Automotive shoppers in america were capable of buy the proto-S-Class W126 Mercedes-Benz starting in 1980 and continuing through 1991, and I’ve documented quite a number of of those luxurious machines in forced retirement. Aside from a gray-market 280 SEL and a pair of beat-up 300 SDs with a half-million miles apiece, all of those discarded W126s have had gasoline-fueled V8 engines under their hoods. Today’s Junkyard Gem is a distinct form of boneyard W126: a (relatively) low-mile example with a turbodiesel under the hood and pretty decent body and interior.
Bear in mind that “low-mile” means something different for an oil-burning W126 than it does for, say, a Hyundai Excel of the identical era. This automobile made it well past a quarter-million miles during its profession, which is respectable at best for a 300 SD. I’ve documented a crashed ’81 300 SD with 572,139 miles and a terrifyingly apocalyptic ’85 300 SD with 535,971 miles prior to today’s automobile (surprisingly, the highest-mile Mercedes-Benz I’ve ever present in a automobile graveyard was a gasoline-burning W201 proto-C-Class) and had been keeping my eyes open for an example of the diesel W126 that wasn’t quite so used up.
The inside is dirty and a bit sun-damaged, almost definitely from long-term outdoor storage in the cruel High Plains climate, however it might have been cleaned up without an excessive amount of trouble.
The body has some damage, but these dents appear to be the type that occur after a automobile enters the junkyard ecosystem.
It’s a great bet that some expensive mechanical problem sidelined this automobile years ago, and its owner couldn’t or would not pay to repair it.
250,000 kilometers is a bit over 155,000 miles.
The construct tag says it’s a U.S.-market automobile, not one among the numerous gray-market W126s bought in Europe and converted to U.S. specifications. Still, the 250000km badge on the grille and this sticker from the Dutch province of Fryslân suggest a European connection to one among this automobile’s owners.
In 1985, American Mercedes-Benz shoppers could get a brand new W126 sedan with one among three engines: a 3.8-liter gasoline V8 with 155 horsepower, a 5.0-liter gasoline V8 with 184 horsepower and a 3.0-liter OM617 five-cylinder turbodiesel with 123 horsepower.
Granted, the engine on this automobile was rated at 184 pound-feet, which was enough to get its 3,605 kilos moving well enough.
Its intimidating price tag of $39,840 (about $115,218 in 2023 dollars) meant that its original buyer will need to have understood the worth of getting one of the vital indestructible engines ever put in an automobile. It was cheaper than its V8 siblings, though: The 380 SE cost $43,030 ($124,444 today) and the five hundred SEL was $51,560 ($149,113 now).
The very best or nothing.
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