Proud Owners: Jonathan Buckingham

For Jonathan Buckingham, Mercedes 500 SECs have been a part of his family for as long as he can remember, and it’s a tradition that he has been keen to continue with SLSHOP.

Jonathan was first introduced to a 500 SEC when his father purchased one brand new. His father had loved the luxury and prestige of owning such a car and would replace his first Mercedes with a second coupe, also from new. Following his father’s passing in 2002, Jonathan was keen to keep hold of the Mercedes and eventually restore it to its former glory. 

Speaking about the 500 SEC, he explained: “They were sought-after cars. My Mum and Dad loved to cruise in the cars in the 1980s and 90s. They did a series of road trips, spending summers driving through France, Italy and Switzerland. Dad loved cruising in it. It’s just like sitting in an armchair to be honest; a very smooth and very powerful drive.

“I really enjoyed driving it as well. Prior to my father passing away it hadn’t been driven for over 12 months. My mother was initially very keen to sell the car because of the memories it held for her, but I was adamant that we should keep it. The car ended up parked in a garage for two years. I occasionally drove it and it also spent time on my driveway at home, probably a further four years.”

During this time the car was not getting the attention it required. A garage in Peterborough was servicing the vehicle, but not very well, and broadly speaking it was not receiving the TLC it required. 

However, Jonathan discovered SLSHOP online around ten years ago and contacted Managing Director Sam Bailey. From there, the SEC’s journey has taken a turn for the better.

Bruce Greetham, SL Shop Director is partial to a big Mercedes-Benz coupe, having owned a number of them in the past. Sam knew Bruce would be keen to get the car into the SLSHOP workshop.

Jonathan said “Once I’d met Sam and he’d seen the car, we spoke the same language. I knew very little about cars, but I could appreciate that Sam had a lot of love and knowledge for SLs. It became clear from conversations with everyone in the workshop at SLSHOP that the 126 was increasingly in need of some serious TLC. I didn’t want to sell it, but it took a bit of time to get my head around the idea of spending a lot of money on a car that was only occasionally going to be used. But I made the right decision in going down this path.”

Today, the SEC continues to near completion. SLSHOP send Jonathon regular photos of the car as it is lovingly restored back to its impervious high-standards.

“I have been seeing the photos of work being carried out stage-by-stage. It’s amazing how all of those pieces on the floor in the photos go back together again!”

“I’m hugely looking forward to driving it again in the reconditioned state. I’ll wait until after Christmas once the good weather returns – I don’t really want to be driving it once the roads have been salted.”

Do you own a classic Mercedes-Benz that’s not an SL? Share your story with us, or contact our team to enquire about service and restoration of your classic.

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