Your Cars: Azryael’s Mercedes 500 SE

For many of us, the siren call from gray-market German cars is too hard to resist: more powerful engines, slimmer bumpers, velour interiors, and even the occasional European headlights. Such was the case for forum member Azryael, whose 1984 Mercedes-Benz 500 SE has been with him now for nearly a decade. 

Azryael says:

I came across an ad for a '84 500SE, never offered here in the US, so it was a gray market car; it had US-spec headlights and tail lights, but the flush European bumpers were still present. I felt compelled to go look at it. Meeting with the seller, I come to find out he's selling the car after only a month because he's come across a 635csi he'd rather have and his wife said it's the 500 or the BMW, and the BMW was more his thing. He handed me the keys and let me take it for a spin around his area and I immediately fell for the car. Sure, it was an automatic, and it had some age-related issues and some cosmetic things that needed to be resolved, it wasn't a 190E, but it was amazing to be back in an MB. I had to have it. We agreed on a price and I drove it home that same day.

But after nearly a decade of ownership, the modding bug has hit:

The manual swap is the biggest thing I want to get done ASAP. I can live with the fubar'd CIS and the M117 as a whole, but I can't live with that 722.xxx any longer. I'm envious of those of you who have the means to do a lot of this work at home; I hardly sleep and that time could easily be spent engineering a solution, but the shop where everything is, although a short drive up the road, is cluttered with unfinished customer jobs that I keep pressuring someone to get done.

What will end up under the hood? We can't wait to find out. 

 

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