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Spotted in China: Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

Published on August 4, 2012 by Tycho de Feijter

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

My pants fell off when I met this perfect Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL in a residential area in Beijing. It looked like it was made yesterday, paint was flawless and all chrome was shiny. Wheels and alloys however are not original but they do seem period. Alloys a bit on the sporty side for such a distinguished German limousine…

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

The W126 ‘S-class’ was made from 1979 until 1991, engines ranged from the 2.8 six-in line from the 280S until the mighty 5.6 liter V8 from the 560SEC. This 500 SEL is the long-wheelbase version of the W126, stretched by 14 centimeter to a massive 5.160 meter. The gigantic 5.0 V8 pooped out 261hp and 405nm, good for a still very impressive 235km/h.

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

The W126 was never officially exported to China but the government bought at least a thousand cars for official use, some others came in via diplomatic channels and sure there was the gray market. Still, a W126 is a rare sight in Beijing but not that rare, only last month I met a fine W126 300SE.

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

Interior looked very good except for the leather that was slightly worn. Wood still all right. Radio is new. Automatic gearbox. Bring-luck-thingies hanging from the mirror, because you never know… Old cars are relatively safe in Beijing because it is such a desert-dry city so rust doesn’t have much chance. Lately strangely we have had craploads of rain here, the wettest summer in 60 years and such and such, hopefully the oldies survive until the super-dry winter starts in late October!

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

Big V8 needs a twin-exhaust pipe. No license plate at the back but it got one in front, 2012 insurance sticker sat behind the window; a legal German in China.

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

Chinese children don’t steal this kinda stuff yet.

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

A proud Benz and proud it should be!

Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL

Thundering over the Great Wall straight to Mongolia, through Russia and Poland to Germany for a visit to the old factory, and then back again! Dreaming…

3 comments

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  1. Dennis- August 4, 2012 Reply

    “Thundering over the Great Wall straight to Mongolia, through Russia and Poland to Germany for a visit to the old factory, and then back again! Dreaming…”

    … I’ll join you with mine, it could use a visit to home quite badly …

  2. schaminski- August 4, 2012 Reply

    rocknroll. i’ll tag along just for the fun of it. and to put a C124 in the trunk on the way back. it should fit… AND I WANT ONE!!!

  3. W126 exhaust | Mkirankumar- September 23, 2012 Reply

    […] Spotted in China: Mercedes-Benz W126 500 SEL – China Auto News […]

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