Mercedes 380 SE W126
- Condition: Used
- Make: Mercedes-Benz
- Model: S-Class
- SubModel: W126
- Type: Sedan
- Trim: 380 SE W126
- Engine size:3.8 L V8
- Number of cylinders:8
- Power options:Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Locks, Power Windows, Power Seats
- Drive type: RWD
- Interior color: Gray
- Drive side: Left-hand drive
- Safety options: Anti-Lock Brakes
- Options: CD Player, Leather Seats, Sunroof
- Vehicle Title: Clear Want to buy? Contact seller!
1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 380 SE W126
Up for sale is this well kept 1985 380 SE. It was nicknamed "Eminence Griese" by its previous owner and it is indeed a discreet classy car. I bought the car back in August of 2017 and have been very happy with it. I have several older Mercedes and promised my wife I would sell some. Yes, same old story.
I will do my best to give a good honest description.
The car was repainted in its original color (Anthrazitgrau Metallic 172) before I bought the vehicle. The vehicle was driven on to a porch by a previous owner and sustained minor cosmetic damage to the front. The front bumper and other parts were replaced and it was decided to repaint the entire vehicle at this point. No damage to the frame or anything else occurred - it was purely cosmetic. The paint is very nice and one of the highlights of the car. The car has no apparent rust issues from what I can see.
The engine and transmission are in very good shape and function flawlessly. When I got the car I replaced the usual ignition items: Distributor cap, rotor, sparkplug wires and spark plugs. The ignition module has been replaced with a rebuilt one (common ignition issue) and various other control modules have been replaced. The transmission shifts perfectly through all forward gears and reverse. There is also no play in the shift lever which is a common issue. Having said this it should be noted, that there is a minor leak on the driver side head gasket towards the rear. It does not affect the drivability and it has stayed the same for the year and a half I have had the car. My prediction is that it can be left alone without any serious effect to the drivability or performance to the car. There is a slight oil leak when the car has been sitting - I assume it is the oil pan gasket, but have not checked it out enough.
The interior, although acceptable, could be said to be average for this year Mercedes. I have tried to show the issues in the pictures. The common W126 interior issues apply including a cracked front window dashboard, wood trim tired in some places, door trim fading and cracked in some places and the seats and seat covers are worn (the rear seat back is the worst place with stretch holes in it). However, the interior is clean and these issues are more due to old age than neglectful ownership.
The automatic air condition system works well and the air blows cold. The cruise control works very well and is nice to have. All power windows work and the sunroof opens and closes nicely. The power antenna doesn't work and the mast is slightly bent. I seem to recall that it did work and I suspect that a new mast and perhaps a check of the connections will fix the problem. The radio is a lower quality aftermarket radio with Bluetooth. Power door locks open and close nicely. Spare tire and original tool bag is in the trunk.
The car really does drive very well. I had new (cheaper) tires put on it about 6,000 miles ago. I replaced the steering components including the steering damper, idler arm bushing, center link and left/right tie rods and had the front wheels aligned. There is no real play in the steering box which is a big plus - this is a common issue with these older Mercedes. I installed a rebuilt driver side front brake caliper and new brake discs and pads on the front. The car brakes nicely. When driving over bumps there is a slight noise from the front suspension which I suspect to be the lower control arm bushing on the passenger side. Again, a very common issue and it can be easily replaced.
A new starter was installed shortly before I bought the car. It works well and the car starts every time. Once in a while I have experienced that the engine won't turn over when attempting to start. After about 3-5 attempts the engine will then start. I suspect that the starter could have been installed incorrectly. I think this can be easily resolved. The car will always start though after a few tries.
The vacuum system is in good condition. The econometer is pegged all the way to the left with the engine on and in park.
For parts I have used Bosch, Lemfoerder, Behr or other OEM parts to get the best results.
The short-wheel base 380 SE was only sold in the US for a few years up until 1985. It has 155 HP and although having a reputation for being underpowered I find it to be fast off the line. I have been getting about 20 MPG during my ownership when doing mostly highway driving. The car can easily be a daily driver as is or be fixed up to be an outstanding W126.
I have set a starting bid which, in my opinion, is a great deal.
This is a private sale with no guarantees etc. I have tried to describe the vehicle as honestly as I can. I do not provide shipping, but can be helpful turning the car over to a transporter, etc. The car is located in zip code 42066.