Date registered: Apr 2004
Location: The BlueGrass State
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
You will want to post your questions down in the W126 forum which has many folks that have expertise in most of the questions you asked.
Also you might want to fill out your profile so folks will know where you are. That way we might be able to recommend an expert that is right in your area.
Generally, I would recommend that look at getting replacement skins for the leather seats if they are torn. Products like Leatherique CAN work but requires a deft touch to do correctly.
For your dash, I believe that Perfomance Products has a dash cap that fits over the current dash that will take care of the cracks that nearly everyone has on their car. If you try and find a used one, it will most likely have the cracks also and you will be in for a 15-25 hour remove-replacement job [if all goes well]. They fit well and are a good improvement over the cracks. They will also have console trim pieces. Get their catalog.
For chrome polish, I use Mother's. It is available at nearly any auto store in America and used with either a buffer or by hand, it will work. Make sure you are polishing chrome and not chromed plastic which has a coating on it. Buffing that will take the coating off.
As for the paint, check and see who your local Benz dealer uses for their body shop. Have their body shop service writer look over your car and give you an estimate to repaint. You will learn a lot from that 30 minute walk around with the guy. Ask questions, they usually are more than happy to provide suggestions on whether a full paint job is required or if a color sand or just a buff out would bring back the original [or close] luster.
Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.