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BMW 635CSi 5-speed
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Discussion Starter #1
Awhile back I posted on wanting to buy a 560SEC. Well, I'm flying out to california on may 19th with my friend. I live in St. Louis and I plan on buying the SEC out there in the San Francisco bay area and driving it all the way back.(road trip woohoo!) plane tickets/itenerary are already set up and now I just need to find a car. My uncle and his friend are going to help me somewhat to find it but if there is anyone else who could direct me to a good deal/etc in that area, then let me know!

mclare gave me some great advice before, unfortunately I'm not going to be going to L.A. though so i wouldn't be able to get the car there with his help. :(

i'd prefer the car to have under 130,000 miles-the lower the better.


anyone in the bay area who can help me find the car of my dreams?

Thanks!
Henry
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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Bondavi I think still has a very nice 199 SEC.
 

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1966 250SE Cab, 1989 500SEL euro
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Crap, all by the 19th? You'll need to be very vigilant and constantly check forums, craigslist, cars.com, autotrader, and the recycler.
 

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Current: 1987 560 SEC US, former factory trained MB tech 10 years, owner of 14 others.
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723 Posts
Do a craigslist search prior to goin out and definitely make a few calls to some dealers letting them know you will be there to BUY! They will then get on the phone and call people who might want to trade up. A win-win-win deal.

That is the best way to get a dealer-serviced cream-puff. :cool:
 

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BMW 635CSi 5-speed
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Discussion Starter #5

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1982 500SL AMG "Darmstadt Branch"
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Remember the first thing after a PPI is to make sure you have Copper fuses NOT aluminum. Good luck on your search!
 

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1985 500 SEC EURO AMG/LORINSER; 1988 560SEL, 1995 S500 Sonderschutz
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I think the best experience for you before buying a car is to check out A LOT of similar cars (i.e. more SECs). After reading the buyers guide and test driving, inspecting other cars, you'll start to gain an awareness of what to look for, what matters, what doesn't matter, what's common among the cars, the sound of the engine, the feel of the throttle. I have been looking at every SEL and SEC in my area just to get an understanding of how different cars vary. Noting the mileage and what it needs is great preventative maintenance awareness and you get an idea of how the ride SHOULD feel and how it SHOULDN'T feel.
 

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'87 560SEC: '86 AMG 560SEC: '87 560SEL - PAST: Heckflosse 190 & 230S
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One more factor...

As much as the standard 'good practices' in used-W126 shopping, I'd put further premium on buying from someone who participates positively here on the board. Someone who knows & loves these cars, who is more likely to give an honest warts-and-all assessment, and who may even care enuff to consider what kinda 'home' their car is going to.

@Firewater; didn't you say that this is only the 2nd car you've ever owned ?
 

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1985 500 SEC EURO AMG/LORINSER; 1988 560SEL, 1995 S500 Sonderschutz
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As much as the standard 'good practices' in used-W126 shopping, I'd put further premium on buying from someone who participates positively here on the board. Someone who knows & loves these cars, who is more likely to give an honest warts-and-all assessment, and who may even care enuff to consider what kinda 'home' their car is going to.

@Firewater; didn't you say that this is only the 2nd car you've ever owned ?
That's true. What's I'm saying is that since the accident I've been looking at pretty much any and all w126's around this area and even some as far as NYC. I've test driven them, or just checked out certain things if they weren't running and really got an idea of what you usually get for your pricepoint. I've learned a lot about what to look at by going to see the first one, then afterwards I usually say "shoot, i forgot to look at such and such." I've been looking for a cheap parts car for a while and assessing what I could sell off and at what price.
 

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'87 560SEC: '86 AMG 560SEC: '87 560SEL - PAST: Heckflosse 190 & 230S
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1,479 Posts
S'all good

@Firewater: Which is good due diligence on your part, and the ideal way to go about it - with the luxury of time.

But if I was flying out-of-state, without a specific car already lined-up in advance, a slightly different approach may be warranted. I'm just saying I'd consider a member's car for sale here more favorably, than say at least half-dozen of the Craigslist ads you'll see ;)
 

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'84 500 SEC Euro 040 black Lorinser 2005 sl500
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You could also rely on the members here in the greater LA area to broaden your search. If you see one in the LA area, a member could get you all the pictures and history of the car you want and maybe take it for a PPI for you if you found one that you can't live without.

Flights are only $49.00 one way from Bay area to LA/Orange County on Virgin America...pop down, buy it and drive back up to the Bay area all in one day and finish out your vacation with your uncle.

Just a thought on how to get the most out of your quest.

Greg
Just a thought
 

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'82 Euro 500SEL, '85 Euro 500SEC AMG WB Cabriolet,'86 Euro 500SEC RUF
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That last one looks the best to me. Nice car. the one with tan interior is actually Mushroom or creame beige with Tan being Palomino.
 

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2012 CL550 4MATIC Coupe
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You could also rely on the members here in the greater LA area to broaden your search. If you see one in the LA area, a member could get you all the pictures and history of the car you want and maybe take it for a PPI for you if you found one that you can't live without.

Flights are only $49.00 one way from Bay area to LA/Orange County on Virgin America...pop down, buy it and drive back up to the Bay area all in one day and finish out your vacation with your uncle.

Just a thought on how to get the most out of your quest.

Greg
Just a thought
My thoughts too Greg. I suggested and offered this to him a couple of months ago. I hope he takes me up on it.
 

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1985 500 SEC EURO AMG/LORINSER; 1988 560SEL, 1995 S500 Sonderschutz
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why don't these jerks put mileage in their craigslist ads?
 

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BMW 635CSi 5-speed
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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
why don't these jerks put mileage in their craigslist ads?
I was just gonna say the same thing.

that one with the tan/cream beige/whatever the hell color/ looks excellent to me. i wonder about the mileage?

OH and I'd be happy with a tan interior, black, brown, and burgundy. grey is the only one which i don't particularly care for but if it comes down to it and i find the right car (with grey interior) for the price then i will buy.

the problem with going to L.A. is that I don't have a place to stay there, and if I didn't find a car right on the first day i'd be stuck. I don't have that much extra time on my trip, my relatives take priority. I like the flexibility of being able to back out of a deal, which I can do in San Francisco since I have more time. hmmm. :confused:
 

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1990 560 SEC(gone but not forgoten) 1988 560SL 1998 E320 4matic wagon
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Above all else check for water leaks and rot. A lot of the cars Ive looked at are rotten under the back window this is caused by the rear window gasket leaking. You need to get in the trunk and look under the back shelf area. Trunk leaks are a major pain in the butt. Also at the corners of the front windshield the water goes down into a plastic funnel strainer type thing debris collects under it and makes that area rot out. Lift the plastic back and look underneath.
My daughter drives the sec she is now known as the U boat commander because the car leaks so bad in the rain. Before I fixed the rot holes at the windshield in a heavy rain she would open the door and the water would pour out. And this is a newer relativly 1990 with 115k on it.
Good luck
 

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Hey cleeves buddy, I did the same thing with the same car that you are about to do a year ago. Bought my 560sec in Seattle, WA and drove back to Belleville, Il. I love my sec and am sure you will love yours. There is a good link on mbcoupes that is a good resource for those wanting to buy an sec.
Just click on the nice looking sec and then click on Buyers guide.
Id love to see your car when you get it.
 
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