FOR SALE: 3,400 Mi. 1991 500 SL - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 08:16 AM
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No one is trying to be mean here. The advice relating to EBay or similar sites is good and you might well be advised to heed such. GLWS
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Luke Colorado View Post
In general what are R129 prices doing? I can't see them appreciating for a while, but I am not at all tuned in to the market. They just don't have the class or vintage appeal of the 107. To me they still seem like "just an old car" but I'm sure that will change eventuality.
I don't think they're that great, like mid 80s R107s, they're still a lot on the market and prices have been fairly flat for a long, long time.

A number of my MB buddies refer to the R129 as an "MB Mustang" due to it's somewhat generic looks. I tend to agree with them for the most part, but it's still a nice car and fun to drive even if it's nowhere near as distinguished looking or distinct as other models of the same vintage.

Just my $0.02....

As for the comments, I don't think anyone is being mean or dismissive, just realistic. This often happens here when non-MB folks arrive with their treasured car, thinking it's worth a small fortune, or having unrealistic expectations of its value.

As a group of enthusiasts who know these cars down to the very smallest detail, we're more likely to be critical of even the best specimen because we know its flaws, all too well. That's not being negative, it's being realistic.

When emotions come into the picture, no amount of reality will counteract them. That's why we see the cars posted by the grieving widow who, because it was the focus of a lifelong ownership or hobby, thinks it's worth an outrageous amount. People don't want to hear reality at that point, and anyone who challenges it is immediately branded as being negative.

(I'm not suggesting this is the case with this car, I would add. I think the owner has a pretty realistic understanding of the situation.)

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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 07:33 AM Thread Starter
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(Thread Starter)

I'd like to pose another question: If our '91 500 SL (R129), all original with 3,400 miles & "running" (still well-maintained of course) were on the open market, whether ebay or anywhere else, what do you all think it might be worth? I'm thinking between $20k & $25k (according to Hagerty Pricing Trends Guide). That seems fair for a car that cost $108k new in 1991.

Enough of you have pounded into me the fact that original price is irrelevant and depreciation rules on such cars (although not all cars!...especially certain vintage highly collectable cars). It appears as if these R129's were over-valued from the get-go, so even with a running pristine example, we're basically screwed finding a buyer willing to pay very much...that's just sad. Now, with the engine problem, it's even more sad. Even if we spend the money to repair it, we'd want to be honest letting potential buyers know what was done. So, the way I see it, we're better off just finding a buyer out there willing to repair the engine and enjoy the car for much less than a comparable car would cost. The one thing this car has going for it is, other than the engine issue, it's basically a "new" MB and it shows and drives like a brand new car!

It appears we're stuck with the car for now, or until I post up on ebay and see what happens. Not looking forward to doing that.

Thanks for everyone's's been very much appreciated!

Happy Motoring,

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 08:42 AM
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If you want to test the waters and accept that there will be some expense in doing so, put it on eBay with a reserve that reflects your perception of its value. You'll end up paying the listing fee based on the final bid, but it would also give you an idea of what the market thinks of the car in its present condition. You might even find someone who comes close that you could negotiate a price with.

While I am not an R129 expert, I have bought and sold Mercedes on the secondary market for over 20 years. Based on my perception of the market and the car's current condition, I'm thinking it might bring $8k-$10k tops. That is simply a guess and has no basis behind it.

The deal killer here is that it's not running. No matter how pristine or low the miles are, a car that doesn't run has a huge strike against it. You have some traction on this because you can document why it doesn't run, but the requirement for major work that will be necessary to put the car back on the road is a big, big hit.

Because the situation is so unique, there is really no point of reference for value. With that in mind, you're either going to have to expend some resources to test and gauge the market, or you will be relegated to fishing for a price for a long, long time.

If you are convinced that the car is worth $20k-$25k, then put it out there for your price and see what you get. I suspect the only thing will be the sound of crickets....I say that because pristine low mile examples of these cars are barely hitting the mid teens these days.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by LWB250 View Post
... regardless as to the issue with your engine, the car is not drivable in its present state. .... that is going to have a significant effect on the price you can command.
Yes, it's like selling a pristine and almost new car with no engine.
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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-28-2014, 11:03 AM
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This is the most coveted R129:
Mercedes Benz SL Class 2dr Roadster | eBay

It has 10x more miles, but it is also younger, and more sought after.

Just to give you an idea of the price range.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-30-2014, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by elbeik View Post
This is the most coveted R129:
Mercedes Benz SL Class 2dr Roadster | eBay

It has 10x more miles, but it is also younger, and more sought after.

Just to give you an idea of the price range.
The Silver Arrow is indeed a nice-looking car, but it suffers from being equipped with the M113 motor.

If we were to turn the clock back 20 years, to 1994, and a similar issue popped up with a '71 280SL or 350SL, would we see MB step in and offer to repair the car on a goodwill basis? Time and lack of use, assuming the car hasn't been exposed to environmental extremes or mechanical abuse aren't convincing explanations for metal alloy fatigue.
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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-04-2014, 06:49 AM
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Good luck with the sale. Hope you find a guy that wants ultra low miles and is willing to pay for it.

The SL was the first step in my midlife crisis.
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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 10-06-2014, 02:26 PM
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I think LWB250 is dead on the price of this red car...

You might find this article from the May / June 2014 Issue of the SL Market Letter helpful, All about R129 SLs, as well as a price chart, it's posted to our website.

The R129s aren't any different today than the R107s were in the mid 1990s, they're still perceived as "just used cars". Some of the most perfect survivor R129s can bring a premium, but they are few in far between... not so much the cars, but the people who want them and who are willing to pay up for them. We had a client with a 1990 500SL with just 38 miles on it when he called us. It had been stored and well properly cared for (not completely neglected), it had about 120 miles on it, by the time it went back and forth to the dealer a few times to get things sorted out, all sorts of hydraulic top work, other stuff I don't know about. In the end, it sold in the low $30,000s to a collector, which I thought was strong money. Of course, the new owner can't drive it... it will be destined to sit in a row of cars in his collection, documenting the first year of the car that replaced the 17 year run of R107s.

Here is a link to the entire May / June Issue of the SL Market Letter in PDF format (2.27MB) if you guys would like to have a look. We featured a number of special edition R129 models, the silver Arrows, as well as the "La Costa Edition"... just 30 of those made. I'm a big fan of the 1997 40th Anniversary SL320s, the blue ones.
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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 06-19-2016, 10:09 PM
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It appears this car recently sold on ebay for $15,300 with no engine problem mentioned. I'm curious if the engine block defect shown in the original post was repaired.

Mercedes Benz SL Class | eBay
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