Take a long, hard look at the photo above. See? It manages to combine the coolest Mercedes you can see around town with one of the most mundane ever made. Yeah, I’m not in favour of the A-class here; it’s the 1989 W126 SEC that really shines. And it’s not even any old engine under that long, menacing hood, but the full-fat, juicy, tasty 5.6-litre V8.
Most two-door Mercedes-Benzes around here are semi-tired W124 coupes with the occasional awkward big star grille swap from a SEC, so an actually tidy W126 SEC is a sight to document.
The car even has matching plates. Good thinking from VEHO, the original Finnish importer, I believe as the car seems to be an original Finnish-bought car and not necessarily a later import.
It seems the SEC has received some refreshment in the form of smoked lenses all around, and those Borbet A wheels with graphite spokes are seriously wide.
Just look at that side profile and think of the V8. There’s no question whether the 560 SEC is a true muscle car. The thick, aggressively angled C-pillar gives the car such presence it can not be matched by any of its contemporaries for sheer gravitas.
One of the sights I treasure is having watched a 560 SEC driven by a friend on a twisty old road, dancing through the sharp, snaking curves in thickening evening fog. I had Miles Davis in the Sapporo’s stereo and all my windows down as I followed the Mercedes man, watching him give the SEC some gas, making it fit those curves in the road with the wide coupe ass really moving. During the miles of Miles I kept hearing the M117 V8 accompany the music with a soft-spoken burble.
I showed the 560-driving friend these photos today, and the smoked lighting didn’t really gel with him as he’s spent time bringing a previously tired-looking and possibly formerly bouncer-owned SEC back into glorious stock form. On the other hand, the straight sides and good paint here did earn a commending mention.
That’s right, it has a tow bar. It just wouldn’t be an old Finnish car without one, would it?
[Images: Copyright 2012 Hooniverse/Antti Kautonen]