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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have just listed this car on eBay.

Here is my 300SEL that I have for sale. It was hit in the back by a Porsche and was pushed into an SUV in front. The rear end is bent pretty much and the rear suspension (or the mounts anyway) is twisted. The front would be repairable but the back would be way too much work I think. It is now a really good parts car.

The car was in very nice condition. It has 84,986 miles, ran great, looked great and everything worked.

Here are more pictures:
1990 Mercedes 300SEL Exterior
1990 Mercedes 300SEL Interior

I really would like to keep it all together rather than take the time to part it out. If I can't find anyone for that I would split it up three ways: Interior, Doors & Fenders and Motor, Transmission, Wheels and Rolling Chassis. I also would really like to avoid shipping anything large so hopefully you can come and pickup the parts here in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.

Interior including seats, door panels, headliner carpet, dash, instruments and pretty much everything inside the cabin except the steering wheel. $700

Doors, all four and two front fenders $400

Motor, transmission, suspension, wheels with 4 very good Michelin Pilots and what's left on the rolling chassis. $1000

Everything (except for catalytic converters) for $1700.

If I don't sell it this way I will consider piecing it out but I am hoping to sell it in the fewest number of pieces. Because of my schedule I do not have much time for disassembling the car and shipping parts.

From the pictures you should get a pretty good idea of how the body and interior look. They are both very nice. The motor runs fine and has been well maintained. The transmission shifts fine. I never had any problem with either one. The tires have about 10,000 miles on them but are still very good.

Thanks,

Colin Miller
[email protected]
 

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You should part it. You will make far more $$$ doing it that way.

Would you be willing to sell the center wood shift console alone? I REALLY need a good condition piece (no cracks or peeling).
 

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I'd hate to see that car parted out, I hope you can find the means to fix it back to its former glory. I think with that kind of car in that condition (or previously at least) it still has a lot of potential and life left in it. Good luck with your decision!
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
It was a really nice car with a lot of life left in it. Fixing the front would be fairly simple, mostly just bolt on parts. The front fenders are even fine. The back is where the real work would be. Pretty much all of the uni-body from the front of the rear wheel arch on back would have to be replaced. Both rear doors still open and close easily but the floor of the trunk and rear suspension mounts are bent up. It was hit pretty hard.

It would be very much easier to just transfer all the nice parts of this car to a tired but clean and sound chassis.

Dollar-wise insurance was OK but I agree it is a shame to see a nice one like this retired.

To those inquiring about the wood: The clear coat finish on it is somewhat cloudy (especially the long piece on the dash) . It is good but not as nice as the rest of the interior. The wood on the door panels is nicer than than the dash.

Colin
 

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Damn, I wish you were closer...I need those wheels. My car has a set that the provious owner painted gunmetal grey... -_-
 

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You can have wheels refinished for about $100-150 per wheel. Or you can find ones in reasonable condition for sale as well, or even take the opportunity to "upgrade"!
 

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Colin I know of a 85 300SD with 223000 here that needs an interior. I think the guy wants $1000 for. I don't know if you are looking for another.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
At least here in PA insurance companies are very quick to total cars, especially if they are more than a few years old. I think that this is mostly due to state laws put in place by the industry and fears of liability on cars that were repaired by them. The way the laws are written, the insurance company can total your car without telling you and say that they cannot pay you anything for the claim unless you turn the car over to them or give them a copy of the salvage certificate. The salvage certificate takes a few weeks to get from Harrisburg and then you have to get a reconstructed title before the car is legal to drive again. To get the r-title the car must be taken to a special inspection shop (not just any state inspection shop) and there is a lot of paperwork that they must do and submit to Harrisburg -at your expense of course.

The extent of the damage to the vehicle also does not directly determine whether the car will be totalled either. This is only determined by the formula "cost of repair vs. value of car". Basically it sounds like common sense but the way it is distorted by the state laws and company practices, it ends up being very unreasonable in many cases.

The "cost of repair" is interpreted to mean "the highest possible estimate so that our lawyers can say that we got the best possible job done for the customer". While I would appreciate their willingness to get the job done right, there is room for some common sense here. Taking the example of a light collision to just the front of a W126. The insurance adjuster will probably go with numbers based on a dealer repair with original parts. Dealer parts prices: Hood $1500, Grill $400, Headlights $600 each, Radiator $450, Auxiliary Fan $200, A/C Condensor $400 plus miscellaneous little stuff and 40 hours of shop time. Of course there are no discounts here because the shop knows the insurance company is paying.

"Value of the car" While establishing the value of an older car is a rather slippery business, the use of "book values" leaves a lot to be desired. While most used car buyers (especially with Mercedes) say that they would follow the conventional wisdom of "buying the best example you can afford," but when it comes down to actually making the deal they will pay no more than a low-ball price. The best examples still often go to those willing to pay for them. These cars do not show up in the price books.

So in real life the cost of repair is greatly inflated and the value of the car is greatly undervalued. This leads to a lot of cars getting totaled because it is not only simpler but the insurance company and the shops have adjusted their business (by increased prices) to be profitable on average with this distortion caused by the law. I was told directly that even if there was a lower estimate that you would accept to do the work we would still not be able to pay you anything until we have proof that the car was totaled with the state because if they audited us we would get in trouble.

In this particular case nobody wins: The shop does not get the job (this time). The insurance company pays thousands more than it would have to. The customer is really annoyed at having to total a very good car for a minor repair. --Another "victory" for the state--

Colin

P.S. This is a simplified but accurate description of the way things work here in PA.
 
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