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BF Auction: 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL

The seller purchased this 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL two years ago, planning to pull its drivetrain for use in another project. Once he slipped behind the wheel, he felt it was too good to suffer that fate, so it has served as a daily driver ever since. However, all good things must end, and he feels it needs to go to a new home and a buyer who will appreciate all it offers. It is a solid classic with no immediate needs, although the next owner could easily lift it to the next level without breaking the bank. The Mercedes is listed exclusively here at Barn Finds Auctions.

The 560 SEL is a car with a genuine presence. However, it successfully avoids being flamboyant or gaudy and is subtle and restrained. This Merc wears silver paint, and while I’m not certain of the shade, I believe it is Astral Silver. The car has never undergone any restoration work, which means the paint does show some age. The clear coat is crazing and beginning to fail on the passenger door. However, it has a respectable shine and could remain untouched indefinitely if the next owner wishes to retain the vehicle as an original survivor. The seller replaced the headlamp surrounds and fitted a set of 16″ wheels from TireRack. These add a touch of menace to a car with luxury leanings. The panels have accumulated a few bruises and marks, but if a competent buyer wished to address these in a home workshop, they shouldn’t prove challenging. One issue that they won’t need to consider is rust. The panels show no evidence of problems, and the underside shots reveal the floor to be perfect. The original owner ordered this Merc with a sliding sunroof that looks excellent. Overall, if the buyer wants to treat this classic to a cosmetic refresh, doing so in a home workshop should prove straightforward and inexpensive.

While smaller vehicles within the Mercedes range offered an engaging and sporting driving experience, its larger models like the 560 SEL were aimed at those seeking a luxurious motoring experience. The company provided several engine options for buyers in 1987, although this car’s original owner went for the range-topping 5.5-liter V8. The company bolted this V8 to a four-speed automatic transmission, with power assistance for the steering and brakes as a standard part of the package. At 4,034lbs, the 560 is slightly heavy, but that sweet V8’s 238hp and 287 ft/lbs of torque are enough to launch it through the ¼ mile in 16.1 seconds. Of course, this Merc is more about luxury than rapid acceleration. The 560 can find its way to 146 mph on the German Autobahns and will happily cruise almost silently at freeway speeds all day. The owner purchased the car in 2020, planning to remove its drivetrain for another project. However, he developed an affection for the vehicle once he slipped behind the wheel and has since served as a reliable daily driver. He performed some significant work to ensure it was mechanically sound, including replacing the front shocks, the steering box, the front discs, and the pads at both ends. He rebuilt the power steering pump and keeps the 560 regularly serviced. He indicates a small engine oil leak that seeps a couple of drops overnight. This comes from the driver’s side of the upper engine and shouldn’t cause any drama. The automatic transmission also leaks, and while it causes no issues, the seller suggests that pulling and resealing the transmission could be a wise strategy in the long run. Otherwise, this classic runs and drives perfectly and could continue serving as a daily driver as is.

The interior presents well for a car with thirty-five years under its belt. Many will find the lure of leather hard to resist, with this Mercedes featuring that material in Gray. The owner replaced the seat back on the driver’s side, but the rest is original. It shows no significant wear or problems and still looks soft and supple. The dash top has a single crack, but the remaining plastic and woodgrain are free from other UV damage. The original stereo has made way for a Pioneer CD player, but I can’t spot any other aftermarket additions. The 560 features air conditioning, power windows, power seats, power mirrors, cruise control, a leather-wrapped wheel, and a power antenna for those who like their luxury touches. The seller recently performed major repairs to the A/C to ensure it blows ice-cold and indicates that the passenger side mirror doesn’t operate. However, he plans to remove and clean the switch, which could address that minor issue. There are a few smaller functional faults, but fixing them could occupy a few hours during the upcoming colder months.

While it isn’t perfect, the fact that this 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL has served as a faithful daily driver demonstrates that it is a mechanically sound classic. The seller has recently spent some money on the drivetrain to ensure its reliability, leaving the new owner with little to tackle. Its presentation isn’t perfect, but it would be ideal for the cut-and-thrust of daily commuting. However, if the buyer wants to lift its appearance to the next level, that should be a straightforward process. Therefore, this Mercedes is worth serious consideration if you crave a daily driver with a luxurious feel. If you have any questions about this Mercedes, please leave them in the comments section below and the seller, Alphasud, will answer them.

  • Location: Plummer, Idaho
  • Mileage: 168,510
  • Engine: 5.5 liter V8
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • VIN: WDBCA39D7HA338341
  • Title Status: Clean

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $3,200
Register To Bid
Ended: Aug 31, 2022 12:00pm MDT
High Bidder: rawhit5226
Buyer Premium: 5%
  • rawhit5226 bid $3,200.00  2022-08-31 07:00:00
  • Crazy bid $1,900.00  2022-08-31 11:18:19
  • rawhit5226 bid $1,800.00  2022-08-31 06:51:41
  • accessbuilders bid $1,500.00  2022-08-25 15:50:55
  • Crazy bid $1,100.00  2022-08-25 03:29:42
  • accessbuilders bid $1,000.00  2022-08-25 03:15:43
  • Crazy bid $400.00  2022-08-24 13:24:49
  • Aztore bid $300.00  2022-08-24 13:14:04
  • Crazy bid $200.00  2022-08-24 10:48:25

Comments

  1. alphasud Member

    I would just like to add a lot has gone into this car over the past 24K miles. Tires have about 50% tread remaining. Front brakes 60%, rear pads will be replaced prior to sale. Also following fluid services have been done recently. Transmission, rear differential, SLS and power steering systems. Engine will get new plugs, air, and fuel filters. Also oil consumption is about 1 quart to 3K miles and the engine looked new inside when I did cam cover gaskets a year ago. It’s a fun car to drive and the car still has presence especially in a see of all the new cars that look alike with their big gaping grills.

    Like 6
  2. Dusty Rider

    Them are some ugly wheels. Nice car though.

    Like 3
    • alphasud Member

      The wheels are definitely an acquired taste. I wanted silver but they were not available. I wanted something closer to the factory Gullidekel wheel but I wanted to step up to a 16” rim for more tire choices. We have a wheel guy out here who charges a little over $350 to powder coat a set of wheels.

      Like 2
    • Ricardo Ventura

      It is true. Maybe with another shade it could attract more people, but it’s a beautiful car.

      Like 1
  3. Ricardo Ventura

    In my opinion it is the most beautiful bodywork of the brand.
    with few details
    , extremely smooth and an engine to spare health is a perfect combination.
    Lucky whoever buys it.

    Like 1
  4. Mitch

    This thing runned about 270’000KM, have you checked the
    hydraulic circle from the suspension? They can leak but
    not must. I suggest to power wash the engine bay then
    the suspected leaks become visible. On cold engine.

    To all possible buyers:
    This automatic gearboxes are not like the crappy Hydramatic
    who always jump into D or R, the ZF slips subtly in.
    A class of luxury and refinement only with ZF. Their is
    a oil drain screw on the torque converter. Back then – and
    now – Mercedes did any 50’000 KM an oil drain.
    The engine should not make any noise. Outside the car
    you hear only the subtle humming from the fuel pump.
    The sunroof should stay very levelled when closed. If it
    is uneven, something is wrong with the mechanics. Usually
    you have to re-grease it. And the water drains should also
    be continuous.

    Like 3
  5. Raymond

    Looks like under engine it’s wet looks like engine needs good tune up to not cheap fix car needs help looks like

    Like 1
    • alphasud Member

      The transmission needs to be resealed leaks from several points. Engine does not have anything that needs attention. I resist power washing engines. Most techs would agree a clean engine bay can hid a multitude is sins and create more problems with water ingress into connectors. I didn’t want to hide anything from the buyer. And yes I did drain the torque converter when I did the transmission service.

      Like 2
      • Mitch

        @alpha

        Wrap carefully the air cleaner housing with plastic foil. After engine power washing, blow off any water picky with compressed air.
        ON COLD ENGINE ONLY. They have sealed connectors. You never heard of this? Im surprised.

        Here this is a standard procedure. Also required prior mot tests. Clean
        engine = probably passed. Uncleaned = fail. Leakages = fail.

        I forgot in the last post, the bumpers are from the first model 1980-85

  6. JoeR

    Whoever gets this will love it. had a 420 SEL and it was a wonderful car. MB outdid themselves with the 126 chassis. Wish I would have kept it.

    Like 2
  7. Jace F.

    If this was closer, I would totally bid on this. Love these style of Mercedes!

  8. ArchieB

    Does the Fred Flintstone roof rack come with it?

    Like 3
  9. Paul

    W126 Benz are my favorite and it is so hard for me not to buy another. I have 3. I still might though if I have a place to hide it from the wife.

    The one picture in article from right rear makes it look like a Fred Flintstone roof rack on it.

    Like 1
  10. Brad460 Member

    As the former owner of a mid 80s S class I can attest they are magnificent automobiles with superb engineering. In my opinion few cars have the elegance and presence these had back in the day, especially the range topping 560.

    I just cant get used to this black wheel fad, however and in my opinion is a major detractor, although not that hard to rectify. I appreciate the owner deciding to preserve it. That’s a wise decision. GLWTS

    Like 1
  11. Bill

    I would certainly bid on this if it were closer to NY.

  12. Jarova Member

    Do you still have the original rims?

    • alphasud Member

      I have access to 4 Gullidekles but they are chrome plated and would need refurbished. Easier to buy a set on eBay.

  13. Mitch

    @alpha

    Wrap carefully the air cleaner housing with plastic foil. After engine power washing, blow off any water picky with compressed air.
    ON COLD ENGINE ONLY. They have sealed connectors. You never heard of this? Im surprised.

    Here this is a standard procedure. Also required prior mot tests. Clean
    engine = probably passed. Sealed = passed. Uncleaned = fail. Leakages = fail.

    I forgot in the last post, the bumpers are from the first model 1980-85

  14. Mike Phillips

    Is this a certified for the US market production vehicle, or a “gray” market European version? Do you have the original radio and factory rims/wheels?
    Are the door locks electric or vacuum? Are there any emissions features on the vehicle ( O2 sensors, catalytic converters, air pump etc)? How many previous owners and the states they lived in (If known)?
    Have owned several MB’s, this one looks like it could be fun to fiddle with.
    Thanks
    Mike

    • alphasud Member

      Car is a US spec car originally sold in Southern California and then moved to Montana where I purchased it 2 years ago. Zero rust anywhere and the few times I drove it in the snow it was on the untreated back roads. Car has all its emissions systems intact and would most likely pass smog as the KE jetronic is running at 30% duty cycle as measured at idle. I can smell the cats are still lighting up. I pulled the smog pump belt. Pump is starting to fail but it only runs on startup which is not checked in any emissions area. You can put a belt on it as unplug the clutch. No emissions tech will ever know.
      I do have a original Becker I bought to install. Even paid for the unlock code. If you purchased it I would give that to you. As far as wheels the originals were chrome plated and were hideous. The wheels on it accept a MB center cap and I was going to get them powder coated silver. Vacuum locks all work as designed even from the trunk.

  15. Cooter914 Cooter914 Member

    Alpha. Is there any reason you can think of that the winner of the auction could not fly in and drive home? Could be a great story to tell about a fun adventure. 😎

    • alphasud Member

      I would jump in this car and drive it across the country. In 2 years and over 24K miles it has never let me down. Since it’s between oil changes I would go ahead and change the oil so you don’t have to worry about any service needs.

  16. Joshua Mortensen Staff

    We had a question come in via email about the AC system. Here is alphasud’s response about the condition of the AC:

    Yes, the A/C works fine. It was charged over a year ago after condenser replacement and a new dryer and all new green o rings under the hood. Even removed compressor and made sure the old mineral oil was removed replaced with PAG oil and charged with 134a.

  17. Joshua Mortensen Staff

    Sold to user rawhit5226 for $3,200!

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