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I could buy a 1983 380sl with 122000 miles on it and it is the orig owner. they want $8500 it needs rust fixed but my fear is everyone says 380 engines are not good!! What is you thoughts Thanks David!!
 

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David,<br> <br> Below are some comments on the 380 tha might be of interest to you, albeit referring to the SLC but both the SL and SLC have the same engines.<br> <br> I have owned the 350SL, 450SLC, 380SLC and currently a 450SLC 5.0 limited edition. The 380 having less CC outputs higher BHP due to the fact that the hood, trunk lid and underbumpers are aluminium, together with the engine block being also alloy and lacking the cylinder liners which all reduces weight to the tune of over 280lbs. The bores are treated 'a la vega' with silicon cristals and the valves are sodium-filled as the aircrafts. Funny thing these valves, despite being 0.9 mm thinner at the stem they are 2mm wider at the head. This with the 4-speed auto gearbox makes the 380 a superior car (except the 5.0). <br> <br> The SLC are undoubtedly the most elegant of the Mercs and one the sweetest things in swervery, beautifully balanced handling, phenomenal grip on corners and most reliable. <br> <br> When you floor the acelerator pedal the most gorgeous growl issues from somewhere deep in the tiger bay and when it does, the car seems to leap- except that the leap is soon over, while this goes on and on, a great surge that seems to tip the road down the car's gullet and turn the horizon bluer, as though a contracting universe were the essence of some new Daimler-Benz cosmological theory. <br> <br> Of all the many fine models made by the Benz the SLC is undeniably glamorous - it whispers of soft summer evenings, of diner jackets and flowing gowns, of candle-lit supper parties and pleasant conversation. It speaks of affluence, certainly indulgence. It has panache and it is as heady as the best Champagne. But Healthy engines have healthy appetite. - By L.J.K. Setright - <br>
 

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I own a 83 380SL that just turned 130,000. The only major problem that I have had was to convert to double link timing belt. (This you should check.)<br> <br> Other than this, I have nothing but fun with the car. A dream to drive. Many say that the 380 is under powered. Well, tooling on the So Cal freeways, the car will creep to the century mark if I do not watch out. <br> <br> If the rust is not too bad, I am fortunate, I have no rust, go for it.
 

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The big question w/ 380 motors revolves around the timing chain issue. The early one 81 & 82 I know for sure, have only a single timing chain. I'm told some 83's have twin chain set ups...84 & 85 models have twins! But there is some question as to when the change was made! be sure to check out the timing chain issue!
 
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