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Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#77 of 518 Sacrificing
May 23, 2001 (2:42 pm)
Thank you for your feedback Mr. Shift right & merckx -- although it wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear OK maybe it isn't all about economy. Correct, I have only casual knowledge of the mercedes, but I have more than a casual desire to own a big, shiny sedan with a lot of chrome. (I don't want a convertible) It would also look a little more professional in my image conscious line of business, than my Jetta.
Given that, I know I want either a 1985 380 SEL (is this the only year they made 380 SELs?), or a 81-87 420 SEL, 500 or 560 SEL. Am I better going with a 380 due to lower maintenance and gas costs, or is it not as good a car?
Also, what about diesel -- the 300 SD, should I steer clear for any reason?
I don't mind minor headaches. Is there any reason other than getting a not well maintained car that I could anticipate spending more than $2000 a year on maintenance? (That is half of my current annual car payment) I'm figuring $650 for annual fluid drain, or whatever they call it, 4 or 5 oil changes a year at $40 each or $200 and then $1200 in misc. This of course being on a car that has 110k miles or less starting out.
Again, thank you. I should have been a little more upfront about my excitement at the possibility of owning a nice comfy, classic looking car. Please give me your thoughts, I appreciate it.
May 23, 2001 (5:42 pm)
Yes, I think a budget of $150/200 a month for a used luxury sedan is about right if you take excellent care of it. The 380SEL is too old I think. The 300SD is a great car in that you get big car room and comfort but with great diesel economy and reliability. Most common issues with the Mercedes sedans of the 1980s is faulty climate control systems and silly radios. So you need to have the climate controls checked thoroughly and you can throw any Becker radio over the fence. Also check for slow power windows.
The 300E Series would be a nice choice. The problem with the 420 and 500SELs is that they are HUGE cars, and parking or maneuvering in traffic could be a real pain.
#79 of 518 Dubo Revisited
May 24, 2001 (4:47 am)
I started with the Q45 as I thought money was an issue.It's a car not many seem to want-that's why you can get a great deal on one. The Lexus LS400 is also an excellent car.It and the Q45 sold for about the same price new,but now the Infiniti is thousands less.If you are not on a strict budget,by all means go Mercedes-they are wonderful cars.
Many seem to feel the various S-class sedans 1981-1991 were a high point for the marque.But they are quite large,and,indeed,the air conditioning typically goes south.The six cylinder SEL,the 300, is a good one.I've heard the first all aluminium 8,the 380,is troublesome.The last generation S,1992-1999,are rather ponderous-notice the current ones have been pared back.The Sd is 4 inches shorter in the back seat,and therefore a bit more maneuverable.The diesel is bullitproof,but noisy and a little truck-like.
The smaller E-class is more reasonable in every way,but they lacy the presence of the larger S-class.
How about a 1990 300SEL?
#80 of 518 Starting Point
May 24, 2001 (9:50 am)
Mr. Shiftright & merckx, thank you both for some good advice and the starting point I needed as I begin my search.
Given your advice, I know where to begin looking and comparing. I'll take a look at the 90 300 SEL, as well as try to find a SD, which I am imagining are a bit more scarce. I'm glad to hear about the issues with the climate control in the sedans. I was wondering why some of the ads I have seen make specific mention of the AC working well.
If you don't mind, I may eventually be back with more specific questions as I narrow down my choices.
All the best and thank you again.
#81 of 518 parts website
Jul 08, 2001 (6:20 am)
www.adsitco.com It has all the mercedes parts
#82 of 518 1988 560SL
Jul 19, 2001 (12:24 pm)
I drove the above car today. The dealer has most of the service records and the odometer reflects about 58,000 miles. The body has no visible rust and has had some minor body work. It handles very nice but hesitates from a start. What are the possible reasons for the hesitation? The dealer's price is $24,000 but is willing to negotiate. Does this seem like a good price? What else should I check before making an offer? I know I'm asking alot of questions but I'm trying not to make a mistake. Any assistance is greatly appreciated!
Jul 19, 2001 (3:44 pm)
I think the car is priced a bit too high for a less than pristine example, and there should be NO hesitation whatsoever. So the dealer needs to drop the price to reflect the cosmetic mishaps and fix the car, then you can talk.
You should remember that Mercedes prices drop DRASTICALLY if the cars are not absolutely spotless.
A perfect '88 560SL can sell from $23K-27K....so less than perfect? Low 20s on down.
#84 of 518 1989 300 TE
Aug 03, 2001 (11:07 pm)
This car is in good condition , Has 110,000 miles for 11,000 obo. Good price or what.
Aug 04, 2001 (4:58 am)
It's just retail. You can buy them all day long for that. But it's market rate, so no complaints about the asking price. A "good" price would be under $10K.
#86 of 518 What's a fair asking price?
Aug 11, 2001 (9:05 pm)
Hi Mr. Shiftright,
Been reading through the bulletin board postings and noticed that you have an affinity for the 560SL. I happen to own an '89 and am in the process of selling it. Getting lots of calls, but nothing serious. It's in excellent condition both mechanically and cosmetically, but has 150K miles. Valve guide seals were repaired at 120K. I love the car and hate to sell it, but I'm a family of 4 now and it's very impractical. Could hang onto it as a classic, but it wouldn't get driven much. Can you give me some advice on a fair asking price? I know you suggest a deep discount once the car has reached 150K. Just how deep?