1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560SEL from North America


I would never buy another one, but heck, it had it charms and I miss it


Bruned and leaked more oil then I thought possible.

Electrical problems too numerous to list.

General Comments:

My father bought the car for himself, but upon realizing the extant of the problems and the extreme costs of a gray market car, he gave it to me. This was while I was in 11th grade and the car did serve as a daily driver. However it had so many electrical problems that I had to buy fuses in bulk (I'm not joking) because once a night it would blow the fuel pump fuse and simply stall out.

3 of the 4 windows stopped working, but the sunroof and reclining back seat never gave me a problem.

It burned a quart of oil a day, and upon accelerating would emit a plume of smoke so bad that it could not be seen through. I called it my James Bond car, Oil Slick and a Smoke Screen.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th March, 2007

3rd Apr 2007, 17:09

It's surprising to hear about your problems, but then again it is a grey market car. What is the mileage, I don't think I saw it listed.

1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SD 3L 5 cylinder turbo diesel from North America


When body dies I'll put the engine in a newer Lincoln LS


Seats were ripped when bought, replaced with newer seats.

Some electronics didn't work, but switches taken apart and cleaned restored most items.

Drivers side window regulator needed replaced. Shocks replaced, steering box adjusted d/t too much play, acceptable amount of play now.

New higher amp alternator put in, old one worked fine.

Dash cracked, but can buy (and did) dash covers with The Steelers logo on it.

General Comments:

Runs great for a 21 YO car. The German engineering of the time is unsurpassed in even todays cars. You will not see a 2005 MB running well with only half it's life over in 2027.

After getting used to German thinking, the cars make much more sense than anything I have worked on in my 46 years. It all makes sense and much can be done by the backyard mechanic.

Starts easily in all weather and has decent power for a diesel. Things do go wrong, but so far nothing expensive or that I couldn't fix.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th October, 2006

12th Oct 2006, 23:14

I agree with you that the old mercs are reliable well built etc, but I think that the new ones, despite some quirks, would probably be still on the road in 21 years, just like yours. They are still high quality cars.

1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500SEL 5.0 V8 from UK and Ireland


Beautiful, powerful and comfortable. What more could you want?


Lots was (and still is) wrong with the car when I bought it very cheap. It's still a runner though. Gears stripped on the sun roof recently, and it is not easy to get to it all. Has a manual nut for closing it though (thanks MB!). I've fixed lots already and find it very easy to work on.

General Comments:

The most comfortable car I have driven. Goes like stink, especially above 60mph. Lots of grunt! A great passenger car, more leg room than you will ever need! I wish it had a LSD though, because the inside rear spins too easily when accelerating on a bend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd September, 2006

1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300 SD 3.0 liter from North America




Water pump... replaced myself $44 US.

Heater core servo switch, blows hot air when AC is on... bypassed for summer.

Seats have weak springs.

General Comments:

I like it more all the time.

Have improved the power, added K&N air filter, added boost gauge and turned up boost from 9.5 psi to 14 psi.

Quality, fit and finish are first rate.

Great highway car, very stable, smooth and comfortable on my 90 mph daily commute.

Purchased with 64,000 mile great condition, garaged southern California car.

Put 10,000 miles on it in the first 4 months.

Other upgrades planned are:

Euro headlights

Lowering the front end

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2006

1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 380SEC 3.8 from Australia and New Zealand


Super car of the 1980s with lots of life left in it for the 2000s


When I first purchased the car 18 months ago, the air-con and the cruise control were not working. I had these fixed immediately and they have been working perfectly. The only cost I have incurred since has been to replace a distributor cap. This car is extremely reliable and well-built. All electrics and motors work perfectly. I paid top-dollar to buy an above-average condition model and have been rewarded with very low running costs.

General Comments:

I dreamed of owning a car like this in 1985 when it was released. Nineteen years later I was able to afford one and 18 months into ownership, I am amazed at how well it runs. Its power is more than adequate and the ride, handling, braking and comfort are sensational. It feels like a sturdy and safe car and I wouldn't want to be in anything less. It's still a head turner with a timeless shape and beautiful balance and proportion.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th May, 2005

15th May 2005, 21:28

It is always a good idea to buy the best with available funds rather than buying a cheaper, poorer example with a view to restoration later.

The S class Mercedes (W-126) needs to be maintained well and a perfect service record is essential. High mileage should not be a deterrent if the vehicle had been looked after. I have a 1986 560 SEL with 149,000 km and it is still running almost like new. Forget about what Mercedes tells you and use the best of synthetic fluids for lubrication. I use Mobil 1 SuperSyn and Mobil 1 ATF.

Enjoy your 380!