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Discussion Starter #1
First I would like to say hello to all I have been lurking awhile and just recently registered here on your great forum.

I am about to purchase a used SL around 1985 to 1989. I want to spend between 10,000 to 19,000. I have checked a few local dealers and on-line traders and my price range seems about right. I was hoping to be able to get some insight from you all on what to look for. Of course I will have a trusted mechanic check out the car prior to purchasing it, but I'm so new to MB that I'm not even sure if there are any issues or problems with this model and year range. I have always owned German cars VW's, BMW's and now have 2000 Audi S4 that my wife is driving. I'm stuck with an old Ford Exploror for my work commute but want something a bit nicer. My Commute is only 10 miles each way and we live in warm weather climate. I'm not sure why I'm set on the SL I have always liked the looks, wanted a convertable and have always been impressed with older MB quality. With all that being said any opinions or suggestions regarding what year and type of SL I should be looking for would greatly appreciated. Finally, can you commit on my price rage meaning am I in the correct range

Regards,

Vin
 

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One of the BW Old Guard/R129, W204 Moderator
1997 SL500- 40th Anniversary
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7,162 Posts
I suggest you peruse the r107 forum here, at mercedesshop.com, and sl107.com for what owners are saying and reporting... Best research I can suggest. Once satisfied, navigate over to oursl.com for more research and information...

If you are DIY inclined, and you enjoy car care, the 107 series benz can be a delight. If you are the type who wants to "turn the key and go", hands-off owner, the 107 may not be for you.

Good luck... You should be able to find a "cherry" in your budget range posted. Make your choice with your heart, your decision with your head and you'll be fine.
 

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'89 560SL
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47 Posts
Mine is an '89 560SL, with 156K on the clock. It's my daily driver in the summer, pretty much, and I have no hesitation taking it wherever I may need to go--across town or across the state. Your budget will allow you to consider some pretty cherry vehicles with relatively low mileage--though MBs don't like sitting in the garage for long periods. A full maintenance history is key, and worth considering in the price.
Key points to check, besides the usual rust issues: Timing chain and guides, which should be replaced about every 100K miles. This is the only unique but engine-killing quirk on these cars.
Plan on allowing $2-3K to fix stuff that needs attention, pretty much regardless of who owned it previously.
Once it's sorted out, it's as reliable as anything you could have, in my experience. Pay attention to the maintenance and they'll last nearly forever.

The best in-a-nutshell review article written, IMHO, was Road & Track in 1994. It's at this link: http://fly.hiwaay.net/~gbf/107/rt.html
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have changed my targetat bit now i'm looking at purchasing either 107 or 129 SL. I have been reading as much information as I can find regarding these two designs. After looking at pricing for late model 107's (85-89) and early model 129 (90-92) it appears that the pricing is comparable and with-in my target price of range $10,000.00 to $17,000.00. I'm looking for a reliable, fun daily driver. I was at first leaning toward the 107 but I was surprised to find a few 129's within my range as well. Due to rising fuel costs I'm targeting a 6 cylinder so the SL320 or the 380SL appear at this time to the models I'm considering. Any help, suggestions, information or past experiences you could offer in helping me make my decision would greatly appreciate.

Thanks
 

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R107 1986 300SL Euro
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64 Posts
Why don't you try a grey market R107 280SL? It has the 6 cylinder engine you're after and was made until 1985. Or you could try for a Euro 300SL (R107 again) which was produced 86-89.
There are sure to be some in the US, you can go to oursl.com and check out prices and vehicles.
Also 6 cylinder engine, single ohc unlike 280 - twin ohc.
It's probably got the same power as a US 450SL and delivers 18-26 mpg....
Something to consider maybe.

Best of luck,

James
 

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83 Astral Silver 280 SL
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28,829 Posts
Builder - 5/9/2005 9:48 AM

I have changed my targetat bit now i'm looking at purchasing either 107 or 129 SL. I have been reading as much information as I can find regarding these two designs. After looking at pricing for late model 107's (85-89) and early model 129 (90-92) it appears that the pricing is comparable and with-in my target price of range $10,000.00 to $17,000.00. I'm looking for a reliable, fun daily driver. I was at first leaning toward the 107 but I was surprised to find a few 129's within my range as well. Due to rising fuel costs I'm targeting a 6 cylinder so the SL320 or the 380SL appear at this time to the models I'm considering. Any help, suggestions, information or past experiences you could offer in helping me make my decision would greatly appreciate.

Thanks
I'm on my third 280 series Benz. I've owned two sedans and my current SL. The engine is virtually indestrutable and the gas mileage is twice that of the V8s. If you can find a nice one, buy it. There's a couple in this month's Hemmings with under 40,000 miles in the upper price range you specified.

The 129s may be comparable in price, but they have much higher ownership costs. Those cars sold new for $70,000 and up, and the parts that go in them are priced accordingly. The 107s, on the other hand, have reasonably priced parts, and the cars are surprisingly easy to work on if you are into DIY - a 129, on the other hand, is an extremely complex car and I would never work on one myself.

Of course, the advantage to the 129 is the fun factor - any 129 SL500 will blow the doors off of and out-handle any stock 107 made, and they are much more comfortable cars IMO. But I got to tell ya, there is something about the 107s you just fall in love with after you drive them for a little while. They have got to be the most well-engineered car ever made - they are solid and reliable, and if you appreciate that kind of thing and appreciate quality of engineering and manufacture taken to the extreme, you'll appreciate the hell out of a 107. Mine is 22 years old, with a 102k miles, and if I had to drive coast to coast tomorrow, I'd just get in the car and drive.
 
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