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Air To The Throne: Mercedes-Benz W126 SEL Sonderklasse

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Every once in a while, we attend a car show or a local meet and we’re met with a car that just screams to be featured. My recent visit to the Coffee & Cars event at VAS-Works near Poole was no different.

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Parked up glittering away under the winter sun was Leroy’s “Old School Cool” Merc limo. A 1990 Mercedes-Benz W126 Sonderklasse, which we now know as the S Class, the S stands for special and this is a very special Merc indeed.

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Leroy’s story begins with two different German whips, having previously owned two of Audi’s B6 variants, one a 1.8t Saloon and the other a S4 Avant (which he still owns now). Leroy tells us it was the S4 that started it all, as many of us do, with some minor mods.

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After a visit to Edition38 and some bigger mods, bigger brakes and a bigger sound system; this also included Leroy’s first venture into the world of air. The modifying bug had well and truly taken a bite.

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The Mercedes came to be in Leroy’s possession through his brother, the previous owner. Leroy originally had his mind set on a different old school Merc in the shape of a W123 but driving past the W126 every day must have had an impact on him. The car sat not moving for nearly 2 years before Leroy put a new battery in and fired it up, making his decision to own the vehicle after the first drive out.

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Leroy didn’t spend long before planning mods, this being brought on by some much-needed attention to the bodywork. “More rust over here” was a phrase that kept being heard.

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During the initial modification period, Leroy had found that another W126 in the same colour to his had made an appearance in the scene and was planning a very similar route to his. At this point Leroy realised he needed to be different and change everything but still retaining the OEM+ look.

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To combat this, Leroy had the car resprayed in a Candy Red supplied by House of Kolor (the actual name of the paint colour is a closely guarded secret) but having underestimated the sheer size of this German beast, he didn’t order enough at first.

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This colour is absolutely incredible and pictures cannot do it justice. On the rare occasion that the sun shines through the clouds the Merc’s body glitters and sparkles, giving the paint a depth similar to the one you’d find in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

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Custom 17-inch Three Piece Mercedes-Benz Intra’s painted by Wheel Works tuck right up into the arches courtesy of the Airlift Performance V2 management, custom OCD bags and VAS-Works mounts.

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The interior of only goes on to add even more elegance to this awe-inspiring machine. Although it retains the OEM interior, Leroy has added a touch of class to it by having it all retrimmed in cream leather, the addition of the wooden Nardi steering wheel is the cherry on the top.

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What mega stance build would be complete without a sweet boot install? Leroy went for JL Audio all round, two 10-inch subwoofers in the boot install sit nicely in the retrimmed boot space. Inside the cabin the tunes come from four speakers, two in the dash upfront and two in the parcel shelf.

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Before we left Leroy, he told us that there are plans in the pipeline to ditch the original om606 3.0l diesel engine in favour of something petrol powered, but he’s keeping the exact specs under wraps… along with another Top-Secret limo build he has already started. It would seem this man just doesn’t stop churning out show stoppers. Fingers crossed he’ll let us feature that too, once it’s finished of course.

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Leroy would like to thank:

  • Stacie (for putting up with him never being at home during the build, after and still now.)
  • Paul and everyone at VAS-Works for the late nights.
  • WheelWorks, who have bailed Leroy out more times than he can remember.
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Words & Pictures – James Stevens

Spec List:

  • Mercedes-Benz W126 SEL Sonderklasse
  • OEM exterior
  • Full respray in Kandy Red from House of Kolor
  • OEM interior retimed in cream leather
  • Nardi wooden steering wheel
  • Custom 3 Piece Mercedes Intra’s, 17×8.5 front, 17×10 rear
  • Fully restored OEM brakes
  • Airlift Performance V2 Management

Instagram – @the_royal_w126