What are these like to live with (C126) 420SEC?


Senior Member
Mar 28, 2008
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Valencia, Spain
Your Mercedes
1987 W124 300D 280k miles
As I've now got a s econd property to garage a car and I feel there maybe some bargains to be had due to COVID-19 (market already seems to be going down) I am thinking of getting a second car. I have the 300D for generally reliable motoring and dogwork and 50mpg so the second car doesn't need to have good mpg. It must be a smooth auto petrol that's fast enough (0-60 in 9s or better), as the 300D is manual diesel and slow... but more interested in the waft feel than out and out performance

I've always liked the SECs (W126) and this seems reasonably priced (these were 10k for an average one here 4 months ago)


There shoudln't be rust problems being an Alicante car (2nd driest region in all of Spain) and that looks cosmetically OK (wheels aside), tax is zero on classic cars, insurance 100/yr and if i feel tight and don't want to spend money on fuel I can drive the 300D so it is just the maintenance I'm considering, of which I could do somethings myself. Although i want to learn more, hardcore engine rebuilds/suspension changes would probably not be doable by me. I would want to be able to fettle it and fix the odd things that it will need here and there and maintain it but not somethign that has to be carted off to the garage or won't start every few months with numerous complex/fundamental issues...I suppose I want something like my W124 where it would go on forever with practically no expenditure, but unlike the w124 would be worth the money/effort to keep in great mechanical condition.

Being prudent I also want something that will not depreciate much - if I decided to retire early or found a perfect property/business idea a second car would be the first thing to go.

Does anyone think this type of thing fits the bill - in a non-rusting climate and allowing for the age are these generally reliable/can be worked on easily and do they still feel nice, tight and wafty to drive if maintained properly. Being an "S" and not an "E" can i expect a marked step up in quality/ride over a W124?

Looking at other 2 door mercs in my price/age range (I hate modern cars as anything other than boxes to get from a to b, so please don't suggest them) the only other options are:

W124 coupe (my 3 last cars have been W124s and I even had a coupe)
W140 coupe (I love the saloon but the coupe is awful from every angle)
and the R129 which I appreciate is a well reguarded convertible but for some reason doesn't do it for me inside or out...somethign liek this...


Are a W126 and R129 really very different propositions? I know the R129 has a big following on here so what are their strong points? I am guessing they'll be faster and more economical than a W126 and convertible, but what's the ride like, the quality, reliability, etc?

Appreciate your comments....


Feb 8, 2006
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Grange Moor
Your Mercedes
R171 SLK280, Smart R451, Land Rover 110 County SW, 997 C2S, R1250 GSA TE 40th, CBR600FP
Always loved the W126’s, rust is big issue with them these days but shouldn’t be for you with where that’s from


Senior Member
Authorised Forum Supporter
Apr 18, 2006
Reaction score
Your Mercedes
220d (115), 190d (201), c63 (204), 220ce (124)
420SEC is very sweet, you won't have any problems with an up and running example. I had one before my 560 and it never missed a beat. But as with all my cars I gave it a good going over when I first got it. Good luck.

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