BF Classified: 1991 Mercedes-Benz 350SDL


Talk about a comfortable cruiser! These W126 S-Class sedans were, in their day, the pinnacle of German luxury. With the Turbodiesel inline-six under the hood, you get a decent amount of torque and amazing dependability. With 144k miles on the dial, this one is barely broken in! So, would you be happy to cruise in this S-Class?

Seller’s Description: I purchased this car from its original owner about a month and a half ago. The car was originally purchased from Continental Motors in Fairfield CT (Now Mercedes Benz of Fairfield). Based on the records that I have, the car remained in CT until about 2010 when the owners relocated to Fort Lauderdale, FL. At which time they retitled the vehicle in FL and placed it in their business’ name. These people loved and cared for this car and it shows. The car was regularly maintained, garage kept and driven less than 5000 miles per year, on average. The car was serviced by the selling dealer until about 1996. From 1996 on, it was serviced by both the dealer as well as independent shops. I have a complete set of service records from 1996 to the present.

Prior to selling the car, the previous owner took the car in for service and had the oil and filter changed, the fuel filter changed, new tires installed, a 4 wheel alignment done and a new radiator cap installed( @ 144057 miles on May 1st, 2020). I have documentation for this service.

The only aspect of this car that was not in working order when I purchased it was the A/C. It did not blow cold. I took it to a local mechanic and the diagnosis was a leaking evaporator core. No real surprise there and probably why the previous owner did not have that repaired. It would be a very costly repair. I had it fixed. So, now the A/C works. It is a converted system that was originally run on r12 refrigerant. It has been retrofitted to run on r134 a refrigerant. If you know old cars, you know that this retrofit does not operate at the same level as it would have as an r12 system. It’s adequate and the car can be driven comfortably in the heat of the day. But, because the air coming out of the vents is not as cold as it would have been using r12, it takes a bit longer for the cabin to cool off.

People who know these cars will always ask the same question when one shows up on the market: How’s the transmission? Apparently they have a reputation for developing transmission issues after 100K -120K miles. According to the service records, the transmission in this car was rebuilt in October of 2018 @ 137,936 miles. This problem was identified and addressed.

Since purchasing this car, I have driven it regularly under various conditions. I have driven it 200 miles to date and have used about a half a tank of fuel. This driving included a lot of around town, stop and go traffic as well as a little bit of highway driving. I have tried to run it through its paces to see if there are any issues that need attention. I have found nothing. I have even had it up to 100 mph on the highway. It accelerated confidently rode smoothly all the way up to that speed.
Overall the condition of this car is very good. It is a driven car and everything is original so, it’s not perfect. Just very well taken care of. If you are looking for a perfect example of a 1991 350SDL, please let me know when you find it and how much it would take to own it because I would like one too. But considering that only 2500 were built, it may be a long search. Or you could buy this one and make it perfect. It would take a lot less time and probably cost a lot less money as it wouldn’t take much.

The body is in great shape. I think I have found 3 dings on the car, two on the right side and one toward the rear of the roof. There is no evidence of any past accidents or major damage. The CarFax report also indicates that it has no accident history. The underside of the car is clean and rust-free. the paint looks good but has evidence of aging/sun damage around the middle / rear half of the hood and on the roof. It also looks like someone attempted to buff that out but really didn’t have experience in doing that as there are light surface abrasions in some areas of the top 1/3 of the car. They are very subtle and only really noticeable in direct sunlight. They didn’t even show up in the pictures,

There is one tiny spot of rust on the entire car. It’s just below the lower-left corner of the rear windshield. It’s smaller than a dime and I have touched it up with some silver paint to make it less noticeable and prevent it from continuing.

All of the rubber seals are good and do not leak. The sunroof opens and closes as designed and does not leak.

The trunk is clean (looks unused actually) and has a full-sized spare that looks new and all of the tire changing accessories.

The interior is in great condition. There are no rips, tears, or stains on anything. The leather seats all appear unused except for the driver’s seat which has a little bit of wear on the left bolster from getting in and out of the car.

The vacuum system that controls the locks works perfectly.

All of the functions and accessories on this car work including the rear window defogger, cruise control, and windshield washers. ( 3 items that commonly stop working with age)

The car starts right up every time as does not blow any smoke. If you really get on it like I did when pushing it up to 100 mph, you will get a little puff of smoke from the tailpipe but that is normal for a diesel. The oil pressure and temperature are in the normal range while driving. The transmission shifts smoothly through all of the gears. The brakes may need adjusting as the pedal feels a little low to me but it does stop fine at any speed. It is a solid, great running car that can be driven anywhere.

What else can I say about the car?? It’s just a great car and a sheer joy to drive. I will continue to drive it around a bit while it waits for its new owner to step forward and take her home. I don’t believe in letting cars sit as they are designed to be driven. As a result, mileage may increase just a bit more. But, I am out of town for work often and don’t go too far when I am home so it won’t be more than a couple of hundred miles at most.

I have a lot more pictures of the car and I will try to answer all questions to the best of my ability. The only thing I ask is that you try to be a little patient when expecting a response as I drive for work and may not be able to answer immediately.

Location: N Miami Beach, FL
Mileage: 144,500
Title Status: Clean
VIN: WDBCB35D9MA600681

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