Tuesday, October 22, 2013

$15,000 Question: Mercedes W126 S-Class

Sheila E sang about a girl with "big thoughts, big dreams, and a big, brown Mercedes sedan" in the "Glamorous Life".  Given the mid-80's time period, that car had to be the Mercedes W126 S-Class.

File:500 SEL W126 2.jpg

Built from 1980 to 1991, the W126 was the status symbol you had to drive if you were wealthy.  It didn't matter if you were nouveau riche or old money, this was the car you owned.  But it was not just a hollow icon.  The W126 pioneered many safety and technological features we take for granted today, like anti-lock brakes, traction control, and air bags.  For comfort, you could also order an automated climate control and heated seats.

In the U.S. the Mercedes W126 cemented Mercedes' reputation as a builder of some of the safest, most durable cars.  Even 20 years later, many of these cars are still on the road and can be purchased for under $15,000 in pristine condition.  Like any old car, repairs can be expensive.  But unlike many old cars, Mercedes parts a usually readily available and can be ordered from the factory.

Either way, it's still the car to own, if you want to impersonate a Beverly Hills dentist or drug dealer.

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