1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560SEC 560 from North America


Built like a rock, fast as a shooting star


Replaced plugs, plug wires, distributor cap & rotor, rear brakes.

General Comments:

1987 Mercedes 560SEC HT coup.

The only thing wrong with this car is the cruise control. It barely worked when I bought it, and now doesn't work at all. This seems to be a common fault.

The plugs and wires were replaced, and that was more my choice as the engine ran slightly rough. This cleared the problem. Also replaced the rear brake pads. Oil & filter every spring and fall, & at 3,000 mile intervals.

Not fond of the automated seat belt delivery system, counter intuitive. Also for a big man, the belts are too short.

I've owned 7 used Mercedes, this is the newest. All were wonderful, but all had little repair quirks. What brand doesn't? Unfortunately this car only gets 19-20 mpg highway. Apparently that is average. However if I had on-board oxygen, and a ramp, I'd try driving it to the moon. What power from that V-8, and no turbo!!!

Mercedes frames do rot over the years because of road salt, this one has never been driven in winter, so it looks as new underneath as it does on the top side. I expect it will outlive me. (I'm 63)

I do have a 1992 Volvo 740 Wagon I use in the winter, and it too is a solid performer. I prefer the comfort level of the S Mercedes. Road and engine noise are exceedingly low.

Planning on buying a Mercedes diesel wagon if I find the right one, although a 4 door would be nice when friends and I go sightseeing.

BrianFahey@juno.com - Hunt NY.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th May, 2010

1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 420 SEL from North America


Majestic, temperamental but impeccably dependable


Electrical problems.



General Comments:

There was a time, if you are of my generation when Mercedes Daimler Benz was thought to be by many, the best built cars in the world. I am fortunate to proudly own one of these vehicles. Mercedes Benz still manufactures quality vehicles, and I dare say will continue to do so. But, as with most things now days, they are no longer unique or as durable.

I own a 1987 420 SEL; she is a ship of state, yes she may be temperamental (who would not be at her age), but this car that has over two hundred thousand miles, has been through hell and back, and is the most dependable vehicle that I have ever had the pleasure of driving.

It has been involved in two major collisions that I know of. One head on at relatively high speed, the other on the driver's side middle of the car; also high speed. Survived both. Both vehicles involved in the aforementioned accidents were damaged beyond repair.

One of your previous comments, the owner of his model referred to it as The Grand Old Lady, very true, she is through and through, I call mine "The Bismark".

To be sure after 200,000 miles, being the property of one who has been unemployed for two years, these cars are not cheap to maintain, although I have the great luck of having a great mechanic who's honesty is beyond measure and rates are unreasonably low.

Performance wise, royalty is royalty, in this case the dynasty name is Daimler Benz. It vibrates when on idle, the transmission has issues, and is at times not smooth at low speeds, for example when accelerating after making turn.

It is after 24 years, the undoubted reining sovereign of the highway. I routinely on short trips will drive 80 mph. On extended trips, between 75 mph to 100, which it does without any indication of being forced; indeed if it where alive, I would say it actually enjoys it. Top speed I have done recently in it is 120 mph, reached and maintained with ease, and the car felt very smooth. I, however soon lost my nerve and slowed down after two or three miles.


The electrical system, according to my mechanic is on the verge of causing planetary catastrophe. This apocalyptic prophecy, though predicted some years ago has yet to be fulfilled. These are problems that I will take care as soon as I can. To be sure, I really do not see myself driving another vehicle, unless the catastrophic fire prophesied by my mechanic or to put it in my mothers words, One day you are going to end up turning this car into a large accordion, with with you in the middle.

Tomorrow I leave from Miami to Atlanta; my companion is somewhat apprehensive of undertaking such a great distance in a 24 year old vehicle. Though worried, more about the cars reputation than actual break down. I think, she will do the journey without incident.

I will let you know how the trip goes. Providing one is allowed to post another comment.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2010

26th Apr 2010, 18:46

Well I am back.. Bismark performed impeccably. However she may have gone out in a blaze of glory... The trip there (and back, for the most part) was a memorable, it was a trip to see how 24 year old car out performed all others...

Unfortunately, the oil lamp lit up for a few seconds, on several occasions on the return trip, I stopped checked the oil levels and being no mechanic (and due, please if anybody in the department of highways of Florida reads this, take note), due to the fact, that the "Ronald Regan" turnpike in the state of Florida has no mechanics on duty on Sundays, I was unable to diagnose the reason for this, apparently it may have been a problem with the oil distribution mechanics.

Imperial doctors have been dispatched, and meanwhile her imperial majesty rests comfortably on her landing pad...

Dispatches will forthcoming on her majesty's condition.

Long live the empress of the autobahn...