To meet special requirements on several markets of the world (safety, luxury, reliability, emission controls, consumers requests, etc), the W126 cars had to undergo many modifications. Some very deviating versions of the origin were formed, such as the US- specification and the right-hand-drive version.
Right Hand Drive
The RHD-cars were manufactured mainly for markets in Australia, United Kingdom, Japan and South Africa. Visible modifications on the exterior are the lenses on the head lights. While on LHD cars (except US-spec) the beam is longer on the right, the beam on RHD cars is longer on the left. The cars for the UK market had two extra indicators on the front fenders and the headlight wipers were a standard feature. The rear fog light is on the right. The drivers door mirror is manually adjustable, while the passengers door mirror on the left is electrically operated. The windscreen wipers sit in parking position on the left.

The interior has not been converted fully. The fire extinguisher for example is still attached to the left front seat and the front armrest is mounted on the left seats back rest. When the passenger wants to adjust his seat, the driver has to cope with this (exception: South Africa. On this version the armrest is mounted on the right seat) The ignition lock is located to the left of the steering column while the light switch unit is located to the right. Within the layout of the light switch unit, the thumb wheel of the height adjuster is located to the left. The parking brake is hand operated only, there is no pedal. A footrest is next to the centre console. The speedometer of the UK version has an mph gauge which is identical to the US-spec.

Under the engine bonnet there are more modifications. The most obvious indications are the vice-versa locations of the battery and the fusebox. The brake booster is to the right and the water reservoir for the windscreen is on the left. While the elements of the V8-engines (except the wiring) are identical to the LHD versions, the starter motor had to move to the left and the steering box had to move to the right. This has made modifications necessary to the exhaust manifolds of the ECE-engines. The 300hp engines were available to the UK-market until end of production. This was not so for the preheater and the trip computer. They were never available for the RHD-versions. The VIN of a RHD W126 is different to a LHD VIN, as it shows a "2A" (LHD: "1A").

Pictures where taken from a 1986 500SEC - Owner: Frederick Auld, England
To be continued...