380SL or 230SLK - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
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Question 380SL or 230SLK

I have an opportunity to buy an 85 380SL 115k miles, all original and in great shape for $7000

or

1998 230SLK 102k miles, excellent condition for $12000


Should I even contemplate?

Anything I should look for or be aware of?

This is my first MB


Thanks for any help
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 12:28 PM
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Where are you located? Will you be driving in the winter? I like the slk because of the hardtop convertible that is if you will be driving in the snow. WHat kind of records come with each car? If you like them both, have a pre-purchase inspection (PPI) done on both and then decide. Personally I would go for the slk but that is just because when my w126 is retired I will need something to drive year round. I really like the hardtop convertible.

Mike
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 12:41 PM Thread Starter
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I guess I didn't even think of snow because of where I live
Phoenix, AZ

the 380 has the hard top as well
it is from the original owner with all of the records
original equipment, interior, paint, etc.

Thanks
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiebutnewbie
I have an opportunity to buy an 85 380SL 115k miles, all original and in great shape for $7000

or

1998 230SLK 102k miles, excellent condition for $12000


Should I even contemplate?

Anything I should look for or be aware of?

This is my first MB


Thanks for any help
yes, it totally depends on where you are at.... but knowing you're in Phoenix AZ get the SL. Nice classic, good power and handling. I am not a huge fan of the 1st gen SLK (handling was disappointing, dead steering) but the vario top will proof to be reliable and unbreakable compared to the roof of the SL (unless you'll choose to use the hard top whenever needed). My choice? 380SL.

“One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.”

Last edited by Ruudje; 07-18-2006 at 12:44 PM.
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 04:41 PM
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I'd buy the 380SL. I'm a tad biased but driving around, roof of on a sunny day, in what is now a classic mercedes convertable............

It just doesn't get better than that!

Andrew

PS: Either way you really can't lose.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 05:12 PM
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What color is the SL?

“One who conquers himself is greater than another who conquers a thousand times a thousand on the battlefield.”
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 07:14 PM
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Lightbulb Buy a CPO

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiebutnewbie
I have an opportunity to buy an 85 380SL 115k miles, all original and in great shape for $7000 or 1998 230SLK 102k miles, excellent condition for $12000 - Should I even contemplate?

Anything I should look for or be aware of? This is my first MB

Thanks for any help
Not having personally owned either of these models, and if most other attributes are equal, I would buy the 230SLK simply because it is newer.

I learned a lesson the hard way: If you can work on these cars yourself, buy anything you like. However, if you can't, they CAN be very expensive to maintain.

My advice to you, and to any buyer of a used MB is this: Buy one of their CPO (certified pre-owned) vehicles from a dealer so you have a genuine MB warranty. It might cost you more at first, but I feel strongly that this is one of the best "insurance policies" you can have.

To quote another contributor "The most expensive car you can buy is a cheap Mercedes".

Good luck,

Musikmann

Mercedes Benz - Das beste oder nichts!

Last edited by Musikmann; 07-18-2006 at 07:36 PM.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all

a little more detail

380SL 1985 115k miles $7000
champagne w/tan interior - original paint, looks new
all equipment is original and works
original owner is selling it
all manuals and paperwork
owner is now too old to drive and is a retired GM engineer
both tops
car cover
never smoked in - lighter never used


SLK230 1998 102k miles $13000
red w/black interior
excellent condition from appearances
at a used car dealership
I just went to look at the free carfax that they had on their website and it appears that they have taken it off (maybe because I had questions about it) and moved it to their other lot. If I remember correctly it had 3 or more owners and my concern was that it did not initially pass emissions the past 2 years.

there is another SLK230, yellow (which personally I love) 80kmiles for $15000

I thought the price on the 380 seemed really good for the vehicle.

And no, I won't be working on the car, but do have a trusted mechanic at a shop that works on them.

I want a convertible coupe that isn't an extreme gas hog. I love the looks and feel of the Z3, but don't think they're as well made. Also found a good deal on a 328iC.

Any and all advice is sincerely appreciated.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-18-2006, 09:37 PM
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Cool Mercedes vs. BMW?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldiebutnewbie
I want a convertible coupe that isn't an extreme gas hog. I love the looks and feel of the Z3, but don't think they're as well made. Also found a good deal on a 328iC.
Thanks for the further information. In light of that, I change my opinion to: buy the 380SL.

You cannot put a lot of faith in the CarFax reports. I bought a used M-B with a clean one, and it turned out to have been in an accident involving the front end. Joe Blow's body, or repair, shop does not report to CarFax.

From what I have heard, DO NOT buy a BMW - they are junk. Believe me, they are NOT as well made or engineered. I think the other german cars, and Audi comes to mind, are much better, but still not a match for a Benz. VW Passats are not a bad vehicle either, from what I have been told. Porsches are fun, but be prepared to pay $$$ up front, and $$$$ to maintain them.

Good Luck with whatever you buy,
Musikmann

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Last edited by Musikmann; 07-18-2006 at 09:42 PM.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 07-19-2006, 07:59 PM
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$7000 for an '85 380SL sounds like a pretty good deal to me. They are classic pieces, and IMHO you'll sure get a lot more head turning than the SLK (of which there are a lot of around PHX)

The 380 drives like a dream. I get 17 MPG in town (Mpls/St. Paul) and 22-23 MPG on the highway.I bought mine in Denver two years ago for more $$ and it's a sweetheart. Go for it!! (nice color too)
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