Designed by Bruno Sacco, the W126 generation of the S-Class only came as a coupé or a sedan, leaving quite a few customers wondering how to get more cargo space out of this excellent Mercedes-Benz platform in a stylish manner. The funeral industry wasn’t shy in turning the Daimler flagship into a hearse, but those conversions rarely look as cohesive as an S-Class driver would prefer. Enter coachbuilder Caro of Hamburg.
Something must be in the air around the Hamburg area in Germany, because this great city gave us not only the classic-car-happy, hardcore band Scooter but also Chris Hahn’s coachbuilding empire Styling Garage, the undisputed kings of pimped W126s. Throughout the 1980s, Styling Garage produced such gems as the SGS 1000 SEC Gullwing series, the similarly gullwinged C 111 homage SCS Arrow cars, and widened, three-row S-Classes known as the SGS Royales, which are probably the most impressive W126 limousines ever made. Yet when it came to V-8 S-Class wagons, Chris Hahn’s crew let their fellow Hamburgers at Caro give it a go—and shine.
The truth is that the Caro 560 TEL you can buy in New York right now was actually built in the 2000s. Following a one-off commission that turned into something bigger, Caro ended up making three of these TELs using various W124 and W123 parts to end up with a very OEM-looking wagon rear end. This particular car started out as a 1990 560 SEL, powered by a 279-hp, all-aluminum V-8.
Short bumpers and glass headlamps complete the Euro-spec package, with this unique 560 TEL by Caro showing just 64,000 miles on the clock. Offered by the Stuart Parr Collection, this S-Class seems like the perfect custom classic to park next to America’s latest hot wagon, the 2021 Audi RS6 Avant, for a bit of healthy rivalry in your garage.