Nice review. I would love to have one of these, perhaps a 300SE, I love inline 6 engines. But the fuel figures - keep away.
I agree, this a great car. I have had 560 1987, and now a 420 SEL. The car is immaculate. I drove from Chicago to Montauk, NY, then to DC. It's a classic car to own. It has 109k miles.
I have one of these cars in Australia. It is a 1990 with 165000km on the clock, and it is almost as new. There are few cars on the road new or old that compare. I have found it to be totally reliable over the two years and 20000km that I have clocked up.
I actually owned a new 420 in the 1980's, and this car is almost as good. I had no intention of purchasing another, but I did need a new car. I came across this one quite by accident, and as soon as I sat in it, I just knew that I could not buy a new car that would have the same quality of build.
My Merc mechanic loves it.
I love my Benz too. I have a 1987 420 SEL with only 258000. I think she runs like new. I love the old car. I bought it for only 700, and have not done anything to it but change the oil. I have had it for about a year.
About 48 hours ago I became the owner of a 1987 420SEL. This car is awesome! It has perfect silver paint, perfect maroon leather, and the motor is a bear with only 109k on it. I had a rough first 24 hours, but today I understand just how lucky I am to have gotten this car for only $1,250.00! This car is very special I can tell right now.
I have a 280SE and a 300 SEL. Love them to bits, with regular oil changes and other preventive services that both these GRAND LADIES deserve.
The 300sel developed rough vibration during idling... after much prodding and sleepless nights, my wonderful Mechanic Jackson found that the problem was caused by the fuel injectors.
After changing all 6 injectors and also the spark plug cables... my baby is as smooth as a baby's bottom.
Check your injectors.
I own a 1987 420 SEL with an AMG pkg. A parking attendant once told me it looks like a flag ship. It still does.
The exterior and interior does not look more than 5 years old. It has 181k plus miles but it still runs smooth and strong, the only thing I changed was the stereo my son got for me for Father's Day. He thought I should have one with a little more oomph and a CD player, nothing was wrong with the original. I drive it to church and special occasions mostly, of course I baby it. She's a KEEPER. Go Mercedes.
I have an 87 420 SEL with 195k.
My vibrating engine (at idle) was due to a couple of bad cyl. Paul, owner of Executive Imports in Pensacola, FL did an excellent job in replacing the bad cyl and machining heads. The car now runs great, although I have to allow her to warm up during her first crank each day.
I am now working on getting the suspension tight. Paul recently replaced springs and shocks, but I still have some bouncing in the rear when riding on rough roads and over railroad tracks.
I have a 300 SEL. It is very smooth, and when it increases speed, it goes on like a beast and conquers the road... They say that old is gold, and it is right.
I currently own a beautiful silver 1987 230E W124. My wife needed a vehicle, and so we agreed she would take over ownership. She also loves driving it, so that helps.
I have now purchased a second Merc, a 1990 W126 420 SEL in Burgundy Wine red. I have owned V8s before, including fond memories of losing my innocence in a 1968 Valiant VE VIP Series with a 273 'baby' V8. I have also owned a couple of Fords, including an LTD Silver Monarch with a 351 and a 4B carby, and an XB Falcon H/top 'John Goss' with a 302.
I know 8's can be thirsty, but if driven responsibly you can still achieve reasonable economy. The Valiant gave me 30 MPG on a long highway run, but some people won't believe it.
What I cannot understand are quoted American fuel figures, where it is claimed there is only 1 or 2 MPG difference between city and highway for the 420, and the highway may be only 17 MPG. That can't be correct surely.
Using a vacuum gauge mounted under the bonnet of my LTD, I 'tweaked' the carby mixtures and managed 26 MPG on a long highway run, and that was a very heavy car.
A Kilometre is .625 of a Mile and a Gallon is 4.5461 Litres, so that's 44.8 Kilometres for 4.5461 Litres or 9.85 KPL. How's my maths?
I cannot believe my 420 will be as bad on fuel as is quoted. If it is, why???
"a Gallon is 4.5461 Litres"
Yankee says: a gallon is 3.7854118 Liters.
I own the same model and year Mercedes. I had the same problem with the speed control. My control did not work at all.
Got a tip from retired Mercedes technician.
Change the stop light switch. $8.00 part. My speed control came to life again. I put it on myself. Located at the top of the brake pedal.
What happened to The Bismark?? I was waiting for an update by the original reviewer. Hope your car is alive and well!
Hello, I also have a 1987 420 SEL with 130K miles, but it recently died in the driveway - loud clunk sound when I turned the key. Towed it down to the local Benz guy, and he said it blew a couple of valves and the timing chain, and needs $6,500 worth of repairs. Does anyone have any advice for me? Would I be able to sell it as a "mechanics special" in hopes of finding someone who wants to repair it, then either keep it or sell it? I can't put that much money into it right now. Does anyone think I could even sell it for say... $1,000? The rest of the car is flawless and beautiful - also a new set of tires!
Thank you! Carol (San Francisco)