Originally Posted by Mercedes Lover
Oh my god
I thought you were just going off on me for getting another car. I guess at 3am it made sense.
Cheers Fonzi Cheers!
Here's a rundown of the vehicles I've purchased in the last five years and their purchase prices:
1) $4700 1973 450sl (reconstructed title, but near #3
condition when done, and sold for $8500)
2) $8000 1978 450slc 5.0 conv, working on getting it to #3
condition, but it is very nice and fun. Drive it anywhere any time, except when it's raining as I'm still waiting to spend $2000 on the custom soft top. Keeping this forever.
3) $3250 1981 280slc 4-speed. Rusty car but unbelievably fun to drive and mechanically sound. Got small side damage and decided not to fix it. Took $3700 insurance money and sold car for $1800.
4) $500 1972 250 sedan. Had tons of fun making the car run right and sold for $750 to a guy that is really refurbishing it and making it a daily driver.
5) $600 1970 250c. Tried hard to get the carbs to make the car run right even though I bought it as a parts car. Never got it farther than running around the block and didn't think parting a w114 would be profitable. Sold for $800. Now it is someone's parts car.
6) $500 1972 250c single owner with no title and rodent damage. It was easy to get it running. Since it was a single owner car with rare options and no cracks in to he dash or rips in the leather, I was able to sell it with no title for $2000 even though it still needs brakes, alternator or wiring fixed, and windshield installed. I probably had a bit over $800 in the car. Just glad to get out of w114 altogether, and gave the guy who bought the sedan all my w114/115 parts.
7) $450 1972 350sl 4.5 parts car. Absolute part car due to the rust and horrible paint, but it was a running car. I stripped it to the bones and it brought me a near instant $1500, and still brings me money today as people are still buying leftover parts from it. I stripped it so far that I only got $42 at $0.07/lb in scrap.
8) $850 1979 280sl apparent rust bucket, turned out to have virtually no rot, just a lot of surface rust. Added spare parts I had and sold the body kit for $500. Then sold the car for $2200 with some decent euro bumpers on it. Since the bumpers are worth an easy $800, this wasn't the killing it sounds like, but a good deal on both sides. The car was purchased as a likely parts car but it had too much damn life left it in.
9) $820 1973 450sl vandalized car. Made it run again and added some spare parts I had. Didn't add too much money to this, but maybe a real expense of an additional $200 in parts. Sold it for about $3150.
10) $4200 1985 280sl 5-speed. These are worth near $15,000 in nice condition and there's no reason I can't get this one there. It's on its way and I always wanted a good MPG 107. This acquisition forced me to unload the 280slc stick that had only 4 speeds and couldn't be justified just because I could fit my whole family in it. The fact is that when I do a lot of miles, my family of five is not in the car. I dumped the 1972 250c at the same time, cutting my collection down to just two cars. It was wonderful.
11) $750 1973 280se 4.5. Having had three of these engines, one in parts in my garage, I was very confident that any issues that this car has I can fix economically. I always loved the w108 style.
12) $300 1974 240d 4-speed parts car. I honestly wish I hadn't done this. I know better than to dabble in w114/115, but I brought the guy who bought the 1971 250 sedan with me, and he saw diamonds in that car. I went out there for a w108 car, but decided to pull the few parts I want from it and drag the w115 home instead. I regret the decision. Now I'm trying to unload these parts I never wanted for myself or will ever use. I am supposedly getting $150 from my buddy Sam, but still have my garage full of parts I don't want. Damn, I knew better than to part out a w114/115 before. I didn't follow my own advice.
I learned the hard way that there's no money to be made in w114/115 cars. They cost just as much to fix up as higher end cars, but just don't ever command higher prices even when in mint condition. I also considered the diesels, but the MPG of the diesels is not so incredible that it even offsets the higher cost of diesel fuel. It looks like the first MB model that provided impressive MPG was the w201 190d 5-speed manual. I considered some, but just felt like it looks too much like a new car to not just buy a new car, like one of the newer Bluetec cars that can get some serious MPG and also provide more modern reliability and creature comforts. So, I just couldn't ever justify becoming a diesel head. I drove my 1985 280sl like it was a sports car over the past few days over about 800 miles. I averaged 21.5 MPG doing 80 MPH most of the way, top up with AC on most of the way.
Sorry for the long message, but I thought the experience might provide you some insight into my good and bad decision car purchases.