Mercedes’ legendary W140 was a car or excesses; size, complexity and cost. While it has always been controversial it was the last Mercedes built in the traditional way, without regard to cost. And such was its expense that it kickstarted the revolution towards cheap, volume-produced Mercedes cars. However, the W140 was also rightly revered as the best car in the world and today has an ever growing following of those to admired and drove these magnificent machines.
Superb, low-owner, low mileage examples are very hard to find today. Yet occasionally they come up, like this 1996 S500 SWB – often lauded as the best of all the variants.
With one owner from new until 2018, this S500 has covered just 46k miles from new backed up by a full service history.
Purchased new in April 1996 by a Mr Rittson-Thomas from Rybrook Mercedes of Oxford for the sole purpose of travelling to his second home in the South West. So the car’s low mileage has predominantly been covered on long journeys.
He fastidiously maintained the S-Class as evidenced by the 19 stamps in the service book, the majority of which carried out by one garage. We have just serviced the car too.
The owner’s pack comes with all original books and manuals, plus clear HPI certificate, two remote keys and original dealer key fobs.
As usual with an eight-cylinder S-Class, this example is comprehensively equipped with leather upholstery, climate control, electric seats, cruise control, alloy wheels and so on. The body is finished in Brilliant Silver and the interior navy blue.
As the photographs show, this W140 is in absolutely beautiful original condition throughout; superb bodywork and underside, beautiful interior with original stereo and over mats. Original alloy wheels with matching Continental tyres all round.
With such a low mileage and comprehensive history, it is no surprise that this S500 drives beautifully. Smooth, very quiet and extremely comfortable yet with a tremendous turn of speed when required and surprisingly agile for such a big car.
It is worth noting that this is, being a later revised W140, has the desirable five-speed automatic gearbox, improved climate control and revised wiring looms. Crucially this means it will not suffer from the degraded engine bay wiring looms that pre ’96 cars suffered.
In summary, with just 46,689 miles from new, one owner and a comprehensive history, this W140 S500 is a truly exceptional example of what is now a rare car.
200A – Leather trim
221 – Left front seat electrically adjustable
222 – Right front seat electrically adjustable
303 – Folding armrest with tray
412 – Electric tilt/slide sunroof
441 – Electrically adjustable steering column
515 – Radio MB Classic
600 – Headlamp wash/wipe
731 – Walnut wood
883 – Closing aid for doors and boot