My brother in law wanted a convertible and his dad had owned an Allante. I believe Cadillac at the time was claiming to hold its value as well as a Mercedes at that time. Apparently Cadillac had to write my father in law a check for the difference in depreciation between a Mercedes and the allante when he traded it in (or something like that).
When my brother in law had asked me to look at buying an old convertible for him, I think his wife was a little smitten with my red 280sl 5-speed. He had decided to buy an old convertible, but has not time or mechanical proficiency. I knew I’d be helping with maintenance as needed. At his request, I looked a little bit at the allante and the electronic cockpit filled with the GM buttons (that I recall being problematic on my dad’s Oldsmobile’s even when new) made me cringe. It appeared that the a big part of the nostalgia for these vehicles is the space invaders electronics themselves, much of which didn’t seem to work on the examples for sale. I can’t imagine that spares are available for this kind of stuff. Even writing about now it makes me sad and my stomach turns.
He liked my 1992 500sl that I bought for somewhere between $2000 and $2500, and immediately sold the panoramic hardtop for $1500. It has over 150k miles and seemed to repeatedly have issues with the sideways rotors on the front of the camshafts and the temp sensor read hot. Even though I fixed the top hydraulics, I couldn’t in good conscious sell it to him. I found a 52,000 mile 1998 sl500 3 miles from his house for $10,000 that I paid for a dealer PPI on, and in exchange, he gave me the extra set of 18” AMG wheels that came with the car. Sometimes I worry that it wast the Classic he wanted, still not eligible for antique tags. But I think it does have the creature comforts more in line with an allante, AND it is fast, AND it has good climate control. I doubt I’d be able to say all that about a 560sl. But this article sure makes me feel good to see that even the older 560sl crushes an allante when it was brand new. I think our MB are much more likely to be “like new” electrically and mechanically than any Allante ever will be again.
Thanks for posting this article!
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