The Mercedes-Benz W126 was a series of flagship vehicles produced between 1979 and 1991. Previously underappreciated, these cars are now increasingly regarded as the pinnacle of Mercedes-Benz build quality. The imposing S-Class models are gaining respect and recognition among the classic car fraternity, and leading the pack is the range-topping 560 SEC produced from 1985 until 1991.
The updated S-Class models, including the example offered here, include electronic automatic climate control, heated seats, an electronically adjustable steering column, and leather steering-wheel and shift-lever trim, among other additions. Regarded as the ultimate luxury Mercedes-Benz of the day, it was one of the world’s most expensive cars when produced and came comprehensively equipped as standard. At the same time, coachbuilding, tuning, and a-la-carte customization had experienced a new resurgence during the eighties, particularly across continental Europe. However, a smaller group of well-heeled Americans proved just as eager to outfit their rides with one-off modifications; this 1990 560 SEC is a testament to the blank-check philosophy which endeared in-period coachbuilders to their discerning clientele.
This Diamond Blue Metallic over Palomino leather example has been tastefully modified to convertible specifications by renowned American coachbuilding firm R. Straman Coachworks of Costa Mesa, California. Ordered via Mercedes-Benz of Newport Beach, California this 560 SEC was delivered directly to Richard Straman’s facilities when new. The conversion has provided this attractive S-class with a power retractable convertible top of matching Palomino-colored cloth, complete with a quick-snap secured cover. A Straman conversion involves more than simply removing the roof, as the chassis must be strengthened to withstand addition stresses. Tacked onto the already-hefty sticker price of this chassis, this example of Straman’s masterful conversion skills likely cost its original owner upwards of $115,000 USD overall.
Said to have been in the ownership of a single family until 2018, this 560 SEC Convertible by Straman is now offered for sale showing just under 30,000 miles. It is accompanied by one extra master key, original owner’s manuals, tool kit, original maintenance book with vehicle data card, spare tire, car cover, and jack.To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/az21.