At $2,200, Could This 1986 Mercedes 560SEC Put You In The Driver’s Seat?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Mercedes coupe is presently one-size fits all. That’s because its power driver’s seat is stuck in one position. Let’s see if its price puts it in position to still be a good deal.

Don’t you just love those ‘buddy cop’ movies where the main protagonists start out as rivals but end up defeating the bad guy together, and in the process form an everlasting bond of BFF-ness?

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A similar theme was presented by last Friday’s ‘1965’ AC Cobra replica as it was constructed to look like the Ford-powered classic, but was based on that car’s bitter rival, the Chevy Corvette. They were forced to team up to defeat the specter of bad value but at $25,000, fully 65 percent of you felt they failed at the mission.

Today we’re eschewing contests and rivalries for presence, class, and overwhelming coupe-ness. At the time of its debut, this 1986 Mercedes Benz 560SEC was the Swabian company’s halo car, the model that exemplified everything Mercedes presented itself to be.

Based on the W126 sedan platform, the C126 two-door features a stately roofline and a true pillar-less greenhouse. The car is big—194-inches overall on a 115-inch wheelbase—but at 3,550 pounds it’s not overly heavy.

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The lack of a B-pillar and long coupe doors do conspire to make seatbelt access on the car problematic. Mercedes however, offered a unique solution, designing a clever arm that extends out from the door jamb to hand you your belt in butler-esque fashion.

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This one rocks a burgundy leather interior beneath its black outer coat and airy greenhouse. That interior looks to be in need of some clean up and preservative work, but doesn’t seem too bad. There is some odd speckling on the instrument cluster cover or the panel below, which is kind of nasty looking.

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While you’re looking at that, you might also notice the odometer in the center of the 170 mile per hour VDO speedo. No, I don’t mean the trip odo, that’s not impressive at all. It’s the six barrel overall odo on top that’s the stand out. That reads an amazing 307,769 miles and here’s the kicker—that’s where the odo apparently broke. The car has even more miles than that under its belt.

If you jump out and walk around the big Benz you might think that someone has made a mistake. The car looks to be in far too nice of shape for that many miles. Yes, there are a few boogers here and there, notably a primer-exposing scratch on the roof just aft of the sunroof, but even that’s not too concerning.

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The tasteful chrome trim remains bright, and the rest of the black paint seems to have held up without major complaint. Aftermarket chrome-plated alloys underpin and look a bit out of character for the car. Admittedly, I do hate chrome plated wheels as they can leak with age, but considering the plethora of decent MB wheels that you could fit under this I don’t think that’s a deal killer.

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Under the long, long hood resides Mercedes’ M117.968 SOHC 5.5-litre V8. In this model year that mill made 238 horsepower and 287 lb-ft of torque. Neither of those are stellar numbers but then remember this isn’t a hugely heavy car to move. A Mercedes 4-speed automatic backs that up, and the whole shebang is said to ‘run good.’

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On the down side, the ad claims that the big V8 needs engine mounts and a tune. The first of those issues is a pain in the neck to do, but it’s not impossible for the home mechanic and shouldn’t cost more than $200 in parts for the three mounts and two engine dampers.

The latter issue is a bit more concerning because who knows just what the seller means by the somewhat cryptic ‘needs tune’ description? The car has recently passed its smog test so it can’t be running that badly. I’d say let’s expect new ignition system parts and maybe cleaning and bench flowing of all the injectors as a minimum. I’d also want to take a day and clean out that dusty engine bay.

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The other issue of course is the driver’s seat which apparently is stuck in one position. That’s a non-issue if it just so happens to be your position, but how likely is that to be the case? Pulling the seat out and fixing what’s likely a stripped gear on the actuator won’t be too hard for a reasonably competent shade tree-er, which I know all of you are.

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The car otherwise comes with a clean title and the comforting knowledge that it just passed its smog test. If you’re a Californian interested in its purchase, that’s a big deal.

To make that purchase you’ll need to come up with $2,200, which is the car’s present asking. No, that’s not a lot of money, but that’s not the point here. The question is—should anyone spend that much on this particular car? There are plenty of other, likely more efficient and reliable rides that $2,200 will buy. Few of those however, will have the gravitas this big Benz possesses.

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What do you think, is this 560SEC a deal at that $2,200 asking? Or, Does that price make it one size (price) that fits no one?

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You decide!

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San Francisco Bay Area, CA Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to RevUnlimiter for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.