Yeah guy, that was a little rough, I think you assume I am SL expert, I am not, this was actually my first one. I do appreciate advice or suggestions from members or anyone with some knowledge on these models. It does sound like you are criticizing (which anyone can do), I suggest you ask questions or offer friendly advice before posting, isn't that what this forum is about? BTW I have been looking for someone in the TPA who does know how to repair these soft tops, so thanks for the referral. Hey cut back on that starbucks coffee, just sayin.
No assumptions made, and I'm sorry if I came across as critical as that was not my intent. Consider it friendly advice.
If you're going to pay someone to do the work you need, you're going to be upside down on this car in a hurry. I say that because the R129 market is really, really soft, and there are a lot of nicer cars out there for well under $10k. For example, I bought a 1997 SL500 with 74k that needed top hydraulics done but was otherwise in very good shape in Pinellas County for $5000 not long ago.
I don't know anyone in the area who I would trust to work on these - I already know one owner who made the mistake of taking their 1999 SL500 to MB of Tampa and he said they really screwed it up. There are a lot of independent Mercedes shops around the dealer on Dale Mabry, but I'm sure there are some farther north and closer to you as well. There is a guy in Brooksville that does Mercedes, but I'm not sure if he's competent on convertible tops. Might want to check in the repair shop listing here on Benzworld.
If you want some additional input, you might want to post this in the R129 forum's "For Sale" section where you can get additional feedback.
Just trying to give you some feedback on what might help you to be successful in selling your car, and to let you know what's going on in the market with these models. Sadly, their values are just awful and have been for some time. Unless they're a unique model, such as an Anniversary Special, Silver Star or SL600, they just don't command much in the way of price. KBB rates your car as being worth under $5000 as described, even with the low mileage and describing is as "excellent" to give you an idea of the market.
Oh - I don't patronize Starbucks as I don't want to pay $5 for a cup of fancy coffee....