Mercedes Benz 560 SEL
Yes, it was awesome. . . and this one still is. Why? Because it is a 27-year old vintage road-treasure that has seen four presidents, the invention of Al Gore's Internet and the rise, fall and death of Kurt Cobain. It's old enough to vote, get an MBA and Botox, travel around Europe and move out of its parents' garage. It also has about 237,000 original miles. I say 'about' since the speedometer stopped working at 222,060 miles -- but why should you care? Because that's the mother-fucking distance to the MOON! Yes. This car has basically been driven to and PAST the freaking moon -- THE ONE IN SPACE. Why do you need to even count mileage past that point? It's pointless. Because the point is, this car has courage, tenacity, power and balls. . . balls of steel; German steel that is.
It also has the world-renown 8-cyclinder, Bosch KE-Jetronic fuel injection steel German-built engine under its massive hood. It is huge and was created to provide the kind of power it takes to propel this fortress on wheels to 155 MPH. Haven't been that fast? Yes you have, and you were in a JET PLANE THAT FLEW IN THE AIR.
I have personally driven this car from San Diego to Dallas on an almost non-stop road trip. The steering wheel is big, fluid and offers just enough resistance and connection to the road to give you the impression that you are not only in charge of the car, but also of your entire life's destiny. Driving it for any distance is empowering and can make you feel you can go anywhere. In fact, this car has plowed effortlessly through Death Valley, dodged falling rocks in Arizona, stared into the depth's of the Grand Canyon and climbed mountainous icy hills in Colorado.
It also has spontaneously raced against a 2008-ish 7-series BMW one very late night somewhere along the North Dallas Toll Road. Neither car received a ticket but one car and driver received an embarrassing loss and lesson in total emasculation avoidance: spoiler alert. . . it wasn't the Mercedes.
As for its recent history, this 560 was treated for minor dents and flawlessly re-painted with the classic factory 'Mercedes Blue' in 2011. The body is tight and doors, windows and the trunk all shut solid. The tires were also replaced and aligned in 2013 with 205/65R Pro Continental. It has the original stunning chrome wheels as bright, stylish and reflective as Justin Bieber after a week in rehab. The gaskets, hoses, and belts have been replaced along with a full tune up, including plugs, and new head gasket. The radiator has been flushed, sealed and re-filled along with a fresh injection of Mercedes engine oil. In 2011, the universal lock system was repaired along with the brake pads and lights. Up to this writing, it has been stowed away safely in the VIP section of a basement-parking garage.
One of the most outstanding features of this car is that it starts -- anytime, anywhere. Whether it's 105* or -5*, F the car's engine turns over and roars to life with one simple twist of the key. There's no fumbling, cranking, pumping the pedal, stalling or waiting for the zombies to come and kill you. Fact: This car would NEVER be featured as a get-away-car in a zombie horror film because it would get you away from whatever is trying to eat, dissolve, melt, vaporize, mate, shoot or kill you.
Speaking of films, this model shares a heritage of fame and well-deserved celebrity. It is no accident that the 560 SEL was featured in "Lethal Weapon 2" because it IS A LETHAL WEAPON of power and timeless style. This may also be a good time to point out the car made its appearance in "Die Hard: With a Vengeance" because that's exactly what this automobile does... it DIES HARD, which is why it showed up AGAIN in "LETHAL WEAPON 3". Are you getting it yet?? This is all to explain why the 560 SEL was more likely to be fitted with after-market bulletproof glass and armored body panels than ANY OTHER CAR IN THE WORLD. Oh, Did I mention the back seat has a RELCINE mode? Well, grab a Cuban cigar and glass of Macallan 25-year old scotch because IT DOES.
Does the 560 use a bit of gas when you hit the pedal? Does Mayor Rob Ford do heroin?! Of course it does! Highway mileage may hit 15 MPG if you're lucky and not towing an 18-wheeler, an ESPN Satellite truck or small house (WHICH IT CAN DO). But the trade-off for drinking premium gas like an SMU sorority pledge who just lost her promise ring at a keg party, is the acceleration and speed you'll feel as you leave a carbon footprint the SIZE OF COWBOYS STADIUM!
Now, the argument against that Leo DiCaprio Greenhouse gas nightmare is the redesign of the S-class and that it gave this model a drag coefficient of 0.36 increasing its aerodynamics by 10%. You probably don't know what any of that means and I really don't either but it sounds AWESOME. And with you, your kid, your wife and a mid-sized dog, and a full tank of gas, you'll weigh in over 4,200 lbs. That's 2.5 Mazda2's, 17 Vespas or one white adult male Rhino. Here are other facts you'll want to memorize and throw out to the multitude of gawkers gazing at your remarkably handsome vehicle as you fill up at gas stations around the planet. . .
- 5,160 mm in length -- because size matters
- 5.5 litre, 5547 cm engine -- dude, that's heavy
- 300 PS / 295.5 bhp / 220 kW @ 5000 rmp -- this means intense power
- 455 Nm / 336 ft. lb / 46.4 kgm @ 3750 rpm -- this means serious torque
- 0 -- 60 mph in 7.10 seconds -- faster than a Smart Car zipping down the Double Black Diamond slopes in Vail, Colorado in the middle of an avalanche.
At this point, I'd like to mention that 'torque' has nothing to do with the 'urban definition' as frequently referenced in Comedy Central's "Workaholics"... although racing 130 MPH down a car-less, and careless highway at 3:00AM may give you a hard-on.
The car also has the world's first seatbelt 'pretensioners'. What the hell is that, you ask? It was the first-ever seatbelt device that kept pretentious occupants from flying through the windshield in case of an accident. Come on. It was the premiere S-Class car. "S" as in "shit-kicker" and "stallion" and any other "s" word you can think of that giveS thiS car the reSpect it damn well deServeS!
On this particular model, the AC works as long as you fill it with Freon each and every freaking summer. Alternatively, I'd suggest dressing cool and opening up the huge sunroof to let God's air cool you down. Seersucker is a very cool fabric and a dripping of timeless style AND it looks smashing with this car. During the winter, prepare to warm the flesh off your buns with the seat warmers, which are tucked underneath the blue, aged leather seats. Yes, the leather is worn, old and cracked. But so was James Coburn's face when he won a FUCKING ACADEMY AWARD in 1997 for 'Affliction'!
I almost forgot! The 560 SEL was designed by Bruno Sacco -- classified as one of the greatest designers in automotive history! Look at his face and you'll see sheer genius that instilled FEAR in other European car manufactures.
This particular car even comes with its own German mechanic who knows the car as intimately as Tommy Lee knows Pamela Anderson. He's also handsome and speaks with an accent that is hard-to-place but would charm the DKNY pantsuit off your mother. His number and contact will be made available after purchase. What transpires between he and your mother is out of my control. Just be prepared to accept a giggly collect call from Milan or Dubai.
Still not convinced you need to own this magnificent piece of highly refined German machinery? For less than the price of a new iMac, you could be cruising down (or up) I-35 with the windows down and cranking Starship's "Nothing's Going to Stop Us Now" track (BTW: #5 on Billboard's Top 100 List in 1987) as the dusty wind from the 635 construction project whips through your hair. Oh and as long as it's on your iPod or iPhone because the original Becker Stereo doesn't work. In fact, it needs work on the interior and some other minor odds and ends. If I were to keep it, I'd immediately get back to restoring it. But I'm out of room for cars and I'm having a fight with my wife.
One of the LAST reasons you should own this car is that famed actor / director John Frankenheimer (who personally drove John F. Kennedy to the Ambassador Hotel on that fateful day AND screen tested to play James Bond in "Dr. No.") owned, loved, washed and raced the 560 SEL.
I've driven this car with untold delight and it has been unbelievably reliable and a conversation piece that has led to and even developed into new friendships. As for you... You now have now been presented the gift to write the next chapter. Be the envy of young and old, rich and poor, drug dealers and web developers. This amazing road yacht can be yours for the small price of $2,750 in cash, Bitcoins or Gold medallions. Don't wait because someone WILL buy this car and drive it PAST the Moon and onto MARS.
If you've read this far, then call me to view and purchase. You won't regret it. I'll even throw in a pair of Brook's Brothers Seersucker shorts.
- Location: north dallas