Locked in Uncle’s Garage: 1984 Mercedes 500SEC

Over the years, stories of relatives with significant vehicles locked away and out of the hands of more caring relatives have lingered across the enthusiast sphere. This 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC is a genuine Euro-market car with all of the overseas goodies our US models didn’t receive. Find it here on craigslist where the seller says it’s recently been freed from his uncle’s garage. It’s listed for $6,000 in North Hollywood. 

Interestingly, the seller has performed a fair amount of upfront maintenance but neglected to address what needs immediate attention, which includes the fuel system and the gas tanks that need a clean out due to how long the big coupe sat. Which may explain why a new fuel filter was added, along with a new fuel pump, potentially in hopes of rectifying an issue that couldn’t be resolved without the tanks being removed and professionally cleaned.

The good news is that will hopefully be the only major issue that remains to be sorted. The interior is in excellent condition, with the backseat looking practically unused. What we like here are all of the preserved ROW features, from the slim bumpers to European-only glass headlights with H4 lighting to the less restrictive emissions equipment. Of course, the AMG bodykit is perhaps the most desirable feature here.

Cars like this don’t always come up in respectable project-grade shape: they’re either garage queens for twice the price (or more) or complete basketcases already pillaged for their desirable Euro bits. Perhaps languishing in a California garage was the best thing for this handsome Mercedes-Benz coupe, but now it’s time to clean the tanks and let this one run.


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  1. dirtyharry

    Nice, but looks as dated as bell bottoms and beetle boots. The next best modern model was the CL500/600, with the hydraulic suspension. I see the CL series for sale all over so cal for less than this SEC. This one in La Puente is up for $4k and has a lot less miles too.

    • JamestownMike

      I absolutely agree!……..but I prefer the 03 and newer CL500/600 for the interior refresh over the 02 you selected. A LOT of car for the money!

    • Mr. TKD

      What’s “dated” to some is “classic” to others. To each his own.

  2. Todd Fitch Staff

    Nice find, Jeff. I love the big Mercedes coupes in general, and the styling of this one, especially with the Euro stuff. The 467? HP BiTurbo V12 of the more recent ones would be hard to pass up, though, literally and figuratively. This one reminds me of the MB that Patrick Swayze thrashed in Roadhouse.

  3. Tuto Thomen

    Very nice car,those where built like tanks.

    Like 1
  4. Karguy James

    Had one back in the day. One of my favorite daily drivers. Comfortable, well built and put you back in your seat power. Passengers would freak out when the car would hand you your seat belt. lol This looks like a good place to start for a classic well built Benz.

    • TVC15


      I was a car detailer ( cleaner ) back in the day and was working on one of these on my own in a basement garage when that seat belt came over the front seat by itself , Nearly needed a second clean !

  5. jdjonesdr

    Man, I love these things.

  6. glen

    Swap “end” for and. Mom corrected my grammar plenty of times!

  7. Wagon master Member

    One of my favorite cars of all time. Drove one when new.
    Broken english is a red flag for us here in SoCal! Chu gote eat mang! Jaime’s wash and flip parking lot brokerage it sounds like to me. Euro with 150k miles and neglected? $3200 …

  8. Dolphin Member

    What a terrific looking coupe. The Euro and claimed AMG features are pluses, and would be very appealing to some M-B fans.

    The high mileage would be a negative and might make buyers pause. I would definitely want it checked out by a Mercedes expert even if I had to pay up to have that done.

  9. HeadMaster1

    As a 40+year resident of So Cal, gas tanks aren’t always a problem as the gas evaporates before it turns to varnish…..I’m 100% with Wagon master on the broken engrish though…usually leads to either an illegal Mexican that bought it from impound, or worse yet an Arminian that pieced it together from stolen parts and forged a title……That Black plate on the car is NEW, so this car had to run and pass emissions if that plate is legally on this car, which I bet it isn’t…(323) area code leads me to believe the later….

    • hhaleblian

      Hey Headmaster! I take offense to at least spell my nationality correctly. Armenian as in Kardashian. If you were truly a headmaster you would have been fired for poor spelling.

  10. David Miraglia

    one of my bosses back in the 1980’s owned one of these. Always liked the squared off style and less gadgetry of the 1980’s Benz’s over the present day ones.

  11. alan

    Photos showing the condition of the lamb’s wool seat covers are vital to making an informed decision on a car purchase.

  12. Sparkster

    I’m with Headmaster1 on the license plate questions. New plates yet the car doesn’t run ? ? ? The black and gold plates in California have only been issued about a year or two. Perhaps a illegal smog to get it registered ?

  13. JaguarE

    I am not buying that this is an AMG version of this car because the AMG version is a wide body car kit factory installed and there is now wide body here on this car. This is a Boeing 757 narrow body, not the Boeing 747 wide body version. I am more familiar of the 560 SEC version but watched Wheeler Dealers install all the AMG and wide body components onto a 500 SEC car to make it a full replica and that was indeed a wide body AMG car. A rose by any other name is still a rose but just because it is a Mercedes does not make it a genuine AMG.

  14. Oldog4tz Oldog Member

    To quote THE SCM guy, Fakey-Doo. Without smog on an 80s Merc, it’s worth nadda in CA.

  15. Peter R

    Not all AMG versions were wide body – that was an extra cost option. In buying any car, I recommend having the dealer do the PDI – they can often verify that it is matching numbers too. I have had a number of so called perfect cars inspected by Mercedes and their reports kept me from a mistake. A must in this case as well as photos of under the seat covers.
    Perhaps I mis-read the ad but I thought he says it runs but has needs?? Did it meet the tests to get the plate? Ask for a copy of the registration – that will tell the story. If it wasn’t across the country with shipping at least $1500+, I would be interested in pursuing this one.

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