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Luxury Legend: The 1988 560SEC

Recently listed over on Hemmings Auctions, this impressive 1980s flagship coupe started life in California after being sold new at Palmer Imports in Long Beach. It resided in the Golden State until moving to Illinois with its present owner four years ago. Finished in Midnight Blue (904) over Java (274) leather interior, this coupe cuts a tasteful yet imposing image with this color combination and the tasteful modifications.

Performance modifications include an OEM set of MB Tri-Y Headers and a custom exhaust system (while keeping the stock catalytic converter and all CA-mandated equipment). Cosmetically, this car wears Gen-II Euro bumpers, OEM Euro headlights/blinkers and deleted headlight wipers. This car finishes out its euro-custom look with a touch of Lorinser, including staggered 16×8/9, 3 piece BBS-RT (for Lorinser) wheels with color-matched centers, a leather Lorinser steering wheel and a Lorinser burlwood shift knob. All of these tasteful upgrades were strong enough to accord this car a "Best in Class" award at the Legends of the Autobahn event at Car Week in Monterey, CA.

Fortunately, all of the effort on this beautiful coupe was not simply spent on shiny bits and power. The seller claims to have a full and detailed service history on this car since new. The photo of the 3-ring binder full of paper seems to support that claim and any serious buyers would be wise to inquire further. The seller states that the timing chain was done at 70k miles, the entire front end suspension was rebuilt in approximately 2015, the front and rear shocks and springs are also new (OEM replacements with the lowest spring pads to give a slightly aggressive stance) and the prior owner deleted the SLS system. With that being said, its clear as to why the stance on this monster coupe is so perfectly set.

Looking closer at the photos of the engine bay, we noticed a number of new / recently replaced parts including the nice white expansion tank, new battery, new power steering lines and new fuel lines. The seller states the car also wears a new are the power steering pump, drive shaft, flex disc, hood pad, valve cover gaskets, and other small / misc maintenance items. The brake lines are new throughout the car as is the master cylinder, brake pads and rotors. The gearbox underwent a recent "refresh" by Dave's Auto Clinic and is claimed to perform as original.

The interior condition matches the rest of this car with wood refinished by Madera Concepts in 2011 and a headliner rear decklid refresh. What really makes this an interesting car is the updated door cards and seats from a Gen-II C126 (1989-91) which have aged much better than their Gen-I predecessors.

Although this car was admittedly repainted, paint condition seems shiny and clear in the photos provided by the seller. We'd be curious to know more about the shop who performed the paintwork and what level of detail was undertaken for the preparation, etc. as well as more details on any existing flaws, etc. The seller has generously included two rattlecans of Midnight Blue with the listing...we're assuming (hopefully) that rattlecans were not used in the respray process, however. Joking aside, this is truly an impressive, well-maintained, well-modified example of a true Mercedes classic that should perform extremely well at auction. We may be bidding ourselves!


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