reader report

1983 Merc was an 'awesome score'

WHAT A RIDE: Mike and Diane Henderson's 1983 Mercedes Benz AMG SEC 500 at Avalon Park.
WHAT A RIDE: Mike and Diane Henderson's 1983 Mercedes Benz AMG SEC 500 at Avalon Park.

When this rare Mercedes-Benz was imported to New Zealand in 1983 it cost the owner $305,000.

Two years ago, Lower Hutt's Mike and Diane Henderson, travelled to Whangarei to buy it, paying just $15,000.

He soon discovered the car was the only pre-merger 1983 Mercedes Benz AMG SEC 500 to come to New Zealand new.

"It didn't take too long to establish that it seemed to have good 'bones'," despite not having been driven for 10 years.

"I suspected that it may have been a little unusual and was happy to pay its asking price even knowing the risks of buying cars that have not been in constant usage having done so before.

"The Simmons FR17 staggered alloy wheels fitted to it enhanced its look. These wheels have only just been released back on the market after several years of being out of production, at exhorbitant cost.

"My wife and I having been driving and enjoying the car since we got it and I've been picking my way through it bit by bit replacing and repairing things that don't like being left sitting unused for years.

"It's fair to say that the longer I own it the better its getting.

"It's also fair to say that the faster it goes the better it gets!

"The car attracts attention where ever it goes; and being that I am a believer that cars should be driven not hidden, that is a lot of places and events."

Mike believes he has spent about $5000-$6000 on it since buying and it could probably have a bit spent yet, but he said the value of the car is appreciating as the year's go by.

"It has been an awesome score."

The S in SEC stands for Sonderklasse, or Special Class, and the SEC's themselves were considered the pinnacle of 1980s European car design.

"They were an absolute sensation on their release and attracted rave reviews around the world. You can't pick up a book about European sports cars or supercars of the era without one being featured.

"The W126 series was in constant production from 1979 to 1991, the most successful Mercedes Benz series ever, and were renowned for their reliability and build quality and remain so to this day.

"The AMG factory modifications included upgrades to the cams, exhaust, suspension and brakes. It also came with an 'upgraded' fabric interior, the usual leather being considered too cold by some in the less temperate countries.''


1983 Mercedes Benz AMG SEC 500.

New Zealand new.

2 + 2 pillarless coupe.

5.0 litre fuel injected V8.

Rated 270 hp ex AMG.

4 speed ZF auto.

A 1:1 4th gear and 2.24 final drive make this car a genuine high speed motorway stormer.