Classic 1985 Mercedes Benz 500SEL no reserve NR 500 SEL

  • Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Mercedes-Benz
  • Model: S-Class
  • SubModel: 500SEL
  • Type: Sedan
  • Year: 1985
  • Mileage: 210,000
  • VIN: wdbca37d5fa134783
  • Color: Gold
  • Number of cylinders: 8
  • Power options: Power Windows, Power Seats
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Interior color: Brown
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Options: CD Player, Leather Seats

1985 Mercedes-Benz S-Class description

1985 Mercedes Benz 500SEL

The large W126 “S-Class” sedan, which combined Mercedes legendary quality with cutting edge aerodynamic design and a presence that is rarely matched, entered the U.S. market in 1981 with one gas variant, the 380SEL. Elsewhere in the world, the flagship model was the 500SEL, an instant legend. U.S. demand led to the 500SEL finally being sold here as Mercedes’ flagship sedan for just two seasons, 1984 and 1985. It cost around $80,000, well over twice what a nice 300D ran, or about 15 times what a Toyota Tercel went for back then. Inflation would translate that $80K to an astounding $180,000 today.

The 500SEL had everything the luxury brand was famous for, and then some. The 500 reflected a massive five-liter V8 engine, while the “L” in SEL meant it was a long-wheelbase variant, with the rear doors elongated and extra back seat passenger room as a result. It was the height of luxury and style. What other 1980s car had seat heaters, let alone rear seat heaters, let alone heated rear seats with a power recline feature!

“The Big 80s” as we call our car is a handsome survivor. This champagne with brown leather car has travelled more than 200,000 miles, andshows evidence that it hasbeen well-kept through the past 33 years. The car is highly original, down to its“bundt cake” wheels and U.S.-spec headlamps.

The Big 80s passed Virginia’s tough safety inspection in October. I have driven this car to West Virginia recently, and I drove it to my 30th high school reunion in New York – I was counting on it to be reliable and fun for a long weekend and 500+ miles, and it was. So much so that I drove it from Virginia to New York two additional times.Going down the road, and in parking lots, it catches peoples' attention and starts some great conversations.

I believe most of the paint is original, and it shines up well. There are a few paint chips and a ding or two but for a car this age, it is remarkably clean. The trunk had poor clearcoat that peeled off; I touched this up but it’s a cosmetic weak spot. The bumpers show minor parking lot scrapes but nothing serious. There is one notable rust area, not on the painted part of the body itself, but underneath, behind the driver’s front wheel -- a photo is included. I treated this and put on rubber sealant to keep it from spreading.

Under the hood, everything looks original and well-kept; underneath the car as well.

The interior is likewise complete, showing wear but no abuse. The carpets and headliner are terrific, and the thick leather seats still feel great and presents well despitea few splits. The genuine burled wood on the dash has warped in places from heat and age, but it’s still all there.

Recent work includes new light bulbs all around (with spares included), new front and rear brake pads, an oil change, and new windshield wipers.

As with any 33 year-old car, there are things that work well and things that don’t. In this car’s case I find the good outweigh the other, which are all fixable and won’t keep you from driving and enjoying it today.

Among the things that work:

  • All lights, including fog lights; horn; wipers; defroster

  • Front power windows
  • Excellent Sony CD stereo, strong speakers

  • Speedometer, gas gauge, tachometer
  • Remote right-hand mirror

  • Lighter/charger

  • Power seats, including reclining rear seat (!)

  • Heated seats front and rear

  • Trunk and door courtesy lights

A few things currently do not work:

  • Odometer (stopped at 199,984) and trip odometer

  • Power sunroof (in closed position)

  • Rear power windows (they are in the up position; motors work but they come off the track)

The car has the patina of a well-loved, but unrestored, vintage car. Enjoy it as it is, or improve it to your taste.

I have had a blast with this big 80s Mercedes. The only reason I am selling it is that I recently inherited my father's car; I've decided to keep that for sentimental reasons, and let this old gem move on.

The car and I are located in Alexandria, Virginia, about 10 miles south of Washington, D.C. Come have a look and test drive if you are in the area. If you fly in to pick it up, I am not far from Dulles or National airports; BWI is a quick train ride away. If you prefer to ship the car at your expense I'll be glad to meet the shipper and be sure it is loaded safely. I would like a 10 percent deposit by PayPal within 48 hours of the auction's end, and the remainder within the week. I accept cashiers or bank checks, or personal checks with time to clear. Once payment clears I'm glad to mail or meet you with the title so you can register the car. I will do all I can to make your purchase pleasant and easy, but if you need special consideration, e.g. storage of the car for a while, please ask me before making your final bid to ensure we are on the same page.

If you appreciate vintage Mercedes, want the top of the line, and appreciate a little well-earned patina, I’m sure you will enjoy driving The Big 80s as much as I have!

On Mar-01-18 at 21:15:51 PST, seller added the following information:

Apologies -- I got the car's list price wrong. It was $52,000 new, which translates to $122,000 in today's money with inflation. I had looked at the wrong year when I first calculated it.
One thing I neglected to mention: My car is a twin of the champagne 500SEL featured in the 1985 Mercedes North American catalog. I remember first seeing it at the New York Auto Show when I was 15, and being impressed by the stately, strong motor car.

On Mar-06-18 at 10:13:19 PST, seller added the following information:

A visitor ran a Carfax and noted a March, 2016 report of "rear damage." That might explain the trunk lid paint flaws. By contrast the paint on both rear fenders, and the bumper, looks to be original (as compared to just 2 years old). I've been all over this car for the past half year, including under it on the lift, and seen no signs of any damage. The report from Maryland says the car was functional and drivableafter, not disabled or severely damaged, but that's all I've got. Itand it stands to reason if a car this age and mileage had major damage it would have been considered totaled. There is no other history of damage or problems on the Carfax. I'm glad to answer any other questions that might come up.

Contact the seller

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