Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful Mercedes-Benz cars of all times, the 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC was not only a triumph of style, but also of engineering. Based on the S-class limousines, the SEC coupes featured a pillar-less design and gently curving lines that were the talk of the automotive industry, and copied by almost everyone. The SEC coupes exuded quality and solidity, which is one of the reasons that they inspired so many, but what was a little bit more difficult to copy was Mercedes-Benz’ commitment to actual build quality, and the high level of technical expertise required to build such a car. On the interior, simple luxury was the word, again with quality and durability in mind.
Mechanically speaking, the 500SEC was equipped with a whisper-quiet, yet powerful 5-liter V8 engine that produced 240 horsepower. This was enough to help this big coupe to a top speed of 140 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in 7.5 seconds. The quietness and smoothness of the engine were its most valuable assets, and when coupled with a superb four-speed automatic transmission, allowed for an almost perfect driving experience.
The 1981 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC remained in production for 10 years, with no major design changes and only timely technology upgrades; it remained essentially unchanged.