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Encountered a '73 450SL today for $3500. 155,000 miles. Rough, but very little rust. Interior not too bad. Been sitting for two years. Would not crank for me (in a downpour), but seller says it will but runs rough. Reports tranny to be okay. I walked away (I'm in the midst of another rebuild). However, my experience with 107's is limited, and I have the nagging feeling that I just walked away from a good deal. Any opinions would be hugely appreciated, because if I'm going to change my mind I probably should do it quickly.

Thanks
 

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After sitting for 2 years there could be fuel system issues that can be somewhat expensive to fix.

Now for the rust, when I was looking for a 73 I spoke with my indy and he said "Blown engine, no problem...transmission not working, no problem...rust, that's a problem. No rust!"

Take it for what's it's worth.

I'm sure others will have other thoughts on this.

Good Luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The rust is light surface. The quarter panels and rocker panels are clean. My concern is that with a few unlucky turns, my $3500 could quickly double, at which point I would have been better off with a $7000 cleaner example.
 

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No such thing

There is no such thing as a cheap 107. One way or another, they will need some money to support them.
 

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Walk away from it. A $3500 107 WILL bleed you dry. If you've got a real need for one of these cars, invest the time before you buy- better a little whistful regret then the untold problems that will crop up. At present, these are not investment cars. If this old 450 has some rust and rough running issues, it will immediately outpace its value.

Chief
 

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You will regret it if you buy a car with structural rust. Even surface rust will entail a pricey paint job.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. Sound advice. I will stay away.

These forums are a fantastic resource.
 

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These guys can talk anyone out of buying an sl. I say go back when it sunny and get another good look. Who knows you might be one of us with a driver that they couldn't live without.:)
 

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These guys can talk anyone out of buying an sl. I say go back when it sunny and get another good look. Who knows you might be one of us with a driver that they couldn't live without.:)
I just bought a '78 SLC for $1300. I'm stoked even though I had to replace the alternator and coolant expansion tank the first day. Even if it does need major work down the line, so what? What's the fun of buying a car that works perfectly anyway?

Now the fact that you mentioned your mechanic means that you may not be like me. I enjoy solving problems, working on my cars, and tweaking stuff. I prefer to spend time rather than money. That way when something breaks, I feel better about having fixed it rather than feeling crappy at having just spent a thousand bucks.
 

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I understand your point. I am in the middle of rebuilding a 240D, repairing what parts I can rather than replace them and doing all of the work myself. However, after more than a dozen rebuilds and frame-off (Brit cars, not Mercs) restorations, one thing that I have learned is that the project has to make at least a modicum of financial sense to be viable. Besides, this would have been my 5th mercedes - my house is looking like a used Mercedes lot. :)
 

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I just bought a '78 SLC for $1300. I'm stoked even though I had to replace the alternator and coolant expansion tank the first day. Even if it does need major work down the line, so what? What's the fun of buying a car that works perfectly anyway?

Now the fact that you mentioned your mechanic means that you may not be like me. I enjoy solving problems, working on my cars, and tweaking stuff. I prefer to spend time rather than money. That way when something breaks, I feel better about having fixed it rather than feeling crappy at having just spent a thousand bucks.
I do a lot myself. But a lot of stuff I have my MB Indy guy do it for me. I don't have a lift and didn't buy her as a hobby car. I bought her as a 50th b-day gift to myself, to drive and have fun with. I have achieved this and more.
 

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I have nothing against 450SL's except age. In my opinion a 560SL at $10,000 will be a more economical solution than a $3500 450SL. Especially if you intend to use it as a daily driver as I do. If you are particulare about a 450SL get a perfect one. But figure on about 2/3 the gas milage. If you want bang for the buck the 560SL is the way to go.

John Roncallo
 

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On my '73 450, I got 9 MPG!

And I'll go with what everyone else says on rust. Rust is cancer and it is a liar. It can look like surface rust but run deeper than you think. I know of only one place with any rust on my 380 and when I get the body painted, that panel will be replaced. Even if you sand it down, you can never be sure rust is gone. It's the one word that should nix buying a vintage car faster than anything else.
 

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On my '73 450, I got 9 MPG!

And I'll go with what everyone else says on rust. Rust is cancer and it is a liar. It can look like surface rust but run deeper than you think. I know of only one place with any rust on my 380 and when I get the body painted, that panel will be replaced. Even if you sand it down, you can never be sure rust is gone. It's the one word that should nix buying a vintage car faster than anything else.
There are enough of these 107's around, rust free, that there is no need to fight the rust monster. How many expensive paint jobs have been ruined by rust making a comeback? The only vehicle I ever went thru rust remediation on taught me that lesson. My '79 240D received 1 new oem front fender, and lots of metal replacement. It was no time at all before rust found a home in all kinds of new, previously inspected and treated areas. When you install a new muffler, it's satisfying to look and listen and realize the benefits of your labor. I don't get that from rust repair.

FWIW, my 560SL gets 15-19 mpg on premium.

Chief
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm inclined to agree with roncallo on the 560. That is one reason why I was so quick to run away on the 450. I have a friend with a 30k miles 560SL and it is elegant in a way that you can't buy today.
 
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