1987 Mercedes-Benz 420SEL Two-owners, 80,000 miles

Price: - Item location: Olympia, Washington, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: S-Class
  • SubModel: 420 SEL
  • Type: Sedan
  • Year: 1987
  • Mileage: 80,100
  • VIN: WDBCA35D6HA297612
  • Color: Smoked Silver
  • Engine size: 4.2l V8
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Power Seats
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: 4-Speed Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Palomino
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes, Driver Airbag
  • Options: CD Player, Leather Seats, Sunroof
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!
Description:

1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

This sale is for my 1987 Mercedes-Benz420SEL sedan. Built on the legendary w126 chassis, this two-owner example has just turned 80,000 miles, and is easily capable of 500,000 or more miles. It is all original, extremelyclean, and has received careful, cost-no-object maintenance throughout its life. I’ve owned this car for two years and have driven it 20,000 miles. (I’m a professional in my 50s, with a lifelong devotion to European cars.) The prior owner was the CEO of a business that installs radios in police cars, and so knew his way around a car as well.

Absolutely everything works in this car. It is supremely comfortable--better than any modern car I can think of--and has a fantastic ride that is at its best with new Bilstein Touring struts in all four corners, a new Bilstein steering damper, and new-ish Michelins. (Unlike the 560SEL, the 420 does not have the somewhat troublesome air ride suspension in the rear.) It's very quiet, the climate control works a treat, and there's superb visibility. Brakes and steering are excellent. The leather seats have no broken springs and the horsehair pad is holding up perfectly, with no “shedding” or compression.

It doesn’t have to be driven like you have a potentate in the back seat, however; with a gutsy V8 and surprisingly tight handling, it can be hustled along a surprising pace, even on backroads. This is a not a floppy, worn out old Benz. This is a top car for its era that has been maintained to a high standard, and is as rewarding to drive as it is to own.

Options/Luxury Standard Features:

· Leather seats, front and rear, with two memory settings on the driver’s seat.

· Real Bosch glass European headlamps

· Power front AND REAR seats. All motors work perfectly with the exception of the passenger headrest. This you can set manually as you would in any car, and it will stay where you set it. The driver seat has two memory settings. The rear seat reclines. This being the long-wheelbase version, the rear passenger’s have TONS of legroom.

· Automated climate control, which works effectively across the temperature range. The A/C system is fully charge; I can’t recall whether it has R12 or R134a coolant. The fan makes no weird noises at any setting.

· Leather, adjustable steering wheel

· Driver air bag

· Zebrano wood trim in good shape, with the exception of the flat center console panel, which—like darn near all these cars—has cracks.

· A modern, high-end JVC AM/FM/Bluetooth/CD/MP3 unit, with excellent, easy-to-use Bluetoothconnectivity and hands-free calling. All speakers work great. Lots of Mercedes cut from channel to channel, but this works consistently.The speakers have been updated with modern Blaupunkt units. Power antenna.

· A fused power outlet by the rearview mirror for a Valentine V1 radar detector

· Sliding and tilting sunroof, which works perfectly--no binding, no noises, no slowness

· Antilock Braking System, with four-wheel disc brakes. The rears were recently refreshed.

· Central locking

· Power windows. None are slow or bind

· Mercedes wool floor mats

· Michelin tires, with approximately 85% remaining front and rear

· Factory alarm system


Condition/Issues:

I'm going to be as transparent as possible, knowing just what a leap of faith it is to buy a car online. My reputation is worth more to me than a few bucks I might gain momentarily by fleecing someone.

Exterior:

· The bumpers have fading and clouding on the painted area of their upper halves. They suffered in the sunshine in Colorado and California, where the previous owner lived. To make the car look its best, they should really be repainted.

· There are some small splotches in the paint clear coat where it’s been etched by sap or bird droppings. I’d say that there are about five pencil-eraser size spots like these. In no case is the clear code burnt off (aside from the bumpers as previously mentioned); these are just discolorations.

· There’s one very shallow, one-inch square dent in the trunk hood, and one similarly sized spot on the right rear fender that was dented from inside the trunk. I fully expect both of these could be eradicated by a painless dent removal service.

· The pinstriping is a little aged and faded.

· There’s a light scratch in the paint near the driver side door lock. It’s not deep, but can’t be buffed out.

· The lights and lenses are all good.

· The windscreen had three chips repaired this summer, but all are now basically invisible. The glass is in great shape, with no sandblasting. All glass is Securit/Mercedes.

· Alignment of all doors, the hood, the sunroof, and the hatch are excellent. I believe all to be original. They all close with minimal effort and have that fantastic S-Class “thunk”.

· All outside trim and weather stripping is excellent. There are no broken clips.

· The doors' check-straps are quiet and well lubricated.

· The power antenna works perfectly

· The wheels were replaced with proper TUV-approved wheels by the prior owner. One wheel has two inches of light road rash that could be completely repaired. The finish on these is otherwise perfect.

Interior:

· There is some fading of leather and carpet on the back of the back seat and the parcel shelf

· The passenger headrest motor does not work, but the headrest can be set manually

· The carpets are clean except for two spots which I'm sure would respond to shampooing

· The headliner is unmarked and has no sags

· There is only the slightest occasional squeaking from the dash or front of the headliner as the car drives on broken pavement

· There are no water leaks

· The car smells good. It's never been smoked in

· All lighting is perfect

· The leather seats were initially dry, but I’ve treated them four or five times with Griots dressing since I’ve had the car (and I live in a cool, damp climate), and they’ve recovered nicely

· As mentioned, the flat, center console wood trim is cracked and needs to be replaced or refinished

· There’s a two-inch long crack near the left corner of the dash

Mechanical

· Please view the attached spreadsheet for information about the repairs and improvements done to the car over the last several years

· Perfect hot or cold starts, within the first second of turning the key

· Oil pressure is very strong—all the way to the top of the gauge when driving, regardless or ambient or operating temperature, and at about 75% at idle

· Operating temperature is steady and low

· The car leaves no oil stains, but it does occasionally blow the slightest bit of oil past the rear seal. It’s not so much that one ever needs to top off the oil, but on rare occasions it can be smelled

· All hoses (cooling, oil, hydraulic, brakes) look and feel like new

· Power steering is quiet and doesn't leak

· Belts are all good

· Timing chain is quiet--guides seem good

· The undercarriage is very clean and wholly free of rust. The Northwest is paradise for old cars: our steady rain is easier on finishes than the hot sun, there's rarely any snow, no one uses salt on the road, and rarely any grit. The prior owner told me he bought a Range Rover as soon as he moved to Colorado, and so it was never driven in bad weather there.

The car is to be sold as is, located in Olympia, Washington. Sale includes a high quality cover, TONS of spare parts, the original American headlamps and the original wheels, and all shop manuals (including a full microfiche-based part catalog and a microfiche reader)!

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like to see any additional photos or videos.

Thank you, and happy bidding!