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explorer
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Discussion Starter #1
I recently moved to CA from the midwest, and have an interest in taking advantage of the weather. Am considering a convertible, and really like the look of the MB roadsters, but don't know anything about them. Looking at something between $8 - 12k, 1970-1990.

Can someone please tell me the basic differences between the 380, 450 and 560 models? Features, performance, reliability.

Also if you had $8k to spend on one, which would it be and why?

What if you had $12k?

What concerns would you have with the used models?

Is maintenance / repairs going to be costly?

Thanks for whatever information you can give.
 

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280SL 1982
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My advice would be don't buy anything yet, wait until you have at least a basic knowledge ...

My advice would be don't buy anything yet, wait until you have at least a basic knowledge of the cars and the various sub-groups.
Do some research. If you can find it there is a good, and mercifully short, book by L.K.J.Setright about the W107 cars published by Osprey Books here in UK. Amazon could probably find you a copy.
However in very general terms the cars only differed with regard to engine type and size; and as the years went by, detail changes were made to the specification.
As with all MB products the basic vehicle is marketed with a long list of extra cost options. Cars you will see therefore will have some or all, or none fitted. You will need to decide which of them you really want, and go hunting.
The cars also have a generous helping from the corporate parts bin of the period, so mechanical parts are easy to find as they are shared with other models. However because of the complexity of the body structure, repairs are both exensive and the work for a specialist; so walk away from anything you suspect will need bodywork reconstruction. Remember that what on the surface is just a mark in the paint may mean serious damage lurking underneath. There are a lot about, particularly in your part of the world, therefore be very picky about quality of cars you go to see.
If you can find a good one you will not be disapointed they are all great, especially with the the sun shining and the top down.
 

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'89 560SL
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One of the most knowledgeable sources in the country is in your fair state; check the webs...

One of the most knowledgeable sources in the country is in your fair state; check the website oursl.com for some basic info on the cars as well as a number for sale. The usual "no relationship" disclaimer applies, as I've had no contact other than a few emails, but Spencer is known for his expertise.
The advice to educate yourself before looking for a car is well taken; the Benzes of the heyday are great cars but do have their peculiarities, and knowing what to look for and at can save you a chunk of bucks.
 

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explorer
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks

John Gregory, Craigb -

Thanks for the response, I have already looked at the website, and will order the book.

Appreciate the insight.

John
 

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1986 560-SL
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Basic

Pick up a copy of one of my favorite publications:
Hemmings Motor News - has all the prices, parts etc. to give you a good idea.

www.hemmings.com
 
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