single shot /// mercedes c126

April 27, 2020 /// issue no. 118

Of the luxury Bavarians, I have never looked at Mercedes-Benz quite like the others. BMW, Porsche, and Audi seem to have always sold surgical performance while Mercedes’ AMG division has sold you German muscle cars. Don’t get me wrong. AMG makes some of the world’s best sounding V8s. Mercedes F1 has been absolutely dominant for the last decade. But what Mercedes does best is give you a flashy car that lets everyone around you know who is boss.

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The C126 chassis of the 1980s was the coupe version of the W126 S-Class sedan. This meant your C126 SEC had the best creature comforts Mercedes had to offer. The 380, 420, 500, and 560 all featured V8s with the appropriate displacement in the model designation.

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What I love about the C126 is exactly what I hate about Mercedes AMG. It had gorgeous lines. The double beltlines that run from the top of the bumper and top of the headlights all the way to the rear give the car a masculine look. All the while, the frameless windows and the big-body Benz proportions keep the style clean. It wasn’t fast on paper, but as a driver you always had the feeling of speed at the push of your right foot. And exactly ZERO C126s were available from the factory with a manual transmission. Great looks with the illusion of performance. This was a true grand-tourer.

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          style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg)">
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      <div style="margin-left: auto;">
        <div
          style=" width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);">
        </div>
        <div
          style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);">
        </div>
        <div
          style=" width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);">
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    </div>
    <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;">
      <div
        style=" background-color: #F4F4F4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;">
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  </a>
</div>

There’s one enormous problem with the 560SEC. A 560SEC AMG will run you $200,000, but you can get a 560SEC driver for about $15,000. Koenig Specials will then sell you a widebody kit. All in you’ll have a tank of a Mercedes, a reliable V8, and an excess of style for less than a new C-class. Plus I’ll help with your project.

Coffee time,
Steven


daily automotive addiction.