Junkyard Find: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL, Bubba's Cab Edition
The Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class was the king of 1980s sedans and it sold very well in the United States. You’ll still see plenty of them on the street today and it’s rare that a California self-service wrecking yard doesn’t have at least one fully depreciated, high-mile example in stock. I haven’t paid much attention to these cars for this series, but that changed when I saw a 560SEL taxi in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard.
At first, I thought the taxi markings were a joke, because what kind of madness could induce a cab company to drive a 30-year-old S-Class with the thirstiest engine option? But no, there really is a Bubba’s Cab — and the Yelp reviews mention the Mercedes-Benz cab.
Obviously, a W126 with a mere 250,000 miles on the clock would be a couple orders of magnitude more comfortable than a rattly 700,000-mile P71 Crown Victoria Police Interceptor still reeking of Perpetrator Piss™ from its previous police career. But the cost of maintaining a W126 must have been ten times as high as the cost of maintaining a Crown Vic.
In any case, Bubba finally retired this glorious Benz, and now it awaits its date with The Crusher.
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I would love to have one of these, and they are in my price range. While this saw cab duty, it's not unusual to find low mileage examples. I understand timing chain and guides are the only critical engine maintenance, maybe this one had its chain skip?
My mother had a 72 Cadillac Sedan DeVille with a 472 ci V-8 during the 73 Arab Oil Embargo. It got 8 mpg but it was a smooth driving car with a very under stressed engine. It was a very easy car to work on--lots of space under the hood.