Chassis variants:

The first 6 digits of the chassisnumber designate the exact type of the car (the baumuster number), so if the chassisnr. of your car would be W126023000000001, the first six digits are 126023, designating a 280SEL. Needless to say, if you own a SEC and number 4 - 6 are not 043, 044, 045 or 046, the number and the car are likely to have been build separately :)

Number Sequence Type
126.020 260SE, 300SD
126.021 280S
126.022 280SE
126.023 280SEL
126.024 300SE
126.025 300SEL
126.032 380SE
126.033 380SEL
126.034 420SE
126.035 420SEL
126.036 500SE
126.037 500SEL
126.043 380SEC
126.044 500SEC
126.045 560SEC
126.046 420SEC
126.120 300SD
126.125 300SDL

Dimensions:

Description S/SE/SD SEC SEL/SDL 500SE 500SEL US SEL/SDL US SEC
Wheelbase 115.6in 112.2in 121.2in 115.4in 121in 121.2in 112.2in
Front track 60.8in 60.8in 60.8in 60.8in 60.8in 60.8in 60.8in
Rear track 59.7in 59.7in 59.7in 59.7in 59.7in 59.7in 59.7in
Length 196.7in 193.3in 202.3in 202.3in 202.3in 208.1in 199.2in
Width 71.5in 71.5in 71.5in 71.5in 71.5in 71.5in 71.5in
Height 56.5in 55.4in 56.7in 56.5in 56.7in 56.7in 55.4in

 

 

Engines:

260SE 2,599cc, 82.9 x 80.25mm, 6-cyl OHC, type M103, Bosch fuel injection. 166bhp at 5,800rpm;170lb.ft at 4,250rpm.
280S 2,746cc, 86 x 78.8mm, 6-cyl DOHC, type M110, Solex carburettor, 156bhp at 5,500prm; 164.4lb.ft at 4,000rpm
280SE/SEL 2,746cc, 86 x 78.8mm, 6-cyl DOHC, type M110, Bosch fuel injection. 185bhp at 5,800rpm; 177lb.ft at 4,500rpm
300SE/SEL 2,962cc, 88.5 x 82.2mm, 6-cyl OHC, type M103, Bosch fuel injection. 190bhp at 5,600rpm; 192lb.ft at 4,250rpm
380SE/SEL (1) 3,818cc, 92 x 71.8mm, V8-cyl OHC, type M116, Bosch fuel injection. 218bhp at 5,500rpm, 225lb.ft at 4,000rpm (1979-1981 non-US models).
380SE/SEL/ SEC(2) 3,839cc, 88 x 78.9mm, V8-cyl OHC, type M116, Bosch fuel injection, 204bph at 5,250rpm; 225lb.ft at 3,250rpm. US models 155bhp at 4,750rmp; 196lb.ft at 2,750rpm (from october 1980 for US models; from spring 1981 for other markets)
420SE/SEL/SEC 4,196cc, 92 x 78.9mm, V8-cyl OHC, type M116, Bosch fuel injection, 218bhp at 5,200rpm; 236lb.ft at 3,750rpm.
500SE/SEL/SEC 4,973cc, 96.5 x 85mm, V8-cyl OHC, type M117, Bosch fuel injection, 240bhp at 4,750rpm; 296.6lb.ft at 3,200 rpm (to spring 1981). 231bhp at 4,750rpm; 298lb.ft at 3,000rpm (from spring 1981 to October 1985). 245bhp at 4,750rpm; 286lb.ft at 3,750rpm (from October 1985). 184bhp at 4,500rpm; 247lb.ft at 2,000 rpm (US models).
560SEL/SEC 5,547cc, 96.5 x 94.8mm, V8-cyl OHC, type M117, Bosch fuel injection, 300bph at 5,000rpm; 325lb.ft at 3,750rpm (non-US models). 272bhp at 5,000rpm; 307lb.ft at 3,750rpm (US-models).
300SD/SDL 2,998cc, 90.9 x 92.4mm, 5-cyl OHC, type OM617.951, Bosch diesel pump, 123bhp at 4350rpm (to fall 1983), 125bhp at 4350rpm (to 1986). 2,997, 87.0 x 84.0mm, 6-cyl OHC, type OM603.961, Bosch diesel pump, 150bhp at 4600rpm. All versions are turbocharged.
350SD/SDL 3,449cc, 89 x 92.4mm, 6-cyl OHC, type OM603A, Bosch diesel pump, 150bhp, turbocharged.

Production figures:

Year 260SE 280S 280SE 280SEL 300SD 300SDL 300SE 300SEL 350SD 350SDL 380SE 380SEL 380SEC 420SE 420SEC 420SEL 500SE 500SEL 500SEC 560SEL 560SEC Year
1979   408 812 2 4           217 1         149 2       1979
1980   6348 22482 887 4857           7935 1648 3       5312 2206 1     1980
1981   7212 26654 2423 16595           8603 6726 945       3308 5942 726     1981
1982   8761 23287 3843 18122           7429 8496 4393       3349 8966 4059     1982
1983   8568 25229 4302 20291           8147 6270 3829       3646 12095 6058     1983
1984   6203 22656 4598 12546           14618 2016 1310       2790 14808 6664     1984
1985 2222 5496 12835 4601 6311 47 5432 1379     11290 1857 1857 1689 275 6102 3194 17251 5865 2097 989 1985
Year 260SE 280S 280SE 280SEL 300SD 300SDL 300SE 300SEL 350SD 350SDL 380SE 380SEL 380SEC 420SE 420SEC 420SEL 500SE 500SEL 500SEC 560SEL 560SEC Year
1986 6198         8274 18134 4815           4181 896 19238 2351 4032 2020 16559 4745 1986
1987 4657         5509 15104 6886           2704 714 18623 1722 2163 1107 13494 5476 1987
1988 3120           20431 8688           2368 593 9467 1895 2087 1056 12832 5012 1988
1989 2455           20289 10985   18       1528 534 9181 2676 1560 1062 12990 5299 1989
1990 2100           21058 6428 2066  2032       1345 451 8324 2308 1331 1067 13728 5270 1990
1991 84           4974 1777   875       181 219 3082 718 244 499 3339 2138 1991
1992                                   6   32   1992

Note: Exact production figures of the 350SD in 1989 / 1991 are unavailable at the moment. 2066 were built in total.

Early Prototypes:

Sedan Prototypes Coupe Prototypes
Early Prototype. W116 features can easily be recognized. Prototype August 1976. The basic W126 coupe shape. Notice the absence of the chrome trim above the taillights.
Prototype October 1975. Some W123 related parts like the headlights, blinkers and grille are used. Prototype October 1976. The rear windshield shape is derived from the 1960's W111 Coupe. A shape also seen in the new 2000 CL series.
Prototype October 1975. Too far ahead of it's time, it features ideas that will be seen later in the W140 series. Prototype February 1977. SLC type louvres were added to the rear side windows.
Prototype December 1975. The basic W126 shape.