It's time to officially unveil my most recent purchase. Today I brought home a 1985 (edit: 1984, not 1985) 280SL five speed with a Lorinser kit (front and rear only).
I had previously eliminated r107 cars from my potential keepers because we have three children. The only cars I had considered keeping seat five. But none of my cars were five speeds with overdrive. While fuel economy is not super important due to the low number of miles I drive, whenever I make long trips I always take my Honda Ridgeline which gets 20 mpg tops. That is significantly better than anything I've got. The 280 SLC four-speed might come close and is a lot of fun to drive. But it is hard to justify taking it over a very comfortable much larger vehicle that gets about the same or better fuel economy and takes regular gas. So I was always seeking ways to get a five speed convertible. I may not have been actually seeking to 80 SL five speed, but when this one came along I had to check it out. The price was so good that I considered even possibly buying the car if it was a rustbucket.
Several weeks ago I went to see the car less than 24 hours after the initial craigslist post. I was very surprised to find the car, even though it was advertised as having rust, was mostly rust free. Rust spots include:
– Driver fender where fender meets bottom of headlight behind bumper
- passenger fender in rhythm section in front of door
- apparently rotted out bottom rear of hardtop
- small rear corner of the driver door
I believe all of the above with the exception of the hardtop can be remediated simply by grinding down rust bubbles and repainting. Of course the hardtop probably makes most sense to simply replace. Overall this could potential he be the most rust free mercedes-Benz I ever purchased. I have owned several Mercedes that have not had any rust in the cosmetic body paint like this one does. However it appears the underbody and trunk of this vehicle are 100% rust free. Further inspections are required, but the car is much cleaner then I required to make this purchase.
Mechanically the car seems very sound but does have a few problems.
- The temperature gage shoots all the way up and sticks when it hits 80° see.
- The odometer has stopped working at 59,000 miles
- driver seat heater does not seem to heat.
I am unaware of any other significant problems at this point. The car drives very well. I was told by the owner who just bought the car from a colleague a few months ago (for $1200 on paper) that the mileage is most accurately estimated as about 80,000 miles.
Now the interior does tell a different story.
- The armrest leather is ripped.
- The mushroom leather seats look very worn, but are not ripped.
- The dash has some cracks in it.
Perhaps the top was left down in the rain a few too many times.
I got a carfax on the car and the car only had one period where the car didn't have regular registrations between 2003 and 2008. Records began in Florida in 2000 with about 38,000 miles, and continued up to about ~41,000 miles in Delaware. Apparently the girl who owned the car in Delaware got the car from her dad who lived in Florida. Federalization paperwork shows an odometer reading of 213 miles in ~April 1985, but does call it a 1984 model. The VIN is 1070421A016324 . I was fortunate to get the information of the previous owner, the girl who got the car from her father who I believe imported the car, along with a photocopy of her title. Overall, I am VERY pleased with the history I received, as I may be able to track down the maintenance records, even though I got the car for a price that didn't include them.
Oh. The rockers have no Lorinser sides. Strange. The rockers also appear to have been painted. The red paint appears to possibly be original. I'm not sure though.
I plan to remove the lorinser kit and install the red 560sl air dam that I have. I don't like bundt so I will certainly change the wheels, but I'm not sure if I will do this before or after removing the body kit.
That's enough for now. How about pictures? Right?