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1989 560 SL
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am restoring my 560SL to a daily driver that will also maintain its value. My cars stereo is not fully functional and needs to be replaced. Is there real value in making sure a replacement is a period correct Becker or is a good modern stereo (that doesn’t change colors, or flash and spin blazing fireworks) going to not deter from its value?

All options are welcomed
 

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2015 ML250 Bluetec | 1987 560 SL | 2019 GLC 300 | Prev: | 2002 ML 500 | 2012 C250 | 1998 C230
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1,516 Posts
So I am restoring my 560SL to a daily driver that will also maintain its value. My cars stereo is not fully functional and needs to be replaced. Is there real value in making sure a replacement is a period correct Becker or is a good modern stereo (that doesn’t change colors, or flash and spin blazing fireworks) going to not deter from its value?

All options are welcomed
Personally it always bothers me when I see something new in a 35 year old car as it looks out of place, and believe several here will share the sentiment and have a story when looking for one of these cars, finding one with an aftermarket HU, and asking the seller "do you have the original radio?"

What I personally think adds value is the Becker + Bluetooth mod. Works just the same as any modern HU IMHO.
 

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1987 560SL (L.Tonk) [95,000 miles]
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607 Posts
The Continental and Kienzle models offer a good compromise but I find neither quite matched the period character of the original Becker. You could keep the original in case it’s needed at time of sale.

I have plan to keep the Becker for radio & cassettes but put in an additional headless system in parallel for mp3/BT.
 

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1989 560 SL
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25 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My car actually has a late 80’s Sony XR-7400 must have been put in at time of purchase or soon thereafter.
 

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1988 560sl
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343 Posts
The Continental and Kienzle models offer a good compromise but I find neither quite matched the period character of the original Becker. You could keep the original in case it’s needed at time of sale.

I have plan to keep the Becker for radio & cassettes but put in an additional headless system in parallel for mp3/BT.
I had the Becker people add Bluetooth to my original deck. It is pretty painless. No monkeying with parallel systems. $150 ordered through ebay. Couldn't buy a new matching deck for that either.
 

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1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
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1,295 Posts
I told my wife we were getting a new radio for the car - she was excited about an upgrade from the 1980s model. I never mentioned an 'upgrade' so I clarified it would have 1970s AM, FM and cassette. She was not impressed! LOL Andy
 

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Premium Member
1976 450SL, 1992 190e 2.3, 1984 300D turbo, 1966 VW bus
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914 Posts
When evaluating an old Mercedes, I have passed over cars without the original radio. It's not always a deal breaker but It bothers me a lot.

Most of the aftermarket radios are installed poorly with hacked wiring by the 16 year old installer at best buy. Not to mention the hideous design and flashing lights bullshit.

For example my 190e had an aftermarket radio poorly installed and they ruined all the wiring behind the console. The car came from factory with a very nice 6 speaker alpine system with active bass, amplifier etc.

When I got in there to try and revert everything to factory I was unable to. It was just too far butchered. I could have cried I was so mad.

I like to keep factory radio. Get new correct speakers, add bluetooth or aux in, and be done with it.
 

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1985 280SL (Euro)
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443 Posts
Much ado about nothing. I bought my car with a Bosch stereo complete with CD player. I even thought, being Bosch, that it was original equipment until I learned better. However, it looks neat, just as if it had always belonged, works just fine and unless one is anal about originality, I can't see any problems. BTW why the insistence on original radios when so many 107's sport custom wheels, tires, steering wheels, Recarro seats, Euro or tucked bumpers etc. etc.?
 

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1986 560SL
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264 Posts
Since the question is whether an OE radio adds to the car's value, I'll bet that for the majority of SLs in the "daily driver" category, the answer is 'not really'. For low-mileage, esoteric show-cars, then sure.
 

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Premium Member
1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
Initially I wanted to keep the original radio but it was so lousy I didn't want to listen to it. It finally decided it was my car to enjoy so I got a nice head unit added amplifier and speakers setting in back shelf. I think it actually looks better than the original but that is a matter of taste and now I do listen to the radio, Spotify or USB library and enjoy driving it more! I have the old radio so if I decide to sell it or my relatives do when I die it can be easily replace. I have made several other changes like replacing the Chrysler climate control servo that has to be replaced every few years with the Unwiredtools ACCII kit.
The design of the R107 is timeless. It is not like a model A or a 1950 Buick. It's just as appealing today as it was in the 70's or 80's. Today most cars look like almost identical washing machines.

I just no longer have the keep it original fever. I only make changes that can easily be reversed. The exception is climate control servo but even that still looks original except for what is under the hood.
 

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1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
So does this radio look out of place ? To me the old one looks out of place. It's just a matter of taste which is not explainable. To me the new one with blue on black background matches the interior better. The old Becker matches nothing.
Car Vehicle Gear shift Motor vehicle Steering wheel
Vehicle Speedometer Car Gauge Steering wheel
 

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1974 450SL (US), 2005 SLK200 (UK)
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1,295 Posts
Much ado about nothing. I bought my car with a Bosch stereo complete with CD player. I even thought, being Bosch, that it was original equipment until I learned better. However, it looks neat, just as if it had always belonged, works just fine and unless one is anal about originality, I can't see any problems. BTW why the insistence on original radios when so many 107's sport custom wheels, tires, steering wheels, Recarro seats, Euro or tucked bumpers etc. etc.?
I like the fact that the knobs on my radio match perfectly the knobs on the dashboard - they were clearly designed by MB and Becker to go together.

Euro bumpers are what the designers of these cars originally intended them to look like. Even though we call them 'euro' the first couple of years of US models had them as well.

Andy
 

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Banned
W209, W208, R170, previous W202
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116 Posts
You can find a old school radio with new functions...
like the ones from Continental
Have one Sony im my old w202, and simply hate that radio...

Check this link...

but there're other brands to choose from...search for it
 

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Premium Member
1980 450 SL
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417 Posts
I like the fact that the knobs on my radio match perfectly the knobs on the dashboard - they were clearly designed by MB and Becker to go together.

Euro bumpers are what the designers of these cars originally intended them to look like. Even though we call them 'euro' the first couple of years of US models had them as well.

Andy
I guess it depends on the year and model for the knobs matching. There are no knobs on the 80 450SL except the top latch release which does not match the radio knobs. The break release pull is sort of a knob but it matches nothing.
 

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1987 300SL
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1,459 Posts
To the casual observer the Continental head unit doesn't stand out. There was a Clarion unit in there when I bought the car, that did look crap and got replaced pretty quickly with this. And as a bonus, the unit has the same colour (orange/yellow) lighting as the rest of the dash

Car Gear shift Motor vehicle Steering wheel Steering part
 

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W209, W208, R170, previous W202
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116 Posts
in my opinion it doesn't need to stand up, but only the perfect combination (style/lighting) that goes well with an older car, but having some new features available on newer models.
Only what I think of it...
 

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Premium Member
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266 Posts
The question is "How much value will you get out of a new radio compared to potential possible resale value in the future?"

How much value do you think the car has? Is it really rare and exciting enough to be a valuable collector car? I don't know for this car - maybe it is!

How much value does a more modern radio have to you in this car? Is it your daily driver? Personally, I want a more modern radio in my daily driver, but if this isn't your daily driver (or you don't have a tedious daily commute) then the more complex functions might not matter to you.

And, I hate to say this, but it is the truth: Sometimes bad things happen to cars and they wind up worth nothing, factory radio or not. Is it worth putting up with a minor annoyance which migit wind up being moot anyway? Roads are dangerous places. Even garages can have disasters happen in them.

I do agree with all the others who've said that it's good to keep something along the same lines of the car - a bright blue LCD screen will look weird in that space - but there are choices like the Continental or the hidden/headless systems some of the hot rod guys use that will give you an appropriate look.

If your factory radio is working, just doesn't do things you want, then a hidden system might be just what you need to get the best of both worlds.

If the factory radio is busted, personally I think keeping it "original" but broken has no value. A style-appropriate replacement that works would be an improvement over a dead factory radio. And if you're worried about value, keep it for the next owner who might really want to have the factory unit repaired and go full original.

Edited to add: The photos of the original Becker just loaded for me. I personally find it a very unappealing, dated look that doesn't suit the rest of the car. The Contenential fits as well or better, IMO. But that's my sense of taste, and not yours, and it's not my car, so what I think about it hardly matters. Either (or something different) is an understandable choice.
 

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1987 300SL
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1,459 Posts
in my opinion it doesn't need to stand up, but only the perfect combination (style/lighting) that goes well with an older car, but having some new features available on newer models.
Only what I think of it...
I probably didn't explain myself properly Roberto. I love the Continental head unit. Looks good, sounds good, modern features, lighting matches the car dash lights. Ticks all the boxes for me
 

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W209, W208, R170, previous W202
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116 Posts
I probably didn't explain myself properly Roberto. I love the Continental head unit. Looks good, sounds good, modern features, lighting matches the car dash lights. Ticks all the boxes for me
I like them too, I just thought that you prefer a more fashion model... sorry for that ;)
 
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