There are three things in this world that are known to withstand a nuclear apocalypse: Cockroaches, diesel MB engines, and the W126 chassis. For sale here in Carmel-by-the-Sea California is an example that checks two of those post-fallout boxes (cockroaches not included).
Finished in the rare but appealing Pajet Red Metallic (587) paint (also known as Cabernet Red Metallic here in the US) over Palomino (264) leather, this final-year W126 example looks fantastic with the post-facelift updates such as body color painted bumpers and cladding and the updated interior seat and door panel patterns. The tasteful sisal mats throughout the cabin do a great job of completing the timeless look on this former flagship sedan. Currently shown with 181k miles, this would normally be considered high for a w126, however, it's merely past the breaking in point for the diesel version.
Diesel W126 sedans are not uncommon to see on the road today, in part because of their insane longevity cited above, but they are somewhat more rare to find in a long wheelbase sedan, as here. Most who ordered the diesel sedan did so with the driver (and the driver's penchant for fuel economy) in mind, not for the legroom of the rear passenger. Thus, seeing 300SD or 350SD sedans greatly outpaces sightings of the "SDL"long wheelbase models; increasing their desirability.
The biggest potential drawback of this offering is the fact that it is a 3.5L diesel, not the venerable 5cyl OM603 or OM617 offered through 1987. Those 3.0L diesels are world renowned for their reliability and longevity whereas the 3.5L was plagued with problems early on. While the 3.5 certainly offers more power, early examples suffered from hydro-locking & head gasket problems; tainting their reputation and desirability. Fortunately, Mercedes offered factory engine replacements on some of these damaged engines and, if you can find one with a factory remanufactured engines that didn't seem to suffer the same issues. No word if this is one of those remanufactured examples offered here, unfortunately.
This example presents extremely well in the artsy, depth-of-field photos provided by the seller, but there are certainly some issues to be noted. For one, the incorrect (but authentic-looking) 8-hole MB wheels appear out of place and the next owner would benefit by sourcing a correct 15-hole set which are readily available on the used market.
Second, the seller provides a picture of a severe paint defect on the hood (directly over the engine placement) that is likely from a heat-induced failure. We're willing to bet this car was run without a hood pad for a some time; resulting in the aforementioned paint failure.
Third, a photo of the rear trunk lid shows paint chipping (and likely rust) around the chrome garnish; so this car may have some corrosion issues lurking underneath.
Factoring in the cost of a hood repaint and a set of wheels, this car is priced a bit high; even for a final year LWB diesel in a stunning and unique color combination. If you're in the market for one of these that you'd like to improve and keep for the long-haul, however, this is an excellent cruiser that deserves to be saved. Now the question stands, is it worth the $11,686 asking price?
211 AUTOMATIC LOCKING DIFFERENTIAL (ASD)
227 ASHTRAY AND CIGAR LIGHTER IN THE REAR, ILLUMINATED
241 DRIVER'S SEAT LEFT ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE WITH MEMORY
242 DRIVER SEAT RE. ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE M.MEMORY
264A LEATHER DATE / SAFRAN / JAVA
291 Airbag for driver and front passenger (for front passenger only if driver airbag standard)
300 STORAGE BOX IN FRONT DISH
340 3. ADDITIONAL BRAKE LAMP
412 SLIDING LIFTING ROOF ELECTRIC STEEL VERSION
440 CRUISE CONTROL
441 STEERING COLUMN ELECTRICALLY ADJUSTABLE (202/170/168 MECHANICALLY ADJUSTABLE)
443 440 + 441
461 INSTRUMENTS WITH MILES AND ENGLISH LABELS
491 USA VERSION
524 PAINT PRESERVATION
531 AUTOMATIC ANTENNA
543 SUN VISORS ILLUMINATED WITH MAKE-UP MIRRORS LEFT AND RIGHT
551 BURGLAR AND THEFT ALARM SYSTEM
581 AIR CONDITIONING
592 THERMAL INSULATING GREEN GLASS ALL-ROUND, HEATABLE REAR WINDOW, TAPE FILTER
600 HEADLIGHT CLEANING SYSTEM
611 EXIT LIGHTS IN THE DOORS (W202 DRIVER DOORS ONLY)
634 DISPOSAL FIRST AID KIT
636 DISPLACEMENT WARNING TRIANGLE
639 634 + 636
757 RADIO BECKER GRAND PRIX 2000 - USA
801 MODEL YEAR 1991
810 SOUND SYSTEM (BOSE)
877 READING LAMP IN REAR