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Old 29th October 2013, 14:46   #1
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It was a damp September afternoon in 1996 and I was 9 years old, with my Grandfather in Germany and a brand new W140 S500. All I can remember now is how smooth and serene everything felt and my heart sinking when he floored it for the first time on the Autobahn.

My first V8 and my first Mercedes Benz experience.

Needless to say the love for Mercedes and indeed everything German started early. Fast forward to 2004 I was back in Germany and begging my father to let me get behind the wheels of his W220 S430 but to no avail. The car made all the right noises and made me feel like it was 1996 all over again.

2008 and post graduation I started working with a Czech company travelling to Kaiserslautern/Munich/Stuttgart from Brno on a weekly basis. My tool of choice: a debadged 4.2 Audi A6. The best days of my life giving all sorts of cars on the autobahn, seemingly more powerful/lighter/faster, a run for their money (the looks on 911 owners’ faces was particularly amusing ).

Coming back to India post 2011, that feeling of driving/being driven in our W220 and W221 is eerily similar to 1996 and something (at least for me) that no other car can match, especially in India with our wonderful roads and traffic conditions.

Which takes me to my younger brother Zorro, in Chandigarh. All I was told was that he had bought himself a used V8 from the early 1990s and it was German!

Remember that same feeling of driving a big Benz? I don’t know how they do it, but this is a 1991 W126 420 SEL and even with this car a similar underlying sense of smooth and serene follows. Zorro bought this car with the previous owner having taken immaculate care of the vehicle and mechanically, he did not have much to do. He plans to give the car a complete interior rebuild and I will keep everyone posted on the updates to the car with the interior pictures following soon.

This is an absolutely original debadged 1991 W126 LHD (American Import) 420 SEL. The only modification currently is 235/35 R19 BBS rims running on stock springs.

The acquisition:

My brother had first heard of the car when he was 17. Was referred by a local restorer and went up to the address given to him by the local restorer. He met the caretaker/driver who told him the car was indeed for sale and was available at a said price. Looking at Zs desire for the car (Z went multiple times but the owner was not available every time he went), the caretaker also said he could have the car for free and restore the car!
But, eventually after multiple visits, he started telling Z that the car was no longer up for sale, which broke Zs heart and even though he kept on insisting to meet the owner, the details of the owner were never disclosed.

The car had been standing parked for 4 years and was imported in 1996, therefore spent most of its running life abroad (Z concluded that the car belonged to an NRI). The car used to be parked on bricks under a cover in the basement (explains the condition of the exterior) of some flats which were on the other side of Chandigarh from Z.

Since Z had lost hope of owning the car, he used to go and admire her every-so-often and return empty handed. After almost 4 months of frequent visits to check out the car, a security guard from the flats approached Z and asked him if he was bonkers… “Kya sahib, aapka dimag theek hai?” he asked.

Z laughed out, realizing he was nuts indeed, Z explained his whole story to him and the guard said he should have mentioned this earlier. He pulled out a small book and gave Z the address of the owner! Z picked up his car and was at the doorstep of the address given by the guard, the address was in Zs neighborhood and was greeted by a lady who turned out to be his mums friend, they agreed on a price and Z paid her off that very day.

The car was picked up on a bed lift. Z was so in love with the car he dint even ask if it ran or not! He was just too thrilled that his dream came true in such a short span! Z took the car straight to his friends’ service station for the cleaning out of the old liquids/tyres etc. The caretaker came to know and was threatening Z, so he had the car lifted at midnight and was helped by the guard who was shown the signed sale papers by the lady (who was more than happy to get” rid” of the car)

The Problems/issues faced/rectified:

- There were a couple small electrical faults which were sorted out without much fuss.
- To get the car running the car had issues from the start.
- The Fuel lines were a complete headache to sort out.
- The spark plugs/wires were changed on day 1.
- The fuel pump was giving way since the car was parked for 4 years.
- It ran fine for a few days at the start, but suddenly after 3-4 days the car started shuddering and wouldn’t even start…
- Z ordered a new fuel distributor as well (Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection system)
- The car ran fine for 2 more weeks and the pumps gave way yet again.
- Upon further scrutiny realized that there was rust in the system and this amazed Z as no mechanic was guiding him this way, he discovered this through the net.
- The tank was removed and flushed.
- Tank was lined with an epoxy coat to cut out the rust.
- Fuel pumps were replaced again
- All belts and arms were changed.
- Fuel pressure regulator was replaced.
- Idle control valve was replaced.
- Fuel pump relay gave way and was replaced.
- The wooden panel near the shifter is cracking up and will be replaced soon.

What the car feels like today:

After all the initial niggling mechanical issues were taken care of, the car currently is running like a dream and the ride is not harsh/stiff because of the BBSs. It feels amazing to drive and has an immense presence. The only current issue is a slightly long(ish) cold start.

The BBSs were acquired by a close friend of Zs.

Also, I attaching some pics taken by cam phone for the interior:

(I will be travelling to Chandigarh soon and will upload better pictures of the interior and more for the entire car also with the W126/220/221)

Pics Courtesy Namit.

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A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL-20130628_130412.jpg

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Last edited by GTO : 12th November 2013 at 10:17. Reason: Adding latest updates & pics to the opening post
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Old 29th October 2013, 14:58   #2
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

W126 is one of my Favourites,more so than even the W123's
The car looks pristine,how did you stumble upon it?,More details please.
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Old 29th October 2013, 15:09   #3
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 6th November 2013 at 16:41.
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Old 29th October 2013, 15:52   #4
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Coming out of my comment hiatus after a long period, but I just had to proclaim just how gorgeous the W126 is even today, well over three decades after it first debuted. Although I love how mint this example is, I strongly believe a full interior rebuild and the addition of more discreet alloys will complete her overall look. This car should radiate that cool, understated feeling of elegance, and not be dolled up too much
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Old 29th October 2013, 16:11   #5
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Pristine condition. Love the car. Lived my entire childhood on the back seat of a W123 240D (thanks to my dad). So im as passionate as you for the merc. Dont take me wrong mkaysaw. Wish you had gone for a different selection of rims.

Please keep the thread lively by posting frequent updates and photos.
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Old 29th October 2013, 16:35   #6
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Hey mkaysaw,

Thats a stunner of a car & still looks great for its age

The rims no doubt are the highlight, wish you many miles of stress free ownership.

Now shall await the interior pics once it is restored back to match the exterior

Thanks
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Old 29th October 2013, 16:50   #7
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Default re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Dear mkaysaw,

Congrats for the timeless beauty,ultimate Gangsta Car
Please do upload current pictures of the interiors and take us along on the restoration.
Will be a learning journey for us as well.
There are lots of merc experts out here. They'll definitely help you.

Personal opinion: The rims are really great but just don't suit the car, too sexy. Your car is Madhubala, but this dress (wheels) is for Zeenat Aman (both are beautiful and desirable independent of each other)

Last edited by vikramvicky1984 : 29th October 2013 at 16:55.
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Old 29th October 2013, 19:24   #8
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkaysaw View Post
It was a damp September afternoon in 1996 and I was 9 years old, with my Grandfather in Germany and a brand new W140 S500. All I can remember now is how smooth and serene everything felt and my heart sinking when he floored it for the first time on the Autobahn.

My first V8 and my first Mercedes Benz experience.

Needless to say the love for Mercedes and indeed everything German started early.
Fast forward to 2004 I was back in Germany and begging my father to let me get behind the wheels of his W220 S430 but to no avail. The car made all the right noises and made me feel like it was 1996 all over again.

2008 and post graduation I started working with a Czech company travelling to Kaiserslautern/Munich/Stuttgart from Brno on a weekly basis. My tool of choice: a debadged 4.2 Audi A6. The best days of my life giving all sorts of cars on the autobahn, seemingly more powerful/lighter/faster, a run for their money (the looks on 911 owners’ faces was particularly amusing ).

Coming back to India post 2011, that feeling of driving/being driven in our W220 and W221 is eerily similar to 1996 and something (at least for me) that no other car can match, especially in India with our wonderful roads and traffic conditions.

Which takes me to my younger brother Zorro, in Chandigarh. All I was told was that he had bought himself a used V8 from the early 1990s and it was German!

Pics Courtesy Namit.


Remember that same feeling of driving a big Benz? I don’t know how they do it, but this is a 1991 W126 420 SEL and even with this car a similar underlying sense of smooth and serene follows.

Zorro bought this car with the previous owner having taken immaculate care of the vehicle and mechanically, he did not have much to do. He plans to give the car a complete interior rebuild and I will keep everyone posted on the updates to the car with the interior pictures following soon.

This is an absolutely original debadged 1991 W126 LHD (American Import) 420 SEL.
The only modification currently is 235/35 R19 BBS rims running on stock springs.
Incredible! When I saw the first picture, I guessed it was an American import. It indeed is, going by the headlamps

1] Lovely BBS rims. Makes the W126 look at its very best!

2] Is the paint finish original?

3] Isn't this a last of the series model? If so, might I ask where this car was built?

A] Sindelfingen, West Germany/ Germany

OR

B] East London, South Africa ?

4] Lastly, What make of tyres is she running on?

Whatever, an extremely wonderful car! Cherish her!

Cheers!

Fintail/Heckflosse!

Last edited by FINTAIL : 29th October 2013 at 19:26.
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Old 30th October 2013, 10:51   #9
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

That's one stunning Mercedes! Eagerly awaiting photographs of the interior.

Those rims are indeed the icing in the cake, so as to speak. I'd hate to take that car out on Kerala's roads during/after the monsoons. But luckily you have better roads in Chandigarh.
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Old 30th October 2013, 11:15   #10
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Congratulations! Really nice W126. I have been hunting for a V8 W126 for some time but could not find one.

Enjoy the time with the W126, plan some road trips and appreciate all the attention you get!
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Old 30th October 2013, 11:35   #11
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

That's a sweet W126. Congrats on the possession.
The BBS alloys looks nice, but somehow the 19 inchers feel a tad big for the car. But in those side profile shots, they look just perfect
Cherish her!
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Old 30th October 2013, 12:49   #12
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Majestic is the word. Congrats on your purchase.How is the ride quality after the Tyre upgrade ? Any other modification plans ? More Pictures are welcome

Last edited by justin.das : 30th October 2013 at 13:00.
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Old 30th October 2013, 12:52   #13
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Wowwwwww. What a classy design. It would be more classy i reckon with some AMG rims like this.
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Old 30th October 2013, 14:25   #14
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

Quote:
Originally Posted by petroguzzler View Post
Wowwwwww. What a classy design. It would be more classy i reckon with some AMG rims like this.
That would be subjective, to various tastes. In my opinion, the current BBS Rims are looking EXCEPTIONAL and there is no need to change them.

Except in the rainy seasons, with the original rims, possibly. But this car, does not seem to be a daily driver.

Cheers!

Fintail/Heckflosse!
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Old 30th October 2013, 15:02   #15
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Default Re: A W126 joins the family: '91 Mercedes 420 SEL

*Picks up jaw from the floor*

My goodness, your car looks like it only rolled out of the showroom yesterday. Lucky you for finding such a pristine example and credit to the previous owner for keeping her in top shape. Congratulations!

Considering how good the exteriors are, do the interiors actually require a rebuild?

How about sharing some more pictures (including interior) and a post on what she's like to drive, ride etc. Would also appreciate details on the search, negotiations etc.

Delhi has a load of part suppliers & expert mechanics for these cars, you should be all set for many beautiful years of ownership.

Preserve her. This is the kind of car you pass on to the next generation
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