I recently acquired an 84 500 SL sitting for a long time. The car has spent its life in Texas and was owned by an oil exec in Houston. The odo shows ~180K.
I am not exactly sure how long the car sat, but the last sticker on the window is from 1997, and a set of plates in the trunk from 1990. It was kept in a garage, from what I can tell, for a number of years.
In 2020 the original owner's daughter had the car towed to a shop in San Antonio for service. From what I can see, they worked on the fuel system, but I am unsure if they ever got it to run properly. It then sat for another three years, presumably outside.
I had the car towed from Houston to Austin yesterday, and today I took a closer look at it.
It has euro lights with wipers
BBS Wheels (including two wrenches for the center nut)
Dash is in really good shape
The front seats were covered with sheepskin and were in good shape.
The body is free of rust that I can see.
The interior has been exposed to a leaky top and is quite filthy
There are a couple of dents
The paint is oxidized and faded and looks like it's had some work in the past.
The only light inside the car that works is in the passenger footwell
All of the dash backlighting is out
The gas gauge is not working
The carpet in the trunk is shot
Radio is dead
The soft top is shot
Hard top needs trim work
The drivers door pocket is broken off
Trim at the driver's door sill is damaged from a broken door pocket
Under the hood has white chalky oxidation on anything aluminum, and I can see that something was making a meal out of some of the wires and vacuum lines.
When replacing the battery, I noticed the brake lines were corroded, where they passed near the battery.
The electric fan is broken
The exhaust is hanging down because the rubber donuts are gone
Actually, the bad list is long..
I put a battery in it and gave it a whirl. It cranked but did not fire. I put a splash of gas in the throat of the intake, and it fired for a moment, then died. I put a few gallons of fresh gas in the tank and another splash of gas, and it fired; this time, it ran for much longer and then died. Subsequent restarts would get the engine to run briefly.
I did not pay much for the car and need to decide if it's worth restoration or if I should take its good parts. I have an 86 560 that would look great with the BBS wheels, euro bumpers and lights. On the other hand, I hate to see the car parted out.
For now, I am going to work on getting it into a running state.