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Hey everybody,

I am looking at a 560SEC that does not run. It has 195k on the odo and appears to be in good cosmetic shape. The rear end sags which I assume means the globes are bad. Do you think $1200 is a fair price for this car? I am not sure what it will take to get it running but I know these are pretty stout engines so I'm hoping not a lot.

Thanks!
 

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It's really hard to asses without getting close. The thing is, even if it ran and drove, it could be worth less than $1200, considering how quickly you can blow a budget on parts alone. Beyond that, on a non-running car, the chances of a major mechanical issue are pretty high. Unless there are records to prove it was well maintained until recently, treat it as such. Even if getting it running was simple, at that mileage there's a good chance it's due for a top end job and the transmission gone through. It might still bring close to the asking price – the really cheap SECs seem to be drying up – it's a really big gamble unless the body and interior are perfect though.
 

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@MT_Merc The exterior is in great shape with some slight clearcoat peeling. The interior is good as well with just minor cracking in the wood trim and one tear in the drivers seat bolstering. Cosmetically the car is good, but I don't even really know what it would be worth if it ran and drove. Any idea what people will pay for a nice one with 200k miles?
 

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Any idea of why it is not running or for how long it has not been running? Did it stop running due to poor maintenance or catastrophic failure? Gasoline sitting for too long will turn to shellac in some places that can and will be expensive to cleanse/replace. What is the color combo? No doubt you could part it out and make a few dollars eBay depending. Mine's just now getting broken in at 325k miles.
 

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Any idea of why it is not running or for how long it has not been running? Did it stop running due to poor maintenance or catastrophic failure? Gasoline sitting for too long will turn to shellac in some places that can and will be expensive to cleanse/replace. What is the color combo? No doubt you could part it out and make a few dollars eBay depending. Mine's just now getting broken in at 325k miles.
I believe it quit running due to poor maintenance. I know the owner was good about basic maintenance like oil changes and stuff but knew almost nothing about these cars. The color combo is white over blue, same as my 91 420SEL (with just 100k)!
 

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A 200k non-running, clearcoat issues, cracked wood and ripped seat MB to me is a car that is close to the end of its life. Unless you are an exceptional DIY'r , with paint experience, upholstery experience, wood working experience and have lots (I mean LOTS) of time for a very "special" example just pass it by. Even running in the condition you mentioned it would be a $2500 car at best. Offer $500 and part it out if you have time, storage and patience for such an endeavor. Many parts are NLA and even on ebay used parts are fetching a lot of money. It took me over a month to sell a decent great running euro SEC for $1500.
 

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I guess it all depends on where you live and how much you will need to spend to get it in good shape. In Germany for example, a car that needs a full restoration goes for about 7000-8000$. Where i live, an m117 engine costs 2000$ and a tranny 500$. Restitching the interior + fixing the wood panels would be 2200$~. New paint job + polishing all chrome trim would be 2500$~. A poorly done paint job would be half the price. It's astonishing how cheap these cars can be in the US, i saw that someone recently sold a EU spec car for 4000$ that had missing headlamps, missing front wings and the car itself was rusted through. So in short, in europe any car that is below the 15000$ mark is in bad shape.

Edit: I'll also add, that these cars seem to have steadily increased in value over the last few years. In another 10 years i doubt anyone will be able to find a 1200$ SEC even in the worst condition possible.
 

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I guess it all depends on where you live and how much you will need to spend to get it in good shape. In Germany for example, a car that needs a full restoration goes for about 7000-8000$. Where i live, an m117 engine costs 2000$ and a tranny 500$. Restitching the interior + fixing the wood panels would be 2200$~. New paint job + polishing all chrome trim would be 2500$~. A poorly done paint job would be half the price. It's astonishing how cheap these cars can be in the US, i saw that someone recently sold a EU spec car for 4000$ that had missing headlamps, missing front wings and the car itself was rusted through. So in short, in europe any car that is below the 15000$ mark is in bad shape.

Edit: I'll also add, that these cars seem to have steadily increased in value over the last few years. In another 10 years i doubt anyone will be able to find a 1200$ SEC even in the worst condition possible.
I do hope your are correct but when (not if) gas prices spike again the economy tanks...you'll see many of these fine cars headed to the scrapper like the last time around, cash for clunkers anyone?
 

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@MT_Merc The exterior is in great shape with some slight clearcoat peeling. The interior is good as well with just minor cracking in the wood trim and one tear in the drivers seat bolstering. Cosmetically the car is good, but I don't even really know what it would be worth if it ran and drove. Any idea what people will pay for a nice one with 200k miles?
200k+ is not a big disqualifier in my book. I would could absolutely spending upwards of $10k on a 200k+ car that had a meticulous owner. Sure, it sounds a little crazy at first blush, but my SEC with 240k+ doesn't burn oil and runs great after a top end rebuild. Now, the kind of maintenance I'm talking about isn't just oil changes and new spark plugs now and then. I'm talking about more along these lines:
Valve job at 150-200k miles, along with at least one timing chain and guide job
All ignition wear items replaced in recent history and only non-resistor plugs used
All rubber engine vacuum parts replaced
Engine starts, idles, and revs out properly, no fuel leaks – this will entail a number of parts replaced, but not so much a laundry list of parts
Transmission rebuilt in previous ten years – the transmission may function well past 200k, but original transmissions all leak badly
Full suspension rebuild (ball joints, bushings, shocks of course, SLS spheres)
AC refurbish – either a proper R134 retrofit with flush, all seals and compressor replaced, or ideally, a good R12 setup
All HVAC vacuum actuators replaced and verified functional
All accessories and power items functional, which requires a string of occasional repairs

I'd say at least half those items are likely to need attention regardless of mileage, so while low miles are desirable, they're only a one part of the story. This car doesn't seem to be anywhere near that territory though. I suppose now and then you might luck out with a car that was actually well-maintained most of its life, but just had an owner/mechanic who didn't know how to keep it running. Much more likely is a car that was maintained just enough to keep it on the road until the deferred maintenance added up, in which case you're looking at far more money in repairs than what it'd cost to buy a decent car. So, like others have said, I'd agree the value of the car you're looking at is measured more by how much you could get from the parts – the costs to bring such a car back to a presentable, drivable condition are almost always too much to be recouped. That doesn't mean even someone looking for a project should avoid such a car, but know what you're getting into. Hope this helps clear things up for you!
 
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