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AUTOMATIC - 1990 - 3.0 LITRE SIX - 48,679 MILES - £5,450

An extremely low mileage Mercedes-Benz S-Class saloon, from the era of legendary Mercedes build quality.

At a glance:
1990 Mercedes 300SE 3 litre six cylinder automatic
Original specification & unmodified
48,679 miles with full service history
MOT to 4th October 2020 with no advisories
HPI Clear


The model:
This is a magnificent Mercedes-Benz; German over-engineering from the time when Mercedes-Benz built their cars to the ultimate specification, rather than to a budget. The S Class, or SE in this instance, (abbreviation of the prestigious designation Sonderklasse or 'special class') has always been Mercedes' flagship model and in its day was probably the most luxurious and most expensive large saloon money could buy, possibly even the best car in the world when launched. These cars were the preserve of royalty, presidents, (occasionally dictators) and captains of industry in their time, and represent the last of the properly over-engineered and well-built 'money-no-object' Mercedes Benz. In 1979, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class was re-launched with this generation, known as the W126, and once again took a big technological leap from what came before. 


​The history of this car:
The car was first registered on the 5th February 1990 and supplied by Bradshaw Webb Mercedes-Benz of Chelsea. This 1990 car was towards the end of the w126 production, and therefore featured a number of improvements over the earlier cars; newer engine designs, a better driving experience and better paint protection meaning these later cars are far less susceptible to corrosion. In total this car has had only 5 owners spanning 28 years.


The specification:
This is the more desirable ‘SE’ short wheelbase version rather the slightly ungainly ‘SEL’ long wheel base limousine version. It is presented in an eye catching Astral silver metallic (paint code 735) which suits and enhances the finesse of Bruno Sacco’s original design. The car has hard-wearing cloth and velour interior, in excellent condition for its age as you would expect having covered so few miles. It draws admiring glances from onlookers and is always a conversation starter.


According to online sources, there are only 449 of these cars still taxed on UK roads, which means this car is increasingly rare and desirable. 

This car has covered an astonishingly low 48,679 miles backed up by the servicing and MOT history. This is an average of under 700 miles per year. From the MOT 2006 at 43,094 miles, to the MOT in 2017 at 48,477 miles, the car has covered only 5,383 miles in the last 11 years. 


Service History:

The car has full service history, with the next service due now. The car will be fully serviced prior to purchase by the new owner, to ensure the history is kept up to date. The original service history book is present plus the original owners manual. This car appears to have been well maintained from new and the condition reflects the low mileage. 

On the Road:
These cars drive extremely well, even by today’s standards, which is testament to their high price and exceptional build quality. The car starts swiftly and reliably, and cruises well, effortlessly wafting along to the muted burble from the engine. The automatic gearbox changes as expected and operates smoothly. The car has a very solid German feel and is very engaging to drive, whilst easily keeping up with modern traffic. The speedometer appears accurate and the car is capable of covering long journeys with ease. It’s a very pleasing experience driving a car of this quality. The power assisted steering is precise yet light and the view over the bonnet of the Mercedes badge above the chrome grille gives a great degree of satisfaction when wafting from A to B in style. In 1991 this car would have been head and shoulders above the competition, and having driven many cars from that era, the high level of refinement and quality is evident. The seats are comfortable and supportive, suspension is very smooth and the car is a joy to own and enjoy. These cars can be used for everyday commuting if required, or just for pleasure as a weekend treat - by being capable of either these cars are the best of both worlds.


Original engine line-up spanned 2.8 litre six-cylinders, as well as the 3.8 and 5.0 litre V8, with later engines from 1986 offering a 3 litre six-cylinder in this car (as used in the SL of the same era), plus a 4.2 litre, 5 litre and 5.6 litre V8. This 3 litre straight six is probably the most appealing choice, with the best balance of power versus fuel economy. It starts and runs very nicely, is whisper quiet on tickover and runs at the correct temperature with good oil pressure; (3 bars cold idle, 3 bars under acceleration/load and 2 bars on hot idle). The car runs perfectly on unleaded fuel as Mercedes prepared for this in the 1970s for strict emissions controls in the US.


The four speed automatic transmission changes gear smoothly and quietly and performs as it should.


Long MOT until 4th October 2020, with no advisories, with no advisories on the previous MOT either.


This car has been used very sparingly and appears to have never spent any long periods off the road or in storage, which is always a good thing. As can be seen from the photographs the car is very clean, tidy and well presented.

It’s always difficult to express in words the condition of any car, and most people have differing opinions about condition, so the best way to get a true impression will be to view this lovely car in person.
I’m confident that anybody with realistic expectations will be delighted to own and enjoy this modern classic.


The pricing of these cars is both interesting and astonishing; they originally cost £49,000 in 1990, which would have bought you a nice three bedroom house, which would probably cost you £300,000 today. These cars are appreciating in value from a couple of thousand for an example requiring significant restoration, up to an astonishing £24,950 for a 15,000 mile mint condition example currently being offered for sale in Lincolnshire. The general value range for these cars in good, road worthy and presentable condition with very low mileage is normally £5,000 - £10,000. However, this car is offered to sell swiftly at a very tempting £5450. Due to the provenance, history and super condition, it could easily be improved to take it to the next price level, or return it to concourse should you wish, relatively inexpensively.


This is fantastic ‘feel good’ modern classic. Prices are rapidly appreciating and the S Class is starting to rocket in value as the SL model from the same era has done. There are fewer ‘good ones’ left, and very few with such low mileage, so this is a rare and exciting opportunity. 

These models were the ultimate luxury car in their day, and have the benefit of relatively simple technology with very little in the way of electronics to go wrong, which became the achilles heel of the more modern S Class versions which followed. Many say these were the last of the 'proper' Mercedes before overcomplicated electronics (and accountants) took over...

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