Yes, as time goes on their will be less-normal attitude of time on a product
The sale of these cars comes and goes on craig's list, but I'm not after low mileage garage queens with papers.
I buy queens I can tacitly resurrect, and look for a lot of little things others do not see, nor a PPI would NOT see...
That's my philosophy with a slight twist!
Someone on here recently bought a 99 S500 sedan with something like teen miles, for something like mid-20s. God bless em, that's a rare bird, but after all that you're still gonna do thousands in road-ready maintenance and repairs as we've all been over and over and on and on about on these boards.
Like you, I go after the survivors, that may have been rode hard, but also have evidence of at least the bare minimums in the service booklet having been taken care of along the way. I throw out the PPI and go with my gut (you throw out the PPI and go with your fine-tooth comb, which is really the smartest way to do it btw!) because I usually don't find the car I want locally, and I also don't want to let my "rational" head make me regret my gut instinct later. If you know these cars and have years of ownership experience, you know a "clean PPI" and a thorough once-over means one thing - you're still going to miss a few grand of "get it just right" repairs. My "law of averages" "gut ppi" has served me pretty well over the years. Of course, if I'd been in CA, 3k miles away, I'd have been a fool to have not done a PPI, or a once over, but you know what? It would mean I would not have this car today, and I'm glad I toughed it out and have just a few more months of toughing it out before it's as close to 100% as any innately-imperfect old Benz can possibly be.