Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast--formerly Charlottesville, VA
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The difficulty with your request for information is that without seeing pictures or having a more complete mechanical description any advice you get from this forum will be a guess at best. Old Mercedes automobiles are wildly variable in their condition, and the result is their price--or more precisely, their value--varies wildly as well. If the car you are considering requires substantial mechanical reconditioning you could easily spend the $4000 you are paying again in that reconditioning. Cosmetic restoration can also be surprisingly expensive, particularly if you have substantial rust issues (they are often hidden under carpets, behind panel liners, and otherwise not visible to casual observation). If you are content to have a car that needs repair or you are handy mechanically, these costs can be lower. If you want a more-or-less mechanically correct and cosmetically correct vehicle, you may be facing sizable expenses or time of your own.
Since you don't have pictures or an accurate description other than what you think or were told, the good folks that might be able to offer you advice hesitate to do that. We don't want to say "yes, that's a fair price" and it not be because there are things you didn't see, didn't know, or didn't tell us.
I think the blanket advice you will receive is not to buy the car at any price until you have some idea what you are going to have to spend to get it in the condition you want. If the seller has any hesitation about you doing what you need to find that out, they may be hiding something. It's probably not fair to ask for a week with the car to take it here and there before you buy it, but it is reasonable not to buy a pig in a poke. The seller is under no particular obligation to tell you everything that is wrong with the car, and--to be fair--they may not know. Caveat emptor.
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck