1982 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 380 SEC 3.8 V8 from North America
Perhaps too much motorcar for the modern era
Replaced wiper motor.
Replaced starter motor.
Front brake pads.
Exhaust system including cat.
Shift lever bushing.
Pretty much the flagship of the Mercedes fleet in its day, this handsome coupe was a favorite of movie stars, rich oil barons and the odd 'Miami Vice' villain.
A quarter century later a great deal of the original magic still remains, as it is sleek and silent with great presence.
The down side is of course it's a complex vehicle with accompanying expense to repair when something does finally break.
The 3.8 V-8 engine is almost bulletproof, but a little anemic for a 4000 pound car, and is still way too thirsty for the $4.50 gallon Hi-test era.
Not overloaded with gadgets like later models, it did feature a device which would slide out like a valet's arm to offer you the seat belt. Mine has worked exactly twice in four years; scaring hell outta me both times.
They are now cheaper than mulch, but still impresses the ladies.. especially if you intimate it was previously owned by Harrison Ford. (Hey, Jon Voight was already taken..)
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th June, 2008
I just bought mine in Dec 2009. It has 101,000 miles on it. I found it on Craigslist quite by accident. I was actually looking for a work vehicle ie pickup etc. I strayed a bit and found myself looking at Mercedes for sale.
This 380 SEC was posted and the photos were not that great of it, bad angles and no frontal view (big mistake on the sellers part). So I called him up and asked the usual questions about the car. There was no price indicated on the ad, so of course that was my last question to him. His answer was if he could get $1,000.00 bucks for it he would be happy. This certainly piqued my interest, because I was expecting him to say more way more. I've bought quite a few cars over the years, and my instinct started to kick in to overdrive, probably a wreck of some kind, rust bucket etc. I thought. So I decided to take the 40 minute drive to go have a peak at it, and was expecting the worse, so I wouldn't be disappointed.
When I got there and the owner pulled back the car cover, it was love at first sight, that beautiful grille, those sexy body lines. Inside the interior was perfect, virtually untouched, all original in near mint shape. I was trying to contain my excitement, poker face needed now please. Car started right up, everything was functioning as it should, I was impressed to say the least. Downside was it did need a complete exhaust system including cat, but to me that was not a deal breaker by any means, just maintenance repair in my mind.
I did not hesitate, I gave him the $1,000.00 without bartering, it was a great deal. Included every service record from new, plus original manuals. Forgot to mention that most Mercedes including this one come with a medical kit. This one was in its original concealed spot totally unused, contents all accounted for!
These really have dropped in price since their shocking sticker price in 1982. They are now more than affordable to all us car crazy types who appreciate the magic they offer. This 380 gets looks and comments everywhere we go with it. Most people cannot believe this is a 27 year old car. With the design of cars today, this classic SEC design will just get better and better over the years. Like very fine wine, age only makes this eye candy more appealing and desirable.