’s,RR,Bmw’s and nothing in my mind compares to the build quality of MB.

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