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

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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 07:00 AM Thread Starter
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FOR SALE: 3,400 Mi. 1991 500 SL

FOR SALE

1991 MB 500 SL Convertible VIN WDBFA66E6MF026505 3,400 original miles $9,500 obo

$108,000+ New

Original owner, stored in heated &air conditioned garage since new. Never wrecked…not even scratched, etc. Driven most during the first couple of years (1991-1993)…that’s where the most miles were put on the car. Maintained with battery tender and annual inspections & maintenance at local garage its whole life.

Red with tan leather interior, loaded with options as far as I know. Two tops, soft and hardtop (with custom MB rolling storage rack). Original tool kit, and spare tire (never used). V-8 Engine.

Car still has original tires and wheels as from the MB Factory in Germany.

We’ve been thinking of selling this car for a number of years, but never got serious about it. Hard to establish value on a car like this. Book value is pretty low for a $100k+ car (when new) in this pristine barely-used condition.

This summer (2014) it was being driven to the local garage for inspection and service when white smoke started to come out the tailpipe. Fortunately the car was close to the shop, as it’s only a mile or so from the house.

30+ year MB mechanic thinks it’s a “flaw” in the aluminum block casting…you can see the pics, how small this chunk is. But, due to the time that has passed, MB will not warranty the car. A new (reman) engine (complete) from Germany can be installed by the dealer for around $14,000. We’re not willing to invest that kind of money, since there are no plans to use the car more than before. Just makes no sense.

But, it probably “does” make sense for someone who loves these cars to do the necessary engine work and enjoy a basically “new” car that is still in pristine condition. I’d think repairing the original block or a used block reconditioned by a reputable mechanic (or knowledgeable new owner) could do this work for about 1/4 the price we were quoted for a new (reman) engine from MB.

Although the values of a typical used 500SL in excellent condition may be rising above the $12,000 to $17,000 range (we were quoted the $17,000 figure in around 2008 or 2009 by a MB dealer), we’ve always thought the value of this example should demand $20,000 to $25,000, or possibly even higher. Current value guides (2014) put a car in this condition well into the $20,000 to $25,000 range….and such cars likely do not have as low a mileage as this 3,400 mile pristine example! But, obviously, the $25,000 figure doesn’t apply any longer for this fine example due to the engine problem, sadly.

So, we’ve decided to let the car go “as-is” to someone who “hopefully” will repair the engine and enjoy and drive this car as it was intended. With a proper engine “fix” this car should drive and ride like “new” no doubt!

The car remains in its spot in a climate-controlled garage.

See attached pics….the earlier numbered file pics these were taken in around 2007, the later ones (with the engine cover off…in Sept 2014). Obviously, if we had gotten to posting this on ebay or AutoTrader, etc. I would have taken better pics…they really don’t do the car justice!

I may put this car out there on the various automotive internet sites, ebay, etc., but I thought listing it on a MB Forum would be the best place to start.

If you have any other questions, I’ll try and answer them. Please PM me or you can e-mail me at Im4BMW@aol.com. I have more photos that I can email serious buyers.

Thanks,

John
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 07:26 AM
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Beautiful time capsule, shame about the block. GLWS.

Incidentally, my toothbrush was $4.99 "when new" but it is completely worthless now.

The original -- 23 year old -- price is highly irrelevant. Despite what the auctions houses might have you believe, 99.999% of cars are depreciating assets. Even formally expensive ones.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 02:30 PM
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why only 3400 miles?
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 08:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Luke Colorado View Post
The original -- 23 year old -- price is highly irrelevant.
Agreed. However, you and me are in a minority here, since every time I've said it, there's been legions of people saying it's relevant.

Anyway... Nice looking car and hopefully you'll get a good price for it. Might not be much, but still.

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1991 MB 300CE
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-20-2014, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
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It was never purchased to be a primary driver...only a car to be used on sunny days. It just wasn't driven that much. It's been absolutely fine since 1991 until this past summer. It wasn't driven often enough to reveal the defect in the block. If it would have been driven frequently, no doubt the problem would have occured before the car was off warranty. It's basically a pristine car with an engine block issue....I still see plenty of value in the car for the right person.

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why only 3400 miles?
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 05:31 AM
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It would seem to me that as soon as the block were replaced the "original condition" value would surely drop. GLWS
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 10:26 AM Thread Starter
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The original block may be very salvagable (the mechanic thinks so)....but at this stage in life (older, health issues, etc) we just aren't interested in investing the time, energy & money into dealing with it. If we haven't driven the car that much in 23 years it's not likely it will get driven much after the repair.

Like I said, it takes the right buyer to buy and repair the car and enjoy it. Nothing can be taken away from the originality of this example as far as ride and overall condition...fix the engine issue and you've got a great car for many many more years...it'll certainly be on the road long after similar cars of that style, no doubt!

The hard top that comes with the car (on special roller assembly) has never even been on the car! The soft top is like new also.

I would disagree with some of the comments about depreciation and the original value doesn't matter...Fact is this was a very expensive car....when depreciation happens due to time only...NOT driving, it's a totally different matter. If the car hadn't been well-maintained over the years and was just left "sitting" that wouldn't have been good for it...but that's not the case.

All I can do is hope someone comes along and saves this great Benz! It may take a wider audience than this forum, but here's where we started...so we'll see.

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It would seem to me that as soon as the block were replaced the "original condition" value would surely drop. GLWS
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 05:44 PM
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Highly doubt you will find a buyer here, so I'd say your best bet is Ebay.

1986 Honda V45 Magna
1991 MB 300CE
2001 BMW 330i
2005 MB C230K Sport
2007 Chevy Tahoe LTZ
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by m3fanatic View Post
I would disagree with some of the comments about depreciation and the original value doesn't matter...Fact is this was a very expensive car....when depreciation happens due to time only...NOT driving, it's a totally different matter. If the car hadn't been well-maintained over the years and was just left "sitting" that wouldn't have been good for it...but that's not the case.

All I can do is hope someone comes along and saves this great Benz! It may take a wider audience than this forum, but here's where we started...so we'll see.
It's not just time that factors in, but the lack of use as well. Believe it or not, I would rather have a car with some miles on it, as there are many components that will degrade over time from lack of use.

The original value statement really carries no weight in a sale, regardless of the condition, age, or mileage. We all know these were very expensive cars in their day, but the simple transit of time takes that value away. I have three MBs in my driveway right now that are collectively worth over $300k if I totaled up their sticker prices. Adjust that for inflation and it would be even more!

That being said, their collective value in today's market is probably around $10k. There is no correlation to sticker price to current market value, at least in sticker price having an effect on market value.

As this is an enthusiast's site and we all know what these cars are worth in whatever condition, you're not going to get the best price here. I would highly encourage you to go to eBay or a similar site and advertise there. You will reach a much wider and less discriminating audience, and in doing so, command a higher price.

However, regardless as to the issue with your engine, the car is not drivable in its present state. Whether it's a Mercedes or a Ford, that is going to have a significant effect on the price you can command.

Sorry for the problems with the car, and good luck with the sale!

Dan
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 07:03 PM
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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.
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