BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Nov 2011
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Yes, I agree that more often than not, owners will overstate the condition of their car. Very few are truly "pristine" or "like new". I have my own gauge of what constitutes a truly pristine 560. Obviously it must start, idle, drive, and stop as intended. But beyond that to be really pristine, I would look for the following:
1. All electrical switches, lights, and motorized bits must work as intended
2. The gauge cluster and panel illumination should be bright and even, not dim
3. The gauge needles should be bright orange not faded yellow indicating long exposure to the sun.
4. All the wood should be free of clouding, cracking, or other defects
5. There should be no signs of wear on the left bolster of the driver seat (very common)
6. The radio and antenna should function as intended
7. There should be signs of factory cosmoline still coating most of the engine parts and the aluminum castings should be free of oxidation.
8. All engine, glass, and body decals should be present, correct, and not faded.
9. The hood pad should look like it was just replaced.
10. All the colored plastic connectors in the engine compartment should be brightly colored and new looking.
11. The rear window should be free of delamination
12. The fuel filler door and edge of opening should be free of chips from fuel nozzle impacts.
13. The door sills should be free of scuffs, cracks, etc.
14. The door speaker grills should be free of dimples from impacts
15. Anything that should not be loose on the car should, uh, not be loose.
16. The front windshield should be crystal clear, free of sandblasting, and wiper scuffs.
17. Obviously, the exterior cosmetics should be free of dings, stone chips, rust of any degree, scratches, etc. and all paintwork and brightwork should appear as new.
18. Plastic lenses should be clear and appear as new.
19. The rubber trunk and engine compartment seals should be without gouges, tears, and should be pliable.
20. The interior trunk lip should be free of scratches from loading articles in the trunk.
21. There should be no signs of leaks on any kind, anywhere.
22. There should be no signs of wear or stains on any of the rugs, headliner, or seats.
23. There should be absolutely no signs of curb rash on the wheels.
24. The tool kit, owners manual, and first aid kit should be complete and in as new condition.
25. Any visible screws, nuts, bolts or other mechanical fasteners should not show toolmarks of any kind.
This is just a partial list off the top of my head but it gives you an idea of what I would need to see to put an SEC in #1, or "pristine" condition. Very, very few cars can measure up and high mileage cars will have a very hard time meeting these standards even if they have been well cared for.
Nevertheless, a properly maintained SEC with a nice "patina" showing an owner's care is still a very desirable object. Such cars should fall smack on the middle of my "average value" curve. Those approaching #1 condition would be above, those needing mechanical and cosmetic work would fall below.