Mercedes-Benz set out to build the best luxury car in the world and – for the duration of the 1980s – the W126 C-Class succeeded admirably in achieving this goal. The W126 model employed a new range of light alloy V8 engines and a more aerodynamic shape (with a class leading 0.36cd) over the previous S-Class, significantly improving fuel consumption. A number of innovative safety systems, including ABS and SRS airbags, were seen on a production car for the first time. A coupe version of the W126 was envisaged right from the outset and the elegant SEC featured distinctive pillarless styling with more sharply raked front and rear windscreens, unique front-end styling and a shorter wheelbase. Initially available in two versions, the 380SEC and 500SEC, each powered by a single-overhead cam V8 engine with Bosch electronic fuel injection and four-speed automatic transmission, the big Benz coupe enjoyed effortless performance. At the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show three new models were unveiled, the 420SEC, 500SEC and a new flagship badged the 560SEC, along with further mechanical improvements including dual-range (Sport and Economy) automatic transmission, revised 15-inch alloy wheels and upgraded brakes. The lower body sills were redesigned, giving the SEC a cleaner look, while the 560 model benefited from 215/65 tyres, ABS, speed-sensitive suspension and various interior upgrades. The 560’s M117 V8 engine was rated at 300 bhp, with 325 lb/ft of torque on tap, resulting in a top speed of 150mph with acceleration to match. The car in our sale is the top of the range, with the most powerful engine available (5.6 litre rated at 300 bhp), traction control system and self-levelling of the rear suspension.
Highly prized at the time by celebrities, it remains one of the best coupés ever produced by Mercedes-Benz and this example is no exception. This wonderful late car, first registered in February 1992, has covered a mere 64,800 kilometres from new, supported by detailed service records. We understand the SEC has enjoyed maintenance at 4,000, 10,000, 17,000, 28,000, 36,000, 41,000, 47,000, 56,000, 61,000 and 64,000 kilometres. Recently in the region of €9,000 has been invested to perfect the cosmetic and driving appeal.
Finished in Blue-Black metallic paint with a black leather interior, and fitted with many period factory options such as driver’s airbag, climate control and heat-insulated glass, this is a fine example of one of Mercedes’ best efforts of the modern era.