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Lot 22: Mercedes-Benz W126 500SEC SGS Cabriolet
22 October 2016
Melbourne, AustraliaLive Auction
Mercedes-Benz W126 500SEC SGS Cabriolet
This Mercedes-Benz W126 500SEC SGS Cabriolet, car registration number "SGS 500", is believed to be a very early one of 64 RHD factory sanctioned 500 SEC SGS Cabriolets built between 1981 and 1983 by prominent German Coachbuilder, Styling Garages of Schenefeld near Hamburg.
The cars were sold new through Mercedes-Benz dealers on special order at an additional cost of $90,000 over the base model 500 SEC which at the time cost $230,000 in Australia. Most of the RHD cars went to the Middle East and a few to Hong Kong.
Around the end of 1984 Styling Garages lost its factory sanctioned status and commenced selling the cabriolet directly to owners under the model name "Marbella". Most of the LHD cars that went to the USA were sold as "Marbellas". A total of approximately three hundred W126 "S" Class Mercedes-Benz based coach built cars were built by SGS which included: 64 RHD W126 Cabriolets, 130 LHD W126 Cabriolets including "Marbellas", 57 W126 Gullwings, 1 W126 "Arrow", 1 W126 Station Wagon, 2 W126 Pick ups and 110 W126 SEL1000 Stretch Limousines.
This SGS 500 was delivered new as a RHD Cabriolet through a Mercedes-Benz Dealer in Hong Kong. The early history in Hong Kong is largely unknown until the car was imported into Australia in 1995. Sporting an older restoration, the car is in sound mechanical condition and has been maintained by Gull Wing Motors in Forrest Hill Vic for the last 3 years. It has regularly appeared at Classic Car events over the last three years and is still capable of over 200kmh.
This is one only two 500 SEC SGS in Australia and the only RHD believed to be still on the road world wide of about the 64 built. There are no other known Factory RHD Cabriolet versions surviving and less than 15 LHD drive ones are known mainly in the Southern USA. This is one the rarest Mercedes-Benz models of the Post War era. Reference: James Taylor's authoritative book "Mercedes- Benz S-Class 1972-2013".