Why are R129 so cheap to buy????? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Why are R129 so cheap to buy?????

The more I learn about R129 the more I like them and I think those are some of the best cars Mercedes ever built.

So why are they so cheap? I beaten up car can be had for about $2500, $10,000 buys a nice one.

A reasonable SL600 can be found in the $10-$20k range and it is a low volume supercar. A used Pagani with exactly the same engine will be a few hundred thousand (up to millions if AMG tuned). A Porsche 993 of the same vintage will be 4 times that expensive, more fun but less comfort, less safety and it's also a pain to work on.

Do you see them already moving up in price into desirable, collectable category or do we need to wait longer? Or are they destined to be just "old used cars"? thx
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post #2 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 07:11 PM
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Funny you should ask...

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Where is it again that we are going... And why are we in a handbasket?
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post #3 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 07:16 PM
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Same reason, I gather, why other M-B's are so inexpensive--the reputation for expensive maintenance You oughta also look at the W220 sedans if you want to see some serious depreciation.

2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--second W220 project car, just for fun--decided to keep it after all)
2003 S600 (third w220 project car, the sports car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)

Formerly--AND ONCE AGAIN! (I just married the girl):
2000 S500 (best friend's--now WIFE's--DD: my first W220 project car, once gone to, AND NOW RETURNED FROM, an excellent home--welcome back home, baby!)
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post #4 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 07:25 PM
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I have a theory that it's because they all suffer the same cancer - an automatic soft top that is either a) broken, or b) about to break. All valuable Mercedes convertibles have a manual top. All automatic top Mercedes convertibles have a depressed market value. Not coincidence I think.

Of course some 129 models suffer multiple cancers, without naming names.
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post #5 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 07:34 PM
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Unless you have some pretty good mechanical skills, or a big bucket of money in which to pour into your car, the R129 is not the right car for you.
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post #6 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 09:08 PM
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With any of these cars(no matter the engine) do not get one with the coffee/caramel/blue interior as they are obsolete-cannot buy interior parts in those colors.

With the 600's understand the "fan" on the clutch fan is no long made either, and for some funny reason I've replaced two. They crack on the M120's. They are made of magnesium. 93-95 M120 engine cars the MAF harness fails, and it is no longer made. The injector harness can be rebuilt, but a limited supply exist on those. By now most M120 cars (W140 too) will need the vacuum plumbing replaced under the intake as the plastic elbows crack-open, so one has to take the intake manifold, so you will need a intake manifold gasket set, but wait... You are "dam if you don't, and dam if you do" with the four knock sensors under the intake on the heads, so wise to spend the $800 or so on new knock sensors....

No aftermarket parts, so you tear a bumper cover you will pay dearly. Radiator will cost a mint too. One has to get the top hydraulic cylinder rams rebuilt because replacing them all may cost you $8k to $10k for new ones and they are good for 15 to 20 years...

You got to pay to play R129..

Watch out for those with mechanical injection cars-hard to fix. I would never get anything less than a 94(nothing with a mechanical odometer), but i would really stay with 97 and above, but now you run the risk of not getting key-fobs from the dealer, so get a car with the two key fobs ...

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Last edited by MAVA; 12-05-2017 at 09:17 PM.
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post #7 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 09:09 PM
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They are so cheap because they made too many of them over a long period of time - 250 000 units or so.

But considering they were virtually hand made and if one finds a well maintained model in good overall condition then you have one of the best made vehicles that Mercedes ever built and certainly one of the safest sports cars.

Lastly any vehicle is as good as how the various owners drove them - I would imagine that it is now becoming more and more difficult to find the diamonds in the rough
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post #8 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-05-2017, 11:50 PM
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Supply and demand - that is simple. More on the market than people want so price point goes down to make demand.

Trying to predict what they will do in the future is a fools errand - I suspect like the R107 in 15-20 years good ones will be going up but you won't retire on the proceeds.

I have both spent lot on shops and done a lot of my own work - but I would trust this car at 21 years old and 185,000 miles to take me anywhere with a minimum of fanfare.
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post #9 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 02:56 AM
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Originally Posted by George993 View Post
The more I learn about R129 the more I like them and I think those are some of the best cars Mercedes ever built.

So why are they so cheap? I beaten up car can be had for about $2500, $10,000 buys a nice one.
Do you plan to buy one?
These are not "rare" cars as much as some w124-500E can be, so I would say that speculating on a w129 is not a wise option. Despite that, I fully agree with what you say about these being some of the best cars ever made by MB. In that perspective, buying a w129 for driving experience and pleasure is definitely a perfect option!

Market supply and demand balance explains the (yo-yo) price, and once again I fully agree with you, they are cheap. Reason is (IMHO) they are just becoming yougtimers, but the w107 version is now becoming much more appreciated than ever, eclipsing a little bit its young daughter. I bet in 10 years or less, the cursor on the love-scale of the w129 will be much higher. Another reason is that, when they are cheap to buy, that is because they will be expensive to maitain in perfect condition. Spare parts are horribly expensive (I purchased a couple of them, you need to plan a reasonnable amount of USD), and except if you DIY on the car, very few mechanics will have knowledge to service/fix the car, the ones being able to do it will charge you heavy working hours.

Happy to welcome you in a near future onboard the w129 section.

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post #10 of 41 (permalink) Old 12-06-2017, 09:11 AM
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Depends somewhat on your location. Nice ones aren't that cheap around here. They were very expensive new, due to currency exchange rates at the time, so were not as common as in other places. But there are factors that lower their price. There is the perceived anticipated high cost of maintenance. I say "perceived", because in my experience, my 2001 has been very reliable. And when I have made repairs, I found that parts are no more expensive and no less available than they are for other cars. And this car is easy to work on.

We also have some SLs on the roads here that are real worn out crap, because the young guys ship old used cars incredibly cheap from Japan. Canada has a rule that allows cars older than 15 years to be imported without having to meet all the latest Canadian requirements for safety, emissions, etc. Meanwhile I believe Japan has a system whereby annual car registration/license fees increase significantly each year the car gets older, so they are incented to dump them cheap. Some people have asked me if my pristine 2001 SL500 "is Japanese". I chuckle and tell them "no, it is German" (Mine was originally sold new in California). But I know what they mean.
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