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297,500 Euro for a Mercedes SEC: Are They Mad?!?!

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.

Black does its best to hide the bodywork modifications. Quite like the interior, though.

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.

König’s take on the SEC. Would that be 500,000 Euro, then?

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?

Bruno Sacco’s incredibly well jugded original shape.

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.

The man himself: Bruno Sacco was responsible for the lines of Mercedes-Benz in the Seventies and Eighties.

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:

 

8 Responses

  1. Claus Møller

    As is the case with bitcoins, sometimes the scarcity of something is the sole argument of talking up the price, despite the usability of the object is even scarcer and actual value is a mere fraction of the price.

    I however do like the looks of this AMG. But agree totally that the asking price is ridiculous. Can’t blaim them for trying, but the real effort will be to keep a straight face – when some sucker eventually may be prepared to shell out that much….

    Reply
  2. Tony Wawryk

    @claus-ebberfeld I thought some of the asking prices at the Excel were mad – £65k for a VW microbus – but these were asking prices; EUR 297.5K paid for an ugly (imo) modified SEC is indeed bonkers. I wonder what possessed the “winning” bidder – presumably he or she must have had at least one competing bidder for the price to be driven to such heights – what do they know that we don’t?

    Reply
  3. YrHmblHst

    To answer your question : yes.
    (Though I quite like the AMG ‘widebody’ personally. Am I banned now?)

    Reply
  4. Anders Bilidt

    Like you @claus-ebberfeld, I too rather like the big SEC. Very elegant for such a vast coupé. Sacco was indeed a talented man. Yet, I find myself torn when it comes to this AMG. I tend to like the period modified seventies and eighties cars – such as the Kamei X1 Golf GTi which we recently featured as a Prime Find. But this AMG is perhaps the exception. I mean, I get it: It’s rare and fast. So of course it’s always going to demand a premium. Yet, I think I would personally prefer a stock 560SEC over this bloated AMG. Many moons ago I had access to a beautiful champagne metallic example for about a year or so, as my boss at the time drove one. Such an accomplished car – and stylish in a way which the AMG can only dream of being.

    However, in the real world, if I were actually to ever buy a SEC of any sort, I would no doubt opt for a SLC instead… ;-)

    Reply

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