Sherman McCoy Approved: 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560TEL Estate by Caro
RM Auctions is a Canadian brick and mortar classic car auction house along the lines of Barrett-Jackson and Mecum that started auctioning cars in 1991. In 2015, Sotheby’s (a British auction company founded in 1744, run by a dude named Lord Dalmeny, owned largely by a Chinese life insurance company called…can’t make this up…Taiking Life) purchased a large stake in RM and today’s next car is ready to head to an RM Sotheby’s auction block on Jan 22, 2021 in Arizona. The car is offered at no-reserve, but is likely going to sell for far more than the typical DT feature, but it is an amazing piece of engineering with serious upgrades from Hamburg based coachbuilder Caro GmBH. Find this 1990 Mercedes-Benz 560TEL Estate offered without reserve (pre-auction estimate of $30k-40k) at RM Sotheby’s in Arizona.
From the seller:
1990 Mercedes-Benz 560 TEL Estate by Caro
$30,000 – $40,000
Offered Without Reserve
RM | Sotheby’s – ARIZONA 22 JANUARY 2021
Hand-built conversion by Caro International GmBH
300 hp, 5.5-liter V-8 engine; four-speed automatic transmission
Pearl Black metallic over black leather
Built upon a Euro-spec 560 SEL chassis
A subtle, refined coachbuilt estate wagon
Please note that this lot will need to be collected from Scottsdale, Arizona
Notwithstanding performance-oriented tuners such as AMG, Brabus, Carlsson, and Schulz, the well-heeled Mercedes enthusiast of the late 1980s was spoiled for choice when considering further customization. Quite simply, the niche coachbuilding market had seen a resurgence of companies across continental Europe, all bolstered by a booming global economy. Companies like Carat Duchatelet, Zender, Trasco, Styling Garage, ABC, Pollmann, and Sbarro lavished the OEM Mercedes-Benz Catalog with packages of untold extravagance; engine swaps, armoring, body style conversions, exotic interiors: No request was too wild for these coachbuilders during the “decade of excess.”
The Hamburg-based coachbuilding outfit Caro International GmBH is, unlike many similar companies from this era, still in business. Their period builds were unrivaled for their fit, finish, and utilization of OEM parts over complete in-house fabrication. This 560 TEL conversion offered here offers a fitting testimony to Caro’s reputation.
This Pearl Black metallic over black leather estate conversion started life as a home-market 560 SEL and was delivered to Caro’s Hamburg facilities when new in May 1990. As expected, Caro executed this conversion with the utmost level of creativity; shrewdly, the taillights and rear deck are sourced from the contemporary W124 wagon, with minor modifications of superb quality made to ensure fitment. The revised cargo area is similarly outfitted with an amalgam of components from the W124 wagon with revisions from Caro’s coachbuilding staff.
Interestingly, Caro could not utilize the W124’s rear trio of windows—as such, each of the 560 TEL’s rear windows are custom. Essentially scaled-up version of the W124 units, they cleverly mimic an OEM finish. The roofline, C-pillars, and rear quarter panels were all carefully revised to maintain the SEL’s proper geometry and styling when surmounted by the new rear deck. Factoring in the cost of a brand new 560 limousine and the cost of the estate conversion, this 560 TEL featured an out-the-door sticker price of over DM 337,000 when complete.
All told, this unique and coachbuilt 560 TEL by Caro is not likely to be replicated in the marketplace anytime soon.
See a better way to drive something cool? firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a W126 and not W124
Absolutely EPIC. I went through a diesel MB phase 20 years ago, owning two 300sd’s, a 300d and a mint ’75 240d in a lovely burnt orange color. The w126 chassis cars were very pleasant freeway tourers once worn suspension bushings, linkages and steering dampers were replaced. They all seemed to need that.
I never owned a gas Mercedes. I loved the simplicity of the OM617 engine and the low prices for parts. A 560 gasser would scare me … unless it’s also the coolest wagon that never existed. If this doesn’t hammer at over $40k I’ll eat my hat.
Prolly one of the best photographed “for sale” cars I’ve ever seen.
Had the photographer worn real pants, shoes and socks…it would have been worthy of Sotheby’s. Because what they shot… was what a serious car guy/gal looks for.
Except for the reflections of the bare legs…🙄
-Stan (the upper crust, “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” Stan…)
Stan — there are two different photographers! One on the grass knoll and the other at the book depository. The first photos are taken in the snow with a nice proper $10k lens on a DSLR camera — even the rust on the bolts holding down the vin tag look sexy with that depth of field — and the second set of photos is taken by Mr Magnum PI with a smaller camera and less artistic more journalistic. I was going to steal the first photographer’s camera setup, but he nuked the exif info from the photos. Jerk. Probably wears pants.
5, 6… 0, there it is!
Easily one of the 10 best cars you’ve ever posted.
This is the styling Mercedes should have done with the W126 instead of the bloated, wallowing look of the sedans and to a lesser degree the coupe.
I also only owned diesel Mercedes except for a 1964 220s and without much work they can be made to perform well. This beast, in spite of constant fuel stops to feed the slightly over single digit consumption could be the one to tempt me if for some reason I had the money to actually buy it.
What a perfectly proportioned beauty!
Very nice, but I am holding out for the custom merc from Sbarro. (Vince, please photoshop this for us as you know it would be awesome)
Sbarro? The pizza place in the mall? Oh…yeah…Sbarro in Switzerland, that’s a different story. I’ll get my photoshop team right on it. KBZ…busy?
Ok, so there actually are real “sbarro” customized mercs and they are not pizza themed but somehow even more amazing.
HAH! I should have read this next comment before replying to the first. MMmmmm pizza.
Got to agree with Sir Coconut, that sparkly white Sbarro is definitely more Sherman McCoy.
I’d say the Caro is more *Dr.* McCoy, but he famously drove a sky blue 68 T-Bird, although any decent spaceman would have known the sky isn’t blue, it just *looks* blue, but I digress. FTR, Shatner 63 Corvette, Nimoy 64 Riviera.