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CL500, CL500, 190E 2.6, 420 SEC, 350 SL
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys
We have just had our first child and while I have so far managed to maintain my fleet of cars without giving in to a sale, I am coming under increasing pressure to get something that could be classed as a family car!:surrender::surrender::surrender:

The wife thinks this will mean an estate vehicle (station wagon) however I have other ideas. My 107 SL isn't getting the use it needs to I want to sell it and buy another older Merc to do the job. I really fancy a W126 SEL (any engine as long as its a V8), having driven a C126 coupe for a couple of years and really enjoyed it. Also despite all the horror stories on corrosion, I still have yet to find any serious body rust on my C126, even the fabled rear window problem isn't an issue. So I think if they're looked after and garaged they should last longer - if I get a good example in the first place.

While lacking the huge number of airbags that modern Mercs have, a good example would seem to cover some of my requirements (i.e. space, reliability, comfort and some refinement). Anybody use these cars for family transport - and do they have enough space to fit in everything that a child requires, and still take car seats in the rear? Opinions welcome before I commit!

ta
 

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For a 6'4" some 200+lbs, I can stretch my legs out in the back seat with the front seats all the way back.

Enough room? I'd say so. :)
 

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1985 380 SEL
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64 Posts
I have 2 kids and the only complaint i have is that it is difficult to secure the car seats snug like they do in my minivan. Part of the reason is that the car is over 20 years old so it lacks the "latch" hook points, the other reason is that the seats are so damn spring loaded that you don't have a firm surface for straping down the seat...... on a related note I officially feel old and lame now, my new area of expertise is child seat security.
 

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1985 380 SEL
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64 Posts
Congrats on the new baby by the way, I hope you are getting some sleep!:)
 

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2004 S500 4Matic, 2018 Ford Expedition Max, 2017 Jaguar F-Pace S, 2016 BMW 750i
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514 Posts
My 560SEL has been a family trip vehicle many times. My two kids, 10 and 6, actually beg to go in it and my wife enjoys the front seat comfort and the ice cold A/C.

We are taking a 600 mile round trip holiday in a couple weeks and a 1000 mile round trip to the beach in July, and it will be in das Mutterauto. No worries at all about breakdown. She's at a relatively young 99,000 miles and in excellent condition.

The thing that I notice about the car is the more I drive it and the harder I drive it the better it runs. Driving my Lexus and Volvo wagon is a letdown. Yes, the 560 is more comforable than the Volvo wagon! Interstate miles melt away.

The only downer is premium unleaded @ 18 MPG.

I can see that it would be hard to install booster seats in the back. A piece of thin wood on top of the cushion might help.

Overall, I can endorse a W126 for a family car!
 

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500SE AMG, E350 4matic, GL 450
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Congrats on the new baby by the way, I hope you are getting some sleep!:)
He will understand that soon!!!

I transported my kids around in the w126. The trunk is large enough to fit a stroller, diaper bags etc. If the car was good enough to transport heads of state in the 1980's, it is good enough (and safe enough) to get you and your family around time.

Congratulations on the addition to your family (and don't worry you eventually get to have a full night sleep-but not for awhile ;))
 

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CL500, CL500, 190E 2.6, 420 SEC, 350 SL
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176 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys
Many thanks both for the congratulations and also for your replies!

I think the main thing for me was the size, safety features of the W126 were well ahead of time and stand up to most scrutiny nowadays. Those with families will probably all become car seat specialists over time! I have noticed so far that with my C126 getting the car seat aligned in the rear can be difficult as the seat belt's not quite long enough, but the boot is plenty big for what we need.

Sleep wise? Think we're quite lucky so far - she's now 14 weeks old - the first four weeks were torture but now we seem to be in a 2230 to 0600 regime with very little deviation... touch zebrano wood...

Think the wife is a bit less confident about the prospect of driving the SEL, but those I've driven feel very similar to my SEC. I genuinely adore these cars for their build, style and quality, and want a good example for family cruising!

cheers guys
Mike
 

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1987 420 SEL
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2,097 Posts
Speaking of family. My daughter is now 20 and I usually let her drive up to her school, of course i'm in the car with her to slow her down. We will be taking that 3 hour drive this Sunday evening. When were driving I always feel really safe in the BENZO as she calls it. Solid and powerful performance on the road. I told her...only dad can exceed 70 mph and chance getting a ticket.
 

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CL500, CL500, 190E 2.6, 420 SEC, 350 SL
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well guys, I have looked closely for a decent W126 SE or SEL, but no joy as of yet and holiday starts Saturday! There was a good looking thistle green 500 SE on eBay recently, unfortunately it had a serious case of rot going on underneath the rear window. Other than that it looked superb, and went in the end for £750. I didn't feel like taking the chance of a leaky boot.

So for the trip we will be taking the C140 - just back from having its power steering pump replaced, and feeling smooth as silk. The 420 will sit jealously in the driveway awaiting its next use... it has done sterling work recently as the daily driver.

I have not given up hope of a bargain price, good condition SEL however - if I find the right one, I'll let you know!

And we're still at 8hrs a night sleep - for now...
 
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