Well, finally pulled the trigger on my all-time dream Merc... a 560 SEC. This one's from 1989.
Pry wouldn't stop harassing me until I posted what I guess you'd call a baseline set of pics and info so here goes.
As you know the SEC is the S-Class Coupe from the 80's, designed way back when the respective E-Class Coupe was the W123 body, not my W124. This means the SEC shares some styling details with the W123 E-Class. One of these are the taillamps which I never liked on the SEC.
Nevertheless, there are things about it that I absolutely, wholeheartedly love: the wide upright grille, which has the air of early 20th century grilles that were designed for style, not cutting through wind in the most efficient manner possible. The large, vulgar, showy&shouty M-B emblem in the middle. The traditional Mercedes notchback Coupe stance when viewed side on, and most importantly, the 5,6 litre V8 under the hood.
Let's make one thing crystal clear from the get go: it's a 1960s V8 engine. It's got some modernness to it, like the modern (for the 1980s) fuel injection system, the aluminium construction (the 5.0 M117 engine weighs 25 kg less than the M110 2.8 engine), and stuff like that, but on the whole, it's a thirsty and lazy engine. But... It's an M117. It's a V8, with the proper soundtrack. And god it's smooth when it's warm. It's like being propelled by a steam engine.
Like anyone would care about the numbers with a car like this, but regardless, the big sleepy kitty of an engine should develop somewhere around 250 horsepowers and a bit over 400 torques. 0-100 kph somewhere between 7 and 8 seconds...
So, it's got an engine that makes me all grinny and stupid. But how's the rest of the car?
Well, it's old. It's got a lot of km's on it. The leather in the front is pretty worn, and some of the wood trim has begun cracking. There's also some wind noise from the pillarless windows that isn't there in the C124. And some of the instruments are beginning to wither and die, either losing the backlight or becoming hard to operate. But... It's got a V8. And it's great.
There's a peculiar feeling of luxury inside the SEC. The C124 feels like a quality product, but the SEC feels like a luxury product. I can't really put my finger on it. Some of it has to be looks, some of it sound, but for the rest... No idea. But that's how it is.
The last two PO's of this car have been car aficionados. The first one really took care of the car, even going as far as I did with the C124: changing parts that hadn't failed yet ... and the SEC's got a lot of stuff on it that's only a few years old. Radiator, suspension parts, engine bay hoses to name only a few. The next owner was a Yankee muscle guy who came into possession of the Merc because of a trade, so he didn't really need/want the car, nor did he really know what he had. This means that even though it's a very-soon-to-be-if-not-currently collector car, and doesn't appear to be a total time bomb, I didn't pay through the nose for it.
So, where is this thing going now?
Well, first off, it's a DD.
That means there will be all the necessary services to make an old M117 into a realiable everyday powerplant.
Second, it's not going to go back to bone stock any time soon. Though I have the utmost respect for Mercedes aficionados who keep their vehicles in original condition, I've always found it more satisfying to make the changes needed to get the car to suit my tastes... In the E Coupe's case, this meant nice, tasteful wheels and a Magnaflow catback. In the SEC's case, yep... you guessed it.
That's not all, though: some PO was obviously lacking in the taste department: the car's got an AMG badge in the back and inside, and 17" AMG wheels. Both suck. They're about to go...
As for new wheels, I'm thinking BBS RS. I was hoping to fit the E Coupe's wheels on the SEC, but realistically, because of some offset issues, it doesn't look like they're going to fit. A certain BMW driver is worried that I'm gonna get wheels that are too small, or disappear somewhere inside the wheelarches, particularly in the rear, but to be honest, I'm not too interested in that sorta thing.
Onto the pics:
Big Coupes of two generations having a staring contest. I'm getting mixed opinions on which is better looking. Personally, the SEC is more handsome, while the E-Class is prettier. Particularly girls seem to think so.
(Since I forgot to take a proof pic, maybe this will do?)
Don't you just love that front?
Big AMG wheels suck.
Note the interesting looking doorpanels that were introduced with the facelifted interior of this MY.
Dunno how much rear legroom there is, I would imagine somewhere around the same as in the C124, certainly enough for a trip to the golf course.
Same exact dials as the C124, except for the nice 80's onboard computer in place of the rev counter. The revs are on the left as you can see. Sadly the outside temp display is chipped
And the most important thing: the 5.6 M117 engine.
Fuel economy graph: