A stunning Mercedes Benz S Class saloon, from the era of legendary Mercedes build quality.
At a glance:
1991 Mercedes 300SE 3 litre six cylinder automatic
Original specification & unmodified
143,846 miles with comprehensive documented service history
Original service book, with 20 stamps from new, with bills and receipts for additional subsequent servicing
MOT to April 2021
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, was the 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 at launch. 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. This new look aerodynamic styling by designer Bruno Sacco eventually filtered its way down the entire Mercedes range.
The history of this car:
The car was first registered on the 30th October 1991, one of the very last w126 produced and therefore featured a number of improvements over the earlier cars; newer engine designs and better paint protection meaning these later cars are far less susceptible to corrosion which can prove costly and occasionally terminal in older examples. In total only 7 owners spanning 25 years and 11 months, many of whom are detailed in the service records.
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 ‘Perlblau’ Pearl Blue metallic (paint code 348) which suits and enhances the finesse of Bruno Sacco’s original design.
The car has hard wearing velour interior, with no rips, tears or damage and the car also features a genuine Momo wooden steering wheel which I understand was an AMG option. If it is not to your taste I am happy to supply the car a standard steering wheel instead. There is also an aftermarket DAB, USB compatible CD player, working sunroof and bags of appeal. 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 143,846 miles (at time of writing) backed up by all old MOTs and service documentation. This is an average of 6,200 miles per annum.
Original service history book is present, and numerous receipts for servicing and maintenance subsequently. There is also the original owners manual and full book pack, plus two sets of keys. The service history indicates this car has been very well cared for over the years: 20 service stamps, the majority of which are from Majestic Mercedes Benz of Bournemouth and other garages latterly, and additional invoices and receipts for servicing up to the present date. This car appears to have been impeccably maintained mechanically from new. Last serviced in February 2017 with new brakes and new spark plugs, leads etc, totalling £1064, and new alternator in June 2017 for £315.
The car will be serviced prior to collection by the new owner.
On the Road:
These cars drive exceptionally well, even by today’s standards. 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 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 the SL), plus a 4.2 litre, 5 litre and 5.6 litre V8. This 3 litre straight six is probably the most frugal of the range returning 25-35 (est.) mpg. 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 29th April 2021
This car has been used regularly and appears to have never spent any long periods off the road or in storage, which is always a good thing. The previous owner commuted weekly from Warwickshire to London, (plus an occasional trip to Le Mans) and this car inspires a feeling of confidence that it will cover long journeys regularly and with ease. 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 1991, which would have bought you a nice three bedroom house, which would probably cost you £350,000 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 example currently being offered for sale in Lincolnshire. The general value range for these cars in good, road worthy and presentable condition is £4,000 - £8,000. However, this car is offered to sell swiftly at a very tempting £4450. 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, so this is a rare and exciting opportunity. Bear in mind this is a 25 year old vehicle so not a new car, but everything is in very good condition, as you would expect for this age and mileage.