Words by Warren Madsen
The vault-like W126 Mercedes S-class- not quite hand built but it sure feels like it. Robust engine and timeless design elements, a stately cruiser in a fantastic color combination. Possible to work on it yourself and many parts are still readily available.
Sweet: tank-like in driving feel and quality. Clinical yet somehow still elegant. They can run a very long time. Quiet, quick and imposing. Closing a door firmly will stir your soul- no wonder the door latch looks like a swiss watch. Rear leg room is shockingly generous.
Bummer: auto only unless it's a euro model, and then usually a six-cylinder. But with a car like this, who wants the bother of another pedal. Recessed, early headlights that aren't for everyone. Dealer priced but the smoke silver on burgundy is good for at least $3k. No mention of original paint, so it likely isn't.
Awesome: they don't make 'em like this anymore. Might even hold it's value with light use and a dedicated owner. Show quality and still cooler than most current Mercedes.
Upgrade options: one this complete is risky to mess with...but, period Ronal Penta wheels and later single piece headlights wouldn't hurt. Keep original parts of course.
DWA values: all over the place. a higher mileage but very nice 500 or 560 should be around $5k. Lower mileage late model W126's with rear power seats and original paint (usually found in Florida) can go for five times this amount. Depreciation is still likely.