1987 Mercedes Color and Upholstery Options
We’ve got another great Mercedes Color and Upholstery specific brochure for you, this time, from 1987. The late 80s was a great time for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars. Enthusiasts often refer to this era as the end of the days when Mercedes passenger car division was run by the development engineers and designers, not the accountants. Bruno Sacco had made his indelible mark on the product line and interesting and varied color palettes were available for the exteriors and interiors of the cars. These images come from the 1987 Mercedes Color and Upholstery Options brochure which was a stand-alone brochure that was included with the model year 1987 full line brochure in U.S. showrooms.
1987 Mercedes Paint Colors
Like 1986, there were 26 available colors to choose from, but this year, it was 14 metallics and 12 non-metallic color options. All colors were available on all cars except in the case of the 190E 2.3-16, those cars were only available in Black Pearl or Smoke Silver Metallic. Unlike Mercedes-Benz today, there was no up-charge for metallic paint back in 1986.
Non-Metallic colors included (above): 040 – Black, 147 – Arctic White, 459 – Mocha, 540 – Desert Red, 568 – Signal Red, 623 – Light Ivory, 651 – Pueblo Beige, 690 – Desert Tan, 751 – Ascot Grey, 815 – Agate Green, 900 – Deep Blue, 904 – Midnight Blue.
Metallic color options (above): 122 – Pearl Grey, 172 – Anthracite Grey, 199 – Black Pearl, 254 – Dark Green, 261 – Sea Foam Green, 355 – Diamond Blue, 432 – Bison Brown, 441 – Desert Taupe, 473 – Champagne, 587 – Cabernet Red, 702 – Smoke Silver, 735 – Astral Silver, 877 – Blue Green, 929 – Nautical Blue.
We have yet to come across a truly reliable source that provides information regarding production numbers and how many cars were painted what color. Any information we have is anecdotal. Enthusiasts can discuss various colors and agree on what might have been the most popular colors, like Signal Red and Astral Silver, maybe Diamond Blue and light Ivory. The colors most of us have rarely or, perhaps never, seen might include Bison Brown and Dark Green. Bison Beige and Mocha are two standard colors I’ve, personally, never seen in person, which is good enough for me to consider them “rare.”
Please Note, colors were often given different names in different Mercedes markets. You may see color code 199 referred to as ‘Blue Black Metallic’ in Europe or if you use a European based VIN decoder on your car. The color names associated with the color codes above are specific to the U.S. market. The photos above are from the Mercedes-Market library of original dealer literature and brochures, this is a U.S. market brochure.
1986 Mercedes Interior Upholstery Material and Color Options
Eight different leather color choices were available in 1987. Leather was the only interior option for 560SL models. It was standard on most of the W126 models such as the 300 SDL Turbo, 420 SEL, 560 SEL and 560 SEC, although these models could be equipped with MB Tex as an option. I would consider 7 of the 8 interior colors fairly common. 276 – Stone Pine Green is an interior leather I’ve never seen on any Mercedes-Benz in person, ever.
There were 7 MB Tex options available in 1987, as seen above. MB Tex was the standard interior material for 190 series cars (except the 2.3-16). It was also standard on the 260 E, 300 E, 300 D Turbo and 300 TD Turbo. Leather and Velour were available options at an extra cost for those models.
Many U.S. based Mercedes aficionados don’t realize that Velour was even an interior option on U.S. Market Mercedes in 1987. We generally think of Velour as something more commonly seen on European or ROW Mercedes cars, and it is. I can count, on one hand, the number of U.S. market Mercedes from the late 80s that I’ve seen with Velour interiors. Very few U.S. buyers opted for velour. Never the less, there were 8 Velour color options available for U.S. Mercedes buyers in 1987.
This chart of “Recommended Combinations” was published on the back of the 1987 Mercedes Color and Upholstery Options brochure. It’s not to say you couldn’t special order a car in say, Signal Red with Blue Leather interior, but it wasn’t a ‘recommended’ combination, and surely wouldn’t have been produced as a ‘stock’ unit by the factory.
Today, Mercedes-Benz offers many more different classes and models within those classes than they did back in the late 1980s. They also offer many more color choices, some specific to individual class and model lines. Add to that the Mercedes ‘designo’ line of special paint, interior and trim options, it can be dizzying for buyers.
We hope this look back at 1987 Mercedes Color and Upholstery Options has been a helpful resource for you.