1991 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL




Back in 1991, Mercedes-Benz finally laid to rest one of the finest Sonderklasse (S Class) models since the line’s inception in the 1950′s. During it’s 12 year run, the W126 (model code) was the first Benz to introduce many of the safety options that modern car shoppers take for granted (read – mandatory): airbags, crumple zones, traction control, and seatbelt pretensioners. That’s some forward thinking Mercedes, well played.

As a young man growing up during the height of the W126′s reign over the upper class, I fondly remember that many of the cold war ‘Us vs. Them’ movies (very popular at the time) used the flagship battleship sedan as the number one choice for anyone traveling in a foreign motorcade (headlight flags were optional). Thus, in my humble opinion, the Mercedes-Benz S Class between the years of 1979 and 1991 was the most shot at vehicle on the market. That’s pretty rad. If you google image search the term ’560 SEL’ you can check out the various versions of the sedan from Braubus to AMG to Koenig who offered everything from turbos to body modifications. It truly was the ride of choice from Sultans to Princes to Wall Street Tycoons.

When it debuted in 1979, Mercedes loyalists scoffed at the modern look of the W126 S Class as many thought it was too forward thinking and too futuristic. By 1991, the W126 still looked refreshing and cutting edge especially in interior materials and fit and finish. Let me know what you think in the comments below, does the look and feel of this boat hold up almost twenty years later? Downloadable photos can always be found here: Shiny Side Flickr

About Ian Merritt

Ian D. Merritt is a commercial, editorial, and automotive photographer and journalist living in Chicago.
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6 Responses to 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention 1991 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL | Shiny Side Automotive Photography -- Topsy.com

  2. Nathan Bluestone says:

    I did a day trip in a beige 560sel a few years back and remains unsurpassed as the ultimate road-trip machine. Kick the accelerator a bit and it leaps down the road. Stick yourself in the back and the miles melt away. And can anyone name a car that looks better in beige than early nineties Mercs (300te anyone)?

    Lovin the ShinySide posts!

  3. JERRY DONOHUE says:

    I HAD THE PLEASURE OF DRIVING THIS CAR LAST WEEK AND IT WAS A REAL THRILL. I AM A GREAT FAN OF CLASSIC CARS AND HAVE DRIVEN NEWER MB’S, BMW’S, SHELBY MUSTANG, CADILLAC AND MY CURRENT LEXUS ES.
    THE ’91 PERFORMS VERY WELL AGAINST ALL OF THE ABOVE, ESPECIALLY ON THE ROAD (I.E. PICKUP AND SUSPENSION). THE ENGINE QUIETS DOWN ON THE HIGHWAY.IT WAS TRULY AHEAD OF IT’S TIME..

  4. GIanfranco says:

    I have the honor and privilege of driving this car everyday. Except it’s an 89, so it’s VERY retro. In my opinion, it was on of the finest cars ever produced. And it shows…

    23 years later.

  5. dave says:

    recently bought a 91 560sel after selling a 86 560sel. Love the 91 even without a glove box

  6. Dean Egner says:

    I have the distinct pleasure of being the second owner of a 1991 560SEL, Arctic White w/deep blue interior. We’ve owned “Her” for 12 yrs. In that time we have taken many road trips up and down the West Coast and thru ought the state of Oregon and time and again she out performs any vehicle I’ve ever driven. To this day she is a head turner as she glides and sores down the open road!
    I LOVE THAT CAR! Her name is “Ms. M.”

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