We buy this VERY special 1 of 1 1985 Mercedes 500SEL from a prominent Wichita KS family. It was custom ordered from the factory in this special color with lots of other special features like velour interior! They flew to Europe and had it built then drove around Europe then shipped home. What a story! What do you think of our Chiquita Banana?
1 of 1! Day-o! FACTORY special ordered 1985 Mercedes 500SEL for a SPECIAL customer! Chiquita Banana
Mercedes-Benz 500 SEL looks as if it has just rolled off the production line with this banana yellow paint on it. There’s something that betrays originality, though: the wheels are almost ten years younger than the rest of the car. And there is a secret this Benz hides. The owner put a special note inside the trunk, on the spare wheel, for the next one to use.
Mercedes-Benz enthusiast Bob got a phone call a few days ago. A family had been thinking about selling their Mercedes-Benz 500SEL, and they have finally decided to do it. It is a W126 from 1985 in banana yellow that he has had his eyes set on for quite some time.
The sedan has been sitting in a hangar at the Colonel James Jabara Airport in Wichita, Kansas, where it has been protected from the elements.
The story of the premium sedan began in the early 1980s when the future owner flew to Germany to spec it. Marilyn DeBoer, who has her name engraved on the dashboard, wanted a special paint and a customized interior. Therefore, when the car drove through the gate of the Mercedes factory in Stuttgart, it was a 1-of-1 automobile. She picked it up and drove it around Germany, in the company of her husband, Jack, before shipping it to the US.
In 1993, she put new wheels on it. They were all the rage in the 1990s. The original spare wheel is still in the trunk, with a note from the owner reading: “Use this lug bolt for spare on.” That’s good advice because the new wheels, mounted in the 1990s, feature different bolts that don’t match those of the spare wheel.
Marylin DeBoer had only yellow cars, so this one matched her lemonade-looking fleet. This is why she specced it like that in the first place. She also has a two-door Mercedes, a 500 Coupe, painted in the exact same color that she bought recently.
The 500SEL has seats in beige velour on board, which was not quite common in the United States. Back then, blue was the norm inside the cabin of the Mercedes-Benz 500SEL.
The odometer reads 112,538 miles (181,112 kilometers). However, Bob, the one who is planning on buying it, says it looks like a 12,000-mile (19,312-kilometer) car. The driver has never even put her feet on the original velour carpet. She had a rug that covered it to protect it. A real rug, the kind that would normally fit inside a home. Beige was not exactly easy to keep clean in a city where winters are snowy and cold.
The W126 was started regularly, but not driven. Her husband, Jack DeBoer, an entrepreneur and avid aviator, died a couple of years ago. Jack would not have accepted any car in his garage. He was a perfectionist. Jack held three-kilometer speed records for jet aircraft under 18,000 pounds (8,165 kilograms). So, that Benz had very big shoes to fill the moment it arrived in the family’s garage.
The radiator grille bears the Stuttgart Coat of Arms, which shows a black horse on a yellow background, which might trick some into believing this Benz is somehow Ferrari-related, which is obviously not the case.
The 1985 Mercedes-Benz starts on the first attempt. That 303.5-cubic-inch (5.0-liter) 16-valve V8 engine is finally getting a chance to show its potential again. The V8 generates 249 horsepower (252 metric horsepower) and 287 pound-feet (390 Newton meters) of torque.
The four-speed automatic steers everything to the rear wheels. The sedan could do the 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 kph) run in 7.5 seconds and go as fast as 143 mph (230 kph).
The man who presented the car to Bob, Lee, was, just like the one trying to buy the Benz, president of the local Mercedes-Benz Club. A DeLorean with the gullwing doors sprung open shows up in the hangar as well, right next to a plane.
Bob made an offer, and the seller accepted, so he went back to the airport to pick up the Mercedes and drive it home. The moment he drives out from the hangar with it, the car starts to shine in shades of gold in broad daylight.
The 1985 Benz had some amazing equipment for the ear. It sported heated seats, wood trim, and a steering wheel in leather. The cruise control works perfectly. And keep in mind that it is an almost four-decade model that is standing in front of us. And running and driving, too, like it hasn’t just celebrated its 39th birthday.
The first drive is smooth and comfortable, a definite head-turner in traffic with that banana yellow. Bob is planning to do a polish even though there is barely a scratch on the car. He gets it up on the highway and gives it some gas, and it still feels safe and comfy.