Bruce’s Cars – W126 560 SEC

Looking back at Bruce’s Mercedes 560 SEC

Classic car enthusiasts love to try owning certain cars, but regardless of how good they are, not all of them will turn in to favourites that you want to keep forever.

For Bruce Greetham, SLSHOP Managing Director, the Mercedes 560 SEC probably falls into that category. He had purchased the SEC to fill a gap in his garage that had been created by selling his 124.

The Mercedes 124 had been a favourite of Bruce’s, but after eight years of ownership, he had taken the opportunity to sell the car on. In its place, he decided to purchase a Mercedes 560 SEC which had become available through a customer part-exchange.

The 560 SEC was the flagship model of the 560 range. A big s-class coupe which he was very fond of. Over the next 18-24 months, Bruce would perform a sympathetic restoration of the car.

It was painted and the usual timing and mechanical changes which you’d make on a partial restoration were carried out. He got the car up to what he describes as an ‘acceptable’ level, but not on a par with his previous 124. It had a high-mileage, but everything worked.

Bruce recalls: “I was hoping I could turn the car into something that I was really proud of, something truly special. However, it was questionable whether it had been the right car to buy at the time.

“From a financial point of view, it wasn’t expensive to purchase, but it was a car which costs a lot of money to restore. It wasn’t a particularly high-valued car, so you really have to weigh the decision up and ask yourself ‘is it’s worth it?’ If you’re not careful, you can over capitalise on a restoration like that with the car still not commanding a high value at the end”.

While it was a 50-50 decision whether or not he would originally purchase the car, unsurprisingly Bruce brought it up to a good standard. He would go onto enter the SEC in a concours event within the ‘Street Class’ category. It was successful.

Following this initial success, Bruce then had to make that decision on how far to take the car.

He explained: “To take it to a higher level it would require a lot more work. I had to consider if that would be worth it or should I just drive the car and enjoy it?

“Areas of the car frustrated me as it wasn’t how I wanted it. It wasn’t one for me to own for a long time. I just felt that it wasn’t me and didn’t represent what I was about.”

At this point, Bruce opted to sell the SEC. A customer who had been in the market for one showed an interest, and the SEC and Bruce went their separate ways. A couple of months later, that space in the garage would be filled again, this time with a 107 500 SL.

“I’d been around the SL zone for many years in the workshop by now”, explained Bruce.

“I had experienced a lot more ownership round the SL than any other car. I had owned three coupes previously, but it was time for an SL.  For me in my position (at SLSHOP), I wanted to be out there in an SL. This is what we are, this is what we do.”

Read more about Bruce Greetham’s car history here