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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #1
One of the very few authentic pre-merger AMGs in the USA featuring an astonishingly low 81k original miles. This car was imported in 1983 by it's original owner along with another armored version of the W126 500SEL making it a true grey market euro spec car. This 1983 Mercedes 500 SEL AMG features the full AMG spec kit including front and rear bumpers, side skirts, penta wheels, paint, and steering wheel. Other AMG specific mods include upgraded cams, brakes, suspension, and exhaust. While there are no solid production numbers for this car, there are believed to be less than 20 AMG specs to be imported into the USA. The car has always been garage kept and meticulously maintained. Mechanically excellent. Recent services include fresh oil and filter change, new high flow cats, new brake pads, and a new fuel filter and relay. The AC was recently serviced and blows ice cold and additionally has been converted to R134. The heat works perfectly as well. Imperfections include a crack in the middle of the dash and a tear on the driver side front seat. Both aesthetic and easily repairable. There are some minor rock chips as expected for a car of this age however, there is absolutely no rust anywhere on the entire car. The head unit has also been tastefully updated to allow for bluetooth, USB, and CD playing capabilities and two new front door speakers while still maintaining the OEM look. This car was built to last. Strong engine and smooth transmission. I wouldn't hesitate to drive this car anywhere. This is the opportunity to own an extremely rare piece of history and true german muscle.
Since this 500SEL AMG is a grey market euro spec car the VIN has been issued in the states to reflect a US VIN format. The VIN is WDB12603712028407. I have the title in hand free and clear. I also have all of the original owner's manuals and the original registration for the car dating back to 1983 when it was first imported. I am a Mercedes enthusiast and have gone to great lengths to acquire and maintain my cars. This car is 100% AMG authentic and genuine and all original since being built. The car has never been in any kind of accident. Other listings (via eBay) from myself this past year include a 1998 C43 AMG with 28k miles, a 2002 E55 AMG with 89k miles, and a 2001 E55 AMG with 39k miles for those of you who are keeping score. No need to sell, just ready for a new project toy and have too many as is. Please feel free to direct any questions you have to me via email or (276)356-4420.

Asking $10,900 obo. Thanks for looking.













































 

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1983-2007 MB's
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Nice looking SEL! How were you able to discern engine upgrades (cams, et al)? By looking at the heads, or from any AMG docs with the car?
 

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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #3
Nice looking SEL! How were you able to discern engine upgrades (cams, et al)? By looking at the heads, or from any AMG docs with the car?
Thanks, she's a rare gem for sure! This is information that my mechanic was able to give me about the car. He's an old Mercedes guy and was amazed to see this in person. I didn't ask about specifics beyond what he told me but he said those cams weren't stock and AMG had definitely touched this car. Unfortunately I don't have any docs with the car although I do have the original registration and title application for the car when it was first imported into the states.
 

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97 SL500, 98 E320 Wagon, 2002 ML500 - former W108/W112/W114/W123/W124/W126/W140/W220
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Thanks, she's a rare gem for sure! This is information that my mechanic was able to give me about the car. He's an old Mercedes guy and was amazed to see this in person. I didn't ask about specifics beyond what he told me but he said those cams weren't stock and AMG had definitely touched this car. Unfortunately I don't have any docs with the car although I do have the original registration and title application for the car when it was first imported into the states.
I am confused. You state in your first post that the car and modifications are 100% AMG but you have nothing to substantiate this other than hearsay from your mechanic?

I would suggest that you run the VIN and engine numbers through MBUSA and see if they can offer anything that might substantiate this. Otherwise, the only things that are AMG on the car are strictly cosmetic that could have been added at any time.

Is there any identifying information on the exhaust, suspension or other visible parts? This would be easy enough to identify, as they would be clearly different from the stock parts.

Maybe someone else in the forum can offer advice as to how to identify that AMG did, in fact, make modifications to the car beyond what is visible.

The data card doesn't yield anything that would indicate it's anything but a stock 500SEL (see attached).

Here are some references to those exact questions when the car was listed on BAT:

Gray Import AMG: 1983 Mercedes Benz 500 SEL | Bring a Trailer

And just out of curiosity, how many places are you trying to sell this car? Google the VIN, it's everywhere!
 

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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #5
I am confused. You state in your first post that the car and modifications are 100% AMG but you have nothing to substantiate this other than hearsay from your mechanic?

I would suggest that you run the VIN and engine numbers through MBUSA and see if they can offer anything that might substantiate this. Otherwise, the only things that are AMG on the car are strictly cosmetic that could have been added at any time.

Is there any identifying information on the exhaust, suspension or other visible parts? This would be easy enough to identify, as they would be clearly different from the stock parts.

Maybe someone else in the forum can offer advice as to how to identify that AMG did, in fact, make modifications to the car beyond what is visible.

Here are some references to those exact questions when the car was listed on BAT:

Gray Import AMG: 1983 Mercedes Benz 500 SEL | Bring a Trailer

And just out of curiosity, how many places are you trying to sell this car? Google the VIN, it's everywhere!

Great job on the research. Never knew that was possible.

I have tried contacting both AMG and Mercedes with no luck. I have various other friends in the community with similar premerger AMGs that have had the same. If I had any piece of paper stating the exact modifications done by AMG I promise it wouldn't be for this price. I have taken all things into consideration and this is still undervalued as is. The previous owner of the car knew the original owner of the car on a family basis (yes I did verify) and it was brought into the states with AMG mods along side an armored version of the 500.

I would put money on my mechanic as he knows his shit very well. I guess we can't all be know-it-alls. :crying
 

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Great job on the research. Never knew that was possible.

I have tried contacting both AMG and Mercedes with no luck. I have various other friends in the community with similar premerger AMGs that have had the same. If I had any piece of paper stating the exact modifications done by AMG I promise it wouldn't be for this price. I have taken all things into consideration and this is still undervalued as is. The previous owner of the car knew the original owner of the car on a family basis (yes I did verify) and it was brought into the states with AMG mods along side an armored version of the 500.

I would put money on my mechanic as he knows his shit very well. I guess we can't all be know-it-alls. :crying
I'm not trying to thread crap, but I get really skeptical when I see claims like this without anything substantive to back it up.

There are ways to determine such things if you do the research. Unfortunately, hearsay isn't going to substantiate anything, which is probably the reason why you're not getting any interest at some of the prices you've listed at previously.

Also, things like AMG exhausts are very distinctive, however, if you've cut things up to install non-OE cats, for example, that evidence ended up in the scrap pile. For that matter, if the car had an AMG exhaust, the tips are very unique and nothing like the stock tips. The resonators are different, too. Are the original ones still on the car? I would expect them to be based on condition and mileage. Part numbers will be clearly stamped on these parts and easily identified as stock (or not.)

How would your mechanic know the cams were not stock? Did he look at the part numbers? What was the giveaway? These are things that might help you to get some clarity over the question of AMG or not AMG.

If the suspension was modified, sway bar diameters (easy to check) would be another giveaway. AMG sway bars would be larger in diameter.

These are details that people who know these cars well are looking for. If they're not present, it only furthers the skepticism over the validity of your claims.
 

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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not trying to thread crap, but I get really skeptical when I see claims like this without anything substantive to back it up.

There are ways to determine such things if you do the research. Unfortunately, hearsay isn't going to substantiate anything, which is probably the reason why you're not getting any interest at some of the prices you've listed at previously.

Also, things like AMG exhausts are very distinctive, however, if you've cut things up to install non-OE cats, for example, that evidence ended up in the scrap pile. For that matter, if the car had an AMG exhaust, the tips are very unique and nothing like the stock tips. The resonators are different, too. Are the original ones still on the car? I would expect them to be based on condition and mileage. Part numbers will be clearly stamped on these parts and easily identified as stock (or not.)

How would your mechanic know the cams were not stock? Did he look at the part numbers? What was the giveaway? These are things that might help you to get some clarity over the question of AMG or not AMG.

These are details that people who know these cars well are looking for. If they're not present, it only furthers the skepticism over the validity of your claims.

I understand where you're coming from. I really do. I've owned just a few in my time. I may take the car back to my mechanic and have him write down part numbers. I may not. I know this car does not have AMG exhaust tips. The cats were rattling on the inside so I replaced them.

I've listed the car personally on this forum, MBworld, and eBay. I have too many projects right now and if I wanted to pick this one apart some more I would. Instead, attention is on my coupe. I've done a lot to this car to make it daily drivable and reliable. With the info I have and the car as it sits, price is more than fair. I invite anyone who wants to come and see the car and write down as many part numbers as they can find. Also, google, bing, yahoo, search away my friends.
 

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A quick cheat list to look for AMG parts:

Color of springs, some have AMG stickers
Exhaust manifolds - if 2 piece per side that's AMG or stock 4 in 1
AMG cams have "AMG 50.1" on the back end of the cam and solid lifter clips on each rocker. Easy to see thru the oil filler cap

Here's a couple pics of an example, AMG solid lifter 279hp M117 motor:



 

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Thanks, bondavi - this is really great information to have for reference!
 

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I've listed the car personally on this forum, MBworld, and eBay.

Don't forget Stancework, where you were asked the same questions regarding authenticity and failed to provide any meaningful response.

1983 Mercedes W126 500sel AMG- Euro Spec - StanceWorks

"One of the very few authentic pre-merger AMGs in the USA" -as you claim this is- needs better documentation than a few part numbers written down by a mechanic.

As it stands, it's a nice Gen I SEL example that could use a little cosmetic work.
 

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1989 560 SEC - V-8 Kompressor - 95 E320 Estate
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I always questioned when this car was for sale @ $25k why the seller didn't spend a couple hundred dollars to replace/repair the split in the drivers seat bottom. My thoughts, this is just a hunk of metal to the seller and as we have seen has been on the market a long time. I really like the car and it is getting close to a realistic value. Someone seriously interested should pay for a thorough PPI and see if this is just a nice SEL with a body kit or more of a pure AMG modified car. I would just get back to basics as in if I was going to buy a $10k diamond or Rolex, I would sure as heck have it looked at.
 

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Don't forget Stancework, where you were asked the same questions regarding authenticity and failed to provide any meaningful response.

1983 Mercedes W126 500sel AMG- Euro Spec - StanceWorks

"One of the very few authentic pre-merger AMGs in the USA" -as you claim this is- needs better documentation than a few part numbers written down by a mechanic.

As it stands, it's a nice Gen I SEL example that could use a little cosmetic work.

I asked him to look at the cams over a month ago, didn't happen.
 

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87 Euro500HVSEC. 88 Euro 560HVSEC. 89 Euro 560HVSEL
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Pulling the right side rocker cover takes all of 10 minutes and using a mirror & torch to check the stamping on the end of the cams facing the firewall is easy.

Nice project car if it is an AMG
Pics at dusk make it hard to see the paintwork etc versus bright sunlight when looking online. Lots of oxidation on the alloy in the engine bay indicates its spent a fair share of its time out in the cold damp weather at some stage.
Rims do need a proper re-furb too, but as you say hence the dropped asking price accordingly.
 

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Anythings possible. My 500SEC which has a big valve kitted solid lifter AMG motor came with stock exhaust. One just has to look closer.
 

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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #17
I will attempt to look for the AMG markings on the cams once I'm able. I had knee surgery last week and that has taken priority over looking over my cars in my garage. Looking at the data card, the paint code shows 172. Is that an AMG color option only?

After some research, it seems that it isn't uncommon to find an authentic AMG car from this era with only aesthetic mods. So it's not out of the question, but I've been working with my mechanic for a long time and he gets paid to do this. Not me.
 

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I so wish your car was AMG motored -- if for no other reason than to shut up these naysayers -- but it's not sounding good.

If you can't remove the valve covers or take more detailed pics, perhaps just a video of the car running and revving?
 

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I so wish your car was AMG motored -- if for no other reason than to shut up these naysayers -- but it's not sounding good.

If you can't remove the valve covers or take more detailed pics, perhaps just a video of the car running and revving?
I don't consider myself a "naysayer". Claims are being made that directly affect the suggested value of the vehicle in question, and having looked at several 500SELs of similar vintage in my area recently, I want to know what, in fact, establishes that such claims are valid.

There has been a fair amount of information provided by other members that has been quite helpful in establishing the credibility of such claims, whether they pertain to this car or others. As a result, I now have a much better idea of what to look for to determine if a car of this model and vintage could potentially have a pedigree as this one is claimed to have.

The "naysayer" attitude that you may perceive is, I suspect, more due to the seller's unwillingness (to date) to substantiate the claims, or at least conduct some of the inspection necessary to do so. Some of the things suggested that would put many of the questions to rest are quite simple and require minimal effort. So why not do it?

It falls back to the old line of "the AC just needs a recharge". How difficult could the be to undertake? The unwillingness to exert minimal effort to resolve an issue speaks to credibility.
 

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'88 560SEC AMG Widebody, '83 500SEL AMG, '71 280SE, '01 Lexus LX470, '04 Lexus IS300 Sportcross
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Discussion Starter #20
Not sure where the AC comment is coming from... I've had this car fully maintenanced and the AC is fully operational. And if it wasn't clear before, I have been dealing with more important things with my knee trying to get healthy. It's not an unwillingness to look or help. Hell, I'm just as curious as you are but no need to be a dbag about it. My cars stay in a garage a few miles from my house and I truly have not had the time to investigate. This clearly is not the car for you sir. Also, in regards to value, I have priced the car according to what information I do have and believe this is a more than fair price.
 
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