I love the Mercedes SEC. But 297,500 Euro?
And it’s not just one of those fantasy numbers which we sometimes see advertised on the world wide web. This was an actual deal where one lucky person ended up paying all of 297,500 Euro for his SEC. I was there as it unraveled before me during the RM Sotheby’s auction in Paris at the Rétromobile weekend about two weeks ago. And I was not the only one left in shock.
Sure, I play the car in question down in the title, as it was not exactly a standard SEC: The car was a 1989 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC AMG 6.0 ‘Wide-Body’, as the catalogue described it, and truth be told that does make it something quite different from a standard 560 SEC. For starters, a much less beautiful car.
Yes, I absolutely mean that: The original coupé lines of the SEC were some of Bruno Sacco’s best, and even though they were almost ten years old as this car emerged from the AMG treatment, the good folks at Affalterbach only managed to dilute Sacco’s work. I’ll nonetheless refrain from saying “ruin” as they left that task to König.
On the other hand, AMG did of course manage to eke more power out of the enlarged-to-six-litres V8, now featuring double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder: 380 horsepower or thereabouts, up from the standard 300. Skirts, spoilers and eighties galore-trickery such a the “wide body” bulging arches fulfilled the transformation – and no doubt it was horrendously expensive. Or at least I assume it was that expensive, as they struggled to sell any – I suppose they simply couldn’t?
Which makes the AMG a very rare beast: The auction house estimated around 50 or so. Oh, and one last rather important piece of the explanation: This one had a mere 27,731 kilometers on the odometer and just might have been the very best in the world.
But then again: TEN times the price of an ordinary 560 SEC?!? Or rather, not just an ordinary 560 SEC, but probably more like the best of the best example you can possibly find of an ordinary and factory-spec 560 SEC. Which is, as a matter of fact, not exactly an ordinary automobile, but really quite a brilliant one even on stock form.
I actually thought I understood the mechanisms in play quite well here: It’s rarity, condition, and the absolute top specification of something, and of course this will outrun any lesser automobile. But by a factor TEN? And to me, the really crazy thing is that I am pretty convinced a standard 560 SEC would be a better allrounder. Certainly prettier.
So, has someone simply completely lost their marbles, or am I the one missing something here? Answers on a postcard, please – or in case you’ve forgotten what that is, just use the comments area below: