1985 Mercedes 380 SE

*** Interested parties should note, a fresh MOT without advisories has been issued today (8/9) ***

Guide price: £7,000 - £9,000


3.8L V8 reliable dual-row timing chain variant
• Impeccable condition
• Low Mileage (76616)
• Desirable sunroof 

The Background

When Mercedes-Benz set out to design this model it was known as “Project W126”, and aimed to provide an improved ride, better handling, and improved fuel efficiency. The W126 design team, led by Mercedes-Benz's chief designer Bruno Sacco, aimed to design a more aerodynamic shape and retain the unmistakable S-Class design elements. 

The aerodynamic drag was reduced to an incredible coefficient of Cd 0.36 through lengthy wind tunnel testing and reshaping of front end and bumper along with hiding the wipers underneath the hood/bonnet for smoother flow. Reducing the weight was accomplished by extensive use of high-strength low-alloy (HSLA) sheet and polyurethane deformable material for bumpers and side claddings. 

The lighter alloy material was also used for the heavily revised M116 V8 engines for the reduced weight. Both had contributed to the reduction of fuel consumption by 10% as compared to its predecessor. The 1984+ 3.8L M116 v8 engine improved remarkably on the reliability of its pre-1983 predecessor, which was known to have timing chain issues, Mercedes-Benz fixed this issue with a dual-row timing chain setup, which made the engine as reliable as any other Mercedes V8. This car being the 1985 model will make for a very reliable motor.

The Four-speed automatic transmission has a new topographical sensor that improved the drivability by monitoring the vehicle's position (flat surface, incline, or decline) and the position of throttle pedal. This prevents the unintended acceleration when coasting downhill without the frequent braking to maintain the speed. The topographical sensor also offers a better driving experience with cruise control by adjusting the throttle smoothly and automatically without sudden lurching or decelerating when maintaining the desired speed.

The car is a wonderful combination of Mercedes-Benz combining the very latest technology and materials they had at their disposal, while retaining the S-Class styling elements and comfort.

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The History

Not much history as the previous owner passed away, however the car had been stored in an underground garage for 13 years and has obviously been meticulously maintained during the course of its life. The car has since had some light TLC, been serviced, and had a fresh mot for the sale.

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The Paperwork

V5 present. Receipt for the pre-sale service and mot, plus 3 prior mot certificates.

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The Interior

The interior is, in a word, sublime, clean, professionally detailed and completely original, giving all the comfort you would expect from a luxury Mercedes-Benz saloon. Light grey Upholstery with classic Zebrano wood trim, and lovely colour matched navy blue mats really give the car a luxury feel, and the black wheel, dash and controls really complete the look.

The original Blaupunkt sound system is sure to keep the retro-cool sounds coming! Courtesy lights on the underside of the doors, to enable the occupant to see the ground when exiting the vehicle at night. Rear reading lamps were fitted to the C-pillar enabling rear passengers to read or work at night without distracting the driver.

There is a section of glovebox trim that is coming loose however this would easily be rectified. There is also some small marks here and there on the upholstery and door cards but certainly nothing much for a car of this age.

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The Exterior

The exterior on the car is wonderful, recently professionally valeted and machine polished, the dark blue paint on the car is all original and in overall fantastic condition along with the light grey bumpers all round.

The car does have some very small dings and blemishes, including one on the top middle of the bonnet that has been polished out and showing some primer but it is still solid and showing no signs of rust or peeling. These in no way detract from the cars original feel and genuine history. The car is embellished in just the right amount of chrome trim, not over the top but oozing style and class, including the unmistakable classic Mercedes-Benz grill and bonnet-mounted emblem.

The wheels have been recently powder coated, which has really given them a fresh look and are shod with Falken FK-07U tyres on all 4 corners. Also the hidden wipers and classic retractable boot mounted radio arial are also a nice touch in keeping the lines of the car clean.

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The Mechanics

We were fortunate enough to be able to inspect this car very thoroughly on an inspection ramp and can attest to the fact that it is in stunning mechanical order, very few cars of this age show this amount of care, please see the pictures as even underneath the car is incredibly clean, even inside the wheel arches the blue paint is clean and well kept.

This vehicle has clearly had no expense spared in its maintenance and preservation. It is almos totally rust free and solid. Under the bonnet the condition continues with a completely clean and perfectly maintained engine, a joy to behold mechanically. The recent pre-sale service included a new distributor cap, 8 new plugs, filters changed and the injectors cleaned.

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The Appeal

If you are after a stunningly well preserved example of a stylish, classy and comfortable 80’s Mercedes V8 saloon, look no further! 

Please take your time to inspect all the photographs thoroughly to get a true sense of how clean and well-kept this car is, the 3.8L alloy block V8 will get you where you want to go without issue, and the plush interior will get you there in comfort, all the while turning heads with the fantastic Mercedes styling and the wonderfully maintained original paint finish. 

A rare opportunity to own a car this well preserved.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1985
  • Make Mercedes
  • Model 380 SE
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 76,616 Miles
  • Engine size 3839
  • Location Scotland
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
16 bids
  • Merc £7,000 09/09/21
  • Merc £6,700 08/09/21
  • Merc £6,500 08/09/21
  • asperio•••• £5,600 08/09/21
  • philip-•••• £5,400 08/09/21
  • Merc £5,000 08/09/21
  • simpson•••• £3,600 06/09/21
  • Merc £3,500 04/09/21
  • lewis.k•••• £2,400 04/09/21
  • jeremys•••• £2,300 03/09/21

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